A federal appeals court on Thursday struck down a rule imposed by the Biden administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to regulate privately manufactured “ghost guns.”
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the 2022 rule aimed at regulating ghost guns was “unlawful.”
“The panel, comprised entirely of judges appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump, largely upheld a Texas judge’s ruling against the rule, which targeted the rapid proliferation of such homemade weapons,” Reuters reports.
The ruling struck a blow to the Biden administration’s anti-gun agenda.
Appeals court strikes down ATF's 'ghost gun' restrictions
The ruling is a blow to President Joe Biden, who has called for tighter restrictions on firearms, including an assault weapons ban.
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The rule updated the definition of a “firearm,” “frame” and “receiver” under the Gun Control Act of 1968 to address the rise of ghost guns that can be assembled from kits that can be bought online or at a store without a background check.
U.S. Circuit Judge Kurt Engelhardt, writing for the 5th Circuit panel, said ATF’s rule “flouts clear statutory text and exceeds the legislatively-imposed limits on agency authority in the name of public policy.”
“ATF, in promulgating its final rule, attempted to take on the mantle of Congress to ‘do something’ with respect to gun control,” he wrote. “But it is not the province of an executive agency to write laws for our nation.”
The U.S. Department of Justice and ATF did not respond to requests for comment. But the administration is likely to appeal, after already seeking the U.S. Supreme Court’s intervention in the case.
The Supreme Court had twice before in August and October acted following rulings by the Texas judge and granted requests by the administration that have allowed the regulations to remain in effect while litigation continues.
The administration has said that ghost guns are attractive to criminals and others prohibited from lawfully buying firearms, including minors.
When have criminals abided by gun control laws?
That’s right, never!
The ATF’s attempted crackdown will only harm law-abiding Americans trying to defend themselves.
A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that the Biden administration lacked authority to adopt a regulation aimed at reining in privately-made firearms called "ghost guns" that are difficult for law enforcement to trace. https://t.co/he3wJbudjb https://t.co/he3wJbudjb
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) November 11, 2023
According to Zero Hedge, gun owners scored another victory this week in a ruling against the Biden administration’s pistol brace rule.
Gun Owners Score Major Legal Victories On Pistol Braces and Ghost Guns https://t.co/nZ9BKFnHQL
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) November 10, 2023
Zero Hedge reports:
This week, gun owners scored two major victories in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. One judge granted a preliminary injunction that halts the enforcement of the recent Biden Administration’s pistol brace rule by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on a nationwide basis, while another determined that the Biden administration did not have the authority to regulate ‘ghost guns.’Advertisement
On Wednesday, in the case Britto v. ATF, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction halting the ATF’s enforcement of the rule that redefines braced pistols as short-barreled rifles under the National Firearms Act.
Enacted earlier this year, the pistol brace rule would jail or fine tens of millions of law-abiding Americans who refused to reclassify their braced weapons as short-barreled rifles.
Two of the three plaintiffs in Britto v. ATF were injured Marine veterans represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, who argued the rule violates their Second Amendment and be thrown out for “vagueness.” Pistol braces were designed in 2012 to help disabled veterans shoot rifles more accurately. Meanwhile, radical Democrats on Capitol Hill frequently lied about the braces, saying they were ‘machine guns.’
“Additionally, ATF admits the 10-year cost of the Rule is over one billion dollars,” Judge Kacsmaryk said. “And because of the Rule, certain manufacturers that obtain most of their sales from stabilizing braces risk having to close their doors for good.”