A Texas judge granted an injunction Tuesday against a new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rule that changes the definition of a “firearms dealer.”

The ATF rule broadens the definition of “engaged in business” to extend beyond merely a “gunsmith or pawnbroker.” Trump-appointed federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled that the plaintiffs had met the legal standards to be granted an injunction until the lawsuit is resolved.

Kacsmaryk held that the rule would criminalize the plaintiff’s conduct that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) guidelines allow, a law passed in 2021 that expanded gun control.

“[The Plaintiffs] 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,’” Kacsmaryk said.

The law would potentially criminalize private gun sales, according to a statement by Gun Owners Association President Erich Pratt made in May.

“Criminalizing untold numbers of Americans for simply selling a firearm in a private party transaction is wrong, unconstitutional, and must be halted by the courts,” Pratt said. “Anything less would further encourage this tyrannical administration to continue weaponizing vague statutes into policies that are meant to further harass and intimidate gun owners and dealers at every turn.”

 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauded the ruling, saying in a press release the rule would require that “firearms owners prove innocence rather than the government prove guilt.”

“Texas has secured an injunction against Biden’s unlawful ATF rule that would criminalize the private sale of guns. Biden’s unconstitutional rule cannot be enforced in Texas,” Paxton said. “I’m proud to fight and win for our Second Amendment rights.”

The ATF issued the rule on April 19 as part of President Joe Biden’s larger plan to curtail the sale of firearms. The lawsuit was filed by Paxton on May 1 with Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah, Jeffery Tormey, Gun Owners Association of America, the Gun Owners Foundation, the Tennessee Firearms Association and the Virginia Citizens Defense League listed as the plaintiffs.

The ATF did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation for comment.

Featured image credit. (Screen Capture/The White House)

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