Judge Blocks Rule Expanding Gun Background Checks

A federal judge on Sunday blocked the Biden administration from fully implementing a new rule that would require gun dealers to obtain licenses and conduct background checks when selling firearms at gun shows and online.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, Texas, temporarily restrained the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ rule from being enforced in Republican-led Texas or against members of several gun-rights groups.

“I am relieved that we were able to secure a restraining order that will prevent this illegal rule from taking effect,” Texas Attorney General Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which is defending the rule in court, did not respond to a request for comment.

Kacsmaryk, an appointee of Republican former President Donald Trump, issued his ruling before the rule taking effect on Monday in response to a lawsuit by Texas, gun-rights advocates, and three other Republican-led states.

The lawsuit challenged a rule finalized last month that Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration said would affect more than 23,000 unlicensed dealers and tens of thousands of gun sales annually by closing the “gun show loophole.”

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