Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is looking to get rid of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), in an effort to protect gun owners from a “tyrannical, power hungry group of bureaucrats.”
Greene, a staunch advocate for Second Amendment rights, introduced legislation on Thursday that would abolish the ATF and repeal regulations and guidance issued after August 2020. The legislation comes as Republicans push back on Dave Chipman, President Joe Biden‘s nominee to head the ATF, who they see as a threat to the right to own firearms.
The legislation, as reported by The Daily Caller, would abolish the ATF six months after the bill is enacted. It would also require President Joe Biden to inform every employee of the ATF in writing of the abolishment date.
Along with making the ATF a defunct agency, Greene’s legislation would set up an auction for the firearms and ammunition the ATF confiscated. Greene’s looking to use the proceeds from the auction to create a fund for families of Border Patrol officers killed in the line of duty after December 1, 2009, according to the Daily Caller. After providing grants of up to $150,000 per family affected, remaining funds would go to states who establish firearm safety programs.
“I’m introducing legislation to Eliminate the ATF to protect ALL gun owners across this country from a tyrannical, power hungry group of bureaucrats whose goal is to destroy our Second Amendment rights,” Greene told Newsweek.
While announcing her intent to introduce the legislation, Greene criticized Chipman, who supports a ban on the AR-15 rifle. Greene called it a “clear indication” that the “ATF’s war on gun owners is about to crank up.”
Chipman, who worked for the ATF for decades, left the agency in 2012 and joined Giffords, a gun violence prevention group named after former Representative Gabby Giffords, who was shot at a Tucson, Arizona, supermarket in 2011. While he supports the ban, which Biden also backs, Chipman said he would only enforce the “laws on the books right now” if he was confirmed, noting that there’s “no such ban on those guns.”
His advocacy work for stricter gun laws earned high praise from gun violence prevention organizations and some legislators. Chipman’s confirmation is possible since Democrats have the majority, but the 50-50 split in the chamber means they’ll likely have to be unified if they want him to assume the role.
Greene’s bill also faces an uphill battle in Congress and has even slimmer chances of gaining the necessary support than Chipman’s confirmation does. Before introducing the bill, Greene had three cosponsors—Representatives Ralph Norman, Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz—but she’ll need to win over Democrats, who hold the majority in the House, to eliminate the ATF, and that’s likely not going to happen.
This article has been updated to include comment from Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.