Pistol Brace Update! Great News for Gun Owners!

Project ar15 Sep 09, 2023
33 People Read
Ar15 gun news Pistol Brace rule update

ATF's final rule "likely illegal" In New 5th Circuit ruling

On August 2nd 2023, In a groundbreaking ruling, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has remanded the ATF's final rule on pistol braces back to district court. Delivering a significant triumph for owners of these accessories, as well as upholding Second Amendment rights for gun owners across the nation. The decision was rendered after the judges found that the rule was likely illegal and that the ATF had violated the Administrative Procedures Act by altering the final rule without proper public comment, failing the logical outgrowth test.

The court's ruling is an important win for gun owners, gun rights activists and organizations, including the Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC). The judges expressed their belief that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their merits, further validating the significance of this legal battle.

At the heart of the case lies the issue of pistol braces and the ATFs erroneous classification of pistols with these braces, as Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs). Pistol braces are stabilizing devices designed to improve firearm stability, control and accuracy when attached to certain types of pistols. Which the ATF initially reviewed and approved. They also acknowledged in their 2017 open letter; that the intended purpose of the brace nor the design of the firearm it is attached to changed when used together. Regardless of how it was used during firing (Shouldering). However, their legality has been subject to political agenda and incorrect and illegal interpretation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), culminating in the introduction of the final rule in question.

Pistols, the NFA and the Administrative Procedures Act

One of the primary arguments put forth by the court was the exemption of pistols from regulation by the NFA.  The judges pointed out that the ATF's attempt to regulate pistol braces contradicted existing laws, implying that the agency overstepped its bounds. This ruling highlights the importance of maintaining clear distinctions between different firearm types to safeguard the rights of gun owners and prevent potential overreach of government agencies.

Furthermore, the court elaborated on the ATF's violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, an essential safeguard to ensure public participation and transparency in rulemaking. Remarking on how the final rule bears no resemblance to the proposed rule submitted to the public for comment. The ATF's failure to adhere to this critical procedural requirement undermined the legitimacy of the final rule, prompting the court to call for further judicial review at the district level within 60 days. This means we can expect to see further legal action on this matter soon. 

Holding the District Court Accountable 

The decision also criticized the district court's initial denial of a preliminary injunction, pointing to potential errors in Judge O'Connor's decision to deny the plaintiffs request for the injunction. This remand reinforces the need for comprehensive and impartial examination in complex cases involving constitutional rights, especially those concerning the Second Amendment.

the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to remand the ATF's final rule on pistol braces marks a monumental victory for owners of these accessories, gun rights advocates, and the Second Amendment itself. By challenging the legality of the rule and highlighting procedural violations, the court reaffirms the importance of preserving constitutional rights and ensuring that government agencies act within their appropriate boundaries. As the case progresses, it will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for gun owners and legal precedent surrounding firearm regulations in the United States.

Subscribe and Stay Informed on this historic issue!