Joe Biden angry speech
President Joe Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 11, 2022, to announce a final version of his administration's ghost gun rule. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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By Lee Williams 

The Biden-Harris administration has done more harm to the Second Amendment than all previous administrations combined. Biden and his unelected, behind-the-scenes shot-callers have been methodical in their multifaceted war on our civil rights. 

The next administration – if it’s one that actually respects the law and its citizens – will have a lot of work to do to restore the Second Amendment to what the Framers had in mind. It will be a daunting task. The Biden-Harris administration has hammered law-abiding Americans with dozens of infringements – aided and abetting by the legacy media and a variety of anti-civil rights groups, some of which received taxpayer dollars. 

What follows is a list of suggestions for how to restore our civil rights. The list is neither complete nor comprehensive. It’s more of a starting point and, unlike the Constitution, a living document. It includes actions that can be taken immediately and long-term goals that may require Congressional support. 

Fire ATF Director Steve Dettelbach

Joe Biden’s second choice to head the ATF, Steve Dettelbach, lied under oath when he told his Senate confirmation committee that he would not use the power of his office to lobby for new laws or regulations. Recently, Dettelbach called for banning “assault weapons,” which he could not define, and standard-capacity magazines. 

Dettelbach has allowed unelected bureaucrats in the White House to weaponize the ATF. Under his watch, the ATF routinely violates the civil rights of law-abiding Americans. His agency shrugs off criticism even from lawmakers who are supposed to provide oversight and is not accountable to the public. ATF ignores requests made under the Freedom of Information Act, which is federal law, even though it is a federal law enforcement agency. 

biden dettelbach
ATF Director Steve Dettelbach was Joe Biden’s second choice to run the agency. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Disband the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention 

Joe Biden created the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention two months ago to “reduce gun violence, which has ravaged communities across the country, and implement and expand upon key executive and legislative action which has been taken to save lives.” 

Its goals include banning “assault weapons” and standard-capacity magazines, safe storage laws, universal background checks and elimination of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. 

The fact there is an office in the White House funded by taxpayer dollars that is solely designed to strip away our civil rights is an insult to millions of Americans.

Disarm and downsize ATF 

The ATF has one, albeit minor, role. It can trace a firearm used in the commission of a crime, which is important for law enforcement agencies. ATF staffers do not need to be armed when engaged in this supportive role. Pathologists, lab techs and other evidence specialists are not armed. ATF staff do not need to carry weapons, either.

This would eliminate most of their nonessential personnel, such as the agency’s 2,600 special agents who are not involved in conducting firearm traces. It would also eliminate the agency’s SWAT teams, which are barnstorming the country and responsible for a host of actual crimes and civil rights violations. 


Create a Church-style committee to investigate ATF 

The Church Committee was formed in 1975 to investigate abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI and IRS. It found a massive amount of wrongdoing, which was released to the public in six voluminous reports. 

Today, the American public is no less deserving of the truth. Outside of the gun community, ATF’s crimes are not well known, since the legacy media will ignore even the most serious misdeeds if they involve guns or the Second Amendment. 

A Senate select committee is one way to get to the truth, and it is a mechanism that Dettelbach and the anonymous shot-callers in the White House could not easily dodge. Law-abiding Americans deserve to know how their own tax dollars were used to infringe upon their civil rights. 

DOJ should investigate, prosecute Second Amendment violations

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was created in 1957 by the Civil Rights Act. Its mission is to “uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all persons in the United States, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our society.” 

While it focuses mainly on discrimination, the Civil Rights Division investigates and prosecutes other violations of federal law. Recently, it has enforced sex abuse and sex trafficking statutes. The Civil Rights Division could easily add Second Amendment violations to its mandate. 

Within the Civil Rights Division is the Special Litigation Section, which investigates civil rights abuse by state and local police, as well as those responsible for operating jails, prisons and mental health institutions. It is a federal mechanism that could easily investigate ATF. The agency needs to answer for its creation of an illegal gun registry and the civil rights abuse of numerous Federal Firearm Licensees, as well as actual crimes committed by overzealous agents. It would be a powerful tool, since the Special Litigation Section has never lost a case.  

