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Supreme Court Takes Up Case Challenging Biden Admin’s ‘Ghost Guns’ Rule

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to take up a case challenging the Biden administration’s “ghost guns” rule, which enables gun parts kits to be regulated as traditional firearms.

In response to emergency applications, the justices have already stepped in twice to keep the rule in place throughout the litigation process after it was blocked by lower courts. Now, the Supreme Court will take up the case, Garland v. Vanderstok, on its merits.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “Frame or Receiver” rule, approved in 2022, expands the definition of firearm to encompass parts kits that are “readily convertible to functional weapons” or “functional ‘frames’ or ‘receivers’ of weapons.”

Firearms Policy Coalition founder and President Brandon Combs said in a statement that the organization looks “forward to the end of President Biden’s unconstitutional and abusive rule.”

“We are delighted that the Supreme Court will hear our case and decide this important issue once and for all,” Combs said. “The Fifth Circuit’s decision in our case was correct and now that victory can be applied to the entire country.”

The Fifth Circuit sided with firearm owners and manufacturers who challenged the rule in November, finding it “flouts clear statutory text and exceeds the legislatively-imposed limits on agency authority in the name of public policy.”

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued in a court filing that the lower court’s ruling would result in “a flood of untraceable ghost guns into our Nation’s communities, endangering the public and thwarting law-enforcement efforts to solve violent crimes.”

“Under the Fifth Circuit’s interpretation, anyone could buy a kit online and assemble a fully functional gun in minutes— no background check, records, or serial number required,” Prelogar wrote.

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Katelynn Richardson

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Katelynn Richardson

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