gun show
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26 States Sue to Stop New Background Check Rule

Top cops from Texas, Kansas, and Florida filed three separate cases challenging the ATF's new background check rule.

Attorneys general from 26 states signed onto lawsuits challenging a Biden administration rule that expands background checks for gun transfers by redefining what it means to be "engaged in the business" of selling firearms.

Top cops from Texas, Kansas, and Florida are taking the lead in three separate lawsuits challenging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which announced the rule change in April 2024 to severely limit private gun sales.

Officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, argued that the rule was designed to close the "gun show loophole," so anyone selling firearms for a profit must obtain a federal firearms license and therefore conduct background checks before making a transfer.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was joined by Louisiana, Mississippi and Utah, a handful of gun rights advocacy groups, and an activist gun owner in his lawsuit. Paxton's office argued that the new rule was "a flagrant violation of the Second Amendment."

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach was joined by 21 states, three plaintiffs described as gun collectors, and an antique gun group. In his lawsuit, Kobach argued that the new rule would transform "innocent sales" between friends or family into felonious acts.

In the last lawsuit, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody only lists the state of Florida as the plaintiff. Moody argued that the new rule "would force thousands of law-abiding gun owners to register as federal firearms dealers" and described it as "unlawful and reflects a lack of respect for our second amendment rights."

Each lawsuit asks the court for injunctive relief to put an immediate halt on the rule, which was scheduled to go into effect this month. While supporters of the rule change say it will help disrupt black market sales, critics say it imposes universal background checks without Congressional approval.