Whistleblowers say Biden administration planning to ban private gun transfers

 February 1, 2024

Whistleblowers allege that the Biden administration is working on a new regulation which would prohibit private gun sales. 

That's according to the New York Post, which cited claims made by the watchdog group Empower Oversight in an article published on Wednesday.

Link to Fast and Furious

Tristan Leavitt serves as Empower Oversight's president, and he detailed the revelations in a series of post on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

"The whistleblowers say the rule is being drafted by Senior Policy Counsel Eric Epstein, who worked as the Phoenix Field Office's Division Counsel during Operation Wide Received (a precursor of Operation Fast and Furious)," Leavitt wrote.

Fast and Furious was an operation carried by the ATF during Barack Obama's presidency under which Mexican drug cartels were allowed to acquire firearms in the United States and smuggle them across the border.

Rule would require all gun transfers to go through a dealer

Those weapons were subsequently involved in hundreds of killings including that of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010.

The whistleblowers maintain that the proposed rule would require gun transfers between private individuals to first be approved by a background check through a federally licensed dealer.

The Post noted that it is not clear, if any, exceptions would be put in place to exempt gun transfers between family members.

"Such a sweeping rule with the effect of banning private sales would clearly violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which declares that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed," Leavitt declared.

No comment from DOJ

"It would also circumvent the separation of powers in the Constitution, which grants 'all legislative Powers' to Congress while requiring that the President ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," he added.

In another post, Leavitt put up a copy of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request his organization submitted for emails between Attorney General Merrick Garland's office and that of ATF Director Steven Dettelbach.

The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment by the Post. Meanwhile, ATF spokeswoman Kristina Mastropasqua provided a statement but provided few details.

She explained that "[b]ecause the proposed rule is still working its way through the process, we cannot comment further."

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