80 Percent Arms GST-9 Mod 1 Completed (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
80 Percent Arms GST-9 Mod 1 Completed (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
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John Crump at Ammoland reports that

Gun Owners of America (GOA), Bridge City Ordinance, and North Dakota resident Eliezer Jimenez have sued the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) over its new rule on unfinished frames and receivers.

After Joe Biden became president, he tasked the ATF to come up with new regulations surrounding privately manufactured firearms (PMF) and pistol stabilizing devices. Biden’s ATF unveiled new rules for a public comment period. Gun owners flooded the comments, but the Bureau moved forward and unveiled the new rules in the White House Rose Garden.

The rule is due to go into effect in late August. According to the new regulation, Americans can still build their own firearms, but it does make it almost impossible to get all the parts to build a gun. Frames and jigs cannot be sold together. If a gun owner buys the items separately, the ATF will consider that structuring the purchases to get around the new regulation.

The other big issue is that if a company sells a frame, and a second company sells a jig, and a customer buys the items from both companies, those companies can be charged with conspiracy. The ATF will charge both companies with conspiracy even if the companies are not connected in any way besides a customer using both sites to purchase items. The lawsuit challenges both of these points in the ATF’s final rule on PMF.

Read John’s full story here.

As the lawsuit argues . . .

The Final Rule will sow chaos within large segments of the firearms community, from both the perspective of the industry and the perspective of consumers (law-abiding gun owners), including the individual and the members and supporters of the organizational plaintiffs herein.

The breadth of the Final Rule is massive in the changes to federal firearms law that it imposes on the American people by regulation (rather than by legislation). The Final Rule represents perhaps the most sweeping gun control scheme since the Gun Control Act of 1968, incorporating many of the restrictions found on the legislative wish lists of the nation’s most radical anti-Second Amendment groups, but restrictions which Congress has never seriously considered (much less enacted).

These changes cannot be viewed in isolation, as the changes imposed in ATF’s omnibus rulemaking work together to bring the nation much closer to an outcome clearly prohibited by the Second Amendment: (i) mandated serialization of all firearms (and some gun parts), enabling ATF to (ii) mandate federal recordkeeping of all firearms, followed by (iii) ATF forced collection of all such records, followed by (iv) entry of those records into a federal database amounting to registration of firearms and their owners. And, as history has taught all too often, registration leads to confiscation.

You can read the full lawsuit is here.

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      • I see a lot of ads here at TTAG for a QuietKat electric bicycle. They look cool, except they cost $7,200. And that’s insane. I can get a nice motorcycle for that price. If you think I’m going to pay 7200 for a battery operated bicycle, you are smoking crack.

    • I don’t know the future, but I know the recent past.

      1, the S.C. says that courts MUST use a strict, single step process in ruling on laws and regulations.

      2, Alphabet bois aren’t allowed to create new regulations. They can only enforce what Congress passes as law.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the bump stock thing is thrown out next legislative session along with this.

      • No, they can still create new regulations, but those regulations must be based on explicit Congressional authorization. The recent West Virginia decision finally put some teeth into limiting the authoritarian administrative state. I think that changing the definition of “firearm” as contained in a statute passed by Congress is unlikely to be upheld. If Congress wants to change it to accommodate ghost guns and ARs with separate upper and lower receivers, Congress can adopt a new statute and have it signed by the President. But the ATF cannot so blithely avoid limitations on its powers to support a political agenda not adopted by Congress.

        • “But the ATF cannot so blithely avoid limitations on its powers to support a political agenda not adopted by Congress.”

          In the long run, perhaps. But the fun is in defying the courts, and proclaiming, “So, sue me.”

          Remember, there is no personal penalty for an Agency, or employees of an agency for defying the courts.

        • Wrong.
          Title 18, Section 242
          Deprivation of CIvil Rights Under Color of Law
          (“Under Color of Law” specifically means a government employee saying that something is a law which in fact, is not.)
          Punishment may be any combination of
          Fines (no upper limit is specified)
          Prison up to a life sentence.
          Capital Punishment.

      • I think that this will be interesting and true. Congress will probably have to act to make it constitutional after the EPA case and even then it’s probably on shaky footing with the recent precedents.


    • No it won’t. West Virginia vs EPA. Like I said the other day. WV vs EPA was a BIGGER ruling in our favor Bruen.

    • Bump stock thing aint over yet

      depending, may end up leaving bump stock as mgs, but at the expense of 922(o)

  2. Good, it’s about time.

    Home-made guns have the history of being made by Americans for well over 250 years.

    The real question is, will Thomas and Co. rule they will require serial numbers?

    I’d really like to think so, but Roberts may not want to stretch that far.

