Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Sues Biden’s ATF over Private Firearm Sales Rule

May 2, 2024 

In April, Texas Gun Rights brought you the news that the Biden administration had finalized a 450-page rule through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that aimed to redefine the parameters of firearm dealers, thereby expanding the scope of Universal Gun Registration. This contentious regulation, championed by President Biden, is an infringement on constitutional rights and for its circumvention of the legislative process.

Under this new rule, private individuals who occasionally sell firearms, such as to a friend or family member, could be subjected to stringent federal firearms licensing requirements. This expansion of what constitutes a firearm dealer would effectively transform law-abiding citizens into unwitting criminals for simply exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Regulations like this not only encroach upon individual liberties but also represent a flagrant violation of constitutional rights. The Second Amendment explicitly guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This has always meant that Americans have a right to sell and purchase firearms free of big government regulation. 

Yet this ATF rule effectively imposes burdensome restrictions that undermine this fundamental right. By broadening the definition of firearm dealers, the Biden administration is effectively circumventing Congress and imposing its agenda through executive action, a move that many view as an affront to the democratic process.

Furthermore, this rule is based on misleading rhetoric, particularly the notion of closing the “gun show loophole.” This term, often invoked by anti-gun activists, oversimplifies the complexities of firearm transactions and serves as a pretext for implementing broader gun control measures. By conflating private transactions with commercial activities, the ATF rule perpetuates a false narrative that undermines the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

The unconstitutional nature of this rule has galvanized opposition from states like Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Utah, which have joined forces in mounting a legal challenge against the ATF. Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, this coalition of states is pushing back against what they view as federal overreach and is seeking to uphold the sanctity of the Second Amendment.

In addition to leading this charge against the Biden ATF, Attorney General Ken Paxton has vowed to hold the federal agency accountable for any additional unconstitutional actions. Paxton’s pledge to sue the ATF every time it acts unconstitutionally demonstrates his dedication to upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of Texans. By adopting this proactive approach, Paxton aims to ensure that the ATF adheres to its mandated role and respects the constitutional liberties enshrined in the Second Amendment. His steadfast stance underscores the crucial role of state attorneys general in safeguarding individual freedoms and preserving the integrity of the U.S. Constitution.

As this legal battle unfolds, the outcome will have far-reaching implications for the future of gun rights in America. In the meantime, Texas Gun Rights is mobilizing our supporters to fight back against this overreach. Sign our petition to demand your congressman stand up for your Second Amendment rights and support H.R. 6734 to overturn this draconian and unconstitutional Biden-ATF gun registration scheme. 

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