Federal judge blocks ATF pistol brace rule

A worker restocks handguns at Davidson Defense in Orem, Utah on March 20, 2020. - Gun stores in the US are reporting a surge in sales of firearms as coronavirus fears trigger personal safety concerns. (Photo by GEORGE FREY / AFP) (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Roy Francis
9:13 AM – Thursday, June 1, 2023

A Federal judge in Texas has granted an injunction against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) preventing it from enforcing its pistol stabilizing-brace rule.


According to Fox News, judge Drew B. Tipton of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas filed a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the new regulations in response to a lawsuit filed by gun right activists.

The order comes after a ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which prevented the ATF from enforcing its regulation against customers of Maxim Defense Industries, a pistol stabilizing-brace manufacturer, and the Firearms Policy Coalition.

The decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals came days before a deadline was set by the ATF, May 31st, for individuals to either register their braces with the Bureau or destroy them. Those who chose not to comply would have been forced to pay a fee and face up to 10 years in prison. The ruling by Judge Tipton comes on the day of the deadline.

The new rule by the ATF was introduced as part of the comprehensive gun crime strategy announced in April 2021 by the Biden administration in response to the shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, that claimed 10 lives, and where the shooter had used a stabilizing brace.

The new rule had been finalized on January 13th, it categorizes pistols that have stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles. The Biden administration had accused the gun industry of trying to evade the federal regulations by utilizing stabilizing braces. President Joe Biden had previously claimed that the braces “essentially convert a pistol into a short-barreled rifle.”

Gun right groups have said that the stabilizing brace rule violates the Constitution because it would force millions of gun owners to register their weapons or else risk being prosecuted. According to the ATF, there at least three million guns with stabilizing braces currently in circulation in the U.S.

Judge Tipton’s injunction applies to individuals that are directly employed by the state of Texas, its agencies and all members of the Gun Owners of America (GOA).

Erich Pratt, the Senior Vice President of GOA, released a statement thanking the judge for his order and slamming the newest “assault on millions of Americans’ by the Biden administration.

“This assault on millions of Americans was just the latest example of President Biden trying to weaponize the DOJ against law-abiding gun owners, and we doubt it will be the last,” Pratt said. “We are incredibly grateful to Judge Tipton for hearing the pleas of our members who were facing serious prosecution simply for owning a piece of plastic – all because of an arbitrary reclassification by the ATF. GOA and our millions of members nationwide will continue to fight back against this rogue anti-gun administration at every turn in defense of our rights.” 

A stabilizing brace is described by the ATF as an “accessory that provides a surface area that allows the weapon to be fired from the shoulder, so long as other factors that indicate that the firearm is designed, made, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.”

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