WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Mike Braun of Indiana along with Senators: Barrasso (R-WY), Blackburn (R -TN), Cramer (R-ND), Crapo (R-ID), Hawley (R-MO), Lankford, (R-OK), Lummis (R-WY), Risch (R-ID), R. Scott (R-FL), and T. Scott (R-SC) introduced the ATF Accountability Act to provide transparency to gun owners across America on rules made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). 

The ATF engages in a secretive classification review process where the agency makes decisions about whether a particular firearm is regulated by the National Firearms Act. Decisions and justification for decisions are often only made available to manufacturers in private correspondence. This causes a lot of uncertainty for both gun-owning Americans and firearm manufacturers, especially in combination with the ATF’s refusal to make final public rules regarding classification. 

Law-abiding gun-owning Americans are too often last to know the classification status of firearms, leaving them unsure as to what licenses or tax stamps are required for legal ownership, and firearm manufacturers are forced to make production decisions without final approval by ATF. Additionally, contrary to regular administrative procedure, gun manufacturers have no way to appeal if they believe that a classification decision was reached in error or is not reflective of a comprehensive review. 

“American gun owners and manufacturers have been left in the dark for far too long with closed-door rule changes by the ATF. Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights shouldn’t be the last to know the classification status of firearms, or what licenses or tax stamps they need to avoid running afoul of the law. The ATF needs accountability and transparency, which this bill accomplishes.” – Senator Mike Braun

The ATF Accountability Act: 

Policy Details: 

  • The ATF Accountability Act creates an appeals process following a ruling by ATF with specific regular timeframes.
  • The bill permits gun manufacturers to appeal the legal status or classification of any product by filing with the Director of Industry Operations with jurisdiction. After which, the appeal is directed to an administrative law judge. 
  • This bill is endorsed by the Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition (FRAC).

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