Existential Threat to the ATF

Quote of the Day

The ATF has brought it on.

Time to challenge many of the 1968 Gun Control Act provisions.

There are no historical analogs for requiring a gov’t license to buy/sell used guns.

No analogs for stopping private sales of used guns across state lines.

2A Rights aren’t wheat.

2A History @2aHistory
Tweeted on August 31, 2023

While I’m in strong agreement with the goal and the correctness of the assessment, I am not certain the timing is optimal. The ATF has a lot of support with the current administration and will view this as an existential threat.

This existential threat to the ATF could likely be made an election issue and pull votes from the side of freedom.

Bonus points if your comments indicate you know what the reference to wheat is about.


20 thoughts on “Existential Threat to the ATF

  1. The aside about wheat is a reference to a vastly stupid/evil supreme court ruling on interstate commerce, where, even though the defendant was raising the wheat for his own use, he raised more than his allotment set by the government:

    But I’m not sure the timing for a challenge to the ATF is all that poor. After all, some of the conservatives on the bench are getting old, and if the matter can come before the bench before one of them retires and is replaced by a statist/authoritarian stooge, there’s a better chance of the department getting its teeth pulled.


    • FWIW – before he passed, my Father spent a few months in a hospice that was built on what had previously be Filburn’s farm.

  2. The timing is irrelevant. Everyone who cares about the 2A, one way or the other, is locked in stone.

  3. “If not now, when?”
    The reality is that an attempt to take out the ATF will always be viewed as an existential threat by the enemies of the Constitution, for the good reason that it is, and should be.

      • If you’re counting on an R win, I suppose that would help slightly. Of course, if we get a D win, then waiting only made matters worse.

          • “After the election” sounds like standard republican procedure since time immemorial.

        • But if acting now, when only less liberty will result, acting will not be useful. We have to sue at the correct time, or we will be like the young French boy in “Across the Pacific” who jumps out into the middle of the road and empties his STEN gun, and stands there until he is killed by the German soldiers. A great heroic gesture, but ultimately useless.

        • And when we consider that NO ONE of consequence is even talking about the fact that Joke Biden was not elected.
          He was placed there by fraud, election fraud at a minimum.
          We are not going to win anything they don’t want us to have.
          Biden got 11 million more votes than Obama did. Which means he already has that many over Trump.
          And since when do the communists worry about timing?
          Segregation bussing, abortion and porno were shoved down our throats when? I would submit that guns/issues are more popular/favorable than they ever have been.
          Except maybe the 1770’s.
          We should not hesitate one moment. Nor consider that we might somehow vote our way out of this.
          We will not. Communism will not allow it.

  4. The wheat comment is in reference to one of the worst SCOTUS decisions ever, Wickard v. Filburn (1942), which greatly expanded the federal government’s authority under the Commerce Clause — i.e. Congress’ authority to “regulate interstate commerce”.

    Background: Roscoe Filburn got in trouble when he exceeded quotas and limits on wheat farming — enacted to stabilize falling wheat prices by limiting production, as part of FDR’s “New Deal” — when he grew some extra for his own personal use (IIRC, he intended to feed it to his animals). He challenged the quota as it applied to his actions, claiming that his extra wheat never entered “interstate commerce” and so the law (and the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce) didn’t apply. SCOTUS disagreed, saying that by exceeding his quota, he avoided purchasing what he needed from the interstate market, and so his extra DID affect interstate commerce, albeit indirectly, and could thus be regulated.

    As a 2A analogue, it has nothing to do with the prohibition on selling used firearms across state lines, or needing a federal license to do so, or any of that.

    It is more analogous to regulating home-built personal-use guns under the Commerce Clause. According to Wickard v. Filburn, even a personal-use-only gun built at home — never intended to be sold or transferred and never intended to cross state lines — can be regulated under the Commerce Clause, on the grounds that if you didn’t build it yourself, you would have bought a similar gun on the open market.

    IOW, your attempt to avoid interstate commerce indirectly affects interstate commerce, and can therefore be regulated by the federal government as if it were interstate commerce.

    (Like I said, it’s a terrible precedent. The attempt to avoid a regulation falls under the scope of the regulation? That’s like saying if you drive at or under the speed limit, you can still get a speeding ticket on the grounds that your attempt to avoid driving too fast — and thus avoid the ticket — affects other drivers’ ability and willingness to drive too fast.)

    But even so, such arguments as applied to firearms shouldn’t hold up to post-Bruen analysis; there is no text or historical analogue dating back to 1791 (or even 1868) that supports this interpretation of “regulat[ing] interstate commerce” OR regulating firearms.

    Just my opinion, with the “IANAL warning” fully in effect.

    • Well, IAAL, and I agree with your analysis. Like you, perhaps, I wonder how this can be corrected so as to be congruent with the constitutional limits on the federal government.
      Certainly not under this regime.

      • Hard to see what the answer could be, given that politicians almost unanimously despise the Constitution. That includes the politicians in the 3rd branch. Rare exceptions (such as Bruen, which at least is somewhat obedient to the spirit of the Constitution) don’t change that conclusion.
        If Constitution-obeying people were elected to Congress, that could be cured (by impeaching the violators in the other two branches for perjury). Until then, I don’t see a fix.
        To some extent, if a Constitution-obeying President could be elected, that would help; that’s the plot premise in “Hope” by Smith and Zelman. But that’s only a partial solution and not necessarily more than a short-term fix.

      • Didn’t Texas recently pass legislation that suppressors built, possessed and used only in Texas were not subject to Federal regulation?

      • I would submit that congress does not have a constitutional prohibition on it concerning wheat.
        On the firearms side I would argue an amendment such as 2A is placed on top of any previous powers granted.
        If not, it wouldn’t be amending anything, would it?
        One would be hard pressed to call it part of the “Bill of Rights”, and the second of the first ten amendments, if it didn’t control the commerce clause. And anything else that might be used by government to infringe on the free bearing of arms by the citizens of this country.
        And we have every dictionary definition ever wrote about the word “amendment”, to back us up.

  5. Wheat – Interstate Commerce ruling by the Supreme Court.

    IANAL and don’t recall the specific case name or docket number, but that’s the ruling where the Supreme court decided that “Interstate Commerce” includes everything, even if it didn’t involve commerce or anything crossing state lines.

    If I remember correctly, it was basically that a farmer growing his own wheat for his own use can be regulated by the federal government because his act of growing his own wheat means he doesn’t have to buy it from “interstate commerce”. Not having to buy his wheat from external sources affects the selling price of that “interstate commerce” wheat; which means his growing of his own wheat on his own property for his own use can be regulated by congress under the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.

    How that monstrosity of a decision has never been overturned is a bit beyond me. Penumbras and emanations I suppose.

    Now I’ll go back and read other comments to see if anyone beat me to it.

  6. As long as the current crop of commie criminals are in power BATFEces is safe, in no danger of being curbed in any fashion. The same can be said for the rogue criminal JustUs Department and their hired thugs the FBI. The ugly nasty reality is the bad guys are firmly in control and they have nullified ALL the legal and peaceful remedies that We The People used to have. The only recourse left to us is nasty, illegal and bloody. If you think what they’ve done in the past 3 years is horrible just wait….it’s going to get a lot worse.

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