Biden White House: GOP Push to Defund ATF Helps Mexican Cartels

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Breitbart Texas / Cartel Chronicles

The Biden White House is arguing that the Republican push to defund the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) actually helps Mexican cartels.

NBC News noted that former President Donald Trump called for defunding federal law enforcement, and Breitbart News pointed out that various Republican House members are set on stopping certain ATF rules–the pistol brace rule and others–by defunding the measures, thereby forcing the ATF to abandon them.

The Biden White House responded to these efforts by claiming Republicans are not only standing in the way of a fight against violent crime but are also adding the transport of illicit drugs into the country.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates made a statement further defending this claim:

MAGA Republican extremism in Congress is a growing threat to the fight against violent crime and fentanyl trafficking. President Biden is working hard to prevent the flow of firearms into the hands of drug cartels, as part of a comprehensive strategy to block the flow of fentanyl into the United States. But hardcore MAGA members of Congress are doing everything they can to thwart these efforts.

He added, “MAGA Republicans in Congress are trying to defund and abolish the ATF, the federal law enforcement agency responsible for helping stop the flow of firearms into the hands of gun traffickers.”

Bates suggested that “assault weapons purchased in the United States are arming drug cartels and enabling them to outgun law enforcement.”

Bates did not mention the Obama Administration’s Operation Fast & Furious, in which the administration purposefully smuggled firearms into Mexico under the guise of tracking the firearms to catch cartel kingpins.

He did, however, quote Everytown for Gun Safety’s Rob Wilcox saying, “ATF plays an essential role in keeping us safe by enforcing the gun laws on the books, regulating the gun industry and partnering with state and local agencies.”

On March 23, 2023, Breitbart News reported Wilcox admitting that Everytown asked the ATF to put forward a ban on pistol stabilizer braces.

Wilcox said Everytown submitted a request “for rulemaking” and acknowledged that the request preceded the ATF’s announcement of a proposed pistol brace rule.

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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