Gun Owners of America Challenges ATF Reversal of NICS Exemption in Michigan

Gun Owners of America (GOA) is suing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for reversing itself in a way that diminishes the gun rights of Michiganders. As a result of a letter issued on March 3rd, 2020, the Bureau no longer recognizes that holders of Michigan concealed carry permits are exempt from a National Instant Check System (NICS) background check when purchasing a firearm.

The ATF released a “Public Safety Advisory” which instructs federal firearm license holders (FFL) in Michigan to no longer accept carry permits as an alternative to a NICS check. This reversal goes against federal law which allows this exemption for permit holders.GOA’s suit maintains that the ATF’s reversal is a solution in search of a problem. According to an FOIA request that GOA sought against the ATF, the vast majority of transfers in the United States go to lawful possessors of firearms. The suit states:

Having sampled 5,249 transactions where state permits were used as NICS alternatives, ATF was able to come up with only … two persons in the entire United States who (allegedly) were wrongly issued permits and then later (allegedly) used those permits to unlawfully obtain a firearm. This hardly justifies the unauthorized action ATF has taken here, to the detriment of law-abiding gun owners across Michigan.

The suit can be read in full here

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