Stop defending ATF’s unconstitutional regulations

Every new rule the ATF has promulgated since Biden took office has two things in common: They’re designed to turn millions of law-abiding Americans into felons if they do not comply, and the courts are finding them unconstitutional. The ATF is losing in courtrooms across the country, regularly. Taxpayers have already subsidized the defense of too many of ATF’s illegal rules. It’s time for this legal sham to end. The ATF needs to be told to throw in the towel. 

Audit anti-civil rights group that received taxpayer dollars 

Giffords, Brady and other anti-civil rights groups have received millions of taxpayer dollars, especially post-pandemic. These groups must be held accountable for how our money was spent. 

Rescind Biden’s executive orders

On July 11, 2022, the White House unveiled 21 executive orders they claimed would reduce “gun violence.” 

Biden’s orders targeted homemade firearms and pistol braces, created a zero-tolerance policy for gun dealers, and made it easier for states to create unconstitutional red-flag laws, which allow firearms to be seized by the government without due process. 

Last March, the White House released another list of executive orders, which chip away at our civil rights. All of Joe Biden’s anti-civil rights executive orders need to be overturned. 

Moratorium on FFL revocations

Until there is a thorough investigation of the hundreds of gun dealers who have been stripped of their livelihood for even the most trivial of clerical errors, all revocations of Federal Firearm Licenses should be stopped. The entire process needs to be put on hold. 

Tom Harris, owner of Sporting Arms Company, which is based in his home in Lewisville, Texas, has been harassed by ATF agents over clerical errors they claim occurred more than eight years ago. (Photo Courtesy Tom Harris.)

Review every FFL revocation

Shortly after Biden took office, he announced a war on “rogue” gun dealers. Biden and the ATF created a five-point definition to identify “rogue” dealers: 

  • Refusal to allow an ATF inspection
  • Transferring a firearm to a prohibited person
  • Failing to conduct a background check
  • Falsifying records
  • Failing to respond to a trace request

Fortunately, there were few dealers who violated even one of Biden’s five points. ATF was forced to tighten the screws in order to produce the revocations that the White House was demanding. As a result, the agency changed the meaning of the word “willful,” and promised zero tolerance for any willful violation. Now, the agency considers even a minor clerical error to be a willful violation, which puts the gun dealer at risk for revocation of their FFL. 

The ATF recently added a new technique that experts say is evidence of a quota system for FFL revocations. Agents now use threats and intimidation to coerce Federal Firearm Licensees into “voluntarily” surrendering their license. The results are staggering. According to ATF’s own data: 

  • There were 29 FFL revocations and “voluntary” surrenders during the last six months of 2021.
  • There were 157 FFL revocations and “voluntary” surrenders during all of 2022.
  • There were 292 FFL revocations and “voluntary” surrenders during the first six months of 2023.
  • Based on the data and the increase in ATF enforcement actions, there will likely be more than 600 FFL revocations and “voluntary” surrenders by the end of 2023.

Every one of these nearly 800 FFL revocations and “voluntary” surrenders needs to be examined by personnel who are outside of ATF. They’ll likely discover that most of these gun dealers were victims. Their civil rights were violated. Someone needs to be held accountable for this. 

Dettelbach and his entire leadership team need to answer for the crimes and civil rights violations committed by ATF personnel every single day. These suggestions are a starter for a much larger conversation. 

 

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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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74 COMMENTS

  1. A brilliant list, to which I’d add – besides firing Dettelbach – dismiss with prejudice any ATFer involved, in any way, in usurping Congress’s legislative authority.

      • He spent his first term battling false allegations of collusion with Russia, and then the Ukraine stuff happened. I would guess any lightening of Russia sanctions would be low on his list.

        • I didn’t mean accusations of being a Russian puppet made him busy; I meant that it would likely make him hesitant to do anything that makes him look pro-Russia.

