Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) filed a federal lawsuit in North Dakota over the ATF’s proposed “Ghost Gun” and Gun Registry Final Rule, which is slated to take effect on August 24th.  The rule, which was heavily modified from its original proposed version in light of criticism by GOA and over 65,000 comments from GOA’s grassroots members, remains of significant concern due to the vague, illegal, and unconstitutional mandates it will place on citizens, manufacturers, and parts dealers nationwide.

Among other provisions, the rule would arbitrarily require (1) background checks on gun parts such as 80% kits, (2) gun dealers to serialize and register privately made firearms, and (3) FFLs to permanently maintain all Firearm Transaction Records (Forms 4473), a change from ATF’s temporary 20-year record retention policy in violation of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (18 U.S.C. 926(a)(3)).

GOA and its millions of members continue to voice concerns that this is another attempt by this anti-gun administration to regulate what Congress never intended to regulate and eventually turn their partial gun registry into a complete registry of every firearm transferred. Under current policy, when an FFL dealer goes out of business, the most recent 20 years of records are transferred to ATF. But under the new record-keeping policy in the Final Rule, every transaction record would eventually be entered into ATF’s digital and searchable national gun registry.

Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, issued the following statement: 

GOA and GOF are proud to be leading the charge against this tyrannical omnibus rule from the anti-gun Biden Administration, which will indeed bolster the ATF’s efforts to compile a complete registry of every firearm in the United States. This rule threatens the privacy of law-abiding citizens and will jeopardize the ability of numerous businesses across this country to continue to operate. Especially in light of the abusive leak of gun owner data in California, we must do everything we can to push back on these abusive anti-gun measures. 

Just as alarming, despite ATF’s clear lack of ability to enforce these new rules before the regulation takes effect in August, at least two parts dealers have already received vague ‘cease and desist operations’ letters from the agency, jeopardizing their livelihoods and bolstering the need for immediate injunctive relief from the courts. Given the clear precedent handed down by the Supreme Court last month, we are confident that we will succeed in dismantling this regulation.

Aidan Johnston, GOA’s Director of Federal Affairs added: “What better way to celebrate American Independence this week than suing a tyrannical agency that’s hellbent on restricting Americans’ rights.”

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