HomeUSACourt Grants TRO Against ATF's Universal Registration Check Rule

Court Grants TRO Against ATF’s Universal Registration Check Rule

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Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Biden administration’s new Universal Registration Check rule.

This rule could require anyone selling a single gun in a year to obtain a Federal Firearms License and conduct background checks.

The rule was set to take effect on May 20th, but the TRO prevents its enforcement against the individual plaintiff, citizens of Texas, and members of GOA, GOF, the Tennessee Firearms Association, and the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

However, the TRO does not apply to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah, which were co-filers in the original suit.

Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President spoke about this latest development in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.

“President Biden and his anti-gun administration have aggressively pursued an agenda meant to harass, intimidate, and criminalize gun owners and dealers at every turn,” said Pratt. “This ruling is a compelling rebuke of their tyrannical and unconstitutional actions that purposely misinterpreted federal law to ensure their preferred policy outcome.”

“We will continue the fight to ensure that this administration never succeeds in their goal of building a comprehensive database of firearm transaction records, which this rule would have been critical to accomplishing,” he added.

Court’s Ruling

In a memorandum opinion and order, Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas partially granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a TRO.

The court found that the plaintiffs Texas, Jeffery Tormey, and several organizations including GOA and GOF demonstrated standing and were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the new rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

The court pointed out that the rule’s definition of “engaged in the business” of dealing firearms contradicts statutory language by including occasional sales and single transactions under its purview.

Additionally, the rule’s presumptions would require gun owners to prove their innocence, contrary to established legal principles.

Impact of the TRO

The TRO prevents the enforcement of the new rule through June 2, 2024, for the named plaintiffs.

This decision allows for orderly judicial review without the immediate threat of enforcement actions that could result in significant economic losses and other irreparable harms to the plaintiffs.

Ongoing Fight

GOA and GOF pledge to continue fighting against what is a clear overreach by the Biden administration.

Their goal is to prevent the establishment of a comprehensive firearm transaction database, which this rule was crucial to achieving.

As always, stay tuned for updates.

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