Update! Forced Reset Triggers

Project ar15 Sep 09, 2023
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Ar15 news gun laws forced reset triggers FRTs

Another Huge Win for the Second Amendment

In a remarkable victory for gun owners and defenders of the Second Amendment, the Northern District of Texas court, presided over by Judge Reid O'Connor, has issued a decisive blow to the ATF's overreach in its interpretation of Forced Reset Triggers (FRTs) as machine guns. Our article Triggers: The How and Why (project-ar15.com) reviews the function of FRTs. Essentially they allow the firing of multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger when installed into an AR15. This is a very specific and important detail to keep in mind.

The National Association for Gun Rights spearheaded the legal battle that has now resulted in a temporary restraining order (TRO), O'Connor granted the temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the agency or any entity therein from enforcing the rule in any manner criminal or civil against the names plaintiffs in the case. This is based on the likelihood of success by the plaintiffs on the merits of their case. 

Judge O'Connor's ruling stems from the case brought forth by the National Association for Gun Rights against the ATF, contesting the agency's erroneous categorization of FRTs as machine guns. The court found the ATF's expanded definition of the term "machine gun" to exceed its granted authority and labeled it as "arbitrary and capricious."

In his decision, Judge O'Connor made it clear that the ATF's interpretation failed to align with the intent of the National Firearms Act (NFA), which unequivocally states that a machine gun must have the capability to fire automatically after a single trigger function. The judge emphasized that "The definition of machine gun utilizes a grammatical construction that ties the definition to the movement of the trigger itself and NOT the movement of a trigger finger."

Given that Forced Reset Triggers do not enable a firearm to fire automatically with a single trigger movement, Judge O'Connor reasoned that they are unlikely to fall under the classification of machine guns, as asserted by the ATF. The court further noted that the defendants failed to present compelling evidence to counter this plain text reading of the statutory language.

This victory marks yet another critical milestone in the ongoing legal battle to safeguard Second Amendment rights. Much like the previous successes related to pistol brace regulations, frames and receivers, and bump-stocks, this courtroom triumph reaffirms the potency of lawful challenges against unwarranted governmental restrictions on firearms.

The legal landscape is undeniably shifting in favor of gun owners and their rights enshrined in the Second Amendment. With judges demonstrating a willingness to scrutinize and restrain federal agencies' overreach, gun rights advocates can anticipate more victories in the future. This outcome serves as a powerful testament to the dedication of organizations like the National Association of Gun Rights and the unwavering commitment of Americans to protect their constitutional liberties.

As legal battles continue to unfold, it becomes increasingly evident that the tide is turning in favor of those who champion the right to bear arms. These triumphs send a clear message that gun owners are not only defending their rights but also paving the way for a stronger, more secure future for the Second Amendment.