Rep. Duncan Holds the ATF Accountable for Breaking the Law with “Name and Shame” Campaign

Gun Rights

Following the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) releasing a list of federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) to gun control groups and the media in violation of the Tiahrt Amendment, Congressman Duncan led the House in exerting oversight on the rogue ATF.
The Tiahrt Amendment prohibits the release of information stored in the Firearms Tracing System (FTS) to anyone—exceptions exist only for criminal investigations. However, the ATF responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with a list of FFLs on the ATF Demand 2 Program to both USA Today and Brady United which necessarily involved releasing information contained in the FTS, i.e., the identity of the FFL, the existence of trace requests, the number of traces received (at least 25), and the “time to crime” for those traces.
“The ATF runs roughshod over the law by violating the Tiahrt Amendment,” said Congressman Jeff Duncan. “The illegal release of this list of FFLs is nothing more than an assault on the reputation of these American businesses—giving Americans another reason to not trust the ATF. The ATF has been weaponized by the Biden Administration to target law-abiding citizens in the past with the pistol brace rule, and now to cause irreconcilable harm to FFLs across the nation. The list does nothing to prove guilt as proven by the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department being ‘named and shamed’ by the ATF as a firearms dealer that supplied guns to criminals.”
Duncan and 31 cosigners demand answers from the ATF regarding their illegal disclosure of information, how they will mitigate reputational harm for FFLs impacted, and how the ATF will ensure they do not violate the Tiahrt Amendment in the future.
“ATF’s release of protected trace data to Brady United and the media in clear violation of federal law enabled an entirely predictable ‘name-and-shame” media campaign of misleading headlines smearing the reputation of law-abiding firearm retailers by suggesting they are engaged in illegal sales,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “ATF knows these retailers are their allies and are on the front lines combatting the diversion of guns into the illegal black market. ATF’s unlawful release of this data to a gun control group damaged its relationship with the industry. It lends credence to the notion that the Biden administration is weaponizing the whole of government against our industry to score cheap political points. The ATF officials who authorized this unlawful act must be held accountable.”
“In a clear violation of the Tiahrt Amendment, the Biden ATF released trace data to gun control organizations, with the goal of causing reputational damage to lawful firearms dealers.” said Randy Kozuch, Executive Director of NRA-ILA. “The NRA thanks Representative Duncan and his colleagues for their leadership on holding the Biden Administration accountable.
Read the letter here.

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