TX AG Files Lawsuit against Federal Power to Tax, Regulate Homemade Silencers

300 blackout SilencerCo Saker ASR 762 Jim Grant
TX AG Files Lawsuit against Federal Power to Tax, Regulate Homemade Silencers

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-– On February 24, 2022, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a suit against Marvin Richardson, acting head of the ATF, challenging the power of the federal government to regulate personally made silencers used for home defense in Texas, which remain in Texas.

The lawsuit follows the predictions made in a previous article on the subject by this correspondent. Here is the press release from Attorney General Paxton: From texasattorneygeneral.gov:

Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives seeking to stop the enforcement of federal regulations regarding firearm suppressors made in Texas. Texas House Bill 957, passed in 2021, expressly exempts from federal regulation firearm suppressors that are made in, and remain in Texas. 

Federal law regulates firearm suppressors, making it illegal to own a firearm suppressor for personal use without paying a tax. It is also a federal offense to possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell a firearm silencer unless a person complies with federal guidelines.  

“Our Second Amendment right must be protected and I will continue to protect Texans from federal overreach interfering with that inalienable right,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The federal government cannot simply override the Constitution. I will not allow them to tarnish the freedom and values Americans hold dear.” 

This federal law violates the Second Amendment by taxing and regulating firearm suppressors made and used in Texas. No other constitutional right is subject to payment of a federal tax before an American can exercise that right.

The brief filed by AG Paxton is clear, the arguments are strong. The NFA restrictions on Silencers are attacked on the grounds of taxation of a Constitutional right (Second Amendment), inappropriate use of the commerce clause, and as a law that has no public safety justification.

Texas Silencer NFA, Second Amendment Lawsuit

From the lawsuit:

1. Federal law has heavily taxed and regulated firearm suppressors since 1934. Since 1968, it has been illegal to make a firearm suppressor for personal use without first paying a $200 tax, marking the suppressor with a serial number, getting the approval of the federal government, and registering the firearm suppressor.

2. Heavy federal taxation and regulation of firearm suppressors made in Texas for personal use in Texas does not survive Heller’s recognition that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual, fundamental right. “[T]he enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 636 (2008).

3. There has never been a public-safety justification for the taxation and regulation of firearm suppressors.

4. Moreover, federal regulation of firearm suppressors made in Texas for personal use in Texas cannot be justified as regulations of interstate commerce, or as laws necessary and proper for the carrying into execution such regulations of interstate commerce.

AG Ken Paxton is following his obligation under the law as required by Texas law passed in 2021, as HB 957. The bill became effective in September of 2021. AG Paxton has been especially busy this year, filing numerous lawsuits against the Biden administration for their illegal ignoring of federal immigration law. He has been winning those lawsuits.

Paxton has been fighting and winning. He has a reasonable chance of winning this lawsuit, which he was required to file, by law. He has wisely chosen plaintiffs who wish to make suppressors for their own private use for self-defense in their own homes in Texas. Ken Paxton has shown himself to be a savvy fighter for the Second Amendment.

This correspondent will be following this lawsuit closely.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

33 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TexDad

Finally! Should have happened in September.

TStheDeplorable

The Commerce Clause line of cases have led to more federal meddling in local affairs than any other part of the constitution, and the fact that the founders gave us the 10th Amendment should indicate that the Commerce Clause was not meant to be used so extensively. One of the key cases involved a farmer who was growing wheat to feed his own livestock. There was a federal regulation banning the growing of crops for one’s own use. The farmer argued that because the crops were not put into interstate commerce the feds had no jurisdiction. But the Supreme Court… Read more »

Wild Bill

Congress has been controlling many things that it should not be involved with by use of its commerce power. This is the S. Ct.’s opportunity to curtail Congress’ use of the commerce power to abridge constitutional Rights.
I think that the S. Ct. has been looking for such an opportunity for some time.

The appointment of this next S. Ct. justice could mess up the whole opportunity. Just my opinion.

