In the United States, under a republican form of government, power is divided between the states and the central government. Within the central government, as is within the states, that power is further sub-divided between branches of the government. All of these government organizations have charters or documents that govern what power they have and the boundaries each organization must adhere to. The fundamental document outlining these powers and duties are the constitutions for their respective governments. Any action by these organizations that does not have a basis within their founding constitutions is unconstitutional and therefore constitutionally illegal.

In this article we will be dealing primarily with gun laws and the primary organization of the central government that enforces national gun laws the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The main areas I wish to present are the historical evolution of the ATF, their constitutional footing, and whether national gun laws are truly constitutional.

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