Exclusive: Rep. Clyde Pushes Resolution to Make ATF Background Check Rule of ‘No Force or Effect’

U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) speaks alongside fellow Freedom Caucus members during a pres
Kevin Dietsch/Getty

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) spoke exclusively with Breitbart News about his plans to introduce a resolution Thursday to make the ATF’s universal background check rule of “no force or effect.”

Breitbart News reported the ATF’s announcement of the proposed rule on August 31, 2023. The rule redefines what it means to be “engaged in the business of selling guns,” thereby expanding the instances in which an unlicensed seller — i.e., a private citizen — must use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to sell or transfer a gun.

The ATF’s rule changes language so that there is no clear line of demarcation between private gun sales and guns sold by FFL holders. Ambiguity is introduced into the equation, forcing every seller to prove he is not trying to make a profit, lest he be required to ensure the purchaser undergoes the NICS before taking possession of the firearm.

The rule is largely based on the whether private sellers make a “profit” by selling their guns, but it also changes language so that bartering for a gun requires a background check too. Beginning with the last paragraph on Page 26 of the rule and reading into the first paragraph of page 27, the reader sees the ATF expanding point-of-sale background checks:  “Defining these terms to include any method of payment for a firearm would clarify that persons cannot avoid the licensing requirement by, for instance, bartering or providing or receiving services in exchange for firearms with the predominant intent to earn pecuniary gain even where no money is exchanged.”

Breitbart News noted the ATF rule goes so far as to require gun smugglers to go through the background check system as well.

Rep. Clyde is pushing to block the rule. His resolution says, “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Justice, relating to ‘‘Definition of ‘Engaged in the Business’ as a Dealer in Firearms,” and such rule shall have no force or effect.”

Clyde told Breitbart News:

Time and time again, the Biden Administration abuses its rule-making authority to infringe on Americans’ unalienable right to keep and bear arms. The ATF’s ‘engaged in the business’ rule represents President Biden’s latest effort to institute universal background checks, advance the Left’s radical gun control agenda, and violate the American people’s Second Amendment freedoms. Private citizens must never be forced to jump through unelected, anti-gun bureaucrats’ unconstitutional hurdles to engage in lawful firearms transactions. I urge my colleagues in both chambers to support our measure to overturn the ATF’s disastrous rule.

He added:

Private citizens should not be forced to jump through unelected anti-gun bureaucrats’ unconstitutional hurdles in order to engage in lawful firearms transactions. The ATF’s concerning pattern of criminalizing the American people for exercising their unalienable right to keep and bear arms must be met with swift congressional action. My legislation provides a simple solution to block the implementation of and funding for this unlawful, convoluted, and burdensome rule — protecting Americans’ Second Amendment liberties from the Biden Administration’s nefarious overreach.

Clyde’s resolution has 86 Republican co-sponsors: Reps. Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Rick Allen (GA-12), Kelly Armstrong (ND-At-Large), Brian Babin (TX-36), Troy Balderson (OH-12), Aaron Bean (FL-04), Cliff Bentz (OR-02), Stephanie Bice (OK-05), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Dan Bishop (NC-08), Lauren Boebert (CO-03), Mike Bost (IL-12), Josh Brecheen (OK-02), Tim Burchett (TN-02), Eric Burlison (MO-07), Kat Cammack (FL-03), Ben Cline (VA-06), Michael Cloud (TX-27), Mike Collins (GA-10), Eli Crane (AZ-02), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Byron Donalds (FL-19), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Neal Dunn (FL-02), Jake Ellzey (TX-06), Ron Estes (KY-04), Mike Ezell (MS-04), Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), Mike Flood (NE-01), Scott Franklin (FL-18), Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Bob Good (VA-05), Lance Gooden (TX-05), Paul Gosar (AZ-09), Sam Graves (MO-06), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Michael Guest (MS-03), Harriet Hageman (WY-At-Large), Andy Harris (MD-01), Diana Harshbarger (TN-01), Clay Higgins (LA-03), French Hill (AR-02), Ashley Hinson (IA-02), Richard Hudson (NC-09), Darrell Issa (CA-48), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Nick Langworthy (NY-23), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Anna Paulina Luna (FL-13), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Thomas Massie (KY-04), Rich McCormick (GA-06), Mary Miller (IL-15), John Moolenaar (MI-02), Alex Mooney (WV-02), Barry Moore (AL-02), Nathaniel Moran (TX-01), Troy Nehls (TX-22), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Andy Ogles (TN-05), Burgess Owens (UT-04), Gary Palmer (AL-06), Scott Perry (PA-10), Bill Posey (FL-08), Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Mike Rogers (AL-03), John Rose (TN-06), Matt Rosendale (MT-02), Chip Roy (TX-21), Keith Self (TX-03), Pete Sessions (TX-17), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Greg Steube (FL-17), Claudia Tenney (NY-24), Tom Tiffany (WI-07), William Timmons (SC-04), Randy Weber (TX-14), Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Roger Williams (TX-25), Steve Womack (AR-03), Rudy Yakym (IN-02), and Ryan Zinke (MT-01).

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 pro-staffer for Pulsar Night Vision. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010 and 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. Beef is his favorite vegetable. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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