Texas AG secures temporary restraining order against Biden Administration, stopping ATF rule from taking effect

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has secured a temporary restraining order from a federal judge that prevents what he describes as an unlawful rule announced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) from taking effect while the case is litigated.

On May 1, Attorney General Paxton led a coalition suing the ATF to prevent a new regulatory restriction that attempted to limit the constitutional right of Americans to privately buy and sell firearms. In a Monday release, Attorney General Paxton says The Final Rule was arbitrary, capricious and flagrantly violated the Second Amendment.

“I am relieved that we were able to secure a restraining order that will prevent this illegal rule from taking effect,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The Biden Administration cannot unilaterally overturn Americans’ constitutional rights and nullify the Second Amendment.”

Despite Congress having recognized the legality of private firearms sales by non-dealers, Attorney General Paxton says the Biden Administration issued a new regulation that would subject hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners to presumptions of criminal guilt for engaging in constitutionally protected activities.

A federal district court has halted the implementation of the ATF rule until June 2, 2024, so that hearings may be held.

The restraining order explained that Texas and the co-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 presumption.… in other words, ‘just trust us.’ … For the forgoing reasons, Plaintiffs are substantially likely to succeed on the merits.”

To read the order, click here.

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