The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) is expressing concern over recent actions by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) in rejecting public comments related to Docket Number ATF 2022R-17, “Definition of ‘Engaged in the Business’ as a Dealer in Firearms.” Congressman Andrew Clyde, along with 25 other members of Congress, has raised the issue in a letter addressed to ATF Director Dettelbach.
On November 30, 2023, NAGR attempted to deliver approximately 40,000 petitions opposing Docket Number ATF 2022R-17, only to be turned away from the ATF building and denied the opportunity to submit the petitions. This rejection not only infringes on the First Amendment rights of 40,000 American citizens but also raises questions about the ATF’s commitment to the public comment process, a critical aspect of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and the E-Government Act of 2002.
“The ATF’s flagrant disregard for 40,000 Americans’ First Amendment freedoms is beyond the pale,” said Congressman Andrew Clyde. “Time and time again, unelected anti-gun bureaucrats within the ATF shamelessly undermine, disrespect, and violate law-abiding citizens’ unalienable rights — representing a dangerous pattern of the agency’s contempt for the U.S. Constitution. If the ATF fails to accept these petitions from the National Association for Gun Rights’ members and supporters, Congress must investigate the agency’s unconstitutional tactics and abuse of power to ensure this malfeasance never happens again.”
NAGR President Dudley Brown echoed these concerns, stating, “We’ve gone through all the channels to deliver these petitions properly. We’ve sent numerous emails and called a dozen times, and yet the ATF has no answer. If our members continue to be silenced by these ATF bureaucrats, the ATF will be hearing from our lawyers.”
The letter from Congressman Clyde and his colleagues highlights the Constitutional concerns surrounding Docket Number ATF 2022R-17 and accuses the ATF of malfeasance in intentionally stalling the public comment process until after the December 7, 2023 deadline. The letter calls for immediate action to remedy the situation and ensure that the 40,000 petitions from NAGR members and supporters are duly considered.
“We urge you to immediately remedy this situation and provide an avenue to accept the approximately 40,000 petitions from National Association for Gun Rights members and supporters. We look forward to your swift action, especially considering the limited time remaining in the open comment period for Docket Number ATF 2022R-17,” the letter reads.
The comment period for Docket Number ATF 2022R-17 ends today, December 7th, 2023.
The National Association for Gun Rights and Congressman Clyde demand accountability from the ATF and a fair opportunity for American citizens to exercise their First Amendment rights in participating in the rulemaking process.
A copy of the letter can be found attached here.
The National Association for Gun Rights is the nation’s largest “no compromise” pro-gun organization, with 4.5 million members nationwide.