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BATFE, Firearm Importation & Federal Firearm Law Reform

Among its duties, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) monitors firearm manufacturers, importers and dealers for compliance with record-keeping requirements; conducts traces on the commercial paths of individual firearms at the request of law enforcement agencies; interprets firearm importation law; and administers transfers of firearms regulated by the National Firearm Act of 1934.

The BATFE was used by the Clinton administration to reduce the number of firearm dealers, and by the administrations of presidents G. H. W. Bush and Clinton to restrict “assault weapons” by misinterpreting firearm importation law. The agency’s tracing data, sometimes useful in identifying persons involved in illegally trafficking firearms, have been mischaracterized by gun control supporters in the context of their campaigns against “Saturday Night Specials” and “assault weapons,” and in favor of making state gun laws more restrictive.

BATFE has been widely criticized for its role in the “Ruby Ridge” and “Waco” tragedies, and Operation Fast and Furious, in which the agency knowingly allowed firearms to be bought by straw purchasers and other traffickers, and thereafter smuggled from the United States to Mexico, where they made their way to violent drug cartels.

Issue Articles

Washington Free Beacon  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Store Owner: Undercover CBS Purchase of AR-15 Broke Federal Law

The gun store where a CBS News employee purchased a gun for a segment that aired Thursday on ...

Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations Process Yields Wins for the Second Amendment


Friday, May 27, 2016

Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations Process Yields Wins for the Second Amendment

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill. The bill funds the ...

The Gazette  

Monday, April 11, 2016

Gun suppressor buyers in Iowa to face long waits, high costs

Iowa last week became the 42nd state to legalize gun silencers, but consumers wanting to acquire them face ...

Alaska Journal  

Monday, April 4, 2016

Murkowski asks AG to review gun rules for marijuana users

Sen. Lisa Murkowski picked up an issue Lower 48 states with legal marijuana still haven’t resolved in a ...

Associated Press  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rifle found at El Chapo hideout tied to Fast and Furious

One of the guns that Mexican officials say was found at the hideout of drug lord Joaquin "El ...

M855 – A One-Year Retrospective


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

M855 – A One-Year Retrospective

Remember a year ago – February 13, 2015, to be precise – when the Obama administration presented a ...

House Democrats Ask Obama to Expand Rifle Ban


Friday, January 29, 2016

House Democrats Ask Obama to Expand Rifle Ban

On January 11, approximately 90 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter to President Barack ...

Court Decision, Drug Lord’s Capture Illustrate Ongoing Fallout of Operation Fast & Furious


Friday, January 22, 2016

Court Decision, Drug Lord’s Capture Illustrate Ongoing Fallout of Operation Fast & Furious

A sharp memory and respect for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms go hand in hand. The Second ...

Arizona Republic  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gun seized from El Chapo's hideout linked to 'Fast and Furious'

A .50-caliber weapon recovered from Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's hideout came from the ATF's botched Arizona case known ...


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Judge rejects Obama's executive privilege claim over Fast and Furious records

A federal judge has rejected President Barack Obama's assertion of executive privilege to deny Congress access to records ...

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.