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Rep. Clyde Demands Accountability from ATF Over Rejection of Petitions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, Congressman Andrew Clyde (GA-09) led 25 of his House Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Steven Dettelbach expressing concern over the agency’s recent rejection of public comments related to the ATF’s proposed rule that redefines language related to Federal Firearms Licensees.  

On November 30th, the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) attempted to deliver 40,000 petitions opposing the ATF’s rule but were turned away from the ATF’s building and denied the opportunity to submit the petitions. The comment period deadline for the ATF’s rule ends December 7th, 2023.

The lawmakers argue that the ATF’s rejection of NAGR member petitions is wholly unconstitutional: “This is a flagrant abuse of the First Amendment rights of 40,000 American citizens, some of whom are our constituents. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution specifically protects the right of every American to petition their government for a redress of grievances.”

“The ATF’s flagrant disregard for 40,000 Americans' First Amendment freedoms is beyond the pale,” said Clyde. “Time and time again, unelected anti-gun bureaucrats within the ATF shamelessly undermine, disrespect, and violate law-abiding citizens' unalienable rights — representing a dangerous pattern of the agency’s contempt for the U.S. Constitution. If the ATF fails to accept these petitions from the National Association for Gun Rights’ members and supporters, Congress must investigate the agency’s unconstitutional tactics and abuse of power to ensure this malfeasance never happens again.” 

“We've gone through all the channels to deliver these petitions properly. We've sent numerous emails and called a dozen times, and yet the ATF has no answer. If our members continue to be silenced by these ATF bureaucrats, the ATF will be hearing from our lawyers,” stated NAGR President Dudley Brown.

Co-signers include Representatives Rick Allen (GA-12), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Kat Cammack (FL-03), Buddy Carter (GA-01), Ben Cline (VA-06), Michael Cloud (TX-27), Eli Crane (AZ-02), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Byron Donalds (FL-19), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Drew Ferguson (GA-03), Bob Good (VA-05), Paul Gosar (AZ-09), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Diana Harshbarger (TN-01), Richard Hudson (NC-09), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Rich McCormick (GA-06), Barry Moore (AL-02), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Andy Ogles (TN-05) Scott Perry (PA-10), Bill Posey (FL-08), Austin Scott (GA-08), and Tom Tiffany (WI-07).

Full text of the letter is available HERE.

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Washington, DC Office 445 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-9893
Fax: (202) 226-1224
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Phone: (470) 768-6520
Map of U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde's office locations