      • He can indeed revoke EOs. However, unless they can make major changes in the staff of these alphabet agencies, something that I understand is pretty hard to do, there will be limits to what he can do. Ever here the saying, “personnel is policy?” People in his admin were actively working against him while he was in office.

    • He took money from George Soros in order to attend college. Soros doesn’t give his money to anyone. For free

    • Ramaswamy, check out his buisness in Sweden and its association with a buisness in China. All that MAGA talk is smoke and mirrors.

  2. If we can’t get enough people to simply not renew the Patriot Act, something that is allegedly hated by many people and groups across the political spectrum, I seriously doubt we can get the ATF downsized.

    Government doesn’t like giving up power. It has to be taken away from it.

    • This is exactly why we need a Head of the Executive branch that has full understanding of their authority and is will to take the hits to affect change

  3. The evils of this mal-administration must be rectified by electing a proven pro-2nd Amendment president. The only major candidate with a proven known track-record supporting firearm rights is Ron DeSantis. Not necessarily my personal first-choice but the fact remains that Mr DeSantis as governor of Florida has stood up to the gun-grabbers and rolled back gun-control under his watch. Constitutional carry, opposes background checks and fighting to roll back other anti-Constitutional infringements. He is a proven conservative and “Puts his money where his mouth is”
    I’ll be supporting the man for this reason alone.

        • DebbieW, I dont think Trump is going to be allowed to be president.
          Remember, Electoral College, the popular vote doesn’t count.
          Jan 6 blew it for Trump, The Powers That Be saw he had what it takes to develop a cult following, cults could become a dictatorship.
          No way are “They” going to let that happen.
          FYI I did not vote for Trump the first time, I did the second. They’re all crooks, it’s just that Trump had/has most of his investments in the USA, therefore he naturally wants to see America thrive as opposed to some of the other candidates who’s investments our in foreign countries.
          A legitimate 3rd party is truly needed. A two party system with the same agenda is a monarchy.
          Perot would have done wonders for the US.

        • Perot would have done wonders for the US.

          Perot gave is Bill Clinton which led to the rise of the Hildabeast… Every action has a consequence…

      • Dude, DeSantis was not responsible for FL Red Flag law, and he has been trying to get open carry passed, He just signs (or not) the bills that cross his desk, he is Governor not a Dictator.. At his behest FL legislature did open School Vouchers to everyone, passed no permit concealed carry, tax breaks on children’s books, sports equipment and a four week “back to school” tax holiday, put an end to DEI in schools and ESG in the Florida Retirement Investment System, AND he finally put an end to Disney’s autonomous “state within a state” status requiring them to get approval and follow State codes for any future development… He opened FL back up during the nationwide WuFlu shut down, pushed for civilian armed security in schools, pressed for legislation to stop protestors blocking roadways, and worked with local, county and state law enforcement to stop looting and riots before they ever got started in FL… He has also been one of the most effective Governors ever in dealing with Natural Disasters in FL… But that feckless fuck couldn’t get true Constitutional Carry? You do realize that nearly ALL states have some form of Red Flag law and only a few have true Constitutional Carry…

        • Not even half the States have Red Flag laws. All States have Constitutional Carry if I’m there because I’m not afraid of them. DeSantis is backed by the same people that have ruined this country but you go ahead and keep believing otherwise! Giving him credit for a good legislature is as asinine as believing government will fix it, this time!

  4. A nice wall to lean against, a cigarette, and a blindfold are the only things that will really bring about lasting change.

  5. The damage done by biden does not just cover guns. Americans are suffering horribly from bidenomics.

    And there is a resurgent neo not-zee movement on our campus’s.

    We need a Nuremberg 2.0.

  6. theBiden does not honor the Constitution to the best of theBiden’s ability.
    Wonder what kind of fcku America deal theBiden swung in China?
    I like Smithfield Bacon.
    We r doomed

  7. I suspect that nothing will slow-down the ATF other than the power of the purse. Congress funds this agency. The agency spends the money however it wishes, or the President orders.

