(CN) – The 4th Circuit affirmed dismissal of a challenge to the government’s answer to a frequently asked question in its Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide.
Robert Pivott, a gun dealer licensed in North Carolina, claimed the government’s answer to the question, “What may a licensed dealer do at an out-of-state gun show?” was inconsistent with the Gun Control Act.
Pivott said the government’s answer effectively states that he can’t sell guns at a Virginia gun show to Virginia licensee Golden & Zimmerman.
Though the Act usually requires licensed dealers to sell guns only from the state in which they’re licensed, the law makes an exception for gun shows.
Pivott said authorities for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have stated that although off-premises dealing violates the law, out-of-state licensees can transfer their guns to in-state dealers, who can then sell the out-of-state dealer’s firearms and transfer any unsold weapons back to the original dealer at the end of the show.
Pivott said the government’s answer to the question about out-of-state dealers doesn’t convey his actual rights under the law.
The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., upheld the district court’s dismissal of the lawsuit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
“Because we conclude that the Reference Guide is simply informational and that its publication is neither ‘agency action’ nor ‘final agency action’ … we affirm,” Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote (original emphasis).