MTG and Gaetz Push to Defund ATF Director

( – Florida’s Matt Gaetz and Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene have stated their intent to defund the Office of the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) during the next appropriations period. The heavyweight Republican Representatives notified the House Appropriations Committee via letter on June 26th.

The letter notified Chairwoman Rep. Kay Granger that the pair intends to defund the ATF Director by way of the Holman Rule. The rule was first enacted in 1876 and allows Congress to reduce certain federal salaries and fire certain federal employees. More broadly, the rule can allow Congress to eliminate certain programs should the vote threshold be reached.

The pair wrote that the ATF has a standard of perfection that is impossible to meet. Following the Biden administration’s 2021 enactment of a “zero tolerance” policy, the ATF has revoked Federal Firearms Licenses at the highest rate in 16 years.

The letter states that gun stores are being unjustifiably shut down due to simple clerical errors and that the ATF itself cannot meet its own standard of perfection. “We must force a change,” the duo writes.

Both Representatives have previously called for the ATF to be abolished. In 2021, Greene penned legislation with that intent. Her piece was named after Border Patrol agent and former Marine Brian Terry, who was killed by criminals with an ATF-supplied weapon at the U.S. border with Mexico.

The weapon was part of an agency effort known as “fast and furious.” The program saw the ATF intentionally supply criminal groups with long guns in the hope that they would lead to high-ranking cartel members. Agent Terry’s death led to a scandal for the Obama administration.

Gaetz introduced his own legislation in January to abolish the agency after they criminalized the use of pistol braces. Following their decree, Gaetz said the ATF “should be the name of a chain of convenience stores in Florida, not a federal agency.”

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