Judge Blocks Firearm Rule in Texas

Judge Blocks Firearm Rule in Texas

(LibertyInsider.org) – In 2022, Congress passed and President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant piece of gun control legislation in decades, into law. In 2023, the administration took things a step further and created a rule that expanded the definition of a firearms dealer. This rule imposed tougher restrictions and essentially closed the gun show loophole. A coalition sued the government to block the rule from going into effect, saying it violated the aforementioned act as well as the Second Amendment. A judge has now issued an injunction for the rule in Texas.

On Sunday, May 19, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, issuing an injunction against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). His decision blocks the federal government from implementing the rule in Texas and also applies to some gun rights organizations. Kacsmaryk’s ruling also found that three states — Mississippi, Utah, and Louisiana — lacked standing in the case.

The ATF rule in question would require background checks on buyers at a gun show and would classify those who participate in the events as firearms dealers subject to regulation.

In his decision, Judge Kacsmaryk agreed that the background check rule violated the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and would unjustly apply to people who buy and sell simply for their “personal collection.” He also noted the language meant to protect gun owners is not effective. Kacsmaryk stopped short of ruling on Constitutional claims.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who led the coalition in suing the federal government, issued a statement in which he said he was “relieved” that the court ruled in their favor. The rule was slated to go into effect on Monday, May 20. It is now halted until June 2 to allow for hearings.

Two other lawsuits against the ATF to block the background check rule have been filed. One was filed by a coalition of 21 states, led by Kansas and Arkansas, and the other by Florida.

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