In February, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) to reform regulations on Americans. The EO is broad, establishes Regulatory Reform Officers and covers all agencies.
The ATF is one of the agencies that is required to take a look at their regulations to see where they can be reformed so they no longer hurt Americans. The agency has been meeting with organizations to discuss current regulations according to Bearing Arms:
Over the last few months, the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) met with numerous groups – gun rights groups, gun control groups and law enforcement officials – to determine what firearm regulations the department could do away with.
According to The Trace, a leftist news site, each organization was asked to consider the following questions:
What impact current regulations have on gun-violence prevention.
What regulations need to be ‘repealed, replaced, or modified.’
What regulations are outdated.
Although the agency won’t actually publicize what was discussed or the recommendations just yet, they have admitted meeting with organizations to have the discussions.
The information-gathering phase will be ongoing and the Regulatory Reform Officer will most likely report on any recommendations in the future. These recommendations will also require public comment period as well.
One of the most egregious regulations that hurts millions of Americans is a question on the ATF form that all purchasing a firearm must fill out at a federally licensed firearm dealer:
11.c. Have you ever been convicted of a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation?
In other words, even if you were convicted of a non-violent misdemeanor in your state, and served no time at all but maybe paid a fine or something, IF the maximum sentence for that crime is more than a year, YOU LOSE YOUR 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.
And even if you committed that misdemeanor when you were young and dumb and you try to get a firearm 40 years later (having no record in between), you STILL LOSE YOUR RIGHTS.
Of course, each state is different with their own laws. One misdemeanor in one state could have a maximum penalty under a year and the same exact misdemeanor in a neighboring state could have a maximum penalty over a year. Same non-violent crime, different state law; one person loses their 2nd Amendment rights, the other doesn’t.
If you get your records expunged or sealed, you don’t lose your rights; but not every state even ALLOWS that.
This is one regulation that needs to be changed. It is doing nothing to prevent any crimes with firearms but doing EVERYTHING to prevent Americans from practicing their PROTECTED fundamental human right to self-defense.
And what’s even worse is many people, especially when they are younger, don’t have the money to fight a misdemeanor charge, even if bogus. A plea bargain makes it simple and cheap and they figure it just gets tucked in their record, never to be seen again.
And at NO TIME do prosecutors or even defense attorneys usually tell one of these poor suckers that if they plea to a misdemeanor charge, while getting a slap on the wrist, that they will LOSE their 2nd Amendment rights because the maximum sentence is over one year.
On top of all of this ridiculousness, many people have no idea what the maximum sentence is for a misdemeanor they may have committed, especially if it was 20 years ago. So when these poor saps fill out ‘no’ to this question, they committed a felony by ‘lying’ on the form, even if the LAW in their state had changed.
Not only does our justice system screw innocent people over who simply cannot afford ridiculous attorney fees but they once again screw them over by not telling these people they lose their protected rights.
This is the BIGGEST regulation that should be REFORMED. It is by far the most egregious and the one that affects the most Americans on a regular basis.