Van Hollen, Beyer Introduce Legislation to Improve ATF,

July 21, 2022

These days, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Representative Don Beyer (D-Va.) launched laws to increase and modernize the Bureau of Liquor, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in get to improve gun protection in our communities. The legislation – which follows last week’s Senate confirmation of Steve Dettelbach to provide as ATF Director – would remove irresponsible statutory restrictions that stand in the way of ATF’s mission to protect the public from violent criminals, felony corporations, and the unlawful use and trafficking of firearms. The text of the ATF Improvement and Modernization (Intention) Act can be found here.

“Gun violence has plagued our region for as well extensive – stoking fear and wreaking havoc in our communities, our neighborhoods, and our universities. Inaction is not an alternative. This month, the Senate confirmed an ATF Director, overcoming Republicans’ deliberate refusal to fill this situation considering that 2015. Now it is time to make sure ATF has the resources it desires to make our communities harmless. This prevalent-sense legislation removes hurdles that hinder ATF’s means to crack down on unlawful gun trafficking and reckless gun deals to perilous individuals and empowers the Bureau to tackle the gun violence epidemic head-on,” stated Senator Van Hollen.  

“Gun violence usually takes a enormous toll on our country, but with the affirmation of ATF Director Dettelbach we lastly have a chief in put at a essential situation to assistance deal with it, for only the next time in fifteen a long time. Congress need to act to give the ATF the resources it requires to protect against gun violence and make American communities safer, and that is what our legislation would do,” mentioned Congressman Beyer. “For many years the gun foyer and its allies in Congress have complained that ‘we really should just enforce present laws’ even as they hollowed out the federal company billed with enforcing them. Our legislation would consider a commonsense solution to get rid of barriers that hamper the ATF’s mission to prevent criminals from attaining and employing guns. I appreciate Senator Van Hollen and the gun violence prevention leaders who labored with us to craft this crucial bill, and urge my colleagues to assist it.”

The Goal Act is supported by Everytown for Gun Security, Giffords: Braveness to Combat Gun Violence, Brady United Against Gun Violence, March for Our Life, and Marylanders to Reduce Gun Violence.  

“Protecting our communities from harmful weapons needs to be a top priority for legislators, which is why we commend Senator Van Hollen and Representative Beyer for their continued efforts to move the ATF Improvement and Modernization (Aim) Act. The collaboration across departments and jurisdictions will help ATF lower the degree of violent crime and to enrich general public safety,” explained Myles Hicks, Executive Director Marylanders to Reduce Gun Violence. 

“The American persons count on ATF to play a direct position in decreasing gun violence, but for as well prolonged the NRA’s allies in Congress have deprived this important regulation enforcement company of the continuous management and resources it desires to keep People harmless. We applaud Senator Van Hollen and Representative Beyer for introducing this invoice, which will give ATF — which eventually has a Senate-confirmed director — a lot more lifetime-saving tools,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Protection.  

“As the gun violence disaster carries on to affect communities throughout the place, it is critical that our elected leaders advance guidelines and legislation that will assist lower gun violence. This legislation would empower ATF to fulfill their mandate of imposing federal gun rules, which would help minimize gun violence across the nation. Now that ATF has a Senate-verified Director, Congress should remove provisions that hamper ATF from properly regulating the gun sector and combating gun trafficking and violent crime. Giffords applauds Senator Van Hollen and Congressman Beyer on their steadfast leadership on this concern,” claimed Adzi Vokhiwa, Giffords Federal Affairs Director.

“With the initially Senate-confirmed ATF Director in almost a ten years and assist from a gun violence prevention winner in the White Dwelling, there has hardly ever been a additional critical moment for the ATF Enhancement and Modernization Act,” claimed Brady President Kris Brown. “This act will save life by serving to ATF to more successfully and effectively oversee and keep the firearms marketplace accountable and prevent gun trafficking and other crimes that are fueling gun violence nationwide and significantly in communities of colour. Brady is grateful to Sen. Van Hollen and Rep. Beyer for their leadership on this difficulty.”

“With a newly confirmed everlasting director, the ATF is in the strongest posture in approximately a ten years to safeguard Us citizens from soaring gun violence. This modernization bill will come just in time to permit the ATF to hold the gun lobby to the highest requirements of accountability, whilst using aggressive enforcement action on the irresponsible sellers and companies who offer the unlawful marketplace for gun crimes. We are proud to help this well timed invoice and thank Senators Van Hollen and Beyer for their management and dedication to conserving lives,” mentioned Elena Perez, March for Our Life Senior Plan Associate.  

Track record

The ATF Advancement and Modernization Act, originally introduced in 2020, would: 

Make it easier for the ATF to do the job with other agencies to tackle violent criminal offense

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  • Permit the ATF to sustain a nationwide centralized firearm databases so they can return trace data to legislation enforcement additional rapidly. A centralized databases would also allow law enforcement to detect designs that suggest gun trafficking. The National Tracing Center maintains its information on paper and microfiche, which signifies a solitary trace request could take a 7 days or more time, stalling criminal investigations. 
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  • Let the ATF to look for computerized records they obtain from dealers – the ATF currently will have to remove the look for function from information they acquire in a searchable structure.
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  • Let NICS to hold on to history check data for far more than 24-hrs. A GAO report observed that future working day destruction just about eliminates the FBI’s ability to initiate firearms retrieval steps when it learns, soon after-the-reality, that a transfer ought to not have been authorized.
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  • Let the ATF to transfer agency capabilities to another company to increase coordination or acquire help from organizations like the FBI. 
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Allow for the ATF to crack down on “bad apple” dealers

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  • Allow for the ATF to perform many inspectors of a dealer in a year. Now, they simply cannot do so, even if they suspect the vendor of trafficking crime guns. No other federal company is issue to this prohibition. 
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  • Make it possible for the ATF to call for gun sellers to examine their inventories in advance of an inspection and post people firearm inventories. This would make sure that sellers report stolen or dropped guns to the ATF and make it easier to track them really should they be utilised in crimes. At the moment, dealers do not have to maintain inventories, so undesirable apple dealers can offer guns off the books without having a qualifications examine or documents and, if it is employed in a crime, inform ATF the gun was stolen. 
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  • Lessen the conventional of proof for revoking a seller’s license from “willfully” breaking the law to “knowingly” undertaking so.
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  • Eradicate the “de nova” evaluate of appeals, which weakens the ATF’s means to revoke licenses from lousy apple dealers and defend people selections in courtroom.
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  • Let the ATF to deny a firearm license for absence of small business, which will support guarantee that the ATF does not waste time inspecting dealers that are not offering to the community. Sellers with a federal firearms license can also stay clear of selected point out guidelines or ship guns throughout state strains without having a history examine, therapy that need to not be permitted if they are not engaged in authorized gun product sales to the general public.  
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Safeguard the general public from hazardous weapons

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  • Make it possible for the ATF to define a curio or relic to make certain that additional state-of-the-art weaponry is not involved due to an out-of-date definition.
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  • Permit the ATF to reduce imports of non-sporting use shotguns 
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Make the ATF a lot more responsive to the general public and scientists

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  • Allow for the ATF to make trace facts out there to the public so universities and community research teams can research the movement of recovered criminal offense guns and raise accountability among lousy apple sellers who violate gun legislation.
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  • Enable ATF to process Freedom of Information Act requests for knowledge on gun traces, arson, or explosive incidents. The ATF is the only federal law enforcement company prohibited from responding to FOIA requests. Law enforcement sensitive and private data can be secured as a result of the present FOIA statute.
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