Biden's Gun Control Backfires After Fifth Circuit Ruling: Ghost Guns Legal Once More

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jul 25, 2023 - 12:00 AM

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of Defense Distributed and other companies that make and distribute "ghost guns" and denied the Federal Government a "stay" in the case VanDerStok v. Garland

This ruling allows Defense Distributed, Blackhawk Manufacturing Group (incorporated, doing business as 80 Percent Arms), Second Amendment Foundation (incorporated; Not An LLC, doing business as JSD Supply), and Polymer80 the ability to continue selling unfinished gun parts or 80% receivers legally -- a significant blow to President Biden's war on ghost guns. 

Previously, US District Judge Reed O'Connor granted a motion for summary judgment against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) because the agency exceeded its authority. This judgment vacated the entire rule nationwide. 

The Federal Government's response to that judgment was to request a stay, essentially a continuance of the status quo until the case ends. Today's decision denied that stay, with the court stating:

"Because the ATF has not demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits, nor irreparable harm in the absence of a stay, we DENY the government's request to stay the vacatur of the two challenged portions of the Rule." 

This is the third time the 5th Circuit has nullified an executive order by President Biden to usher in gun control. Notable cases, such as GOA v. Garland, Mock v. Garland and Cargill v. Garland, have stopped the enforcement of Biden's "Frame or Receiver" rule.

Defense Distributed had this to say about the favorable ruling: 

"The 5th Circuit knows the ATF will not succeed on the merits. This rule was never the result of the popular will, but was instead a cynical ploy to launder Bloomberg gun control priorities through the APA rulemaking process as a reward for gun controllers supporting the Biden campaign in 2020."

In 2021, Biden directed the Department of Justice and ATF to ban ghost guns using the administrative rulemaking process. The result was ATF's "Frame and Receiver rule." 

Recall Biden unveiled the new rule to rein in ghost guns and ban the manufacturing of untraceable firearms at an event in the White House Rose Garden in April 2022. 

"These guns are weapons of choice for many criminals.

"We're going to do everything we can to deprive them of that choice," Biden said at the event last year. 

The rule intended to prohibit businesses from selling gun kits without a serial number. However, following this new ruling, companies like Defense Distributed and Polymer80, which manufacture ghost guns, are now free to carry on with their product sales and expand. 

Also, the ruling allows Defense Distributed to unleash a barrage of lawsuits against any state AG who decides to send a cease-and-desist letter over this legal victory. This is a legal 'checkmate' and will deter other states from taking matters into their own hands on this issue, as it often happens as state AGs routinely send these companies threatening letters. 

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Here's the ruling: