The long-standing House Republican effort to abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been revived with Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia’s announcement Thursday that she is introducing legislation to wipe away the agency.
Former Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin had introduced legislation to rid the federal government of the agency in 2015 after the dismal failure of the agency’s Obama-era Operation Fast and Furious to track illegal guns sold to drug cartels in Mexico.
“The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that lacks a clear mission. Its ‘Framework’ is an affront to the Second Amendment and yet another reason why Congress should pass the ATF Elimination Act,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement at the time, according to The Hill.
Although Sensenbrenner has retired, the cause of eliminating the agency lives on through Greene.
“I’m introducing this legislation to #EliminateTheATF to protect ALL gun owners across this country from a tyrannical, power hungry group of bureaucrats who’s goal is to destroy our Second Amendment rights,” Greene tweeted.
I’m introducing this legislation to #EliminateTheATF to protect ALL gun owners across this country from a tyrannical, power hungry group of bureaucrats who’s goal is to destroy our Second Amendment rights. https://t.co/QbYx9YArJh
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) June 17, 2021
Greene used the title of the legislation to memorialize Brian Terry, a former Marine and a Border Patrol agent who was killed in a gun battle that took place as part of the Operation Fast and Furious debacle.
“Joe Biden and the radical, anti-gun Democrats want to unleash the ATF on law-abiding gun owners across America, attacking our God-given Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The ATF’s ongoing, unconstitutional attacks on the Second Amendment must end,” Greene told the Daily Caller.
Greene made it clear that her legislation has its roots in the same policy disaster that inspired Sensenbrenner.
“Twelve years ago, under the direction of hate America leftist Eric Holder, the ATF smuggled firearms to Mexican drug cartels (Operation Fast & Furious) who then used those firearms to kill American hero Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. This can NEVER be allowed to happen again,” she said.
Greene said President Joe Biden has signaled the agency will soon be going from bad to worse.
“Joe Biden’s nomination of gun-grabber David Chipman, who wants to ban, confiscate and destroy the most popular self-defense and hunting rifle in America owned by millions of American patriots, is a clear indication that the ATF’s war on gun owners is just beginning and is about to crank up,” she said.
The legislation drew the support of Aaron Dorr, executive director of the American Firearms Association.
“The ATF has been a scandal-ridden disaster long before operation Fast and Furious became front page news. These days, they exist solely to attack the Second Amendment and the tens of millions of proud gun owners who fight to defend it. It’s high time this agency was eliminated, before they can do even more damage to freedom,” Dorr told the Daily Caller.
The legislation seeks to wipe away anything the ATF did after last Aug. 1 and would eliminate the agency 180 days after the bill’s passage. The duties of the ATF would be assumed by the FBI.
The bill also calls for any confiscated weapons held by the ATF to be sold at auction, with the proceeds going to the families of Border Patrol agents killed due to Operation Fast and Furious.
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