Steven Dettelbach
ATF Director Steven Dettelbach (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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AWR Hawkins over at Breitbart is reporting that ATF Director Steven Dettelbach faced pointed questions from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) regarding the new universal background check rule during a House Judiciary hearing on Thursday. Gaetz sought a precise definition of what constitutes “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, a key element in the enforcement of the rule.

Dettelbach admitted that there is no specific numerical threshold for when private citizens are considered firearms dealers. Instead, he explained that the rule is “conduct based,” spanning over 400 pages of explanation and does not pinpoint an exact number of firearms sold.

The lack of clarity prompted criticism from Gaetz, who highlighted that this ambiguity led U.S. District Court Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on May 19. The TRO halts the enforcement of the ATF rule in Texas and protects members of several pro-gun organizations, including Gun Owners of America, the Virginia Citizens Defense League and the Tennessee Firearm Association among others.

Gaetz argued that the uncertainty surrounding the threshold could put law-abiding citizens at risk, emphasizing the need for clear guidelines to prevent potentially dangerous enforcement actions by the ATF. Dettelbach noted that the agency had received numerous comments on the rule, indicating widespread concern over the issue.

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30 COMMENTS

  1. After rule change after role change, ostensibly to “clarify” who needs a FFL, there’s less clarity than ever. The most parsimonious explanation for this has to be that the lack of clarity is intentional. Unclear laws with huge penalties attached are beloved by bureaucrat-tyrants around the world and throughout history, as a way of frightening honest people away from their rights.

    • “After rule change after role change, ostensibly to “clarify” who needs a FFL, there’s less clarity than ever. ”

      “Clarity” is the hobgoblin of little minds.

      If one wonders if something is illegal, it is; act accordingly. Vagueness has a power of its own, like any other threat.

  2. You can see their intentions already taking effect, less used blasters for sale in my area. Peoples be spooked to sell. Snakes gonna snake.

    • “Peoples be spooked to sell.”

      We can’t do that, let them bully us and cause us to fear them. When they do that its no longer a government for and by the people, its tyranny. The government should fear the people.

      That’s one of the goals of tyrant Biden and his murdering ATF goons, they want you to be afraid to simply exercise a constitutional right to buy and sell personally owned property. The Fifth Amendment protects the right to private property, that includes the right to buy and sell personally owned property.

  3. Dettlebach didn’t just struggle, he never did clarify the meaning. The ATF thinks all gun sales by a private citizen results in a profit. Most private sales don’t even allow the seller to break even much less make a profit. If making a profit selling a used gun is so easy, then why can’t a used vehicle be traded or sold at a profit?

    • “Dettlebach didn’t just struggle, he never did clarify the meaning.”

      From what I’ve seen, read, Dettlebach wasn’t allowed actual time to answer anything; Republicrat political theater, designed to prove Republicrats in Congress “are doing something”.

  4. As I have frequently commented, “gun control” is not about “guns”, it’s all about “control”. Go back to “Atlas Shrugged” – “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

    This is what almost all “regulation” is about. The government gets no benefit out of people trying to, or even to be able to, comply with their idiot regulations (read: “unconstitutional laws”); they want to keep their jackboots on our necks. Hard to do that if any rational person is able to understand and comply with valid laws. They want to be able to do no-knock 4am raids, with no body cameras and no witnesses, and execute their targets without due process. You could ask Randy Weaver . . . if he were still alive.

  5. I belong to 2 fakebook groups that violate fakebook rules by using euphemisms like “firearm enthusiast’s”.Just pictures of gats & gear. ALL hush-hush by fakebook messenger. I’ve thought about peddling some ammo but I can’t help but think “is this a FED?!?”🙄😧

    • Dude quit fcking around, of course it’s a Fed.
      That fakebook shts going to get you in trouble, ttag ain’t that safe either.
      Them mutherfckrs are spying on us ever which away.

    • I ran into a few people who were probably Feds, before I left Facebook.

      If someone is out there trying to bait you into doing something illegal/stupid, there is a high probability that it’s a Fed.

      That goes double if they offer to provide the guns/ammo/explosives/whatever to help you do it.

      In the unlikely event it’s not a Fed, it’s definitely some kind of idiot.

      Be aware, stay safe, don’t blow yourself up, don’t let your mugshot hit the front page, don’t do annything stupid, and don’t get fooled.

  6. How can anyone appear in public nevermind a televised congressional hearing wearing a horrible rug like that, Dettlebach looks as though a groundhog has taken up residence atop his empty head.

    • Keeping in mind that congressional hearings are nothing more than dog and pony shows where politicians vie for camera time and talking points to their constituents. They know going in they aren’t going to get any straight answers or solve any problems. It’s always been that way. Only after C-Span came into existed did everyone else get to see it.

