Texas Sues To Stop Gun Safety Legislation

Texas Sues To Stop Gun Safety Legislation
Photo by Heather Mount / Unsplash

Last month the Biden Administration announced new gun safety legislation that would require any individual who sells firearms outside of sporting or gun stores to conduct a background check on a potential purchaser. This rule, which amends legislation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Safety, would formally end what many gun safety advocates call as the “gun show loophole," because gun shows were a place where those vendors were exempt from performing background checks.

In announcing the new regulation, Vice President Kamala Harris noted that while this will not end mass shootings throughout the county, several recent tragedies could have been avoided if a background check had been performed. The 2019 shooting in Midland-Odessa, which killed eight people, happened after the shooter purchased a gun from someone after he was denied at a store that did perform a background check and determined he was unable to possess a firearm.

Immediately after the announcement about closing the “gun show loophole,” gun rights organizations like the National Rifle Association blasted the new guidelines. In a press release they called it a “monstrosity of a rule.”

The NRA also hinted that the new gun safety legislation would likely snake its way through the courts. That promise turned into reality yesterday as a series of red states filed a lawsuit to block the new gun rules.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on behalf of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Utah. The lawsuit against both the Justice Department and ATF was filed in Amarillo, a move that almost certainly guarantees it will be heard by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk.

Paxton made the announcement of his lawsuit against the new gun safety legislation at a Frisco Gun Club, alongside Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach. The Kansas AG has filed a separate lawsuit in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

This is the second time this week that Paxton has filed a lawsuit in Amarillo. Earlier this week he sued the Biden Administration over expanded Title IX guidelines, all but assuring this would be another case for Kacsmaryk.