FPC Moves to Intervene in Gun Control Lawsuit That Seeks to Compel ATF to Reinterpret Definition of “Firearm”

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK (November 12, 2020) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), and 80% Arms announced the filing of a motion to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Cities of Syracuse, San Jose, Chicago, Columbia, SC, as well as Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund (Plaintiffs) against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Acting ATF Director Regina Lombardo, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and Attorney General William Barr (Defendants) in which they challenge ATF’s classification of non-firearm objects, sometimes colloquially referred to as “80% receivers”. The case, City of Syracuse, et al. v. BATFE, et al., can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.

The Everytown Plaintiffs’ complaint contends that the ATF and DOJ refuse to apply the statutory language found in the Gun Control Act (GCA), and as a result, fail to regulate non-firearm objects as “firearms” as they prefer under their radical gun control agenda. Their complaint further alleges that ATF has arbitrarily determined that if an object is solid in certain areas or lacks drilling and machining, it is not classified as a firearm under the GCA. FPC is intervening on behalf of itself and its members, who include producers, sellers, buyers, and possessors of non-firearm objects to ensure that their rights and interests are protected. 

“The ATF and DOJ will not adequately represent the interests of FPC and our law-abiding members and supporters across the country,” said attorney Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy. “For decades, the ATF has enforced a bright-line delineation as to when an object becomes a ‘firearm’ under the Gun Control Act. The Everytown plaintiffs in this case seek to pervert that longstanding definition, enforcement practice, and public reliance interest to comport with their warped view of what a firearm is. FPC is compelled to intervene and aggressively protect the rights and liberty of millions of Americans.”

“This case is about defending the ingenuity and self-sufficiency of Americans in the face of the culture of control and dependency that is taking over our Republic,” said lead counsel, Mountain States Legal Foundation’s Cody J. Wisniewski. “The cities and gun control activists in this litigation are trying to force their own definition of a ‘firearm’ on the entirety of the United States, thereby instituting federal government control and quashing American’s ability to rely on their own skills and expertise.”

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Recently, Firearms Policy Coalition has filed several major federal Second Amendment lawsuits, including challenges to New Jersey’s carry ban (Bennett v. Davis), New York City’s carry ban (Greco v. New York City), the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFLs) to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. BATFE), and California’s Handgun Ban and “Roster” laws (Renna v. Becerra). FPC also has an upcoming trial in its lawsuit challenging California’s “assault weapons” ban (Miller v. Becerra).To follow these and other legal cases FPC is actively working on, visit the Legal Action section of FPC’s website or follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.

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