HomeGunsFederal Judge Blocks Biden Administration’s Gun Show Background Check Rule in Texas

Federal Judge Blocks Biden Administration’s Gun Show Background Check Rule in Texas

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A federal judge has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a new rule that would require all firearms sellers to run background checks on buyers at gun shows or other places outside brick-and-mortar stores in Texas. The rule aims to close a loophole allowing unlicensed sellers to sell firearms without background checks.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, issued the ruling last Friday, preventing the federal government from implementing the rule in Texas and for several gun-rights groups, including Gun Owners of America (GOA). However, the order does not extend to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah, which were also part of the lawsuit , however, the judge found those plaintiffs had no standing in Texas, so the hold can not extend to their states.

“Plaintiffs understandably fear that these presumptions will trigger civil or criminal penalties for conduct deemed lawful just yesterday,” Kacsmaryk said in his ruling .

The Biden administration proposed the rule in August, following the passage of a significant anti-gun bill in 2022. The rule would expand the definition of those “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, requiring them to obtain a federal license and conduct background checks .

Twenty-six Republican attorneys general, including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, filed lawsuits in federal courts across Arkansas, Florida and Texas to block the enforcement of the rule. They argued that the rule violates the Second Amendment and that Biden lacks the authority to implement it.

“I am relieved that we were able to secure a restraining order that will prevent this illegal rule from taking effect,” Paxton said in a statement. “The Biden Administration cannot unilaterally overturn Americans’ constitutional rights and nullify the Second Amendment.”

In his ruling, Kacsmaryk criticized the rule for setting presumptions about when a person intends to make a profit from selling firearms, arguing it places the burden of proof on the seller rather than the government.

“This is highly problematic,” he wrote, highlighting concerns over potential civil or criminal penalties .

“This is going to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and felons,” President Biden said in a statement when his administration unilaterally passed the rule without any Congressional input. “And my administration is going to continue to do everything we possibly can to save lives. Congress needs to finish the job and pass universal background checks legislation now.”

The temporary restraining order halting the rule is effective until June 2, pending further hearings. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Justice Department declined to comment on the ongoing litigation .

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