Group of GOP state attorney generals fire off letter to ATF opposing push to regulate gun parts

LAKEWOOD, CA - MAY 21: Officers load some of about 125 weapons confiscated during what the federal authorities say is the largest gang takedown in United States history into a van after a press conference to announce the arrests of scores of alleged gang members and associates on federal racketeering and drug-trafficking charges on May 21, 2009 in the Los Angeles-area community of Lakewood, California. 147 people are indicted in the case involving racially motivated attacks on African-Americans and law enforcement officers. Operation Knockout is the latest of several investigations that found gangs engaged in race-based violence. Two years ago, a Latino gang was charged with waging a violent campaign to drive blacks out of a Los Angeles-area neighborhood that resulted in 20 homicides. Last year, another Latino gang was accused of targeting blacks and killing 14-year-old Cheryl Green, whose death became a community rallying point. In 2006, Avenues gang members Latinos were convicted of assaults and killings of blacks in the 1990s. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LAKEWOOD, CA – MAY 21: Officers load some of about 125 weapons that were confiscated. (David McNew/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 3:04 PM PT – Sunday, August 21, 2021

Several GOP state attorney generals are opposing the Biden administration’s efforts to regulate gun parts. In a recent letter to the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 20 officials argued the agency doesn’t have the legal authority to regulate parts of incomplete guns, rather only complete firearms.

They also contend individuals and businesses have the right to assemble firearms for their own use under federal law. Additionally, the group pointed out the agency has acknowledged the proposal would put many gun part makers out of business.

“The Second Amendment is a core tenant of our Constitution, and this regulation would treat the activity of assembling firearm parts as a problem to be stamped out, rather than a right and tradition to be respected,” said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in a statement.

This comes as the Biden administration has yet to finalize the rule, which seeks to target homemade firearms that are also referred to as ghost guns.

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