The Second Amendment Foundation and Defense Distributed have filed their final summary judgment brief with the federal court in Texas in the case of VanDerStok v. Garland, which challenges the authority of the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to regulate items that are not firearms, as if they were firearms.
The brief was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division.
SAF and Defense Distributed have taken a unique approach, alleging the agencies violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) by both (1) failing to consider the history that Bruen deems constitutionally mandatory and (2) using balancing analytics that Bruen deems constitutionally improper.
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“The ATF is trying to wriggle out of this,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “but we’re not going to let them. Clearly the agencies violated the APA, and in the process used means-end scrutiny to make their decision, which the Supreme Court threw out in the 2022 Bruen ruling.”
“Our brief proves we and Defense Distributed have standing to be involved in this case,” noted SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “Defense Distributed can show harm because it had to stop selling Polymer 80 pistol frames and other ‘80-percent frames.’ SAF has standing as a traditional voluntary membership association with members all over the country, and this rule will affect them.”
Judge Reed Charles O’Connor previously granted preliminary injunctions in the case on the grounds the ATF’s rule contradicts Congress’s statute. The next step is to await the court’s summary judgment ruling.
“We’re looking forward to Judge O’Connor’s decision,” Kraut stated, “although we expect the case will advance to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.”
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