U.S. Fourth Circuit - The FindLaw 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Information Guide Published by ATF is Not Agency Act

In Golden & Zimmerman, LLC v. Domenech, No. 09-1534, the Fourth Circuit addressed plaintiffs' claim that an answer to a "frequently asked question" in the "Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide 2005," published by the ATF, was inconsistent with the Gun Control Act.

The plaintiffs' main contention was that the particular answer at issue in the reference guide prohibited the plaintiff, a North Carolina licensee, from selling guns at a Virginia gun show to a Virginia licensee for transfer to Virginia residents.  The court concluded that the reference guide is simply informational and that its publication is neither agency action nor final agency action, that is necessary for review under the APA.  Therefore, it affirmed the district court's dismissal of the action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 

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