HR 4900 Criticisms

SayUncle is asking what we think about GOA’s criticisms of HR 4900.  My response to that is if GOA can push better legislation thorough Pelosi’s Congress, I’ll applaud them.

The criticism that ATF will abuse their power to levy these civil penalties is a legitimate one, but would we rather have ATF abusing fines, or abusing their authority to shut down gun shops?  If I were a gun shop owner, I’d rather have to fork over a few thousand bucks in a civil penalty than have to fork over tens or possibly hundreds of thousands in legal fees fighting a license revocation.  GOA also makes this claim:

The problem is that — in virtually all of the most aggressive regulatory agencies in the federal government — “civil penalties” are the central engine whereby the agency has expanded its jurisdiction.

I’m not sure what they are talking about here to be honest.  Expanded its jurisdiction how?  How does HR 4900 enable this?  The law actually does a pretty good job of spelling out what types of violation constitute serious ones.  It’ll make fighting an unjust fine a lot easier in court than it currently is fighting a revocation in court.

By no means do I think that HR4900 will fix everything that’s wrong with the ATF, but it’s a reasonable step forward.  If GOA can do better, they are welcome to try.