Conservatives States Sue ATF over Rule Intended to Close ‘Gun Show Loophole’ 

File photo of guns, via ATF

By Steve Neavling

A group of conservative states is suing the ATF over a new federal rule that will require people who sell firearms online and at gun shows to conduct background checks of customers. 

The rule, which is set to take effect later this month, is intended to close the so-called “gun show loophole” by requiring anyone who sells firearms to run federal background checks. 

The coalition of 21 states, led by Arkansas, argues in a federal lawsuit that the ATF overstepped its authority and violated people’s Second Amendment with the rule, The Fort Smith Southwest Times Record reports

“They do not have the power to do this unilaterally via fiat,” Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said at a news conference Wednesday. 

“This proposed rule does not help clarify anything” and “should have to go through the Congress,” he said.

The other states that joined the lawsuit are Iowa, Montana, Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The ATF announced the new rule last month, a week after the agency revealed that unlicensed firearms dealers were responsible for more than 68,000 illegally trafficked firearms in the U.S. 

“This is going to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and felons,” President Biden said when announcing the rule. “And my administration is going to continue to do everything we possibly can to save lives. Congress needs to finish the job and pass universal background legislation now.”

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