Newsletter: Black Gun-Rights Group Questions Racial Motivations of Biden ATF Moves

We’re celebrating our one-year anniversary as a publication with some big breaking news!

With the support of our members, The Reload has quickly become the go-to publication for national gun news. We’re read in the White House, in the offices on Capitol Hill, in the boardrooms at the top gun groups, and in homes across the country.

We proved once again this week why that is by scooping every major publication in the country on the President’s decision to demote ATF acting director Marvin Richardson and bring in US Attorney Gary Restaino to replace him. Our sourcing and speed outpaced The New York Times, Associated Press, Fox News, The Washington Post, CBS News, and so forth. Most of them even gave us credit for getting the scoop.

The White House confirmed it a short while later.

Now, we’re breaking news again. We have another exclusive report on the situation. The National African-American Gun Association is weighing in on the President’s treatment of Richardson. The group is unhappy with how the 30-year ATF veteran, who is Black, has been passed over twice for White nominees from outside the agency and is now being demoted.

Of course, that wasn’t the only story in guns this week. We also saw a fascinating development in the Florida gubernatorial race. The top Democratic prospect filed a gun-rights suit against the Biden Administration over guns and weed.

Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman examines what likely led to that move and how it could represent a viable tactic for Democrats in other uphill battles.

Jake also takes a look at how President Biden’s recent aggression on guns is elevating the issue for November’s election.

Plus, one of the country’s most prominent “ghost gun” makers joins the podcast to talk about the President’s new kit ban.


An NAAGA member shoots an AR-15
An NAAGA member shoots an AR-15 / NAAGA Website

Black gun-rights Group Slams ATF Director Demotion, Questions Racial Motivations of Biden Nominations
By Stephen Gutowski

The largest group of Black gun owners in America accused the Biden Administration of prioritizing gun control over diversity on Thursday.

The National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) criticized President Biden for demoting Acting Director Marvin Richardson, an African-American with over 30 years of experience. The group said it was unhappy Richardson was being moved down after being twice being passed over for nomination as the permanent director in favor of white nominees.

“While we cannot say with certainty why Mr. Richardson has been passed over twice for directorship and has been currently demoted, the pattern and speed of these actions has the appearance of being racially motivated and/or politically expedient,” NAAGA President Philip Smith told The Reload.

Click here to continue reading.


Acting ATF Director Marvin Richardson speaks at the gun industry's trade show in January 2022
Acting ATF Director Marvin Richardson speaks at the gun industry’s trade show in January 2022 / Screenshot

Exclusive: ATF Acting Director Demoted, Replaced
By Stephen Gutowski

The ATF is undergoing a major shakeup.

Acting Director Marvin Richardson is being demoted, and US Attorney Gary Restaino will take over his position, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the move. The reshuffling was announced by Richardson on a conference call Monday, which left many ATF officials surprised and dismayed. The ATF is expected to announce the move in the coming days.

“The news that he was being replaced came as a shock to most of us within the agency,” one ATF official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, told The Reload.

Click here to get the full scoop.


A sign outside the headquarters of the ATF
A sign outside the headquarters of the ATF / Stephen Gutowski

White House Confirms ATF Shakeup
By Stephen Gutowski

The ATF will officially be receiving a new acting director.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed reporting first seen in The Reload that Acting Director Marvin Richardson is being demoted and replaced. When asked by an Associated Press reporter during her Wednesday briefing, Psaki said somebody else would be assuming control of the agency.

“I know there have been reports about this out there, and I will say that the President is making that designation under the Vacancies Reform Act,” Psaki said.

Click here to read the rest.


Florida Agricultural Commissioner announces Second Amendment suit against the Biden Administration on April 20th, 2022
Florida Agricultural Commissioner announces Second Amendment suit against the Biden Administration on April 20th, 2022 / Screenshot

Florida Democrat Sues Biden Administration to End Ban on Guns and Marijuana
By Jake Fogleman

A top Florida Democrat has launched a Second Amendment challenge against the Biden Administration.

