A congressman from the Sunshine State wants the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to speed up how it reviews applications for suppressors.
Last week, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., introduced the “End the Normalized Delay of Suppressors (ENDS) Act.” Steube’s proposal would create a 90-day review period for ATF to review and investigate applications for suppressors.
“If, after 90 days, they have not found anything disqualifying, then the transfer can be made of the suppressor to the purchaser. Some transfers have taken over a year to be completed for no legitimate reason,” the congressman’s office noted.
The bill would also have ATF provide congressional leadership annual reports on the timelines of criminal background checks taking place during firearm transfer applications.
“The report will include information on the average case disposition time, the number of criminal background checks that took more than 180 days to complete, and the number of applications that, when filed, were incomplete,” Steube’s office noted.
Steube weighed in on why he introduced the bill last week.
“I have personally experienced the unnecessary delay of a suppressor application and as a member of Congress, I have met with many Floridians who have also experienced similar delays,” said Steube. “A policy of delay, delay, delay is unacceptable and frankly violates the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.
“Following a meeting with ATF, I requested information about the average processing time, outstanding applications, and other issues related to these delays. After 134 days, I have received no reply. It is obvious that ATF needs legislation to do its job in a timely manner,” Steube added. “The reporting requirement of this bill will allow Congress to quickly address systematic delays and ensure our Second Amendment rights are not infringed by government bureaucracy.”
Republican U.S. Reps. Bob Gibbs of Ohio and Roger Marshall and Steve Watkins, both of Kansas, are backing the bill. Steube’s proposal was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means and the Judiciary Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.