In a major win for gun owners and Second Amendment rights, a federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the Biden administration from fully enforcing new regulations on pistols with stabilizing braces. These accessories, which President Biden has called “especially dangerous,” have been targeted due to their alleged involvement in several mass shootings.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals took action on Tuesday, granting an injunction against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), preventing them from enforcing the new rule.
This ruling comes as a relief to gun owners and Second Amendment groups who filed a lawsuit challenging the regulation. Individuals were facing a deadline to register their pistol braces with the ATF, destroy them, or remove them from their weapons by May 31, with non-compliance resulting in fees.
Gun rights groups have argued that this stabilizing brace rule infringes upon the constitutional rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners. The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), one of the plaintiffs in the case, has staunchly criticized the rule as “onerous and unconstitutional.” After a Texas judge initially declined to block enforcement, FPC appealed to the Fifth Circuit, which ultimately granted the injunction.
It is important to note that the stabilizing brace rule was introduced as part of President Biden’s comprehensive gun crime strategy, announced in April 2021. This strategy was a response to the tragic massacre at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, where a shooter utilized a firearm equipped with a stabilizing brace, resulting in the loss of 10 innocent lives. Another shooting in Dayton, Ohio, in 2019, also involved the use of a stabilizing brace, claiming the lives of nine individuals.
According to the ATF, stabilizing braces are defined as accessories that enable a firearm to be fired from the shoulder, provided other factors indicate the firearm is designed for shoulder firing. The ATF’s finalized rule categorizes pistols with attached stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, which are subject to heavy regulation due to their accuracy and concealability, thus posing a potential threat in the wrong hands.
President Biden and his administration have accused the gun industry of trying to evade federal regulations by selling stabilizing braces, which they claim can effectively convert a pistol into a short-barreled rifle.
Estimates suggest that there are at least three million guns with stabilizing braces currently in circulation in the United States, while the Congressional Research Service puts the number of stabilizing braces at anywhere between 10 million and 40 million.
However, Second Amendment advocates argue against the government’s portrayal of these accessories, highlighting that they were initially designed to assist disabled combat veterans in enjoying recreational shooting. They also point out that the ATF had previously ruled, a decade ago, that the addition of a stabilizing brace does not transform a pistol into a long gun.
The recent court decision’s full implications are still being determined, as it specifically applies to the plaintiffs in the case, including gun owners, a pistol manufacturer, and a gun rights group. Further clarity is needed to establish if others, such as individuals who purchase the firearms from Maxim Defense Industries (the company involved in the lawsuit) or members of the Firearms Policy Coalition, are also exempt from the rule.
The fight for Second Amendment rights continues, but this temporary injunction marks a significant victory against the ATF’s unconstitutional and unlawful brace rule. Gun owners can celebrate this decision while remaining vigilant in safeguarding their rights. Stay tuned for more updates on this crucial matter.
Source Fox News