FPC and FPCAF File Response to Government Attempt to Reinstate ATF’s “Frame or Receiver” Rule

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WASHINGTON, DC (August 2, 2023) – Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Action Foundation (FPCAF) filed a response brief with the Supreme Court in VanDerStok v. Garland, their lawsuit where the Fifth Circuit refused to stay a federal district court’s decision to vacate significant portions of the ATF’s “frame or receiver” rule. Following the Fifth Circuit’s decision, the government asked the Supreme Court to fully stay the ruling and allow the rule to remain in effect while the lawsuit continues. The brief can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.

“The district court correctly held that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) has exceeded its authority by seeking to depart from over fifty years of regulatory practice and extend the definitions of ‘firearm’ and ‘frame or receiver’ in federal law beyond any reasonable understanding of those terms,” argues the brief. “The district court also correctly held that vacatur is a proper remedy when a federal agency has been found to exceed its statutory authority, as courts have consistently held since the enactment of the Administrative Procedure Act in 1946.”

Key to the case surrounding ATF’s expansive redefinition of “frame or receiver,” the brief argues: “Here, Congress determined that “frame[s] or receiver[s]” should be regulated as firearms, and ATF has no authority to expand that phrase to include items that are neither frames nor receivers, but merely could be manufactured into them.” 

“Our brief today demonstrates just how flawed the government’s arguments are in this case,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, FPCAF’s General Counsel and Vice President of Legal and counsel for FPC in this case. “We’re confident that the Supreme Court will see through ATF’s arguments, just as the Fifth Circuit and district court have, and will ensure that ATF is prevented from enforcing its unlawful rule while they seek to litigate their appeal of their loss at the district court.”

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Plaintiffs in this case are two individuals, Tactical Machining, LLC, and FPC. FPCAF represents the Plaintiffs, alongside Mountain States Legal Foundation.

Individuals who would like to join the FPC Grassroots Army and support important pro-rights lawsuits and programs like these can sign up at JoinFPC.org. Individuals and organizations wanting to support charitable efforts in support of the restoration of Second Amendment and other natural rights can also make a tax-deductible donation to the FPC Action Foundation. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit FPCLegal.org and follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs.

FPC Law (FPCLaw.org) is the nation’s first and largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and the leader in the Second Amendment litigation and research space.

FPC Action Foundation (FPCActionFoundation.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty through charitable legal action, public policy, education, and research programs.

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