Judge Kaczmaryk Rules That American’s Can’t ‘Just Trust’ The ATF

ATF Director Steve Dettelbach
Courtesy CBS

The [ATF’s ‘engaged in the business] rule was scheduled to take effect Monday. It required anyone who sells a gun to be licensed and conduct the same background checks as gun stores.

The suit argued the rule violated the Second Amendment and the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. [District Court Judge Matthew] Kacsmaryk’s ruling did not address the Second Amendment claim, but said the rule proposed by ATF was in violation of the law.

He found the ATF rule unjustly applied to those who buy and sell guns for their “personal collection.”

The ruling said that the presumptions upon which the final ATF rule was based “are highly problematic for at least two reasons. First, they flip the statute on its head by requiring that firearm owners prove innocence rather than the government prove guilt.”

The ruling also found conflicts between the rule in question and the law it was supposedly enforcing.

“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 presumptions. … In other words, ‘just trust us,’” the ruling said.

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

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