President Joe Biden’s Department of Alcohol, Tabacco, and Firearms is working with the Department of Justice to regulate private gun sales into oblivion by mandating background checks for personal firearm exchanges, according to whistleblower group Empower Oversight.
Federal law currently requires background checks for any gun buyers who purchase their new weapons through a licensed federal firearms dealer (FFL). Two sources in communication with Empower Oversight confirmed the ATF is prepared to move forward with a rule that would classify a closed-door gun sale between friends or family members the same as firearm purchases made from FFLs.
The rule, proposed by the DOJ and ATF at the behest of Biden’s gun control wish list issued in March 2023, seeks to change the definition of “who is engaged in the business of dealing in firearms” to increase the number of Americans required to become FFLs, a lengthy and far from “easy” process, that must conduct background checks to sell their guns. The ATF and DOJ credits Democrats’ 2022 gun control bill, which passed because more than a dozen Republican senators agreed to betray their base.
The 1986 Firearms Owners’ Protection Act determined that regulation of those “engaged in the business” of selling guns commercially “shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.”
The ATF, undeterred by the current U.S. code and complaints about infringement on law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights, has continued behind closed doors to foster support for the Biden rule. ATF Senior Policy Counsel Eric Epstein, who Empower Oversight’s sources named as the lead on the project, allegedly drafted a 1,300-page document affirming the White House’s desire for background checks on private gun sales.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and ATF Director Steven Dettelbach, Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt demanded communications to and from Epstein about a “ban,” “private sale,” “universal background,” and “gun control.” He noted that the ATF’s commitment to carrying out the rule would fulfill Biden’s goal to “move the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation.”
Leavitt also asked to see “any and all” records and communications between the DOJ, ATF, and White House about Biden’s March 2023 executive order and banning private firearm sales.
“Such a sweeping rule with the effect of banning private sales would clearly violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,’” Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt wrote in a statement posted on X. “It would also circumvent the separation of powers in the Constitution, which grants ‘all legislative Powers’ to Congress while requiring that the President ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.’”
The ATF and DOJ have made several unconstitutional moves against law-abiding gun owners in the last three years. At Biden’s direction, the ATF attempted to turn pistol brace owners into felons, shutter gun stores over paperwork flukes, “ban” ghost guns, shut down ammunition sales, and alter the legal definition of a firearm to instate background checks for gun parts.