Gun regulators have admitted to violating the Second Amendment

On Dec. 11, Gun Owners of America argued before the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that the government’s recently enacted ban on bump stocks is illegal.

The organization's argument is by no means controversial. The government bureau that made them illegal, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, even admitted in a court filing that it lacks authority under the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act to issue the rule. In short, it violated the Second Amendment as a way of reaping more power for itself, and that should not be tolerated.

The GOA can and will continue fighting the illicit actions of gun regulators as they arise in court, and they will be penalized; however, this piecemeal approach can only go so far. It is high time for Second Amendment advocates in Congress and the White House to begin taking action to reform the rogue bureau.

After all, this isn’t the first time the ATF has disregarded the law. Just two months ago, a judge similarly found the bureau to have been enforcing laws that don’t exist against gun owners. The bureau has been pretending that receivers are bound by the same draconian D.C. regulations as entire put-together firearms and have been threatening their manufacturers with prosecution for not going through the full regulatory process.

The methods the bureau has used to generate firearm cases against the American people have always been questionable. In the 1970s and 1980s, Congress studied the issue closely, with a Senate subcommittee report ultimately concluding that “it is apparent that ATF enforcement tactics made possible by current federal firearms laws are constitutionally, legally, and practically reprehensible."

Its cousin organization, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, is no better. The tax bureau used to be a part of the ATF, but in 2002, the Homeland Security Act divided the organization into two. The tax bureau’s half is now responsible for tax collection, labeling regulations, and trade oversight, and it remains just as reckless as the ATF.

The tax bureau pointedly refuses to provide clarity to its obscure, complex mandates. As former Treasurer Bay Buchanan pointed out, “Ever since its foundation, TTB has seemingly gone out of its way to ensure that firearms and ammo merchants remain out of compliance with the law.”