FORT WORTH, Texas -(Ammoland.com)- A federal judge in Texas issued a devastating blow to the Biden Administration’s anti-gun plan. Judge Reed O’Conner vacated the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) frames and receiver rule (FINAL RULE 2021R-05F).
The case, Vanderstok v. Garland, was brought by the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and challenged the ATF’s decision to reclassify unfinished frames and receivers as firearms. Biden and other anti-gun zealots have railed against Americans building their own guns in the privacy of their own homes. The anti-gun side of the debate has propagandized these items as tools of criminals and has labeled the items as “ghost guns.”
Early into Biden’s presidency, Joe Biden ordered the ATF to take action against privately manufactured firearms (PMF) and pistol stabilizing devices. Sixty days later, in a White House Rose Garden press conference, the President held up a Polymer80 kit and announced its reclassification.
Initially, the ATF said you were not allowed to sell a pistol frame blank and a jig together, but this restriction was not enough for the anti-gun side, who demanded that the ATF go even further. Two days after Christmas in 2022, the ATF released a letter stating that pistol blanks would now be considered firearms.
The goal was to shut down companies like Polymer80.
The Vanderstok case would throw a monkey wrench into the Biden Administration’s plans. Companies such as 80% Arms would get injunctions against enforcement of the rule allowing them to sell their products. Polymer80 would intervene in the case and also receive an injunction against the ATF enforcement of the Final Rule.
Polymer80 controls the vast majority of the market for unfinished frames.
Late Friday night before the long Independence Day weekend, Judge Reed O’Conner issued a death blow for the Biden Administration/ATF rule, throwing it out entirely.
The judge wrote: “This case presents the question of whether the federal government may lawfully regulate partially manufactured firearm components, related firearm products, and other tools and materials in keeping with the Gun Control Act of 1968. Because the Court concludes that the government cannot regulate those items without violating federal law, the Court holds that the government’s recently enacted Final Rule, Definition of “Frame or Receiver” and Identification of Firearms, 87 Fed. Reg. 24,652 (codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, and 479), is unlawful agency action taken in excess of the ATF’s statutory jurisdiction.
On this basis, the Court vacates the Final Rule.”
In a press release, the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Action Foundation (FPCAF) stated.
“We’re thrilled to see the Court agree that ATF’s Frame or Receiver Rule exceeds the agency’s congressionally limited authority,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, FPCAF’s Senior Attorney for Constitutional Litigation and FPC’s counsel in this case. “With this decision, the Court has properly struck down ATF’s Rule and ensured that it cannot enforce that which it never had the authority to publish in the first place.”“This is a monumental victory against the tyrannical ATF. Firearms Policy Coalition and FPC Law have argued that this rogue agency has unlawfully attacked gun owners in this latest round of ‘rulemaking’ and we are grateful to see the Court agree,” said Richard Thomson, FPC’s Vice President of Communications. “We will not stop, however, with this latest victory. FPC and FPC Law will continue to bring these cases to put a stop to the immoral and unconstitutional actions of the disarmament regime.”
JSD Supply, named in the case’s conclusion, was happy with the judge’s decisions. When they intervened in the case, they hoped the injunction would be extended to them but didn’t know the whole rule would be struck down.
The Judge concluded: “In sum, the Court GRANTS Original Plaintiffs’ unopposed Motion for Leave to Provide Supplemental Authority, and the Court DENIES JSD Supply’s proposed Motion for Injunction as prematurely filed. The Court GRANTS Intervenor-Plaintiffs JSD Supply’s and Polymer80’s Motions to Intervene. Further, for the reasons discussed, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ and Intervenor-Plaintiffs’ Motions for Summary Judgment, DENIES Defendants’ Cross-Motion, and VACATES the Final Rule. Separate final judgment shall issue as to the appropriate parties and claims. As discussed, Polymer80 may move for summary judgment on its unique claims to the extent those remaining claims are not mooted by this decision.”
AmmoLand News spoke to JSD Supply’s founder and president, Jordan Vinroe, about the decision, and he was overjoyed about the case’s outcome.
“We are grateful for the decision of Judge O’conner,” Vinroe told AmmoLand. “We are hopeful for the future.”
The federal government will most likely appeal the judge’s decision.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.