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Injunction granted against ATF’s ‘firearms dealer’ rule for 4 states, 4 groups


(The Center Square) – A federal judge in Texas granted an injunction against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from enforcing its new rule that changes the definition of a firearms dealer in four states and for members of four organizations.

The rule defines firearms dealers requiring a license as anyone who engages in “a single firearm transaction or offer to engage in a transaction.”

The injunction applies to residents of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Utah along with members of Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, Tennessee Firearms Association and Virginia Citizens Defense League.

The ATF explained in its final rule the goal was to “provide clarity to persons who remain unsure of whether they are engaged in the business as a dealer in firearms with the predominate intent of pecuniary gain.”

The lawsuit was filed May 1 and the preliminary injunction extends a temporary restraining order that was set to run through Sunday.

“Other Plaintiffs face both civil and criminal enforcement actions for engaging in conduct that the BSCA (Bipartisan Safer Communities Act) permits but the Final Rule impermissibly forbids,” U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk wrote. “They cannot engage in lawful, noncommercial conduct without fear of prosecution. They cannot collect firearms for personal defense while enjoying statutory protection. Nor can they dispose of firearms from their personal collections for fear of being presumed ‘engaged in the business.’ “

The ruling doesn’t impact other residents of Tennessee, Virginia or states not involved in the lawsuit.

“This is a substantial victory for residents of these four states, Mr. Tormey and members of these four organizations,” the Tennessee Firearms Association wrote. “At this time, members of Tennessee Firearms Association are protected but only because Tennessee Firearms Association made the choice to invest in this litigation and to accept the opportunity to be a party plaintiff on behalf of its members.”

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