    If Congress takes money away from ATF then it has to fire employees and stop spending money on offices, equipment, travel etc. The employees of ATF won’t like that. It would threaten their jobs. The managers of ATF won’t like that. It would threaten their careers. They care more about their jobs and careers than they care about the President’s policies or the law.
    Congress simply won’t investigate. Congress can’t prosecute. Congress can’t fire employees. The only thing that Congress CAN do is cut ATF’s budget. And that will get the attention of both ATF’s career bureaucrats and line employees. Squeeze their budget and they will pay attention.

  8. Most excellent narrative. One suggestion; most Special Agents are in job series 1811. Return them to regulatory duty only by reassigning them as 1810 job series (General Investigators). This will surely take some wind out of their sails.

  9. “Law-abiding Americans deserve to know how their own tax dollars were used to infringe upon their civil rights.”

    Not only the 2A, but for the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th as well. And not to forget the numerous violations of federal law, crimes every one, that not only were used to violate civil rights but threaten use of deadly force against innocent people, for example, placed a child at gun point and threatened to shoot them if a home FFL did not voluntarily surrender his FFL. The ATF agents need to be in prison for what they have done.

  10. This is a dream. The chief issue that will decide the 2024 elections is abortion. Even if Bidum is propped up with a stick, he will win and the demonicRats will likely take majorities in both the Senate & House. The filibuster will be eliminated, the court will be packed, Heller, McDonald, & Bruen will be overturned. Abortion rights will be restored and the Yuan will become the world’s primary currency.

    Overturning Roe was the death of the Republican party. Men want to destroy their mistakes and they have convinced women that their freedom depends on their ability to kill their babies. To the women and many if not most men, the freedom to murder babies is far more important than preventing the descent into socialism and the survival of the constitution. In addition, the colleges are cranking out more and more leftist indoctrinated voters every day.

    Sorry to be the voice of reality in this dreamscape but this IS what will happen.

    • bingo, you nailed it.
      if the repugs would stop being Bible thumping zealots and find a middle ground on that they can and would win.
      rape, incest and health of mother should never be a question.
      give people 4.5 months to get there act together or they need family planning or adoption advice.
      after 4.5 too bad, it’s not birth control.

      • “if the repugs would stop being Bible thumping zealots“

        No chance of that, it is a pillar of their propaganda.

      • Think so? Talk to me after the 2024 elections. I sincerely hope I’m wrong but current events indicate that I’m right.

    • The guy on record supporting red flag laws?
      The guy that approved the ban on bump stocks because it was used once for murder?
      The guy that wasted our money on vaccines that don’t work and gave the States money to finance lockdowns to the tune of 8 trillion dollars?
      The guy that has never read our Constitution or the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers?
      The guy that has to ask what his authority is?
      No thanks!

      • Vivek Ramaswamy, lol.
        Politicians say what you want to hear however once elected they never hold true to their word.
        I hope he does get elected, then once ‘they’ start eliminating the Constitution and there are no borders and everyone is equally fcked, yeah, maybe then.
        Ramaswamy, ha

        • Vote for another politician then, they’ll fix it. This time!

          Only one candidate understands our founding. If you want machine guns and suppressors over the counter, only one supports the 2nd Amendment as written. If you want a federal government 25% of its current size, only one candidate has a plan. We have a rotten bandaid and there is only one way to remove it.

        • He accepted $$$ from George sores in order to attend college. Soros doesn’t give his $$$ away for free.

        • A man telling about how he loves America, supports the constitution, stop ww3, stop imports from China when he made his money with a pharma company in Sweden with ties to a Chinese pharma company.
          And I’m supposed to believe this guy?

      • phllipper…Tell this forum what you would have done when the choice following Vegas was do nothing and risk congress getting a laundry list of knee jerk bans by a veto override or throw bump stock contraptions under the bus? Your choice genius is…take an EO that can be undone or take the act of congress. Right now your fresh new guy rates as VP material and no more.

        TRUMP 2024.

        • Debbie, I would follow the Constitution as I swore an oath to in May 2001. Life isn’t safe and only you can protect yourself.

