Guardian Gun Rights E-Letter, May 18, 2024



In this issue of the Gun Tests Guardian: Senator tries to prevent gun-specific merchant codes; ATF vastly improves tax stamp wait times; disturbing poll results for gunowners’ rights, and gun NICS checks top +1 million in March 2024. 



Senator tries to prevent gun-specific merchant codes. 

The Protecting Privacy in Purchases Act (S. 4075) is legislation spearheaded by U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) that would ban the use of a firearm retailer-specific Merchant Category Code (MCC). The legislation would protect the Second Amendment privacy of firearm and ammunition purchasers from financial service and payment card providers compiling purchase history that has already proven to be exploited by the federal government for political purposes.

Sen. Bill Hagerty

“The Biden administration has already admitted that it unlawfully used the private firearm purchase data of law-abiding citizens to label them as potential domestic terrorists in a politically-driven gun control scheme,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel. “Senator Bill Hagerty’s legislation would protect the private financial data of citizens exercising their Constitutional rights to keep and bear arms.” 

The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has admitted that it has violated the Fourth Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens when it collected the credit card purchase history of individuals from banks and credit card companies in 2020.  

To learn more about Hagerty’s bill, click here.


ATF has vastly improved wait times for suppressor tax stamps. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has slow-walked approvals to own suppressors under the National Firearms Act for decades. But things may be improving.

Processing wait times on submitted National Firearms Act (NFA) forms have dropped significantly. Updated times announced recently by ATF show the average wait time on a paper NFA Form 4 – the most popular NFA form submitted – dropped from 280 days to an average of 245 days for processing. Average daily processing times for electronic eForm 4s dropped to 53 days from between 90 and 190 days.

Suppressors, or silencers, are devices that provide hearing protection for hunters and target shooters. They are legal to own in 43 states and to hunt with in 42 states.

To see wait times for various suppressor forms at, click here.


House Subcommittee looks into government spying on gun and ammo purchasers. 

The U.S. House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, part of the House Judiciary Committee, asked several Biden administration officials why the federal government collected information on Americans’ purchases of firearms and ammunition.

The admission came by letter to U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) just one day after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen refused to answer questions from Congress if the surveillance occurred.

Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said, “For simply exercising your Second Amendment right, you’re on the FBI’s target list. Never forget, the federal government got this information without any process. No warrant and frankly, no notification.”

The information about the surveillance was provided by FBI whistleblowers. To watch a committee hearing video about the searches, click here.

SAF v. NJ 

SAF Files appellants’ brief in Defense Distributed v. New Jersey. 

Attorneys representing the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Defense Distributed have filed an appellants’ brief in their long-running First Amendment challenge of the New Jersey statute that prohibits the publication of computer files containing digital firearms information.

The brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. According to SAF, since July 2018 the New Jersey Attorney General has censored the publication of Defense Distributed’s Second Amendment speech.

“This case has been dragging on since 2018, and it is obvious the New Jersey Attorney General is engaging in legal gamesmanship,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “This is a case about government censorship. New Jersey is simply waging an ideological war against Defense Distributed for providing information online about firearms knowledge and possession.”

To read the brief, click here.


Missouri rep wants plant to keep producing commercial ammo.

Missouri State Rep. Aaron McMullen introduced a resolution supporting the continued commercial utilization of Lake City Army Ammunition Plant based in northeastern Independence, Missouri. The U.S. Army began permitting commercial utilization more than 20 years ago after officials realized that the facility did not have the trained workforce and production capacity to meet the military’s demand for ammunition.


Lake City Army Ammunition Plant employs more than 700 people. To see more about the plant, click here.


Company donates 2A dollars. 

Brownells recently donated money from its successful 2A Day promotion to the Second Amendment Foundation.

“As a company, we have always supported those who work hard to help Americans keep their Second Amendment rights,” said Brownells Chief Revenue Officer Bryan Stuntebeck. 

Brownells’ 2A Day promotion is now in its third year. To learn more about events near you, click here.


Colorado areas that value gun rights don’t file ERPOs as often. 

Colorado counties that are “2nd Amendment Sanctuaries” generate many fewer red-flag petitions than in the rest of the state, a study released on April 1, 2024 claims.

Researchers with the University of Colorado School of Medicine Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative found that from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022, Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) petitions didn’t succeed as often in sanctuary counties as they did in non-sanctuary counties.  

That’s according to a new study released on the JAMA Network Open site.

To read more about the study, click here.  


Disturbing results for gunowners’ rights. 

Most of the U.S. population values the right to keep and bear arms less than they do other civil rights.

U.S. adults say the right to equal protection under the law (91%), the right to vote (91%), and the value of freedom of speech (90%) are extremely important or very important to the United States’ identity as a nation.

Less important to respondents was the right to keep and bear arms (54%). 

To look at the full poll results, click here.


March 2024 results drop noticeably from last year, but a positive monthly trend continues. 

The March 2024 adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 1,442,061 is a YOY decrease of 7.4% compared to the March 2023 adjusted NICS figure of 1,556,492. These statistics represent the number of firearms background checks initiated through the NICS. They do not represent the number of firearms sold. Based on varying state laws, local market conditions and purchase scenarios, a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a firearm background check and a firearm sale.

However, March 2024 marked the 56th month in a row that more than 1 million adjusted background checks occurred in a single month.

To see more about the March 2024 NICS totals, click here.

The Guardian e-letter is a free publication produced by the staff of Gun Tests Magazine. If you see 2A news, please email us a note and a link to — Todd Woodard


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