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Federal judge in Texas blocks Biden rule expanding gun background checks

A federal judge in Texas on Sunday blocked a Biden administration rule that expanded the requirements for background checks when selling a firearm.

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk granted an injunction against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to prevent the federal government from fully implementing the rule in Texas, though he also found that the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Utah do not have standing in the case.

“I am relieved that we were able to secure a restraining order that will prevent this illegal rule from taking effect,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said in a statement.

The rule, scheduled to go into effect Monday, closes the “gun show loophole” for firearms dealers, requiring all people who sell firearms for a profit to be licensed and require background checks of buyers.

Plaintiffs argued the rule violated the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which defined the categories of gun sellers, and the Second Amendment. Kacsmaryk did not rule on the constitutional claims, but agreed the rule violated the law.

He found the law would unjustly apply to those who buy and sell firearms for their “personal collection,” and language intended to protect some gun owners was inadequate.

“The absurdity that the statute’s safe harbor provision provides no safe harbor at all for the majority of gun owners,” Kacsmaryk wrote.

The judge’s order also applies to a group of gun rights organizations, including the Gun Owners of America, which has more than million members nationwide.

Two other suits have also challenged the background check rule, one led by Arkansas and Kansas and joined by 19 other states, and a second from Florida.

Kacsmaryk, a Trump-appointee, has overseen a number of politically-controversial cases as part of his single-judge division in Texas. Democrats have blasted “judge shopping” in which conservatives have filed cases in the federal courthouse in Amarillo to get Kacsmaryk as the judge.

Source: The Hill

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