Federal Judge Halts Biden’s New Gun Control Rule a Day Before It Was to Go Into Effect

Federal Judge Halts Biden’s New Gun Control Rule a Day Before It Was to Go Into Effect

A Biden administration rule that would have vastly expanded background check requirements for people who sell guns has been shot down by a federal judge.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk granted an injunction to Texas and several gun rights groups preventing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from implementing the rule in Texas, according to The Hill.

Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, ruled that Louisiana, Mississippi and Utah, which joined Texas in the suit, did not have standing to sue.

However, members of several gun rights groups, including the 2-million-member strong Gun Owners of America, are covered by the ruling.

Other groups covered by the ruling were the Gun Owners Foundation, the Tennessee Firearms Association and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, according to the ruling.

The rule was scheduled to take effect Monday. It required anyone who sells a gun to be licensed and conduct the same background checks as gun stores.

The suit argued the rule violated the Second Amendment and the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Kacsmaryk’s ruling did not address the Second Amendment claim, but said the rule proposed by ATF was in violation of the law.

He found the ATF rule unjustly applied to those who buy and sell guns for their “personal collection.”

The ruling said that the presumptions upon which the final ATF rule was based “are highly problematic for at least two reasons. First, they flip the statute on its head by requiring that firearm owners prove innocence rather than the government prove guilt.”

The ruling also found conflicts between the rule in question and the law it was supposedly enforcing.

“Plaintiffs understandably fear that these presumptions will trigger civil or criminal penalties for conduct deemed lawful just yesterday. Nevertheless, ATF avers that its ‘knowledge of existing case law’ and ‘subject-matter expertise’ will prevent misuse or abuse of the presumptions. … In other words, ‘just trust us,’” the ruling said.

“The absurdity that the statute’s safe harbor provision provides no safe harbor at all for the majority of gun owners,” Kacsmaryk wrote.

The ATF rule is in limbo until a June 2 hearing, Reuters reported.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton proclaimed victory in a news release on his website.

“The Final Rule was arbitrary and capricious and flagrantly violated the Second Amendment. Despite Congress having recognized the legality of private firearms sales by non-dealers, the Biden Administration issued a new regulation that would subject hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners to presumptions of criminal guilt for engaging in constitutionally protected activities,” Paxton’s release said.

“I am relieved that we were able to secure a restraining order that will prevent this illegal rule from taking effect,” he said. “The Biden Administration cannot unilaterally overturn Americans’ constitutional rights and nullify the Second Amendment.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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