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Old August 26, 2023, 10:58 AM   #1
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ATF Has NO Authority To Change Rules & Definitions Of Guns Without Congressional Approval

SAF and partners have filed0 a new brief in the VanDerStock v. Garland case which is litigating the "frame or receiver" rule (popularly known in the media as "ghost guns").

Here's the brief:


The district court’s decision to deem the Rule illegal in the challenged respects and award APA relief to Defense Distributed, the Second Amendment Foundation, and JSD should be affirmed, either on the grounds the district court’s decision expressly upheld or on one or more of the alternative grounds herein advanced.
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Old November 10, 2023, 06:10 PM   #2
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The 5th Circuit finds in favor of the plaintiffs.

V. Conclusion
ATF, in promulgating its Final Rule, attempted to take on the mantle
of Congress to “do something” with respect to gun control.28 But it is not
the province of an executive agency to write laws for our nation. That vital
duty, for better or for worse, lies solely with the legislature. Only Congress
may make the deliberate and reasoned decision to enact new or modified legislation regarding firearms based on the important policy concerns put forth
by ATF and the various amici here. But unless and until Congress so acts to
expand or alter the language of the Gun Control Act, ATF must operate
within the statutory text’s existing limits. The Final Rule impermissibly exceeds those limits, such that ATF has essentially rewritten the law. This it
cannot do, especially where criminal liability can—and, according to the
Government’s own assertions, will—be broadly imposed without any Congressional input whatsoever. An agency cannot label conduct lawful one day
and felonious the next—yet that is exactly what ATF accomplishes through
its Final Rule. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED to the extent it holds unlawful the two challenged portions of the
Final Rule, and VACATED and REMANDED as to the remedy
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Old November 10, 2023, 06:20 PM   #3
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( what say the legal beagles here... as to potentially broader implication across other regulatory agencies/constructs ? )
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Old November 10, 2023, 08:48 PM   #4
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The opening language is very bold.

It has long been said—correctly—that the law is the expression of
legislative will.1 As such, the best evidence of the legislature’s intent is the
carefully chosen words placed purposefully into the text of a statute by our
duly-elected representatives. Critically, then, law-making power—the ability
to transform policy into real-world obligations—lies solely with the
legislative branch.
2 Where an executive agency engages in what is, for all
intents and purposes, “law-making,” the legislature is deprived of its
primary function under our Constitution, and our citizens are robbed of their
right to fair representation in government. This is especially true when the
executive rule-turned-law criminalizes conduct without the say of the people
who are subject to its penalties
However, if you read it as a response to the very bold move of the executive branch to legislate a rule entirely at odds with the properly passed law, it may not actually be a very broad change. It's a great decision and it was nice that the difference in the reg and the law was in black and white, but that isn't the only way an exec can disregard law. See the DACA issue (a policy) or the EPA's compliance orders (a regulatory scheme that just happens to omit basic due process).
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Old November 11, 2023, 03:55 AM   #5
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While a triangle is one of the strongest geometric shapes, a tripod is one of the least stable support structures. As long as the dynamic forces are equal on all three legs, it serves pretty well, but if those forces become unbalanced, the supported platform can easily become unstable.

Our system of govt rests on the "legs" of the three branches, and what we seem to have in this ruling is the Judiciary calling out the Executive for usurping the authority of the Legislative branch.

This is the "checks and balances" envisioned by the Founders, the idea is sound, the system is working.

Whether or not this instance will work successfully is yet to be seen, but it is the way things are supposed to work.

Making BS laws and regulations is how they play the game these days (possibly always was) but getting "caught" usurping the authority of one of the govt branches is one of the bigger bureaucratic sins. Now we get to see how much (or if) those responsible get spanked.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old November 11, 2023, 03:40 PM   #6
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I believe many people elected to office are simply ignorant of the Constitution and how the stool is supposed to work.
They go behind closed doors with lattes and croissants and creatively brainstorm workarounds.

Who will say "Can't do that" ?

Some don't know and some don't care.
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Old November 11, 2023, 08:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HiBC
I believe many people elected to office are simply ignorant of the Constitution and how the stool is supposed to work.
They go behind closed doors with lattes and croissants and creatively brainstorm workarounds.
The pedant in me wants to say that if they're looking for workarounds, they know how it's supposed to work. They just don't like how it's supposed to work.
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Old November 13, 2023, 11:43 PM   #8
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They will double down their efforts on ammo now.
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Old November 13, 2023, 11:58 PM   #9
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I wonder how many of the exclusion questions on 4473 are also invalid.
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