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LAW & THE COURTS
The ATF Has Been Enforcing a Rule That Does Not Exist
Anyone else sick to death of watching the Democrats debate each other already? Tuesday saw them rehash numerous conversations they’ve already had, and there are still eight excruciating nights of such television for us to endure.
To understand what’s going on here, you need a little bit of background. There are lots of rules about making and selling guns in this country: If you sell guns regularly as a business, you need to get a license and conduct background checks on your buyers; each gun a manufacturer creates for sale needs a serial number; etc. However, it’s generally legal to sell firearm parts without following those rules.
This might be a loophole the executive branch can plug fairly easily, since the problem lies mainly in the regulation and not the statute passed by Congress — though prosecutors could lose cases against illegal gun sellers in the meantime. It’s also possible that other courts will let the agency get away with pretending that the rule means something other than what it says.
By ROBERT VERBRUGGEN
October 18, 2019 6:30 AM
If Congress and the ATF can’t write rules clearly ensuring that our basic gun laws apply to AR-15s, how well could Beto’s confiscation drive possibly go?