    The real brilliance of Thomas’s decision is that he totally destroyed scrutiny, so those cases shouldn’t even get dropped into the SCotUS’s in-basket…

    • Imagine if they did that to NASA.
      “Hey, you punks stop trying to create rockets and the fuel they need”

      • You’re an idiot.
        Creating rockets and fuel is literally part of NASA’s statutory reason for existing.

    • But they should have finished the argument once and for all in a statement/ruling that all forms of gun control are against the second and are therefore unconstitutional . That would save millions of $ in wasted litigation.

      • Gotta keep your job, if all the cases are decided once for all time, just what will SCOTUS do?

        Maybe this case can get resolved at a lower level and not need to go all the way to the Supremes, that’s the theory anyway with the precedents in the Bruen case, and even the EPA case.

      • “But they should have finished the argument once and for all in a statement/ruling that all forms of gun control are against the second and are therefore unconstitutional.”

        That would be an admission that some provisions of the Constitution are absolute; the SC will not rule that way; not in their DNA.

        • “Our country is nothing if not a vaguely worded illusion of freedom…”

          Nicely turned phrase.

          Not going to telly you that I have appropriated it for my own.

          If I can remember where I put it.

  3. Administrative state – SCOTUS gutted the century old BS last week with WV v EPA. FOAD big prog gov.

    • yes ,the supreme court ruled last week that the alphabet agencies cannot make up rules. the rules must be made by congress

  4. And this ATF rule was pushed thru despite the overwhelming number of comments objecting to it that were submitted during the proposed rule comment period. Tyranny in action folks. The Boss flipped you the middle finger. Again.

  5. In the meantime the rule will go into effect while the government fights it through delaying actions. The industry will be ruined or destroyed which is the entire object. By the time this gets to SCOTUS it will be too late.

    • Not if they can get an injunction to stay the enactment while the case is heard and decision rendered.

      • It’s a regulation, not an act, therefore not enacted.

        The term you are looking for is “put into effect”

    • “The industry will be ruined or destroyed which is the entire object.”

      The molds are the intellectual property of the 80 percent gun industry.

      If one company goes bankrupt, the molds will be sold to the next company that will resume construction…

  6. Ok, need some education here.

    Lawyers…can this suit have standing without having harmed anyone, yet? Is this a suit for a completely stopping something, or only a request for an injunction?

    • IANAL, however, I believe the general rule on an injunction occurring without (as of yet) standing is if the Judge believes that the case would be won on the plaintiff’s merits.

      The injunction would then be in effect while the actual case was settled, unless otherwise stayed.

      Happy to be corrected, though…

      • “The injunction would then be in effect while the actual case was settled, unless otherwise stayed.”

        Thanx for the reminder.

  7. Jim Crow Gun Control joe and his ilk will continue their march to destroy America until November. Not going to vote? Then you are the larger problem.

  8. The next president should, on his first day in office, tell the ATF they will not enforce rules or regulations or he will personally make citizens arrests on each and everyone of them for violation of the Constitution and acting outside the bounds of law and subjecting citizens to capricious violations of their rights of gun ownership and due process.

    Now if Congress wants to enact laws that does everything the arbitrary rules created by unaccountable bureaucrats at ATF want, they are welcome to try. They aren’t likely to get them passed into (null and void) laws.

    Then if signed, or vetoes overridden, we can take the laws that do not pursue the Constitution to the Supreme Court.

    The reign of the tyrannical bureaucrats needs to come to a halt.

    • “The reign of the tyrannical bureaucrats needs to come to a halt.”

      That takes time, patience, and persistence. There are few (none?) examples of empires escaping the five states of empire.

      • Past performance is no guarantee of future results. However, my money is off the table.

        • “Past performance is no guarantee of future results. However, my money is off the table.”

          Keep your money safe. Return of “principal” is just as important as return on “principal”.

  9. I’m assuming GOA picked North Dakota and whatever circuit is there because that would be friendly to 2A rights. Does anyone know anything about the judge that will be presiding over this case? Such as, what has he ruled on for 2A rights in the past? Will he be the next Judge Benitez? And will he grant an injunction against the ATFs rule before it goes into effect?

      • I have to believe that GOA forum shopped the dog out of this one.

        Right now I can’t opine on the judge, because it’s not clear who it will be.

        PACER shows that the case was automatically assigned to a US Magistrate Judge (Alice R. Senechal), but that appears to just be a ministerial act — constitutionally, cases *must* be heard by a full-on Article III district judge UNLESS all parties affirmatively consent to a USMJ hearing the case. If she’s particularly pro-2A, BATFE will likely refuse consent; if GOA has any doubts or just wants one of the district judges, I suspect they will similarly refuse consent. (If it were my case, I would refuse consent: good luck that any USMJ is going to have the stones to enter an injunction against Uncle Sam.)

