August 24, 2023
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and its partners in a challenge of the “Final Rule” issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives redefining frames and receivers as firearms, have filed an appellee’s brief in the case, known as VanDerStok v. Garland.
Joining SAF are Defense Distributed, and JSD Supply. They are represented by Houston, Texas attorney Chad Flores.
The brief explains how ATF redefined the term “firearm” without any Congressional action. Last year, the agency announced a Rule expanding the definition of firearm to include unfinished firearm components and kits used in the process of manufacturing a firearm. SAF and its partners are asserting ATF violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). A federal district court judge agreed and concluded that ATF had acted in excess of its statutory authority, and granted summary judgment.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb recently promised the organization will pursue this case “vigorously” as it winds through the court system.
“This case challenges the authority of the ATF to change rules and definitions of firearms without Congressional authority,” Gottlieb said. “We simply cannot allow any federal agency to make up its own rules as it goes along, without Congressional approval.”
SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut said the foundation “expects to prevail on the portions of the Final Rule that we challenged.”
“The district court entered a judgment deeming the Rule illegal and vacating it,” Kraut said, “and we are asking the Fifth Circuit to affirm the district court’s decision to issue relief based on the APA. By promulgating the Rule, ATF has appropriated authority reserved for Congress. Such a usurpation of power is antithetical to our system of government and must be stopped.”