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United States 2nd Amendment Legal Cases and Law Discussion

bullethead

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Here's what the Biden admin is trying to do:
The 107-page document, obtained by The Reload, outlines changes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) wants to make to outlaw the sale of homemade gun kits by unlicensed manufactures. At the direction of President Joe Biden, the agency plans to propose federal rule changes, which would require anyone selling unfinished firearms receivers to obtain a federal license and mark the parts with a serial number. Anyone who continues to sell unfinished receivers without a license could face federal felony charges.

...

The document reworks and broadens the definition of what parts constitute a regulated firearm receiver. It then says any unfinished part that “may readily be converted” into a receiver must be treated as a receiver and requires sellers to obtain federal licenses, mark the unfinished parts with serial numbers, and perform background checks on buyers. The proposal provides only subjective standards for what makes an unfinished part “readily” convertible into a finished firearm but provides footnotes to court cases where the term has been applied. One court example included in the document said a part completed in “around an eight-hour working day in a properly equipped machine shop” was considered “readily” convertible. The only example of a ruling defining when a part is not “readily” convertible involved a process that “required [a] master gunsmith in a gun shop and $65,000 worth of equipment and tools.”

The examples provided in the document show the proposed rule would likely outlaw the sale of any unfinished receiver, especially when included in a kit with other parts and instructions or tools needed to complete the part. That’s because most unfinished parts sold in America today, including so-called 80% AR-15 lowers, can be finished at home in a few hours with commonly available tools like drill presses and compact mills.

The ATF said in the proposal it expects the rule will have a “significant impact” on companies currently selling unfinished receivers, but it expects them to adapt to the new rule.

...

The full proposal won’t be made public for another two weeks, and details could change between now and then. However, the draft is in line with comments made by President Biden when he directed the DOJ to make new rules outlawing the sale of so-called ghost gun kits on April 8.

“I want to see these kits treated as firearms under the Gun Control Act, which is going to require that the seller and manufacturers make the key parts with serial numbers and run background checks on the buyers when they walk in to buy that package,” Biden said in a speech at the White House.

The document also lays out plans to broaden and update the federal definition of firearms receiver to correct a problem with the ATF’s interpretation of the current definition. Courts have begun questioning the ATF’s long-running determination that an AR-15 lower is a receiver despite not including several of the parts required in the current definition. Prosecutors have been forced to drop cases involving the ATF’s determination in recent years.

The ATF admitted in the document that “neither the upper nor the lower portion of a split/multi-piece receiver firearm alone falls within the precise wording of the regulatory definition” but lashed out in the document at the “erroneous district court decisions” that employ a “narrow interpretation” of the definition.

“These courts’ interpretation of ATF’s regulations, if broadly followed, could mean that as many as 90 percent of all firearms now in the United States would not have an identifiable frame or receiver,” the document said. “Those firearms would include numerous widely available models, such as Glock-type and Sig Sauer P32013 pistols, that do not utilize a hammer – a named component – in the firing sequence.”

The ATF said it is necessary to update the definition of a receiver to ensure it won’t “be misinterpreted by the courts, the firearms industry, or the public at large to mean that most firearms in circulation have no part identifiable as a frame or receiver.” The proposed receiver definition would only require one fire control component, such as a trigger mechanism, cylinder, or firing pin, instead of requiring multiple parts as the current definition does. The ATF said it plans to keep in place the determinations on which specific parts qualify as receivers for guns currently on the market and create a voluntary process for gun makers to submit new designs for determinations.

The document also proposes the creation of a definition for “privately made firearms,” which would apply to any gun without a serial number made by somebody who doesn’t have a federal gun-making license. Making guns at home for personal use with devices like 3D printers will not be affected by the definition. However, any privately made firearm sold to a licensed gun dealer would be required to be permanently marked with a serial number by the dealer before it could be sold.

The proposal goes on to suggest several other rule changes. It would change how silencers are regulated by requiring only the outside tube to be serialized instead of each individual part. It would also require licensed gun dealers keep background check records beyond the current 20-year deadline and allow gunsmiths to make serial markings on privately made firearms.
The only good rule change is the suppressor serialization one, because it makes it simpler to maintain a suppressor.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Didn't congress cut the nuts off the ATF in the 90's? How the hell did they retain this outrageous discretionary power?
 

Doomsought

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I think it may be illegal to buy steel pipe at a hardware store if that passes.
 

bullethead

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Didn't congress cut the nuts off the ATF in the 90's? How the hell did they retain this outrageous discretionary power?
There's a thing called Chevron Deference that Kavanaugh personally wants to kill that allows regulatory agencies to define things without going through Congress.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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There's a thing called Chevron Deference that Kavanaugh personally wants to kill that allows regulatory agencies to define things without going through Congress.
The SCOTUS need to stop passing the book on 2A cases.