        There are two active district judges in DND and one senior status judge. Both the active district judges are PDT appointees; the senior status judge is a Bush II appointee. And DND isn’t like SDNY or another major district where the judges handle huge dockets of cases and thus are likely to have a significant dataset of published decisions to evalate: DND has a comparatively miniscule number of cases.

        North Dakota is in the Eighth Circuit, which on paper should be pretty good: all but one of the judges are GOP appointees, with over a third being PDT appointees.

  10. I would think that recent Supreme Court rulings would invalidate these measures. Agencies cannot legislate. If legislation changes are needed it must go through the legislative branch of the federal government. But we all know what judicial ruling will be made regardless of right or wrong.

    • While WV v. EPA is a huge step in the right direction, and may indicate that future cases may further trim the power of the administrative state, don’t overestimate it’s reach — we’re a long way from ditching Chevron deference entirely.

      Right now, unless the regulation constitutes a “major case,” Chevron deference is still in place. I’m not seeing this one qualify as a “major case,” although I think they have an excellent Bruen 2A argument against it, and potentially a good APA claim to invalidate the regulation.

      • I thought the 6th circuit ruled that the Chevron deference doesn’t apply to the effective extension of criminal statutes in the bump stock case. Thus, any ATF administrative ruling that purports to criminalize something or increases a penalty wouldn’t be afforded the deference.

        In fact, doesn’t it worked the exact opposite in criminal cases, where any ambiguity or unclear law is resolved in favor of the defendant?

        • The 6th Circuit *panel* opinion held that Chevron deference can’t apply to regs that criminalize conduct. Unfortunately, the case went en banc, with the court splitting 8-8. That meant the panel decision was vacated, and the district court was affirmed via a non-precedential decision.

          Fifth Circuit has now taken its bump stock case en banc. I suspect we’ll see them follow the logic of the Sixth circuit panel decision.

  11. It’s disconcerting that firearms manufacturers and their proponents go after ignorant law makers when they use words like “assault rifles” in the laws and make it a semantic argument. Then when the laws are clarified with intelligent, specific details to clarify how they will be enforced then the gun manufacturers cry foul. The author seems to indicate that the impact of the new rules has a limited scope, but the reality is that this will affect all firearms purchases when it comes to AR-style firearms; it eliminates the loophole about the upper receiver, too, as I understand it. ( I’m not an expert.) So we will need to make purchases of firearms parts more in line with the way the law intended in the first place. This is a good thing for society. It means criminals will be prevented from legally purchasing firearms components to use for (illegally) building firearms used in committing crimes. Yes, law abiding gun owners will have more work to do to get their build done. But it’s not rocket science! The manufacturers have been skirting the spirit of the laws for decades; when I was growing up sawed off shotguns and short barreled rifles were illegal! But now you can buy them off the shelf! ( I know, they are not called that, but people will still slip up and call a 12 gauge “firearm” a shotgun and a 5.56 “pistol with brace” a rifle because, let’s face it, that’s exactly what they are.) Now that the laws are starting to catch up to the manufacturers who will always be adept at skirting the law it’s time to man up and admit that if the rule prevents criminals from easily getting access to guns then it’s worth it.

    • Wrong, Aaron Brand. Laws don’t prevent criminals from getting(usu. stealing) guns. Or making them. The word criminal means they break the law . Including the new ones. All laws that prevent law abiding citizens from purchasing and using arms are contrary to the Second Amendment of the constitution. The best we can hope for is that good people arm themselves to defeat the evil ones. And that our government arrests and prosecute violent criminals so that they don’t commit violence anymore. But as we’ve seen in the last few years the government has forsaken their one and only job which is to protect it’s citizens. That is why we the people will have to take over the jobs that we’ve delegated to the government. As an example, there were no more riots in Kenosha after Kyle Rittenhouse defended his life from the thugs who attacked him.

    • “Then when the laws are clarified with intelligent, specific details”

      This isn’t clarification of the law, it’s effectively writing statute. There is no authority in US law for the ATF to regulate non-firearms or unfinished receivers. There’s no concept of “not a receiver, but kind of almost one so I can treat it as one” either.

      Likewise, a machine gun is clearly and unambiguously defined under US law as firing more than one round per pull of the trigger. Rate of fire is irrelevant, only how many rounds are fired per pull of the trigger. This is why the federal bump stock ban is losing in court wherever it’s challenged even though it’s not in the headlines anymore.

      Regarding “spirit of the law”. There is no such thing. The government certainly doesn’t feel bound by it, and will prosecute or litigate to its advantage whatever the original intent of a statute. And, you and I may differ on what we think the intent of a specific law is. All that matters is the text on the paper.

      • Intent can be discerned from published debates (for example, intent of various parts of the Constitution are discerned by
        1) the Federalist Papers
        2) the Anti-Federalist Papers
        3) State laws which continued or changed right after the Constitution was ratified (within a few years).

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