Last edited 11 months ago by Wild Bill
Wild Bill

Socialist trash describes Biden’s handlers perfectly.

Arizona

Excellent

Stag

“This federal law violates the Second Amendment by taxing and regulating firearm suppressors made and used in Texas. No other constitutional right is subject to payment of a federal tax before an American can exercise that right.”

Yeah. That goes for machineguns and destructive devices as well!

Roland T. Gunner

Coming up next.

Wild Bill

AG Paxton Sues Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for   Unlawfully Prohibiting Firearm Silencers in Texas     AUSTIN –Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives seeking to stop the enforcement of federal regulations regarding firearm suppressors made in Texas. Texas House Bill 957, passed in 2021, expressly exempts from federal regulation firearm suppressors that are made in, and remain in Texas.    Federal law regulates firearm suppressors, making it illegal to own a firearm suppressor for personal use without paying a tax. It is also a federal offense to possess, manufacture,… Read more »

musicman44mag

I wonder under the new rules that have been put into play by pelosi and the true terrorists to our country if AG Paxton is not on a terrorist watch list and the feds are going to break down his door with Federal Swat teams in the early hours and arrest him while only CNN does live transmission of the action taking place.

Patch

I wish people would understand that the Constitution does not grant us rights. We DO NOT have Constitutional Rights. We have unalienable rights that are granted to us by our Creator. The Constitution grants us protections against government infringement of our rights.
Stop saying we have Constitutional Rights.

JSNMGC

Jesse/Will/”TEX” – 2/26/22:

“Texas will easily prevail in this lawsuit. The feds need to understand in TEXAS we will make our silencers and keep them within the boundaries of the state. Just let the ATF scum even try to enforce any of their tyrannical and illegal BS against Texans,……. Just try!”

Response to Jesse/Will/”TEX:”

https://historycollection.com/20-graphic-images-waco-siege-1993/

Wild Bill

Two different venues, thus a false analogy. What happens in court has nothing to do with the real world.

JSNMGC

“Just let the ATF scum even try to enforce any of their tyrannical and illegal BS against Texans,……. Just try!” ~ Jesse/Will/”TEX”

Waco was a BATFE enforcement action (requested by the local sheriff office).

JSNMGC

Jesse/Will/”TEX” – 2/28/22:

“McLennan Co Sheriffs Dept. didn’t offer any assistance to to the ATF that one would/could ever consider accommodating.”

Response to Jesse/Will/”TEX:”

Chief Deputy, Captain Dan Weanburg (sp?) of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department contacted the BATFE and let them know about the alleged NFA of 1934 violations.

After the BATFE responded to Weanburg’s (sp) request, Lieutenant Gene Barber of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department was assigned to work with the BATFE.

Wild Bill

Dan Weanburg may have called BATFE first, but after BATFE arrived, the McLennan Co Sheriff’s Dept did not offer or give BATFE any assistance.

JSNMGC

Your comment is inconsistent with the sworn testimony of Lieutenant Gene Barber of the McLennan County Sheriff Department.

  • The BATFE became involved only after being contacted by the McLennan County Sheriff Department (Weanburg). Barber was specific about this point during his testimony.
  • Weanburg told the BATFE that Barber would be the primary point of contact within the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Weanburg ordered Barber to investigate the UPS report since Barber was the bomb technician for the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Barber determined that powdered aluminum was also delivered to the Davidian location.
Wild Bill

That is no help. The usual local LE help is controlling traffic and perimeter. I remember seeing on television that the County Sheriff, wisely, remained apart from the action.
That is hardly inconsistent.

JSNMGC

Of course your comment was inconsistent with Barber’s testimony. Dan Weanburg definitely called BATFE first (not “may have”). Barber was ordered to investigate the case and cooperate with the BATFE. Barber did as he was ordered to do and, as the point person to work with the BATFE, he provided them the results of his investigation. Not only was that definitely help, but Weanburg is the reason the BATFE got involved. Traffic control and perimeter? The BATFE and FBI had that under control (with the help of the United States military – just equipment, training, advice, and support – mind… Read more »

Wild Bill

More mere quibbling that for which, I do not have the time… Have it your own way.

