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Paxton Obtains Temporary Halt of New Anti-Gun Regulations

Handguns at gun store | Image by Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock
Handguns at gun store | Image by Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on Sunday that he secured a temporary restraining order that halts new regulations from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that prohibit the private sale of firearms by sellers who are not licensed by the federal government.

This restraining order was obtained shortly after Paxton joined Louisiana, Missouri, and Utah in a lawsuit to prevent the regulations from taking effect. In a news release, Paxton stated that President Joe Biden was “weaponizing the federal bureaucracy to rip up the Constitution and destroy our citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”

These new regulations attempt to redefine when private firearm sellers are “engaged in the business.” They would require them to obtain a federal license to make any sales and run federal background checks on prospective buyers.

District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk wrote in the temporary restraining order that the plaintiffs “understandably fear that these presumptions will trigger civil or criminal penalties for conduct deemed lawful just yesterday.”

“Nevertheless, ATF avers that its ‘knowledge of existing case law’ and ‘subject-matter expertise’ will prevent misuse or abuse of the presumption … in other words, ‘just trust us.’ … For the forgoing reasons, Plaintiffs are substantially likely to succeed on the merits,” Kacsmaryk wrote.

The injunction will prevent the implementation of the ATF regulations until June 2, purportedly allowing enough time for hearings in the lawsuit to be held.

Paxton said he was “relieved” that his office could obtain the temporary restraining order and that he would continue to do what he could to “prevent this illegal rule from taking effect.”

“The Biden Administration cannot unilaterally overturn Americans’ constitutional rights and nullify the Second Amendment,” Paxton said, per the release.

Other attorneys general have criticized the new regulations as well, with Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes stating, “ATF is at it again, this time trying to require a citizen selling even a single firearm to obtain a license.”

Similarly, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch claimed that the rule unmasks the Biden administration’s anti-gun agenda in ways many of its other actions have not.”

“The Second Amendment could never have contemplated this kind of regulation, and it will not withstand scrutiny in the courts. On behalf of Mississippi gun owners, we are proud to stand with the citizens who have come forward in this lawsuit,” he said, according to the news release.

The ATF defended the new regulations in a press release back in April when they were being put forth.

“This is about protecting the lives of innocent, law-abiding Americans as well as the rule of law. There is a large and growing black market of guns that are being sold by people who are in the business of dealing and are doing it without a license; and therefore, they are not running background checks the way the law requires. And it is fueling violence,” claimed ATF Director Steven Dettelbach.

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