United States District Judge Reed O’Connor has ruled that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) overstepped the boundaries established by Congress in changing the 1978 definition of “frame or receiver.”

The case, VanDerStok et. al. v. Garland (United States District Court Northern District of Texas Fort Worth Division Case No. 4:22-cv-00691-O) denied remedy for some of the plaintiffs based on a technicality, but clearly showed where the ATF has assumed powers not legally delegated to it.

The judge’s ruling found, among other things, that:

  • Parts that may become receivers are not receivers. (page 7)
  • A weapon parts kit is not a firearm. (page 12)
  • ATF has no general authority to regulate weapon parts. (page 12)

This decision, and the judge’s clearly stated reasoning, bode well for the do-it-yourself gun builder and companies that make and provide gun parts and kits.

Read the entire decision here.