The US Supreme Court docket blocked a decrease court docket order Monday that will have prevented the ATF from imposing its rule towards partially assembled firearms and “weapons elements kits,” generally generally known as “ghost weapons.”
The authorized concern issues an ATF rule promulgated in August 2022 which categorized partially manufactured firearms and “weapon elements kits”, which could be assembled into usable firearms, as “firearms.” After promulgating the rule, the ATF issued an open letter informing gun producers that the company would start regulating partially manufactured gun frames. Gun producers sued in response to the rule.
In September 2022, the US District Court docket for the Northern District of Texas issued an opinion that the plaintiffs, the gun producers, have been more likely to succeed on the deserves and enjoined enforcement of the rule, stopping the ATF from imposing it towards the plaintiffs. The court docket later granted abstract judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in July 2022. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court docket briefly reinstated the ATF’s rule regulating the weapons kits in a 5-4 August 2023 resolution.
In September 2023, the district court docket once more enjoined the rule from being enforced on the gun producers who sued and their clients, pending an enchantment of its July 2022 judgment to the US Court docket of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit then partially vacated the September injunction, discovering that it was overbroad. This newest Supreme Court docket order as an alternative vacates the district court docket’s injunction in full.
The most recent ATF rule is a departure from roughly 50 years of ATF precedent declining to manage “body[s] or receivers” as “firearms.” The ATF’s functions embody imposing the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act, which authorize federal laws of sure firearms and require firearms producers and sellers to have a license respectively.
Tuesday’s Supreme Court docket order is the second win for the Biden administration and their makes an attempt at regulating firearms this 12 months.