CHARLESTON (WVDN) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is co-leading a 17-state coalition in a lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Department of Justice over the ATF’s new rule redefining “frame and receiver” to regulate most gun parts as firearms.
The coalition is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota.
“This new rule contains massive changes that do nothing but infringe on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Again, this is an example of federal overreach wherein an agency run by unelected bureaucrats resorts to regulation rather than legislation.”
The ATF published the “Final Rule” in the Federal Register on April 26, 2022. It is slated to take effect on Aug. 24, 2022.
According to the lawsuit, the Final Rule “adopts a vague, standardless definition of the statutory term “readily,” and applies it to ban 80% of frames and receivers, including when sold as so-called “weapon parts kits.”
“The Final Rule represents perhaps the most sweeping gun control scheme since the Gun Control Act of 1968, incorporating many of the restrictions found on the legislative wish lists of the nation’s most radical anti-Second Amendment groups, but restrictions which Congress has never seriously considered (much less enacted),” according to the lawsuit.
Attorney General Morrisey co-led the lawsuit with Arizona and was joined by Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.