President Joe Biden proposes to increase funding for the FBI, Department of Justice, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), in order to combat gun violence.
According to the budget, the funding comes from a $17.8billion “investment” in federal law enforcement capacity at the DOJ. It will be used to regulate firearms, create gun trafficking strike force forces, enforce background checks, and implement the Bipartisan Safer Community Act. ATF alone will receive $1.9Billion, which is a $200M increase over the budget for 2023.
The FBI will be receiving $51 million in addition to the DOJ, ATF and ATF to continue the implementation of the enhanced background checks required under the Bipartisan Safer Community Act. According to the legislation, the Bipartisan Safer Community Act was implemented in 2022 and provided funding for red flag laws implementation, background checks expansion, and investments in state crisis intervention orders.
The Bipartisan Safer Community Act was passed by the ATF. It has since implemented two final rules as well as imposed stricter requirements on gun dealers. After their implementation, the pistol stabilizing brace and ghost gun parts final rules received backlash. The ghost gun parts last rule is currently under temporary injunction from a federal judge.
Republican lawmakers and Second Amendment advocacy organizations have criticized the ATF’s “zero tolerance” police. Federal Firearm License (FFL), revocations reached a 16 year high under the rule in 2022. The ATF’s new policy and updated procedure have led to an increase in license revocations of 92 in 2022. They no longer go through a lengthy process and often choose to pull licenses because they are guilty of multiple “willful” violations.
“That is not the way regulatory agencies should work in the industry they regulate. They’re supposed help companies, they’re supposed ensure compliance but not to punish or destroy an entire sector based on political opposition or distaste,” Aidan Johnston, Gun Owners of America’s director of Federal Affairs, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.