A Pennsylvania judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking a new policy demanding background checks for 80% lower receivers. Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act (UFA) categorized the partially manufactured receivers as firearms, therefore imposing the background checks requirement on the components. The order included receivers that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had categorized as not firearms.
The Firearms Policy Coalition had filed the lawsuit after the state’s attorney general issued an opinion supporting the classification as well as guidance on compliance with the new policy: “My Office is taking the initial step of clarifying – through my official, legal opinion – that under Pennsylvania law, 80% receivers are firearms and can be treated, regulated, and enforced as such,” AG Shapiro said in a news conference alongside the state Governor Tom Wolf. “Under the statute, it doesn’t matter that these are not fully finished products. They are receivers and, therefore, they are firearms. Pure and simple.”
Judge Kevin Brobson said the Firearms Policy Coalition had a valid argument by pointing out the vagueness of the order. In addition, the judge questioned the need for a different type of background checks for the partially manufactured receivers despite the UFA declaring them as firearms. According to the judge, the usual background checks for ordinary firearms would be satisfactory for the receivers if they qualified as firearms. Judge Brobson noted that the new policy created confusion in the gun industry.
Running background checks for the partially manufactured receivers in difficult under the NICS because the ATF and FBI do not categorize them as firearms. In addition, the UFA categorized the components as firearms without providing a precise definition of what constitutes a receiver. Although the Attorney General and the State Police are likely to appeal the ruling or change the way they enforce the order, this ruling proves that gun control advocates hardly understand the gun control measures they try to enforce.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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