Nikki Fried, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture, filed the suit in federal court on Wednesday. Her complaint alleges that current federal law prohibiting marijuana users from owning guns is unconstitutional as applied to Florida’s medical marijuana regime.

“I’m suing the Biden Administration because people’s rights are being limited,” Fried tweeted after NBC News broke the story of her suit. “Medical marijuana is legal. Guns are legal. This is about people’s rights and their freedoms to responsibly have both.”

Click here to read more.


Guns displayed on a rack at a gun store
Guns displayed on a rack at a gun store / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: Are Democrats Starting to Soften on Guns? [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

This week saw the unexpected filing of a gun-rights lawsuit against the Biden administration.

Florida commissioner of agriculture Nikki Fried (D.) launched her challenge on Wednesday by alleging that current federal law prohibiting state-licensed medical marijuana users from owning guns violates the Second Amendment.

“I’m suing the Biden Administration because people’s rights are being limited,” Fried said of her lawsuit. “Medical marijuana is legal. Guns are legal. This is about people’s rights and their freedoms to responsibly have both.”

The move could be evidence that bleak electoral prospects and shifts in public opinion on guns are starting to affect some Democrats running for office.

Fried was pilloried on Twitter following the announcement of her suit by other progressives. But as many politicians have had to learn in recent years, Twitter is not real life. And the fact of the matter is, voters in real life have become more receptive to gun rights.

If you’re already a Reload member, click here to read full analysis. If not, make sure you pick up a membership today! Your purchase will help fund our pursuit of sober, serious firearms reporting and analysis. It’ll also get you exclusive access to dozens of pieces like this one.


Podcast: Ghost Gunner’s Cody Wilson Responds to Biden’s ‘Ghost Gun’ Kit Ban
By Stephen Gutowski

President Biden went hard after “ghost guns” and the companies that make them this week. So, on this episode, we’ve got one of the most prominent men who is squarely in his sights: Defense Distributed’s Cody Wilson.

Wilson is a pioneer in 3D-printed guns having developed the first prototype called The Liberator. His Ghost Gunner mini-CNC machine is among the popular ways to finish the unfinished gun receivers commonly available on the market.

As such, he read through the entire 364-page final guidance on the new ban from the ATF. We discuss the ins and out of what exactly is illegal now, how that will impact the firearms industry, and some of the surprises in the final regulation.

Wilson says he feels the regulations are unjust and unconstitutional. He said he plans to file suit against the administration over the changes.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I talk about what we’ve found out about President Biden’s new ATF director nominee Steve Dettelbach.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here.

Video of the entire show is also available on our YouTube channel.


Biden SOTU 2022 / Screenshot
President Biden at the 2022 State of the Union / Screenshot

Analysis: Biden’s Aggression Elevates Gun Politics Before the Election [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

Will gun control become a top election issue?

It didn’t seem likely for a while. The high visibility of pressing concerns like 40-year high inflation rates, a burgeoning humanitarian crisis in the ongoing war in Ukraine, and domestic culture warring over education policy have been at the top of most Americans’ minds.

But actions taken by President Joe Biden this week may very well have foisted the issue of guns back onto the radar of voters going into November’s midterm elections. Largely at the behest of a sustained pressure campaign from gun-control groups, President Biden announced his new nominee to head the ATF on Monday. He also announced the accelerated release of the final ATF rule banning “ghost gun” kits.

If you’re already a Reload member, click here to read full analysis. If not, make sure you pick up a membership today! Your purchase will help fund our pursuit of sober, serious firearms reporting and analysis. It’ll also get you exclusive access to dozens of pieces like this one.


Outside The Reload

New Mexico fines film company over Alec Baldwin shooting | AP News | By Morgan Lee

San Jose still lacks structure to collect gun fees | San Jose Spotlight | By Tran Nguyen

Louisiana House approves Constitutional Carry bill | Bearing Arms | By Cam Edwards

WA Supreme Court: State law preempts city gun storage ordinance | AP News | By Rachel La Corte

Gun owners, violence victims clash at California gun control hearings | Courthouse News Service | By Madalyn Wright


That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear my analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get the exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Thanks,
Stephen Gutowski
Founder
The Reload

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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