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Georgia is now part of a 20-state coalition opposing the Biden administration’s proposed regulation of firearm parts. They charge that the rule is unconstitutional, would sidestep Congress, and would unlawfully usurp broad policy making discretion for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – flexibility and authority not already granted to the bureau.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced late last week that he joined the attorney generals of 19 other states in the push against what they say is an “unlawful rewrite of the federal gun laws.” The attorneys general contend a proposed rule set forth by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) exceeds authority granted to the bureau under the Gun Control Act of 1968.

The public comments point to the proposal’s expanded definition of a receiver, the already heavily regulated part of a firearm that houses its firing mechanism. They argue the rule would grant ATF unconstitutionally unrestrained discretion over which parts are subject to the regulation. Carr says this would his would — “as ATF admits — put many parts manufacturers out of business and significantly increase costs for others, which will likely result in lost jobs and higher prices for consumers.”

The coalition argues that federal law only authorizes ATF to regulate complete firearms and complete receivers – not incomplete firearms or receivers (with the exception of machine guns).

According to Carr, the coalition contends that ATF did not fully consider the costs of changing a longstanding policy upon which many people and businesses rely. They cite the ATF’s own analysis in stating “the rule would force at least 35 businesses to cease operation or significantly scale down their activities.” However, the attorney generals believe the bureau underestimates the financial loss, contending it would far exceed the rule’s $1.1 million estimate.

The coalition contends that ATF efforts to resolve these concerns would be a first step toward developing policies that combat crime, “while also respecting the Constitution.”

Other states in the coalition with Georgia are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.


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