I think it may be illegal to buy steel pipe at a hardware store if that passes.
I remember the NSA ended up black bagging exterminators in alarming numbers post 9-11 over plastic pipes and wiring,
 

ShadowArxxy

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There's a thing called Chevron Deference that Kavanaugh personally wants to kill that allows regulatory agencies to define things without going through Congress.
That's a bit of an exaggeration -- Chevron Deference says that when the interpretation of a federal law is in question, the courts should generally defer to the official position of the federal agency responsible for administrating said law.
 

Urabrask Revealed

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Those bureacrats can find jobs in the private sector like every one else, and the field agents would probally make more in security anyways.
Have you seen those "agents"? They are too fat and lazy to get their asses and find a job elsewhere.
 

S'task

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That's a bit of an exaggeration -- Chevron Deference says that when the interpretation of a federal law is in question, the courts should generally defer to the official position of the federal agency responsible for administrating said law.
Which is still bad, as it means prioritizing the agency's interpretation of the written text of a law over both it's plain reading AND what is shown to be in the Congressional record as the intent of the law. This also means that, in effect, Federal Agencies get to set their OWN limits based on the laws they are enforcing, rather than Congress or the Courts. It's one of the core reasons we HAVE a creeping Bureaucracy in the first place, as the agencies can continually reinterpret laws to have broader and broader scope over time.
 

bullethead

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I wonder if they'll pick up Maryland Shall Carry vs Hogan, which apparently over some sort of trigger ban.

There's also a few more carry cases in the docket, but I imagine those will probably get put on hold pending the outcome of this new NYSRPA case.
 

prinCZess

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The phrase 'about damn time' comes to mind--particularly with how they've punted on a rather dramatic number of others even in the last short while alone.
Of course, I suppose that may be positive since Roberts is about as firm in his defenses of the second amendment as a soggy Eggo waffle, so I would quite believe him being willing to fuck-over other cases, whereas this one there is at least some prior suggestion he won't kneejerk to deferring to government authority on impulse like he might have in some of the other cases over magazines and the like.

In semi-related news...
Now that a (perceived) friendly party is out of the White House, more states are hopping on the 'second amendment sanctuary' stuff, with Montana and Arizona both passing bills in the last two weeks on the topic that actually limit their authorities from cooperation with feds in relation to new GC laws (Nebraska's governor has also made a symbolic statement on the matter, but not yet signed legislation that actually has any authority to it as I understand). The other 'notable' being Texas where, alongside the recent push for 'Wild West Pimp Style' carry legislation , there are bills in the legislature that'd make it also part of the sanctuary push.
While laudable, must admit I have an intrusive comment to such occurring recently as opposed to earlier:
 

bullethead

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Of course, I suppose that may be positive since Roberts is about as firm in his defenses of the second amendment as a soggy Eggo waffle, so I would quite believe him being willing to fuck-over other cases, whereas this one there is at least some prior suggestion he won't kneejerk to deferring to government authority on impulse like he might have in some of the other cases over magazines and the like.
I really wish all 10 of those cases that got rejected last year could've been carried over to this year's session instead. It would've been so much better for everyone if they'd been given a fair shake at a 9 justice court.

Maybe we'll get lucky and one of the Benitez cases will go up to SCOTUS, or maybe that Sixth Circuit bump stock/Chevron case.
 

S'task

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I'm actually a little pessimistic on the outcome being anything like a full throated endorsement we need for the 2nd. I suspect that Roberts is going to either flake out and manage to make it a 5-4 upholding gun control (in an attempt to kowtow to the Dems out 9f fear that anything less will get a renewed xourt packing push) or make such a narrow decision in the case that it's functionally meaningless (ie striking down one, the one narrow method of gun controlthat is in question as "unconstitutional" while leaving all sorts of other avenues open).

That said, I'm getting really tired of the Dems threats to change the rules. If they ever do pass court packing I think that may well end up being the end point of the republic, as many on the right who are passionate about the court and have been fighting to take control of it for generations (namely the pro-life and gun-rights folks) will in effect had the rug yanked out from under them and effectively are being signalled that playing by the rules gets them nothing... considering the passion on those two issues and what is at stake with them... changing the game like that is not going to end up in nice or good places. After all, one of those groups already has a history of terrorism in support of their cause that they rejected to play by the rules and change public opinion. Take away the legal method and recourses, well... that faction might make a serious comeback.
 
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