President Joe Biden's budget plan for fiscal year 2024 includes a significant increase in funding for the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the FBI. The purpose of this funding is to enhance regulation of the firearms industry and to intensify efforts to curb gun ownership. The DOJ is expected to receive $17.8 billion for federal law enforcement, while the ATF and FBI are set to receive $1.9 billion and $51 million, respectively. This funding will be allocated towards creating gun trafficking strike forces, enforcing background checks, and implementing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that was passed in 2022.
— Aidan Johnston (@RealGunLobbyist) March 9, 2023
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has allocated funds for various measures, including red flag laws, expanded background checks, and crisis intervention orders. Following the passage of this act, the ATF has introduced two final rules that impose stricter regulations on gun dealers. However, these rules have faced opposition from Republican lawmakers and Second Amendment advocacy groups. Specifically, the pistol stabilizing brace final rule and the ghost gun parts final rule have been temporarily suspended by a federal judge.
— Chris 🇺🇸 (@Chris_1791) March 9, 2023
The ATF's "zero tolerance" policy has faced significant scrutiny, especially since the number of Federal Firearm License (FFL) revocations has reached a 16-year peak in 2022 as a result of this policy. In 2022, there were 92 license revocations, which is attributed to the new policy and the revised procedure that the ATF follows. Instead of following a multi-step process, the ATF now frequently resorts to license revocation for multiple "willful" violations.
According to some viewpoints, President Joe Biden's proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 appears to be an effort to erode Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and restrict their capacity to possess firearms. The significant increase in funding for the DOJ, ATF, and FBI suggests that Biden is committed to enhancing regulation of the firearms industry and making it more challenging for citizens to own guns. This is considered a risky course of action that will likely result in greater government intrusion and a further reduction in citizens' ability to safeguard themselves.