The “ghost gun” rule introduced by Democrat President Joe Biden has been deemed “unlawful” and struck down by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel from the New Orleans-based court ruled on the 2022 decree issued by Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The court sided with a coalition of firearm owners, gun rights groups, and manufacturers, asserting that the ATF’s rule is in violation of the law. The next consideration is whether the Biden administration will pursue an appeal. Biden initially proposed the rule in April 2022, with the White House making the announcement at that time.
Today, the President and Deputy Attorney General will also announce that the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a final rule to rein in the proliferation of “ghost guns” – unserialized, privately-made firearms that law enforcement are increasingly recovering at crime scenes in cities across the country.
The new ATF rule expands the definition of key terms, including “firearm,” “frame,” and “receiver,” within the Gun Control Act of 1968 to encompass “ghost guns.” Introduced in April 2022, the rule has encountered numerous legal challenges. The case discussed in this article originates from Texas, prompting the Biden administration to appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals after an initial defeat in the lower court. As mentioned earlier, the judges at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals have recently ruled that the Biden administration’s rule is “unlawful.”
“ATF, in promulgating its Final Rule, attempted to take on the mantle of Congress to ‘do something’ with respect to gun control,” the judges wrote.
“But, it is not the province of an executive agency to write laws for our nation.
“That vital duty, for better or for worse, lies solely with the legislature.”
“Only Congress may make the deliberate and reasoned decision to enact new or modified legislation regarding firearms based on the important policy concerns put forth by ATF and the various amici here.
“But, unless and until Congress so acts to expand or alter the language of the Gun Control Act, ATF must operate within the statutory text’s existing limits.”
“The Final Rule impermissibly exceeds those limits, such that ATF has essentially rewritten the law,” the judges concluded.
The Biden administration’s potential appeal of this decision is still uncertain.
In the interim, the final rule is anticipated to remain enforceable, pending ongoing litigation.