Major Media Report on GOA’s Lawsuit Victory, ATF Regulation Halted

“This ruling is a compelling rebuke of [ATF’s] tyrannical and unconstitutional actions that purposely misinterpreted federal law to ensure their preferred policy outcome.” — Gun Owners of America Senior Vice President Erich Pratt

The Daily Caller, May 20, 2024
by Harold Hutchison

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Biden administration from fully enforcing a gun background check rule Sunday night.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the rule covering background checks for firearms purchases April 10, claiming it was based on bipartisan legislation passed in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. United States District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from enforcing the rule against the state of Texas and certain gun organizations until June 2.

The rule would dramatically expand the definition of when someone is “engaged in business” as a gun dealer subject to background check regulations, thereby expanding the number of people who must run background checks on firearms sales.

“President Biden and his anti-gun administration have aggressively pursued an agenda meant to harass, intimidate, and criminalize gun owners and dealers at every turn,” Gun Owners of America Senior Vice President Erich Pratt said. “This ruling is a compelling rebuke of their tyrannical and unconstitutional actions that purposely misinterpreted federal law to ensure their preferred policy outcome.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other Republican state attorneys general sued to block the rule May 1.

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

Read more at The Daily Caller

Fox News, May 20, 2024
by Greg Norman

AA federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked a new rule from the Biden administration that would force gun dealers to carry out background checks and secure licenses when selling firearms at shows and other venues outside traditional gun stores.

The order from U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo will remain in effect until June 2 and covers Texas and members of gun rights groups, including the Gun Owners of America. The states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah, he said, “will not be afforded relief at this stage of litigation.”

Kacsmaryk wrote that the new rule contradicted the language of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which expanded the category of gun sellers required to obtain licenses, according to Reuters. He also blamed the rule for not letting people who buy or sell guns for personal protection from being eligible for a licensing requirement exemption given to those who buy or sell firearms for a “personal collection.”

The judge noted that this means that “the statute’s safe harbor provision provides no safe harbor at all for the majority of gun owners.”

Read more at Fox News

Associated Press, May 20, 2024
by Acacia Coronado

A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a new rule in Texas that would require firearms dealers to run background checks on buyers at gun shows or other places outside brick-and-mortar stores.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, came before the rule had been set to take effect Monday. The order also prevents the federal government from enforcing the rule against several gun-rights groups, including Gun Owners of America. It does not apply to Louisiana, Mississippi and Utah, which were also part of the lawsuit.

“Plaintiffs understandably fear that these presumptions will trigger civil or criminal penalties for conduct deemed lawful just yesterday,” Kacsmaryk said in his ruling.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to comment. The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment….

The new requirement is the Biden administration’s latest effort to curtail gun violence and aims to close a loophole that has allowed unlicensed dealers to sell tens of thousands of guns every year without checking that the potential buyer is not legally prohibited from having a firearm.

Kacsmaryk wrote that the rule sets presumptions about when a person intends to make a profit and whether a seller is “engaged in the business.” He said this is “highly problematic” for multiple reasons, including that it forces the firearm seller to prove innocence rather than the government to prove guilt….

Biden administration officials proposed the rule in August and it garnered more than 380,000 public comments. It follows the nation’s most sweeping gun violence prevention bill in decades, which Biden signed in 2022 after lawmakers reached a bipartisan agreement in the wake of the Uvalde Elementary School shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers two years ago this week.

The rule implements a change in the 2022 law that expanded the definition of those who are “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, are required to become licensed by the ATF, and therefore must run background checks.

Read more at Associated Press

Shooting News Weekly, May 20, 2024
by Luis Valdes

Yes, you read that correctly. Current GOA (plus TFA & VCDL) members along with all residents of Texas, are currently protected from the abuses of the Biden Administration’s weaponized ATF. To be clear, even if you don’t live in Texas, but are a member of one of those organizations, you’re covered under the TRO.

Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, issued the following statement:

“We will continue the fight to ensure that this administration never succeeds in their goal of building a comprehensive database of firearm transaction records, which this rule would have been critical to accomplishing.”

Sam Paredes, on behalf of the board for GOF, added:

“It was clear from the start that the administration hoped to weaponize Senator Cornyn’s ‘compromise’ gun control package to further push their universal registration check agenda. We’re thrilled to have blunted the charge and are well-prepared to continue the fight going forward.”

Unfortunately, the TRO doesn’t apply to the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah, who were co-filers in the original suit. But again, if you’re a GOA member and you happen to live in one of those states, you’re still covered.

Read more at Shooting News Weekly

The Washington Times, May 20, 2024
by Stephen Dinan

Gun Owners of America and the Gun Owners Foundation have helped secure a temporary restraining order against the Biden ATF’s new universal registration check rule, which could require any person who sells even one gun in a year to obtain a Federal Firearms License and conduct background checks.

The rule was slated to take effect on May 20th, but under the TRO, it may not be enforced against the individual named plaintiff, the citizens of the state of Texas, and members of GOA, GOF, the Tennessee Firearms Association, and the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The TRO was issued yesterday by District Court Judge Matthew Kaczmaryk in the Northern District of Texas.

President Biden‘s attempt to expand the universe of gun sales subject to background checks likely violates federal law, a federal judge ruled Sunday.

Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk said Mr. Biden‘s team stretched the definition of those “engaged in the business” of firearms beyond its breaking point in an attempt to force more gun transactions to face the scrutiny of a background check.

The judge said two-thirds of gun owners maintain their weapons for self-defense or protection and they could end up being snared by the regulation if they were to trade or sell a weapon.

“They cannot dispose of firearms from their personal collections for fear of being presumed ‘engaged in the business,’” the judge wrote.

He issued a temporary restraining order blocking the policy for residents of Texas and members of some major gun-rights groups, including Gun Owners of America and the Virginia Civil Defense League. In practice, that could hinder enforcement of the entire policy since the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would struggle to figure out if someone is covered by the judge’s order….

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said the administration was “a dishonest broker.” He and Sen. Thom Tillis, North Carolina Republican, said the law would never have been able to pass Congress if lawmakers knew what Mr. Biden would do with it.

They have written legislation that would overturn Mr. Biden‘s changes.

The temporary restraining order lasts until June 2, though given the nature of the judge’s ruling it could be converted into a more binding injunction.

Read more at Washington Times