District Court Judge Issues TRO Blocking ATF’s ‘In the Business’ Background Check Rule

Gun show background check
(Photo by Yaroslav Sabitov/YES Market Media/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Gun Owners of America and the Gun Owners Foundation have helped secure a temporary restraining order against the Biden ATF’s new universal registration check rule, which could require any person who sells even one gun in a year to obtain a Federal Firearms License and conduct background checks.

The rule was slated to take effect on May 20th, but under the TRO, it may not be enforced against the individual named plaintiff, the citizens of the state of Texas, and members of GOA, GOF, the Tennessee Firearms Association, and the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The TRO was issued yesterday by District Court Judge Matthew Kaczmaryk in the Northern District of Texas.

Yes, you read that correctly. Current GOA (plus TFA & VCDL) members along with all residents of Texas, are currently protected from the abuses of the Biden Administration’s weaponized ATF. To be clear, even if you don’t live in Texas, but are a member of one of those organizations, you’re covered under the TRO.

Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, issued the following statement:  

“President Biden and his anti-gun administration have aggressively pursued an agenda meant to harass, intimidate, and criminalize gun owners and dealers at every turn. This ruling is a compelling rebuke of their tyrannical and unconstitutional actions that purposely misinterpreted federal law to ensure their preferred policy outcome.  

“We will continue the fight to ensure that this administration never succeeds in their goal of building a comprehensive database of firearm transaction records, which this rule would have been critical to accomplishing.” 

Sam Paredes, on behalf of the board for GOF, added: 

“It was clear from the start that the administration hoped to weaponize Senator Cornyn’s ‘compromise’ gun control package to further push their universal registration check agenda. We’re thrilled to have blunted the charge and are well-prepared to continue the fight going forward.” 

Unfortunately, the TRO doesn’t apply to the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Utah, who were co-filers in the original suit. But again, if you’re a GOA member and you happen to live in one of those states, you’re still covered.

6 Responses

  1. Orgs like the GOA are making the NRA even more irrelevant, thankfully…

  2. Per FRCvP 65b2, Judge K will have to conduct a hearing on the motion for preliminary injunction within the next 14 days. (The TRO was issued on the papers. If he doesn’t conduct the hearing within that time or issue an order finding good cause to extend it, the TRO is automatically dissolved.)

    I strongly suspect that the States of LA, MS, and UT will have their proofs organized by then, and the TRO will then be reissued as a much broader preliminary injunction covering all of them. (I also won’t be surprised if other states do not move to intervene in the case.) That preliminary injunction will then get appealed to the Fifth Circuit, which has not exactly been too kind on the Biden Administration’s regulatory excesses.

    And, of course, sometime in the next six weeks, SCOTUS will issue its decision in Cargill (bump stock case), and more importantly in Loper Bright (which likely will either severely cut back Chevron deference or eliminate it entirely). Either or both of those decisions could throw very serious sand in the Biden admin’s gears, and make a preliminary injunction hard to undo.

    Buckle up, things are about to get very interesting . . . .

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