Republican and Democratic AG Groups Submit Comments to ATF on Proposed Rule Clarifying Scope of Gun Control Act

  • A group of 20 Republican AGs, led by Arizona AG Mark Brnovich and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and a separate group of 22 Democratic AGs, led by District of Columbia AG Karl Racine, New Jersey Acting AG Andrew Bruck, and Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, sent comment letters to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) regarding the ATF’s proposed rule, Definition of ‘Frame or Receiver’ and Identification of Firearms (“Proposed Rule”), which would revise definitions in the Gun Control Act (“Act”) to clarify that weapon kits and incomplete weapon parts are covered by the Act.
  • The Republican AGs’ letter opposes the Proposed Rule, arguing that it would infringe upon the Second Amendment and impermissibly expand the ATF’s regulation of firearm parts, including by requiring that each part bear a serial number; that the AFT may not expand its own authority beyond the original congressional intent through broadening statutory definitions; and that the ATF failed to fully consider the costs associated with the Proposed Rule, among other things.
  • The Democratic AGs’ letter supports the Proposed Rule, arguing that it would help reduce gun violence by reducing the availability of untraceable “ghost guns”; that overly narrow interpretations of the Act have allowed loopholes for firearm dealers to promote and sell “ghost guns” without background checks and to individuals that are otherwise banned from owning firearms under the Act; and that the Proposed Rule would clarify the broad range of modern firearms that the Act is meant to cover.