Rep. Matt Gaetz is reportedly urging his colleagues to back legislation that would dismantle the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a law enforcement department inside the Department of Justice, following its recent guidelines that bans the possession of gun components.
Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, said during a speech on the House floor on Wednesday that the agency “cannot be trusted” and that it eventually seeks to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment right to privately possess weapons.
The remarks came after the ATF announced that handguns with stabilizing devices would be treated similarly to short-barreled rifles, which need a federal license to acquire under the National Firearms Act.
On January 17, Gaetz formally presented legislation to eliminate the ATF entirely.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is a federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice.
It was formed in 1972, through the merger of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the Federal Firearms and Explosives (FE) units from the Internal Revenue Service. The agency’s main responsibilities include enforcing federal firearms and explosives laws, as well as regulating the firearms and explosives industries.
The ATF has a controversial history, with some criticizing the agency’s tactics and others praising its efforts to combat illegal firearms trafficking and other related crimes.
[READ MORE: NYPD Sees Massive Exodus of Officers While Crime Continues to Spiral]