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Friday, May 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Court Tosses Challenge to Gun Regulations Guide

(CN) - Two licensed gun dealers lost their bid to revive a lawsuit challenging how the government answered a frequently asked question in its Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide. The 4th Circuit said it lacks jurisdiction, because the reference guide isn't a final agency action.

Robert Pivott, a gun dealer licensed in North Carolina, said the government's answer to the question, "What may a licensed dealer do at an out-of-state gun show?" in the reference guide wasn't consistent 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 federal law typically requires licensed dealers to sell guns only from the state in which they're licensed, the law makes an exception for gun shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has clarified 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).

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