In a June 26 letter (pdf) to House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas), the lawmakers announced their plans, holding that the ATF had been "weaponized" against U.S. citizens by the Biden administration.
"The leadership at the ATF has proven unable or unwilling to see that the ATF respect the rule of law and not act where Congress has not legislated," they wrote. "Instead, the ATF abuses its rulemaking authority, legislating through the executive and making a mockery of the separation of powers mandated by the Constitution."
In February, internal documents outlining the ATF's federal firearms licensee (FFL) inspection guidance were leaked to the press. The documents revealed that the Biden administration's "zero tolerance" policy had made it easier to revoke the licenses of gun store owners.
In their letter, Gaetz and Green noted that under the policy mere "clerical errors" could result in such revocation.
"The ATF has even made it a matter of official policy to shut down gun stores by making perfection the standard in record keeping—a standard the ATF itself could not meet," they wrote. "Since the Biden Administration has announced its new 'zero tolerance' policy in 2021, Federal Firearms Licensees have faced the highest revocation rate in 16 years."
They continued: "The ATF has shown itself incapable of operating within the confines of its statutory authority, and we must force a change. Hence, I write to inform you that I intend to use the Holman Rule to defund the Office of the Director of the ATF in the next available appropriations period."