  7. doodlebug is the song and dance fall guy and not where the buck should stop. The Arkansas atf that concocted the scheme and convinced the Arkansas police to go along needs to be placed on the congressional hot seat for America to see…The scheme could even have been a hit because the victim knew something someone did not want told, etc. It’s all too despicably convenient to be cut and dry.

    • I was thinking being an air traffic controller and all that there may be more to the story then just the gunms he sold.

      • They wanted a reasonably high profile “alleged perpetrator” to be killed “resisting arrest”.

        But not too high profile as that can bring unwanted attention.

  8. The federal entity on the Potomac river didn’t regulate firearms from 1787 until 1934. It shouldn’t be doing so today.

  9. “We’ll know one when we see one…”

    “It depends on your political views and your social media posts…”

    It’s a feature, not a bug.

    • Why is anyone surprised that director Shuttlecock can’t define
      “engaged in the business”? The people who gave him his job can’t define what a “woman” is – it’s among the 27 or so “newly” discovered sexes.

  10. Gaetz argued that the uncertainty surrounding the threshold could put law-abiding citizens at risk …”

    That is a feature, not a bug!

  11. When a person you meet says they will buy your gunm for $300 more then what it’s worth I’d say that person is more then likely a Fed.
    When a person you meet wants you to sale them more then 5 gunms at once.
    That person is more then likely a Fed.
    When a person you meet wants to know if you have any friends that sale gunms.
    That person is more then likely a Fed.
    It’s to bad the War Against Drugs did away with the entrapment law, elsewise you could straight up ask them.
    ” Are you a Narc?”
    And what does gunms have to do with two addictive substances anyway?
    Why is it the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives?
    Shouldn’t Firearmns be under the Elf Bee Eyes jurisdiction, not that it would be any better, but I just cant figure out the connection between gunms, booze, smokes and booms?
    Perhaps the stigma, drunk gunm owners who smoke cigarettes are addicts, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad.

    • possum,

      In case you are not already aware, here is the basic history of the creation of the predecessor to our modern day ATF and our modern day ATF:

      When U.S. government wanted to “do something” about Prohibition Era gangsters using sawed-off shotguns and machine guns to mow each other down, U.S. Congress created the National Firearms Act of 1934 where they created a TAXING SYSTEM on said firearms (and a few other related items). My understanding is that U.S. Congress wanted to ban such items and believed that a ban would be unconstitutional so they went with a tax structure instead since the U.S. Constitution empowers the federal government with limited taxing authority. And since the National Firearms Act of 1934 was a taxing situation, the U.S. Treasury Department enforced it. Of course fedzilla also taxed alcohol and tobacco so the U.S. Treasury Department enforced those taxes as well.

      During the next several decades, taxing/enforcement bounced between the U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. Justice Department and ultimately culminated in the creation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (in 1972 I believe) as we know it today.

      So, long story short, U.S. government decided to use its taxing authority explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution to tax (and of course “regulate”) alcohol, tobacco, and firearms for revenue purposes rather than trying to minimize addictive behaviors.

      Side note: I want to say that U.S. Congress initially settled on taxing alcohol and then tobacco under the “sin tax” notion and also because alcohol and tobacco are not necessities. Creating a “sin tax” and refusing to tax necessities had much greater chances of playing well with the voting public.

      • Smike, the liquor store owner was concerned the ABC man was going to audit him. Alcohol Bureau Control I took it. That was in 1969 if my memory is correct.
        My grandpa the bootlegger called them ” revenuers”

  12. SINCE THE THE KGB’S REASON FOR KICKING YOUR CASTLES DOOR DOWN UNANNOUNCED IN THE NIGHT IS TO ASSASSNATE YOU, THEN AN ARMED FIGHTING RESPONSE IS NOT AN UNREASONABLE RESPONSE BY HOMEOWNERS. AND BECAUSE THE ASSASSINS HAVE THERMAL AND NIGHT VISION AND WILL BE MAKING HEAD SHOTS THEN WEARING BODY ARMOR WONT SAVE YOU AND WILL ONLY INHIBIT ONES MOBILITY. KNOW THAT COMMUNISTS ONLY RESPECT FORCE AND WHERAS YOUR GOING TO DIE DEFENDING YOUR CASTLE AND PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN FROM THE DEEP STATE THUGS AND ASSASSINS, IF AMERICANS DO NOTHING TO RESIST THIS COMMUNIST TYRANNY ITS CERTAIN ALL OF AMERICA WILL BE ENSLAVED.

  13. “ATF Director Struggles to Define “Engaged in the Business….”

    If someone is demanding “clarity” about who is “engaged in the business of selling firearms”, here is clarity:

    If a person purchases, sells, or transfers possession of, firearms, that person is “…engaged in the business of selling firearms”. Start your analysis there, and all questions about “being engaged…” are answered, clearly.

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