Defense Distributed’s Case in US District Court, VanDerStrok v. Garland was just granted a preliminary injunction. The lawsuit is challenging the scope of ATF’s ability to change the definition of firearms.
According to court documents, ATF did not analyze their “Frame or Receiver Rule,” also known as Biden’s Ghost Gun Rule, under the Supreme Court’s NYSRPA v. Bruen decision.
For those unaware, the Bruen decision completely changed the legal landscape of firearms law in the US by requiring statutes regulating firearms to be rooted in the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment.
The judge in the case concurred with the statement and granted Defense Distributed a preliminary injunction. The case now heads to the 5th Circuit, where ATF will have to defend its position.
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The 5th Circuit has recently ruled against the ATF in similar cases, including Cargill v. Garland. In that case, a panel of judges decided that ATF did not have the power to determine bump stocks were in fact machine guns contrary to ATF’s 2019 Bump Stock rule. That rule effectively banned bump-stock devices by classifying them as machine guns.
The decision in VanDerStok v. Garland could have major effects on the self-manufacturing of firearms and the ATF’s rulemaking and regulatory abilities as ATF has rewritten the federal statute to enforce their rulemaking. According to the court filings, the plaintiffs argue that only Congress can rewrite federal statue to make law, not regulatory agencies like ATF.
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Defense Distributed had this to say:
“This is not just a blow to ATF, who pushed a new definition of ‘firearm’ at their peril. It is also a defeat for Giffords, who were the agents of this illegal attempt to expand the Gun Control Act through the APA process. Their lobbying and regulatory laundry has now spectacularly backfired.”
Defense Distributed has a history of victory against the Federal Government. In 2018, they won their case Defense Distributed v. US Dept. of State, effectively creating the current legal landscape with 3D-printed firearms and their respective CAD files shared online.
Gun-rights activists should watch this case as it goes through the courts.
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