The Biden Administration asked SCOTUS to hold the ATF’s Frame & Receiver Rule in place and the motion was granted. This was not an unexpected decision after the 5th circuit vacated the rule but it is still one that keeps the rule in place while the courts sort it out instead of suspending it the way we would prefer.
The case is still likely to result in a victory, like that with bump stocks and other regulatory decisions that should rightly have been legislation, but in the meantime 80% type firearms without serial numbers are still off the table.
Despite the written definitions in legislation, not subsequent ATF interpretation, the ATF said ‘well not legally but yes’ when it came to what they then in the same rule titled Privately Made Firearms or PMFs.
The PMF has been demonized as a “growing menace” to law enforcement, becoming the new boogieman that will out gun our brave LEOs. But even if we disregard the fact that PMFs are functionally identical to serialized firearms and therefore, at most, match parity with LEOs who have a sidearm and patrol rifle, we then have to contend with the fact that by the ATF’s own records only 37,980 PMFs we recovered in the last 5 years we have reported data on (2017-2021). True that 19,273 were recovered just in 2021 and that is way up from 2017, but if we compare it to the ‘threat’ posed by Glock alone (255,055 guns in the same time period) it begins to look silly.
Oh, serial numbers still aren’t magical crime preventing GPS devices… they’re just numbers.
So the rule has a vacating stay until August 4th and will remain in effect while DoJ and ATF scramble to defend what is logistically indefensible. There is no world where this change shouldn’t have been handled by the legislature. This is stacking up to be another in a continuing lineup of regulatory agencies going to far in their scope of work, often because it is politically inconvenient for Congress to do their jobs.