Cheyenne (Wyo.) Post

Barrasso, Lummis Join Bill to Hold the ATF Accountable

January 2, 2024

U.S. Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, both R-Wyo., joined Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and their Republican colleagues in reintroducing the ATF Accountability Act of 2023 to provide transparency at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for gun owners and manufacturers across America.
The ATF engages in a secretive classification review process where the agency makes decisions about whether a particular firearm is regulated by the National Firearms Act. Decisions and justification for decisions are often only made available to manufacturers in private correspondence. This causes uncertainty for both gun-owning Americans and firearm manufacturers, especially in combination with the ATF’s refusal to make public rules regarding classification final.
“Every day, people in Wyoming responsibly use their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms,” said Senator Barrasso. “For far too long, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has had regulations that keep responsible gun owners and manufacturers in the dark. Any attempt to stop law-abiding citizens from appealing unfair rulings must be stopped dead in its tracks. I will continue to stand up against any policies that threaten our Second Amendment rights.”
“D.C. bureaucrats cannot be allowed to criminalize law-abiding gun owners with the stroke of a pen behind closed doors,” said Senator Lummis. “Protecting the Second Amendment has never been more important after Senate Democrats attempted to jam through an assault-weapons ban just last week. The ATF Accountability Act strengthens the people of Wyoming’s constitutional right to bear arms by creating a pathway to legally challenge any new restrictive regulations.”
“American gun owners and manufacturers have been left in the dark for far too long with closed-door rule changes by the ATF,” said Senator Braun. “Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights shouldn’t be the last to know the classification status of firearms, or what licenses or tax stamps they need to avoid running afoul of the law. The ATF needs accountability and transparency, which this bill accomplishes.”
The ATF Accountability Act:

  • Creates an appeals process following a ruling by ATF with specific regular timeframes
  • Permits gun manufacturers to appeal the legal status or classification of any product by filing with the Director of Industry Operations with jurisdiction. After which, the appeal is directed to an administrative law judge

This legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
Full text of the legislation can be found here.