Rep. Chip Roy: ATF’s Rule Highlights Danger of Bureaucrats Making Law

Representative Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas, during the America First Policy Institut
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) noted during Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF’s) issuance of the pistol brace rule highlights the danger of bureaucrats making law.

Roy indicated “the crux” of Republicans’ problem with the ATF is the idea of “a bureaucrat making unilateral decisions to try to turn millions of Americans into felons, to advance a radical leftist agenda, which is clearly what is at play.”

He suggested the ATF has taken upon themselves “to do what Congress has not done.”

Roy then asked Congressional witness Amy Swearer of the Heritage Foundation to provide her take on matters. She said, in part, “Our constituion…is set up with separated powers. The executive branch enforces laws and the legislative branch passes laws, because Congress is held accountable to the people.”

She then claimed the ATF’s insertion of itself into the lawmaking process “infringes on rights without Americans having a process by which to recall [ATF] appointees.”

Swearer concurred with Roy that the ATF’s rulemaking is “unconstitutional and unlawful.”

Roy responded to Swearer’s testimony by asserting that Congress has a duty “to check” the ATF’s bureaucratic overreach.

He criticized gun control that is the result of what “an executive branch bureaucrat unilaterally decides to do” and added, “This should send should send shivers down the spine of all members of [Congress].”

Breitbart News reported that during the same hearing Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee claimed the ATF has been keeping Americans safe since 1886.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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