JSNMGC

“More mere quibbling that for which, I do not have the time… Have it your own way.” ~ Wild Bill

One of your favorite retreats.

Wild Bill

Ok, I think Jesse was talking about after BATFE committed forces, a time which the Sheriff famously declined to aid BATFE. You add Barber’s investigation which could not have been in the time frame that Jesse considered. Shall we ask him.
Nor is Barber’s investigation the kind of aid that is usual for the day of any given operation.
I just see this as you broadening the issue beyond what was contemplated to point that you can make your self right. You are still a school yard quibbler.

JSNMGC

“Ok, I think Jesse was talking about after BATFE committed forces, a time which the Sheriff famously declined to aid BATFE.” ~ Wild Bill Jesse/Will/”TEX” wrote: “McLennan Co Sheriffs Dept. didn’t offer any assistance to to the ATF that one would/could ever consider accommodating.” ~ Jesse/Will/”TEX” I’m sure he will agree with you now, but that is not what he wrote. Can you provide a source to support you statement about the Sheriff famously declining to aid the BATFE. Not doubting you, I’d just like to read about it. “Nor is Barber’s investigation the kind of aid that is usual… Read more »

Wild Bill

Let’s ask Jesse what he meant because you are not in charge of the issue.
The valid objection to your line of quibble is that you attempt to define the issues so that you only your logic prevails. You are not hard to catch.

Russn8r

Amusing how you manage to quibble while accusing others of quibbling.

JSNMGC

Jesse/Will/”TEX” – 2/28/22:

“WB,it’s just the same thing with the moron. He tries so hard to spread the false narrative that all city,county,and state LE aid and assist the feds just for the asking. Just consider the source and forget it.”

Response to Jesse/Will/”TEX:”

Thank you for posting.

The source for the above was the sworn testimony of a lieutenant in a Texas sheriff department.

Russn8r

Sure thing, “TEX”!

JSNMGC

Jesse/Will/”TEX” – 2/28/22

“WB,you got that right.”

Response to Jesse/Will/”TEX:”

Remember before the Texas suppressor legislation was passed, you indicated that the federal process for buying a made-in-Texas suppressor in Texas would no longer exist.

You could buy a bunch of suppressors without going through the federal process, reaffirm your challenge to the BATFE, and see how long it would take for the BATFE to work with your local sheriff to enforce the federal law.

I don’t suggest you try that approach.

JSNMGC

“I don’t suggest you suggest anything to me.” ~ Jesse

I suggest you keep posting.

Wild Bill

I can not speak for another, but I think that he would keep commenting without your suggestion.

JSNMGC

I suggest he keep posting.

JSNMGC

Jesse/Will/”TEX” – 2/28/22:

“WB,and you would be absolutely right. The kid just keeps batting .1000 Wrong about everything for almost two years now.”

Response to Jesse/Will/”TEX”

It’s funny you wrote that in a thread on a topic that you were wrong about. You called me a “moron” for believing that the federal process would be available for buying made-in-Texas suppressors (much less required).

Will, you keep doubling-down on dumb.

Wild Bill keeps doubling-down on attempting to use double standards (his feigned outrage at insults from a select few) and pretending to not know things (like you are Will/”TEX”).

JSNMGC

Jesse/Will/”TEX” – 2/28/22:

“The kid lives in Cody but got fired from his P/T job at the car wash.”

Reply to Jesse/Will/”TEX:”

You two are getting more and more creative/weird in your lies.

I suggest you keep posting.

JSNMGC

Jesse/Will/”TEX” – 2/28/22

“Made in TEXAS,stays in TEXAS! That’s the way it is in TEXAS with silencers.”

Response to Jesse/Will/”TEX:”

Yes, and they are purchased by going through the federal process (just like in every other state that has not made them illegal to buy).