Federal Judge Halts Biden Administration’s Gun Dealer Regulation

President of the US - Joe Biden | Credits: Google Images

President of the US - Joe Biden | Credits: Google Images

United States: A federal magistrate on Sunday impeded the Biden administration’s full execution of a nascent ordinance necessitating firearms merchants to acquire licenses and perform background checks during transactions at gun expositions and online.

US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo provisionally obstructed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives directive from being implemented in Republican-dominated Texas or against members of several gun rights coalitions.

“I am elated that we managed to obtain a restraining order preventing this unlawful regulation from taking effect,” Texas Attorney General Paxton, a Republican, stated.

The US Department of Justice, tasked with defending the regulation in court, did not respond to inquiries for comments.

Kacsmaryk, appointed by Republican former President Donald Trump, rendered his decision preceding the rule’s activation on Monday, responding to a lawsuit by Texas, gun rights proponents, and three additional Republican-led states.

The litigation disputed a rule finalized the previous month by Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration, which purportedly would impact over 23,000 unlicensed vendors and tens of thousands of firearm transactions annually by closing the “gun show loophole.”

According to the ordinance, individuals vending firearms at gun shows, other venues, and over the internet must adhere to the same background check requisites as gun stores.

Kacsmaryk concurred with the plaintiffs that the rule’s clauses contradicted the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s text, a 2022 statute that expanded the category of gun sellers mandated to secure licenses.

He criticized the rule for not exempting individuals who purchase or vend firearms for personal defense from being categorized as eligible for a statutory exemption intended for those who buy or sell guns for a “personal collection.”

Kacsmaryk argued this led to “the absurdity that the statute’s safe harbor provision offers no protection at all for the majority of gun proprietors.”

Gun rights organizations whose members are protected by Kacsmaryk’s order include the Gun Owners of America, which claims 2 million affiliates.

However, the judge determined that Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah did not demonstrate sufficient standing to contest the rule and thus declined to halt its enforcement in those regions. His order remains effective until June 2, pending further judicial proceedings.

Kacsmaryk is the sole active judge in Amarillo, rendering his courthouse a preferred venue for conservative litigants challenging federal policies during Biden’s tenure.

He has frequently ruled in their favor, notably last year when Kacsmaryk suspended the approval of the abortion medication mifepristone. The U.S. Supreme Court has permitted the pill to remain on the market while it deliberates the case.

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