In a momentous ruling Wednesday, a Texas U.S. District Court Judge single-handedly stopped the Biden administration’s stringent pistol brace gun rule, offering a significant triumph for the defenders of the Second Amendment. The rule, which would turn millions of Americans into inadvertent felons overnight, was barred from implementation mere hours before it was to go into effect.
District Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern Texas District Court issued a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), effectively blocking their rule on “stabilizing braces.” The ATF had issued a mandate in January that required all gun owners with these devices to register their guns and abide by regulations pertaining to short-barreled rifles. Non-compliance would have resulted in felony charges.
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) June 1, 2023
Texas and multiple gun advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in response, arguing that this new regulation imposed an undue burden on the state’s gun owners. The court agreed with Texas, stating that the rule would cause “irreparable harm” if enforced before a final decision was reached on the lawsuit.
In its appeal for a preliminary injunction, Texas asserted that the rule would jeopardize the self-defense capabilities of its citizens and law enforcement personnel. “The Final Rule adversely affects Texans’ health and well-being by criminalizing the possession of previously lawful weapons, diminishing Texans’ ability to defend themselves,” the state’s motion read. Judge Tipton echoed this sentiment, thereby granting the injunction. This pause will remain in effect until the resolution of a parallel federal lawsuit, Mock v. Garland.
President Donald Trump appointed Judge Tipton to the federal bench in 2020.
Republicans need to do everything possible to stop Biden's unconstitutional plan to bypass Congress and use the ATF to restrict our 2nd Amendment rights!
Morrisey leads letter asking Congress to vote on pistol brace rule resolutionhttps://t.co/pvkTvLgdxa
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 30, 2023
Gun Owners for America’s senior vice president, Erich Pratt, celebrated the ruling, calling it a necessary defense against an administration that seemingly weaponizes the DOJ against law-abiding gun owners. “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,” Pratt said in a press release.
At the heart of this issue is the definition of a stabilizing brace. ATF describes it as an accessory that allows a weapon to be fired from the shoulder. The rule, introduced in January, reclassifies pistols with attached stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles, which are heavily regulated due to their potential danger in the wrong hands.
Gun rights groups argue that this rule violates the Constitution by requiring millions of gun owners to register weapons or face felony charges. The court’s injunction applies to individuals employed directly by the state of Texas or its agencies and all Gun Owners of America members and appears to have nationwide application.