Fifth Circuit Strikes Down ATF’s Final Rule on Firearm Receivers as Illegal

2nd Amendment – R2KBA Current Events This Week
The ATF considers this a "Firearm" under its new rule.
(Photo: ATF)

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Earlier this month, a significant legal victory emerged as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously declared the ATF’s Final Rule on firearms receivers illegal, overturning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ attempt to expand its regulatory reach.

This pivotal ruling sends the case back to the district court for further review.

Judicial Perspectives on ATF’s Overreach

Circuit Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt, appointed by President Donald Trump, authored the court’s decision.

He highlighted the ATF’s inappropriate attempt to assume legislative responsibilities in matters related to firearms, a domain reserved exclusively for Congress.

“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,” wrote Judge Engelhardt.

“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,” he continued.

“This it cannot do, especially where criminal liability can—and, according to the Government’s own assertions, will—be broadly imposed without any Congressional input whatsoever. An agency cannot label conduct lawful one day and felonious the next—yet that is exactly what ATF accomplishes through its Final Rule,” Engelhardt added.

SAF’s Reaction to Fifth Circuit Ruling on Firearm Receivers

Alan M. Gottlieb, the Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) founder and Executive Vice President, expressed his elation over the court’s unanimous decision.

“We are elated with this unanimous court ruling,” said Gottlieb. “The ATF clearly exceeded its authority. This is a major victory for gun owners and the rule of law.”

Adam Kraut, SAF’s Executive Director, specifically lauded Judge Andrew S. Oldham’s concurring opinion.

Kraut noted Oldham’s detailed critique of the Final Rule, labeling it a “vague indeterminate multi-factor balancing test” that discourages the traditional American practice of crafting personal firearms.

Though this was a win for gun owners, there’s no doubt that this battle is far from over. As always, stay tuned for updates.

*** Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE! ***

Available on GunsAmerica Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • jerry December 2, 2023, 8:30 pm

    It’s about time. I have destroyed my 80% receivers. I was saving 8 of them for those survival scenarios we often talk about and read about. I don’t suppose the govt is going to reimburse me? I don’t see how 80% receivers are “readily” made into firearms. I know skilled craftsmen who have failed to produce a useable receiver on their first or even second attempt. Plus, the gathering of parts alone takes time and effort. This ban was clearly overreach by a govt agency. I would really like for the ATF to publish documentation on those thousands of “ghost guns” they claim to have seized along with photographs and a blurb on how and why and under what circumstances each one those firearms was obtained by ATF. Rumor has it that they included guns that criminals removed the serial numbers from (ghost guns???). Rumor? How can we know without accurate data? Further, if those really were illegally manufactured guns, that is already a serious violation of federal law and could be easily enforced and should be vigorously so enforced. Stay safe. j

  • Doc Loch December 1, 2023, 9:01 pm

    While it is nice that the SCOTUS agrees with, “WE THE PEOPLE”, it does not mean that they are giving, granting or even preserving our rights. Rights are given by the Creator and can only by sold by and individual holding those rights from God. The price is up to the individual. They determine what price they will sell them. Some sell them cheap in an attempt to purchase security from charlatans. Others knowing the worth of these rights would only sell them at the price of their lives or the lives of the filth who attempt to abscond with them.

  • Rouge1 December 1, 2023, 9:08 am

    Yet these criminal government employees who violate citizens constitutional rights and the constitution are never charged and tried for these treasonous acts. People are not only above the law in this banana republic police state they are the law.

Send this to a friend