Biden ghost guns
Props used in President Biden's Rose Garden announcement of ATF "ghost gun" regulation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Previous Post
Next Post

Thanks to a ruling by the Supreme Court today, the ATF’s new “frame and receiver” rule can be enforced while the appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked it moves through the legal process. The Court granted the DOJ’s motion for an emergency stay of the lower court order while the appeal in the ruling in VanDerStok v. Garland is decided.

Here’s the Firearms Policy Coalition’s reaction to the Court’s action . . .

Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Action Foundation (FPCAF) responded to the Supreme Court’s order in VanDerStok v. Garland, which will allow ATF’s “Frame or Receiver” Rule to go into effect while the government appeals the district court’s judgment that vacated it. The case will now continue at the Fifth Circuit where oral arguments are scheduled for September 7th.

“We’re deeply disappointed that the Court pressed pause on our defeat of ATF’s rule effectively redefining ‘firearm’ and ‘frame or receiver’ under federal law,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, FPCAF’s General Counsel and Vice President of Legal, and FPC’s counsel in this case. “Regardless of today’s decision, we’re still confident that we will yet again defeat ATF and its unlawful rule at the Fifth Circuit when that Court has the opportunity to review the full merits of our case.”

Plaintiffs in this case are two individuals, Tactical Machining, LLC, and FPC. FPCAF represents the Plaintiffs, alongside Mountain States Legal Foundation.

Individuals who would like to join the FPC Grassroots Army and support important pro-rights lawsuits and programs like these can sign up at Individuals and organizations wanting to support charitable efforts in support of the restoration of Second Amendment and other natural rights can also make a tax-deductible donation to the FPC Action Foundation. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit and follow FPC on InstagramTwitterFacebookYouTube.

As the Court announced . . .

Application (23A82) for stay presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is granted. The June 30, 2023 order and July 5, 2023 judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, case No. 4:22-cv-691, insofar as they vacate the final rule of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 87 Fed. Reg. 24652 (April 26, 2022), are stayed pending the disposition of the appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari, if such a writ is timely sought. Should certiorari be denied, this stay shall terminate automatically. In the event certiorari is granted, the stay shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court. Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, Justice Gorsuch, and Justice Kavanaugh would deny the application for stay.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Any word on how the 5-4 vote came down, by the Justice’s names?

    EDIT – Found it :

    “Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett sided with the court’s three liberal members to temporarily reinstate the ban on companies selling ghost guns. On the other hand, Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh opposed. As commonly seen with emergency requests, the court provided no explanation.”

    • This is no means the end, the lower court looks likely to kill it…

      • Hopefully one of TTAG’s legal experts weighs in, but pundits assessed that the lower court suspended the policy because the case against it was “likely to succeed on the merits”. I’m concerned that SCOTUS reinstating it may imply that ATF’s side is “likely to succeed on the merits”.

        • Or, they would rather it play out, and going this route kills any accusations of favoritism…

        • District court entered *FINAL* judgment nuking the regs. Feddies asked for a stay of the judgment pending appeal. As the Fifth Circuit held in denying the motion, they didn’t think the feddies were likely to succeed on their appeal.

          I’m quite shocked that SCOTUS granted the stay — this should have been an easy decision. As I read the tea leaves, apparently ACB couldn’t make up her mind last week, which is why Alito pushed the stay out until today. But at the end of the day, she wimped out.

          Fifth Circuit is likely to hold the same thing they did on the stay motion (and thus will affirm the District Court). The question will then be whether SCOTUS takes cert or not. That ACB was willing to vote to grant what is very extraordinary relief in what I saw as a very easy case is not promising.

          Again, remember that this is NOT a 2A case at this juncture — it’s been argued and decided on Administrative Procedures Act grounds (courts will almost always avoid deciding constitutional issues if the case can be decided on statutory or procedural ones). If the APA arguments fail, *then* the district court would address the 2A arguments, but as the record currently exists its purely an APA case.

        • It’s what can happen when the courtroom drama crowd puts all their eggs in one basket. To clip the wings of Gun Control takes grassroot effort.

          I have challenged the forum’s barking dogs who label me as a one trick pony or call citing the History of Gun Control as my shtick to man up and ask 10 people to Define Gun Control by its History. Not one ever responded back because they know most of the Public is full blown Gun Control History illiterate.

          Mountains of historical evidence
          proves there is no honor and no integrity whatsoever that sits on the side of Gun Control. If the public was aware of the rot inherent with Gun Control perhaps following a criminal act the public would not be so quick to go marching around holding signs begging lawmakers for a sick agenda that History Confirms is Rooted in Racism and Genocide.

        • Debbie Dimwit,

          Are you EVER going to respond to my question about what the “racist” and “genocidal” elements were to the Shogunate outlawing Japanese peasants from having swords, polearms, bows and arrows, or armor??? Or are you just the one-track (narrow gauge) dumbass you’ve always been. You know less about the history of gun control/arms control than my dog . . . but you’re both b****s, so I guess that works. Have a nice day, ignorant @$$clown.

        • The only ‘barking dog’ here is you, demented deb… 🙁

        • oldshtbreathgeoff…The only piles of dog poop here are you and your buttbuddy gadsdenfag.

    • No surprise to anyone here, but the courts got it wrong. The decision should be to preserve precedent, not reinterpretation, while it is being adjudicated.

      Here we go again where the supreme Court needs to assert expansionist authority it doesn’t have, yet again.

    • That’s it. We knew Roberts was a dud but now we know Judge Amy is tainted too. Never forget.

