The new regulations under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) — set to go into effect August 24, 2022 — broaden the definition of “firearm” to include certain gun parts and firearm building kits, and require gun dealers to maintain records of firearm transfers indefinitely instead of the current 20-year minimum.
The CRA provides a window of time for lawmakers to block the implementation of such new rules under special procedures that can fast-track the process.
According to the Congressional Research Service, “If both houses pass the resolution, it is sent to President for signature or veto. If the President were to veto the resolution, Congress could vote to override veto.”
Given that Democrats currently control both chambers of Congress, Cruz will have an uphill battle on Capitol Hill in passing the resolution.
Still, 21 other GOP senators have signed on to his legislation.
“For the past two years, we’ve seen crime rates skyrocket all across the country, aided by Democrats’ soft-on crime policies and left-wing district attorneys operating like progressive activists instead of law enforcement officers,” said Cruz in a press release. “Democrats would love nothing more than to shift the blame and stoke anti-gun sentiment, and create a permanent national gun registry in the process.”
“By introducing this resolution, we’re pushing back — we want to stop the Biden administration from issuing the final rule expanding the definition of firearms and instituting a national gun registry, we want to stop the false narrative that links the rise in crime to ‘ghost guns’ and firearms, and we want to protect law-abiding citizens who are exercising their Second Amendment rights,” said Cruz.
Under the new rule, individuals will need to go through background checks to obtain the “frame or receiver” of a gun, and manufacturers will need to imprint serial numbers on such parts.
Opponents of the rule change contend that the extended recordkeeping requirements on gun stores are tantamount to establishing a national gun registry, since a gun store that goes out of business is required to transfer the records to the ATF, which stores the records in a central location.
In a letter to Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), an official with the ATF said that as of November 2021, the agency maintained nearly a billion gun records in its system.
Cloud has since filed legislation that would require the agency to dismantle its firearm records system and end the requirement for gun stores to transfer their out-of-business records to the ATF.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.