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Lankford, Cruz, Colleagues Oppose Biden ATF Expanding Firearm Definitions and Creating National Gun Registry

WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) along with 16 colleagues introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval today to prohibit President Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) from implementing a new rule to expand firearm definitions. Joining Lankford and Cruz are Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), John Thune (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Boozman (R-AR), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and John Hoeven (R-ND).

The Biden Administration wants to institute a final rule redefining a “firearm” under federal law to not only mean a complete product, but also its individual parts, often included in a weapons parts kit. If implemented, this new rule would require gun kits and gun parts to be regulated as if they were fully functional firearms—meaning they wouldn’t be able to be sold without a serial number or without the buyer having to undergo a background check. The new rule would also require those with Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) to permanently retain and ultimately surrender records to ATF, in effect creating a national firearms registry. The current standard, which the Biden Administration seeks to change, allows for the disposal of records after 20 years.  

“Crime is going up in far-left cities because of soft-on-crime policies. Biden’s response is to clamp down on guns put together in a kit. Federal law already prohibits felons from owning or possessing any gun, including so-called ‘ghost guns,’” said Lankford. “This is another attempt by the Biden Administration to strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights instead of addressing the failed policies that have led to increased crime across the country. This action by the Biden Administration is not going to solve rising crime rates. Senator Cruz and I are pushing to overturn this rule and introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn it.”

“For the past two years, we’ve seen crime rates skyrocket all across the country, aided by Democrats’ soft-on crime policies and left-wing district attorneys operating like progressive activists instead of law enforcement officers,” said Cruz. “Democrats would love nothing more than to shift the blame and stoke anti-gun sentiment, and create a permanent national gun registry in the process. By introducing this resolution, we’re pushing backwe want to stop the Biden administration from issuing the final rule expanding the definition of firearms and instituting a national gun registry, we want to stop the false narrative that links the rise in crime to ‘ghost guns,’ and firearms, and we want to protect law-abiding citizens who are exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

Lankford remains a staunch Second Amendment advocate. Earlier this month, Lankford introduced the Pistol Brace Protection Act, which would gut an upcoming final rule by the ATF by exempting pistol braces from regulation under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The bill eliminates subjective standards that exist in federal law that have allowed ATF to reclassify firearms under the NFA, and guarantees that law-abiding gun owners will not have to register, destroy, or surrender their pistol brace.

Lankford continues to stand up for Oklahomans’ Second Amendment rights by calling on ATF to provide answers on their recent actions that prevent law-abiding citizens from creating and owning sound suppressors. Lankford recently joined a letter to ATF expressing concern over their use of secret internal guidance to push new regulations. This secret guidance has been used to justify the seizure of lawfully owned property, which is unacceptable and not in accordance with the Constitution.