Republican proposes bill to abolish the ATF

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida has introduced a bill that would eliminate the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is hereby abolished,” the text of the concise measure reads.

“House Republicans have the ATF in our crosshairs,” Gaetz said, according to a press release. “My bill today would abolish the ATF once and for all.”

The proposal likely has no chance of becoming law — even if House Republicans rallied around the idea of nixing the ATF, the GOP does not have control of the Senate, and President Joe Biden would almost certainly veto the legislation if it ever reached his desk.

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“The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on the actions they’re taking to convert otherwise law-abiding people into felons,” Gaetz said, according to Fox News Digital. “My bill would abolish the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to try defunding the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to target the individual bureaucrats at the top of the ATF who have exceeded their authority in rulemaking. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to take a meat cleaver to the statutes that the ATF believes broadly authorize their actions.”

Gaetz, who has served as a U.S. House member from the Sunshine State since 2017, was one of the House GOP lawmakers who repeatedly voted against Kevin McCarthy earlier this month as the California Republican sought the role of House speaker. Gaetz voted against McCarthy for 13 rounds, then switched his vote to present during the last two rounds — the present votes cast by Gaetz and other GOP lawmakers on the 15th round of voting lowered the threshold necessary for McCarthy to win, enabling him to secure the speakership.

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