California AG Acting Like ATF's Proposed Rule Is A Done Deal

(Matt Weigand /The Ann Arbor News via AP)

And to be fair, it likely is. Despite the fact that the vast majority of the nearly 300,000 people who’ve weighed in on the proposal to redefine terms like “frame,” “receiver,” “firearm,” are opposed to the attempt impose an executive branch gun ban on home-built firearms, the Biden administration is as likely to listen to those voices as he was to the military and intelligence officials who warned him about the quick collapse of the Afghan government and the takeover by the Taliban.

Instead, Biden’s offering his ear to anti-gun politicians like California Attorney General Gary Bonta, who’s eagerly awaiting the ATF’s coming crackdown on “ghost guns.”

“We applaud the Biden Administration for taking steps to enforce commonsense gun regulation at the federal level. Right now, do-it-yourself ghost gun kits allow anyone with a credit card and an internet connection to purchase and build a fully operable, untraceable weapon in minutes with little to no restriction,” the Attorney General said in a press release. “The ATF’s Proposed Rule will bring federal law up to speed with California law, and make it clear that unfinished frames and receivers are firearms, and will be regulated as such.”

“Bring federal law up to speed with California law.” Now there’s a sentence to send chills through every Second Amendment supporter in the country.

California gun control laws, including its ban on unserialized firearms, have done absolutely nothing to make the state a safer place. If they did, we probably wouldn’t have seen a 31% increase in the homicide rate last year. But despite the ten-day waiting period, one-gun-per-month law, bans on “assault weapons” and “large capacity” magazines, universal background checks on firearms, background checks on ammunition, microstamping, restrictions on gun shows, “may issue” carry laws, and a host of other restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, the state saw the highest number of homicides in over a decade.

But Bonta is correct about Joe Biden wanting to Californicate the United States, and the ATF’s proposed rule targeting home-built firearms is just one of the first steps in his anti-gun agenda. Next month public comments will close on another ATF proposal that would turn millions of lawfully purchased firearms into restricted items by treating AR-style pistols with stabilizing braces as if they’re short barreled rifles. If that proposal is enacted, those who lawfully possess these firearms could be turned into criminals if they don’t register their guns with the federal government (as well as paying a $200 per item tax for the privilege of keeping the gun they legally purchased).

Joe Biden may not be able to remember the difference between the ATF and the AFT, but both he and his top advisors are still cogent enough to understand that any hope of enacting his gun ban agenda is going to come via executive action and not a closely divided Congress. It’s why Biden is still standing behind his nomination of David Chipman as permanent director of the ATF, and it’s also why Biden’s anti-gun allies like California’s Attorney General are urging him to ignore the objections of hundreds of thousands of Americans and implement the ATF’s new rule redefining what a firearm is under federal law. I’m sure when the inevitable lawsuit is filed, Gary Bonta will be quick with an amicus brief defending the administration’s new rule instead of defending the rights of the Californians he purports to represent.

Oct 21, 2021 9:30 PM ET
Oct 21, 2021 6:30 PM ET