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Sean D. Reyes
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AGO Joins Comment Letter Opposing ATF Rule

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a public comment letter to oppose a recently proposed rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The letter was led by the States of Kansas, Iowa, and Montana regarding the rule Definition of “Engaged in the Business as a Dealer in Firearms.” 

The ATF’s proposal “takes the unprecedented step of making any individual who sells a firearm ‘predominantly for profit’ liable to civil, administrative, or even criminal penalties – unless the seller acquires a federal license.” This rule has few exceptions, and the definition is overly broad to capture as many firearms transfers, sales, and purchases as possible. 

In their comments, the coalition of attorneys general argue that the proposed rule “violates the Second Amendment and is arbitrary and capricious.” The States make the case that the law does not consider legal precedent, writing, “As the Bureau should be well aware, the Supreme Court recently clarified the framework for determining the constitutionality of a law or regulation under the Second Amendment. The Court explained that if the Second Amendment ‘covers an individual’s conduct,’ any burden on that conduct is presumptively unconstitutional.” 

The attorneys general and legislators added that the rule “does not even mention Heller or Bruen (recent Supreme Court cases). Given that these two landmark cases provide the standard with which all federal and state firearms regulations must comply, it is peculiar that they receive no mention in this proposed rule. This omission combined with the stunning overreach of this proposed rule shows that the Bureau has no respect for the Second Amendment rights of the citizens that it tries to regulate.” 

Joining Utah, Kansas, Iowa and Montana on the letter were the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and the President of the Arizona Senate. 

Read the letter here.