In another blow to the Biden Administration’s ongoing war on the gun industry and firearm owners, a federal judge has thrown out the ATF’s attempt at regulating gun parts and partial receivers as complete firearms. Parts kit and 80 percent frame makers JSD Supply and Polymer80 were intervenors in the case, VanDerStok v. Garland.
After earlier issuing an injunction blocking ATF enforcement, United States District Court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled yesterday that the ATF overstepped its regulatory authority by skirting the legislative process and, in effect, unilaterally re-writing the Gun Control Act of 1968 in order to allow it to regulate gun parts as it does complete firearms. O’Connor vacated the agency’s rule granting the plaintiffs summary judgement.
As O’Connor wrote . . .
In sum, there is a legal distinction between a weapon parts kit, which may be an aggregation of partially manufactured parts not subject to the agency’s regulatory authority, and a “weapon” which “may readily be completed [or] assembled . . . to expel a projectile.” 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3)(A). Defendants contend that drawing such a distinction will produce the absurd result whereby a person lawfully prohibited from possessing a firearm can obtain the necessary components and, given advances in technology, self-manufacture a firearm with relative ease and efficiency.86 Even if it is true that such an interpretation creates loopholes that as a policy matter should be avoided, it (sic) not the role of the judiciary to correct them. That is up to Congress. And until Congress enacts a different statute, the Court is bound to enforce the law as written.
The Firearms Policy Coalition issued this statement cheering the decision . . .
Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Action Foundation (FPCAF) announced that a federal judge has granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs in VanDerStok v. Garland, vacating the ATF’s “frame or receiver” rule and preventing the federal government from enforcing it. The opinion can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.
“This case presents the question of whether the federal government may lawfully regulate partially manufactured firearm components, related firearm products, and other tools and materials in keeping with the Gun Control Act of 1968,” wrote Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor in his Order. “Because the Court concludes that the government cannot regulate those items without violating federal law, the Court holds that the government’s recently enacted Final Rule… is unlawful agency action taken in excess of the ATF’s statutory jurisdiction. On this basis, the Court vacates the Final Rule.”
“We’re thrilled to see the Court agree that ATF’s Frame or Receiver Rule exceeds the agency’s congressionally limited authority,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, FPCAF’s Senior Attorney for Constitutional Litigation and FPC’s counsel in this case. “With this decision, the Court has properly struck down ATF’s Rule and ensured that it cannot enforce that which it never had the authority to publish in the first place.”
“This is a monumental victory against the tyrannical ATF. Firearms Policy Coalition and FPC Law have argued that this rogue agency has unlawfully attacked gun owners in this latest round of ‘rulemaking’ and we are grateful to see the Court agree,” said Richard Thomson, FPC’s Vice President of Communications. “We will not stop, however, with this latest victory. FPC and FPC Law will continue to bring these cases to put a stop to the immoral and unconstitutional actions of the disarmament regime.”
Plaintiffs in this case are two individuals, Tactical Machining, LLC, and FPC. FPCAF represents the Plaintiffs, alongside Mountain States Legal Foundation.
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