This website uses cookies to improve your experience.

Please enable cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

Sign the petition

to call for a

Convention of States!


ATF Uses “Secret Rulemaking” to Try to Incriminate Hundreds of Gun Owners

Published in Blog on March 18, 2022 by Mark Meckler

What’s the only thing worse than illogical and useless gun control laws? Illogical and useless gun control laws imposed unilaterally by D.C. bureaucrats.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) sent emails on March 3 to every American who had recently submitted a “Form 1” application to build a suppressor. Suppressors are heavily regulated under the National Firearms Act, and in order to make one, you need the say-so of the federal government.

Usually, this process is simple and only requires paying for a $200 tax stamp and submitting a Form 1. But not anymore. In its emails to gun owners, the ATF demanded to see photographs of “the parts that you will use to make the silencer” along with “a description of the processes you will use to assemble or fabricate the silencer.”

As the American Suppressor Association explained, the ATF has decided to go after suppressor makers who use “solvent trap kits.”

“Despite previously approving thousands of Form 1 applications for individuals and legal entities that have used these kits in recent years, it seems ATF has now decided to change course without any public explanation or justification,” the ASA explained. “What is clear is that ATF has unilaterally decided that the National Firearms Act (NFA) applies to these kits, and therefore any applicant applying to make a suppressor using one might be guilty of a crime.”

Solvent traps are common gun cleaning devices used to capture cleaning solvent. They’re screwed onto the end of a barrel, so their shape and design have naturally prompted solvent trap owners to convert them into suppressors.

In the past, this has been perfectly legal. Now, apparently, the ATF has used a “secret rulemaking” process to outlaw these devices. Needless to say, they haven’t promulgated this new rule via the standard rulemaking process and Congress hasn’t passed any such law.

“This type of behind-closed-door rulemaking has to stop,” the ASA writes. “It’s time to insist that ATF stop treating the upstanding citizens it regulates like criminals. It’s time for ATF rulemaking to occur in the open. And it’s time to remove suppressors from the NFA so that law-abiding Americans can protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights without tax or fear of government retribution.”

I couldn’t agree more. Federal bureaucrats—especially federal law enforcement bureaucrats—have no authority to make laws. Under the Constitution, only Congress has that authority because only members of Congress represent the will of We the People.

Unfortunately, this kind of secret rulemaking is far too common in D.C. Bureaucrats at federal agencies think they know better than everyday American citizens, and under tyrannical administrations like Joe Biden’s, they believe they have the freedom to do whatever they want.

It’s time to send them a wakeup call they’ll never forget. An Article V Convention of States is called and controlled by the states and has the power to propose constitutional amendments that limit the power, scope, and jurisdiction of the federal government.

These amendments can clarify that the Founders never intended the national government to empower federal agencies to control every area of American life. These amendments will effectively reduce the power of all federal agencies and eliminate others altogether.

Who knows? Maybe the ATF will be among those useless and duplicative federal agencies that don’t survive the Convention of States process. On behalf of law-abiding American gun owners, I sure hope so.

Mark Meckler is the President and co-founder of Convention of States Action.

Sign the petition to call for a Convention of States!

2,411,731 signatures

Petition your state legislator

Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

I want our state to be one of the necessary 34 states to pass a resolution calling for this kind of Article V Convention. You can find a copy of the model resolution and the Article V Pocket Guide (which explains the process and answers many questions) here:

I ask that you support the Convention of States Project and consider becoming a co-sponsor of the resolution. Please respond to my request by informing the national COS team of your position, or sending them any questions you may have: or (540) 441-7227.

Thank you so much for your service to the people of our district.

Respectfully, [Your Name]

By checking this box, you agree to receive text messages sent via an “autodialer”. Our text messages are intended to inform you of events, calls to action, volunteering opportunities, and other matters pertaining to self-governance. Text STOP to stop receiving messages. Text HELP for more info. Message frequency varies. Message and data rates may apply. View Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Provide your full address and we will deliver your petition directly to your state legislators now and again during the legislative sessions, Free of Charge. We Protect your privacy.

We welcome all US citizens to support our movement by signing the petition. To deliver the petition to your state legislators, you must enter your full address, which must be within one of the 50 states. For military personnel serving overseas, or for expatriates, enter your Voting Residence Address .

Please be sure to check the "Send me email updates" box, and include your phone number above.

How did you hear about us:

Click here to get involved!
Convention of states action

Are you sure you don't want emailed updates on our progress and local events? We respect your privacy, but we don't want you to feel left out!