Kennedy demands answers from Biden ATF for attempts to shut down law-abiding gun stores

Published 6:17 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

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WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee,  joined Sen. Tedd Budd (R-N.C.) and a bicameral group of Republican colleagues in urging Attorney General Merrick Garland and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Steven Dettelbach to explain why the Biden administration is unfairly applying a zero-tolerance policy to gun dealers.

Some of these dealers are mom-and-pop businesses that have to close down once their licenses are revoked.

“As the Biden-Harris Administration is undoubtedly aware, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution unequivocally states, ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ Yet, at every turn, this Administration appears to be weaponizing its executive powers to infringe upon this constitutionally protected right,” the lawmakers wrote.

“The Biden-Harris Administration, however, believes its role is to re-write the laws written by Congress to further its radical anti-Constitutional agenda without consequence,” they continued.

“We respectfully request that the Administration immediately cease the misinterpretation of the word ‘willful’ and resume with an interpretation that corresponds with the meaning of the word and the intent of Congress,” they concluded.


  • In June 2021, the Biden administration established a zero-tolerance policy for gun dealers who commit so-called “willful” violations. In defiance of the law, the administration interprets the word “willful” to include minor paperwork errors.
  • The rule allows the ATF to revoke Federal Firearm License’s (FFLs) for unjustifiable reasons.
  • Under this policy, Biden’s ATF has created a 500% spike in FFL revocations.

The letter is available here.