Gun control, another one of the seemingly empty promises made during the 2020 presidential campaign, was a core component of the Biden platform. Capitalizing on the left's illogical criticism of the second amendment, Biden's proposals ranged from everything to an assault rifle ban to a tax placed on certain gun owners. Though the Biden Administration has yet to achieve the fullest extent of its expressed intent, the political climate this cultivated has advanced anti-gun initiatives taken by state and local governments as illustrated by a recent San Jose, California ordinance which would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance. Its commitment to infringe citizens' second amendment right under the pretense of reducing gun violence has failed miserably, with gun-related crimes in places like New York City necessitating a meeting between Biden and the city's mayor due for next week.
While the Biden Administration hasn't been able to make a dent against the rising tide of violent crime across America that hasn't subsided following the easing of social unrest in the wake of the 2020 election cycle as many optimistically predicted, it has been successful in seizing weapons from law abiding citizens. A recent raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives ("ATF") proves that point in spades. ATF executed an operation in the Leacock Township of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania against what it perceives as one of the nation's greatest threats: the Amish. Sarcasm aside, the raid on Amish dairy farmer Reuben King's Cattail Foundry property followed what the ATF described as evidence of an ongoing investigation.
King has claimed that though he is a gun collector himself who occasionally sells weapons, offering little insight into the potential of a greater criminal conspiracy that may have prompted the raid. To his point, the ATF has not made any arrests nor filed any charges against King following the raid. The lack of charges is rather curious as King himself has stated that he has sold guns from his personal collection without any license.
Tips offered to local media in the Lancaster area suggested that King may have sold upwards of 600 weapons, a claim the farmer has succinctly dismissed. King added that he has not sold any pistols, as his collection is a procurement of rifles he has sold to other Amish in the community for the purpose of hunting. Being Amish himself, King stated he did not advertise nor conduct any sales online given the group's exclusionary beliefs on modern technology that would be necessary to do so.
Despite the apparent impetus of the ATF raid may have been connected to King's lack of a federal firearms seller license, the federal Gun Control Act dictates no specific terms on when that type of license is required.
Internal documents from the ATF have conveyed that the Biden Administration has created a record of over 54 million firearm owners across the country. This database was compiled using a provision in the Gun Control Act of 1968 which requires any gun store that closes its business to report records of its transactions to the ATF. It's unclear how the ATF's record-keeping may have factored into the raid it conducted against King. That 1968 gun control legislation was recently cited in the Department of Justice's new rule requiring those who are federally licensed gun dealers to have increased storage and safety requirements on site at their dealerships which goes into effect on February 3rd.
Although that new rule won't be met with the same outrage as many of Biden's other proposed gun control measures have been, it's a sign of his office's continued effort to expand the scope of the ATF. With the Biden Administration making efforts to cast law-abiding citizens from concerned parents of school-age children to benign political dissidents as domestic terrorist threats worthy of having task forces set up against them, gun owners have every right to be concerned that their exercise of their second amendment right could be construed as cause for criminal charges to be brought against them.
While the ATF has made it clear that no one is safe from being raided --even the Amish, one must ask where their priorities lie if they're overlooking a true existential threat...those shiftless Mennonites...