The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) caved Thursday under pressure from Rep. Andrew Clyde (R) and other GOP House members, agreeing to accept 40,000 additional petitions against the agency’s background check rule.

Early on Thursday, Rep. Clyde tweeted: “Last week, the ATF refused to accept 40,000 petitions from National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) members opposing the agency’s universal background check rule. I led 25 of my colleagues in demanding the ATF abide by the U.S. Constitution and accept these petitions TODAY—when the comment period ends.”

Hours later, Clyde tweeted, “The ATF caved and finally accepted the NAGR 40,000 petitions. MAJOR WIN—but the fight continues. Now it’s time for Congress to take down the ATF’s universal background check rule.”

Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA) in Washington, DC, on Monday, January 4, 2021. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On August 31, 2023, Breitbart News noted that the ATF proposed a universal background check rule, thereby putting forward a gun control that Congress has, for decades, refused to pass.

In a press release that accompanied the announcement of the proposed rule, Attorney General Merrick Garland said:

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was passed by Congress to reduce gun violence, including by expanding the background checks that keep guns out of the hands of criminals. This proposed rule implements Congress’s mandate to expand the definition of who must obtain a license and conduct a background check before selling firearms.

ATF director Steve Dettelbach said, “This new proposed rule would clarify the circumstances in which a person is ‘engaged in the business’ of dealing in firearms, and thus required to obtain a license and follow the laws Congress has established for firearms dealers.”

The rule was published for public comment and the 40,000 petitions from NAGR members will now be accepted as a portion of those comments.

WATCH — AWR Hawkins: Universal Background Checks = Gun Registry

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. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. 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