Biden’s DOJ Under Fire For Gun-Grabbing Policy

The Department of Justice under the Biden administration has been described as “gun-grabbing” by a prominent Republican member of the U.S. Senate.

This week, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst offered harsh criticisms of the DOJ after it took almost two years for the agency to respond to questions she had about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, regarding a controversial enforcement policy of firearms called “knock and talk.”

Ernst said she wrote to the ATF the first time in August of 2022, demanding that someone answer for the methods the agency was following to crack down on firearm straw purchases. This practice is illegal and involves someone purchasing a firearm for someone else.

She believed that the policy could be infringing on the rights of many Americans. She wrote in her letter to the ATF that while it was important for them to enforce these laws, it was equally as important for the DOJ to be clear about what methods it was using.

Yet, in speaking with Fox News Digital this week, Ernst said:

“For nearly two years, Biden’s ATF has failed to answer my questions. Instead, they are continually harassing law-abiding gun owners in their homes. Biden ATF’s ‘knock and talk’ policy is unlawful, and by stonewalling me, they continue to hide the truth, pointing the finger at so-called ‘violence’ without addressing the law-abiding Americans that I clearly asked about.

“Biden’s ATF must stop bending the law to fit their gun-grabbing policies.”

The letter that Ernst sent the ATF in 2022 came just one more after the agency began cracking down on straw purchasing of firearms. In the letter, she detailed various videos and reports that surfaced showing agents with the ATF engaging in investigations related to the law.

The interactions, Ernst wrote, involved agents knocking on people’s front doors and asking them to show them firearms they recently purchased as a way to prove they didn’t break the law by purchasing the firearm for someone else.

As Ernst wrote:

“In all of the ‘knock and talk’ incidents brought to my attention, none involved the presentation of a warrant.”

To scare people into following their demands, the ATF agents often showed up at people’s homes wearing their full gear, including bulletproof vests. They also didn’t tell the people who answered the door that they weren’t actually required to show the agents the firearm.

As the letter stated:

“The combination of these factors calls into question whether the ATF’s actions are meant to harass or coerce firearm purchasers into, at best, legally questionable ‘investigations.’”

In her letter, Ernst asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to provide full details about the investigations the ATF was conducting. She wanted to know how they establish the probable cause that is needed to conduct the investigations, and also whether they first get a warrant to do so.

She also wants the ATF to reveal how many of these “knock and talks” they have gone through with since late July, which is when the program’s ramp-up began.