Republican AGs mount legal challenges against Biden's proposed gun control rule

Several Republican attorneys general argue the regulation requiring background checks for private firearm sales infringes on Second Amendment rights.

Republican AGs mount legal challenges against Biden's proposed gun control rule
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More than two dozen Republican attorneys general announced a series of legal challenges on Wednesday against a proposed gun control rule from the Biden administration that would regulate private firearm sales.

Multiple lawsuits were filed in federal court opposing the proposal, which would mandate individuals who "earn a profit" from selling guns to conduct background checks and obtain a federal firearms license, regardless of where or how they sell their merchandise.

The Republican officials argue that the proposed regulations, put forth by the Justice Department, infringe on Second Amendment rights by effectively criminalizing the sale of firearms between family members and friends without background checks or a federal license, the Daily Wire reports.

One lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, named the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as defendants, contending that the ATF lacks statutory authority to enforce the rule and that it violates the Second and Fifth Amendments. The suit was joined by attorneys general from Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah, and gun rights organizations including the Gun Owners of America, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, and the Tennessee Firearms Association.

"Yet again, Joe Biden is weaponizing the federal bureaucracy to rip up the Constitution and destroy our citizens' Second Amendment rights," Paxton said. "This is a dramatic escalation of his tyrannical abuse of authority. With today's lawsuit, it is my great honor to defend our Constitutionally-protected freedoms from the out-of-control federal government."

A separate multi-state lawsuit, spearheaded by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, also challenges the DOJ and the ATF over the proposed rule. "Biden's latest attempt to strip away the Second Amendment rights of Americans through ATF regulations will make many law-abiding gun owners felons if they sell a firearm or two to family or friends," Kobach stated. The lawsuit was joined by attorneys general from Iowa, Montana, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody filed a third lawsuit against the federal agencies, asserting that the Biden administration's proposed rules "go far beyond the plain text" of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which added background check stipulations and provided grants for states to enact "red flag" laws after being signed into law last year with support from some Republican lawmakers.

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  • By David Menzies

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