President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 proposes increasing funding to the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ), and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to crack down on guns.
The funding, which draws from a $17.8 billion “investment” in the DOJ’s federal law enforcement capacity, will be used to further regulate the firearms industry, create gun trafficking strike forces, enforce background checks and implement the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, according to the budget. The ATF alone will receive $1.9 billion, a $200 million increase from the 2023 budget.
Alongside the DOJ and ATF, the FBI will receive $51 million to support the continued implementation of enhanced background checks required by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, implemented in 2022, provided funding for the implementation of red flag laws, expanded background checks and invested in state crisis intervention orders, according to the legislation.
Since the passing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the ATF, per Biden’s request, has implemented two final rules and heightened requirements for gun dealers. The pistol stabilizing brace finale rule and the ghost gun parts final rule received backlash after their implementations, with the ghost gun parts final rule currently subject to a temporary injunction by a federal judge.
— Aidan Johnston (@RealGunLobbyist) March 9, 2023
The ATF’s “zero tolerance” police has been criticized by Republican lawmakers and Second Amendment advocacy groups, as Federal Firearm License (FFL) revocations hit a 16-year high in 2022 under the rule. The increase in license revocations, 92 in 2022 alone, is due to the new policy and the updated procedure that the ATF follows, as they no longer always go through a multi-step process, often opting to pull licenses for a multitude of “willful” violations.
“That’s not how regulatory agencies are supposed to work in the sector that they’re supposed to regulate. They are supposed to help the companies, they’re supposed to ensure compliance but they’re not supposed to punish and destroy an entire industry based on just political opposition or political distaste,” Gun Owners of America’s director of federal affairs Aidan Johnston told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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