Tennessee joins coalition challenging ATF rule that violates the Second Amendment
Published 2:08 pm Monday, December 11, 2023
NASHVILLE – Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti is joining 26 other state attorneys general and the Arizona State Legislature in a public comment letter demanding that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms drop a proposed rule that violates the Second Amendment. The proposed rule risks making any individual who sells a firearm for profit liable to civil, administrative, and even criminal penalties for failing to register with a federal agency.
“Inserting a heavy-handed and punitive federal bureaucracy into small-scale transactions between family and friends is misguided and constitutionally suspect overreach,” said Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. “This regulation will unduly burden law-abiding citizens while having no meaningful impact on violent criminals. The constitutionally sound response to gun crime is aggressive enforcement of existing criminal laws and more robust mental health options.”
The attorneys general argue that the right to sell firearms for profit among individuals without significant federal-government licensing and oversight is protected by the Second Amendment.
The public comment letter claims that the rule doesn’t clearly define profit, and that it presumes individual sellers are firearms dealers even if the individual only sells one firearm.
“If the Bureau was serious about combatting violent crime, it would focus on enforcing the laws that are already on the books to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, the Bureau has instead targeted innocent people who sell firearms. That is not only unlawful but wrong, and the Bureau must change course,” the comment letter reads.
In addition to the Arizona State Legislature and Attorney General Skrmetti the attorneys general of the following states also signed the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.