          Dark man, Viveks scholarship was from George’s brother who made his money entirely independently but you get your news from idiots.

          Trump will fail us, same as he did in 2020 when it mattered. He’s not cut out for politics!

      • OK, vote Biden. A vote for any other Republicrat will get the same result.

        BTW a second Trump admin will look much like the first; no actual support in House, or Senate. And repeated calls for impeachment. Given the political landscape, this time, Trump just might be convicted by the Senate.

  11. 2 things this Gen-Xer is going to point out to the most easily manipulated people on the planet:

    1. You can’t name a single communist institution since Wilson that Republicans have ever dismantled; ergo they catfish for communists and you all have fallen for it my entire 54 years in this planet.

    2. Every crime known to have been committed by the DOJ/FBI right up until COINTELPRO occurred before i was born. Yet, Waco and Ruby Ridge are allowed to occur by boomers who did nothing to remove what was already provably a state sponsored domestic terrorist organization.

    Even Trump the gun grabber is a communist piece of trash as proven by tariffs that have 0 basis in property rights.

    You all need to suffer the disaster you allowed this country to become while cheering the redcoats called cops.

    • Asset forfeiture?
      Qualified immunity?

      You can’t get a more KGB communist a pig than a US cop. Crime begets crime, as we see across every American city.

      • eric…Given the right circumstances I’ll bet the farm a finger pointing blowbag like you would be the first to call the police, fire dept. etc. for help.

        TRUMP 2024.

        • All you have is hyperbolic speculation to counter facts you have no answer for.

          Make sure to grab your Soc Sec and Medicare to final been paid off by the government to ignore their criminality.

        • “Hyperbolic Speculation”? How about facts? I’ve paid over 1/2 a million dollars into SS and lost another 2.4 million in potential gains through investment for most of my life and if I live another 26 years (to 100) I will just recoup about half what I actually paid into that Govt slush fund… I also paid into Medicare but as a 100% disabled Veteran I get 100% of my medical care from the VA… So, YOU enjoy the benefits of my labor and go buy a book that can teach you just how the system is supposed to work… Or do you plan to forgo YOUR retirement benefits?

    • The problem with that attitude is that if we don’t figure out a way to fix previous generations mistakes we will suffer for then too.

        • More tax dollars has been pissed away on Gen X,Y, and Z. For so called ‘Free Stuff’. Than all previous generations combined. At least the ‘Boomer’ generations. Created wealth, built a society with an infrastructure. That allowed for ‘Snowflakes” like you to piss and moan about how hard you have it. While sponging off your parents.

    • MADDMAXX November 17, 2023 At 20:10
      Your comment is awaiting moderation
      dacian/Vlad?… You change your screen names again? Or did you just forget to take your meds again?… Dissolution of the United Soviet Socialists Republic 1991, German reunification 1990, Albania and Yugoslavia abandoned Kommunism between 1990/1992, even North Korea dropped the Marxist-Leninist ideology in 1993, Cambodia, South Yemen, Congo, Somalia even China, Cuba, Laos, and Vietnam eventually moved to a Market Soshullist economy… There are no true Marxism-Leninism countries left on this planet… So, back to the 60s with you, maybe next trip through you could pick up a Social Studies book, keep up with current events or failing that possibly pick up a History of Kommunism book… Take your Boomer Bullshit and go fuck yourself with it… Boomers were too busy trying get gen-xers to pull their heads out of their asses to get much else done after giving up THEIR youth to fight a senseless “police action” in Southeast Asia… Must have missed you, but that’s what happens when you turn out the lights, out come the cockroaches…

      Damn can’t imagine why this got “moderated”…

  12. @possum
    “Perot would have done wonders for the US.”

    No more than Ventura in Minnesota, and Trump as president. Both lacked leverage with the party apparatus; no coattails. In either case, the major parties were determined to not let a third-party achieve much. Yes, Trump was actually a third-party….his own.

    There is too much money involved in keeping the two-party system alive, and in charge.

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