  2. Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh all voted against the stay. Roberts flipping did not surprise me. Barrett is a major disappointment. Would be interested in knowing her motivation.

  3. Very disappointed. I’ve always seen homebuilding firearms as the lowest of “text, history, and tradition” low-hanging fruit.

    Of course, the meaningful aspect of “Ghost Gun” laws isn’t even part of the suit, so . . .

  4. once again, the compromised Senior Justice Robert’s was at least partially responsible for this.
    wondering what they have on him?

    • ‘Bruen’ wasn’t 5-4, it was 6-3. Keep your pants on…

  5. Probably an exibition of SC reluctance to enter into a case before a ruling at the circuit court level.

    • All of their “reluctance of interlocutory intervention” tends to favor the Government, not the citizen. So much for the rule of leniency.

      • “All of their “reluctance” tends to favor the Government, not the citizen”

        I am probably not sufficiently knowledgeable to make an evaluation on that.

    • This is an intervention as both the trial court and the circuit court declined to stay the ruling.

      • Yup. This is the opposite of SCOTUS being reluctant to enter a case — this is them jumping in to stay enforcement of a final judgment, in the teeth of both the district court and CoA refusing to do so. That’s *incredibly* rare.

        • Umm, no. This is an interim appeal of a preliminary injunction. There has been no hearing as to the entry of a permanent injunction as of yet.

        • How can they sue gunmakers out of business if there are no serial numbers? How many makers of DIY gun parts will move to comply with serialization to avoid “temporarily” ceasing operations while waiting on the courts?

          I see where 54 guns were seized from prohibited persons in CA last year – how many serialized guns were seized from that same class of folks? Thousands? Tens of Thousands?

          This ain’t about tracing guns to perps…

  6. maybe
    they already know theyre going to shoot down the pistol brace and bump stock bans among other things
    and so theyre making this move to look “fair and balanced”
    at the end of the day
    if i was forced to pick two of the three to keep
    id pick bump stocks and pistol braces over the 80 percent stuff
    but thats just me…

    • I’m afraid that’s wishful thinking.

      At best, the justices know they have already granted cert in Rahimi (2A) and in Loper Bright (Chevron deference) cases, and so ACB may just want to preserve the status quo until those are decided.

      My guess is that SCOTUS will just sit on the cert petitions in Cargill, Mock, VanDerStok, and any other big 2A cases that come up until Rahimi and Loper Bright are decided, and then either deny cert or GVR them.

    • If 80%s are allowed to be banned and treated as firearms, you can bet your candy arse that universal background checks and national registry will also pass. This is horrific.

  7. M­y­ l­a­s­t­ p­a­y­ c­h­e­c­k­ w­a­s­ $12000 w­o­r­k­i­n­g­ 12 h­o­u­r­s­ a­ w­e­e­k­ o­n­l­i­n­e­. m­y­ s­i­s­t­e­r­s­ f­r­i­e­n­d­ h­a­s­ b­e­e­n­ a­v­e­r­a­g­i­n­g­ 15k­ f­o­r­ m­o­n­t­h­s­ n­o­w­ a­n­d­ s­h­e­ w­o­r­k­s­ a­b­o­u­t­ 20 h­o­u­r­s­ a­ w­e­e­k­. i­ c­a­n­’t­ b­e­l­i­e­v­e­ h­o­w­ e­a­s­y­ i­t­ w­a­s­ o­n­c­e­ i­ t­r­i­e­d­ i­t­ o­u­t­. t­h­i­s­ i­s­ w­h­a­t­ i­ d­o­.

  8. Just texted with Cody, and he confirms something that makes this stink even worse:

    There had been a preliminary injunction, which stopped the ATF from enforcing the regs against the named plaintiffs while the case was pending. When Judge O’Connor entered a final judgment (which vacated the regulations entirely, which was broader relief than the plaintiffs had been enjoying), that mooted and vacated the preliminary injunction.

    Now, by staying the judgment entirely, the ATF is now free to go after the plaintiffs *even though plaintiffs won the lawsuit.*

    That really stinks.

  9. Colorado recently passed “Ghost Gun” Legislature, with absolutely no provisions to grandfather in existing Guns sans Serial Numbers. It has been pointed out that under this Legislation, even Unserialized Black Powder Firearms are now illegal to Sell/Own or Possess.
    It is being challenged by NAGR/RMGO.

  10. Its the usual bull crap and smoke and mirrors. The Supreme Court dodged the gun issue and dumped it back onto the lower courts which of course upheld the ban so the lower courts will take all the blame.

    • Ah, someone who knows even less about appellate law and procedure than ‘Lil Debbie. Didn’t think that was possible, but Dacian rises to the challenge.

      “Gun issue” isn’t even before the Court on this record (case was decided on APA grounds). And SCOTUS hardly “dodged” anything . . . they exercised discretion to grant a stay of a judgment pending appeal, which is *very* rare.

  11. SCOTUS has shown a willingness to curtail the rule-making ability of executive branch departments and agencies. West Virginia v. EPA was a clear shot across the bow of the regulatory state.

    I don’t think this SCOTUS will permit the ATF to continue to define what a firearm is. That is clearly a legislative action and solely the purview of Congress.

    The executive branch does not have the power to make law, nor does it have the power to tax. Any executive action that results in new rules or new spending not explicitly authorized in law by Congress SHOULD be ruled unconstitutional.

  12. never a good idea to assume an automatic win…asking the SCOTUS to rule on something is always a risk…

Comments are closed.