The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has declared the Biden administration's "ghost gun" rule to be "unlawful."
The court, according to NBC News, did so on Thursday.
Per the outlet:
A three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a group of firearm owners, gun rights groups, and manufacturers in declaring the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ 2022 rule “unlawful.”
The question now is whether the Biden administration will appeal the ruling.
President Joe Biden proposed the rule that is at issue, here, in April 2022.
The White House, at the time, announced:
Today, the President and Deputy Attorney General will also announce that the U.S. Department of Justice has issued a final rule to rein in the proliferation of “ghost guns” – unserialized, privately-made firearms that law enforcement are increasingly recovering at crime scenes in cities across the country.
What the new ATF rule does is expand the definition of certain terms - including "firearm," "frame," and "receiver" - in the Gun Control Act of 1968 such that they cover "ghost guns."
Since the rule was first announced in April 2022, it has faced multiple legal challenges.
The case that is the focus of this article comes out of Texas. The Biden administration recently appealed the case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals after having lost at the lower court level.
As mentioned at the outset, the judges of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals have now deemed the Biden administration's rule to be "unlawful."
"ATF, in promulgating its Final Rule, attempted to take on the mantle of Congress to 'do something' with respect to gun control. 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," the judges wrote.
They continued, "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 judges concluded, "The Final Rule impermissibly exceeds those limits, such that ATF has essentially rewritten the law."
It remains to be seen whether the Biden administration will appeal this decision. In the meantime, the final rule is expected to remain in effect, while other litigation continues.