HomeUSAKobach Sues ATF Over New 'Engaged in the Business' Rule

Kobach Sues ATF Over New ‘Engaged in the Business’ Rule

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Kris W. Kobach, the Kansas Attorney General, announced that he will spearhead a coalition of Republican attorneys general in a lawsuit against President Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

In an opinion piece in the Washington Times, Kobach argues that the ATF is unlawfully expanding its reach with a new rule that could classify many Americans as illegal firearms dealers.

“The new rule does this by redefining what it is to be engaged in the business of dealing firearms. The new definition is so broad that millions of Americans will be swept in without knowing it,” Kobach stated.

This new rule targets the so-called “gun show loophole” but extends far beyond, affecting ordinary citizens engaged in basic transactions such as buying, selling, and trading firearms among themselves.

Kobach provided several examples to illustrate how the rule could turn everyday activities into felony offenses.

Kobach explains:

Let’s say an older friend of your family passes away, and his widow asks if you’d like to buy one of his shotguns. She offers a price that seems reasonable, and you don’t want to haggle with a family friend who just lost her husband. It turns out that you paid a few dollars more than the current market value of that used gun. The widow has likely committed a felony because she sold a gun for profit without first obtaining a federal firearm dealer license and running a background check on you.

The regulation requires individuals to obtain a federal firearms dealer license and conduct background checks if they sell or transfer a firearm for a profit, no matter how minimal.

According to Kobach, this goes against longstanding practices where Americans could sell firearms to friends and family without such restrictions.

“If anyone thinks the ATF will look the other way when learning of these examples of firearm transfers, think again. The ATF has a long history of draconian behavior where law-abiding gun owners are concerned, especially since Biden has taken office,” Kobach added.

He also made note of the ATF’s recent “zero tolerance” policy which has led to the revocation of numerous gun store licenses over minor paperwork errors.

Kobach argues that the ATF’s rule is not only unreasonable but also illegal and unconstitutional.

“The new rule is not only unreasonable, it’s illegal. The ATF can only do what Congress empowers it to do. And Congress has already defined what it means to be engaged in the business of selling firearms. The ATF has no legal authority to change that definition,” he said.

“In order for the ATF’s new rule to pass constitutional muster, the ATF must show that a similar rule was in existence at the time of our country’s founding. There is no such historical analog,” he added.

The state of Kansas, along with other Republican-led states, is taking this battle to the courts, aiming to protect the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.

“We look forward to seeing the President’s lawyers in court.,” Kobach concluded.

Here’s the ATF’s Q&A Document covering the New Rule:

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