HOUSTON, TX -(Ammoland.com)- The country’s first lawsuit against the new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rules on privately made firearms (PMF).
A Houston, Texas-based company named Division 80 filed suit against the ATF claiming the new rules would put it out of business. The company was formed in November and didn’t have a website. The company claims to be a manufacturer of 80% kits.
President Joe Biden declared war on what he referred to as “ghost guns.” He ordered the ATF to create new rules around unfinished frames and receivers. This action was a response to calls by anti-guns to ban kits from companies such as Polymer80. The anti-gun groups were frustrated at what they saw as inaction by the administration.
Biden unveiled the new rule surrounded by anti-gun advocates such as David Hogg in the White House Rose Garden. At the same ceremony, he introduced Steve Dettlebach as his new nomination to head the ATF. The President also made wildly inaccurate claims, such as that cannons were illegal when the Constitution was signed.
Division 80 also points out that the new regulation is vague. The company claims that the new rule is “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.” That sentiment is shared across the firearms industry. Instead of the new rule clarifying the ATF’s opinion on unfinished frames, it muddied the waters.
Division 80 also referenced the ATF revoking all opinion letters. The Bureau’s new rule revoked all issued letters and asked the industry members to resubmit their products to the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) for a new opinion letter. Most in the industry believe that FATD will not approve any new unserialized frames.
Division 80 has put together an all-star legal team to take on the government. Co-counsel for the plaintiff is Cory Lui. Mr. Lui is a high-priced attorney that was the assistant general counsel for Texas Governor Greg Abbot. He is seen as an all-star lawyer in many conservative legal circles.
The legal team has also brought in Michael Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan was a former acting ATF Director under President George W. Bush. He will be used as an expert witness in Division 80’s case. Sullivan isn’t the only high-priced legal expert that Division 80 is bringing in to help win the suit.
Division 80 spared no expense in the suit. The company also brought in former ATF member Rick Vasquez to work on the case. Mr. Vasquez is a former head of FATD and consults for a large part of the firearms industry. He oversaw FATD when the department issued the opinion that a bump stock did not make a rifle a machine gun. He still believes that the reclassification of bump stocks under the Trump administration was wrong.
Division 80 is asking for the federal judge to block the new regulations. This case will be the first case in the country to challenge the ATF’s new receiver rule. Several other lawsuits in different parts of the country will be filed to challenge the new regulations in the coming weeks.
The rule is due to go into effect in August. This suit and other cases are trying to prevent that from happening.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.