Florida Rep. Greg Steube

Florida Rep. Steube Hammers ATF For Fatal Raid That Killed An Arkansas Gun Owner

Florida Rep. Greg Steube
Florida Rep. Greg Steube

Florida Rep. Greg Steube on Sunday highlighted more abuse of lawful gun owners by President Joe Biden’s ATF, this time with fatal consequences.

In his weekly newsletter to constituents, the Sarasota Republican noted that he participated in a hearing by the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which was investigating the death of Bryan Malinowski.

Steube wrote that the hearing was not only about Malinowski’s death, but also “the importance of protecting gun owners from the ATF’s overreach.”

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Malinowski’s case has received national attention in recent weeks for being at the intersection of Biden’s war on private gun sales and excessive force tactics by law enforcement.

According to the Arkansas Times, Malinowski was the executive director of the airport in Little Rock, Arkansas, and he also reportedly bought and sold guns on the side.

The outlet reported that Malinowski purchased 142 firearms from a licensed dealer between 2019 and December 2023.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives alleged that he was unlawfully dealing weapons as an unlicensed dealer. His family argued that he was a collector.

Federal agents insisted, however, that six of those guns were used in other crimes and that undercover agents also bought three firearms from Malinowski at gun shows, the Times reported.

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The crimes that Malinwoski’s guns were allegedly involved in included at least three cases of simple marijuana possession. There was no allegation that the guns were used in violent crimes.

The TIme reported that the ATF suspected Malnwoski of dealing in firearms without a license and unlawful acquisition of a firearm. The agency claimed he lied on forms when buying the guns by attesting that he was not acquiring them for resale.

On March 19, the ATF went to his home to serve a search warrant, not an arrest warrant.

According to the lawyer for Malinowski’s widow, agents approached the house before 6 a.m. and covered the doorbell camera.

They claimed they knocked and after less than a minute with no response, they burst into the home.

Unaware of what was happening, Malinowski confronted them with a gun. Agents then shot Malinowski, who died days later. Agents claim he shot at them first, but the details remain murky.

During hearings last week, Republicans grilled ATF officials about the raid and the circumstances leading up to it.

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During the Weaponization Committee hearing, Rep. Steube confirmed that the ATF never sent Malinowski an administrative “cease and desist” letter to advise him to stop selling guns.

The congressman also clarified that the ATF never told Malinoswki that he was under investigation or that agents were following him.

He also noted the ATF never attempted to serve Malinowski the warrant outside of his home at a time when agents knew it would be “less dangerous.”

“This whole case is outrageous to me,” he said in offering Malinoswki’s widow, Maer, an apology “on behalf of the American government … because ATF isn’t going to give you that apology.”

Steube added that he hoped all the officers involved would be dragged before Congress in order to offer sworn testimony about the issues raised by GOP lawmakers.

Speaking to Maer, Steube reiterated, “I’m sorry for your loss and the loss of your family through a clear abuse of the rule of law.”

Republicans, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, have ripped into Biden and the ATF recently for imposing new regulations on supposed private gun sales without being able to clearly define what it means to be a dealer.

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Second Amendment proponents argue the administration is looking for a way to regulate private sales by forcing gun owners to make buyers subject to background checks.

At a recent hearing, Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican, noted that Biden’s rule would put law-abiding citizens in a position where they face “[ATF] guys breaking their doors down and potentially killing them.”    

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