A federal judge in Texas on Wednesday ordered a preliminary injunction to prevent the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from fully enforcing a new rule requiring pistol braces to be registered with the federal government.
Owners of the pistol stabilizing braces would have to register their weapons with the ATF or face possible felony charges.
According to Fox News, the ATF has said that noncompliance would result in fees as well as “up to 10 years’ imprisonment or $10,000 in fines or both.”
The rule was slated to go into effect Thursday.
Judge Drew B. Tipton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted the injunction against enforcing the rule against individuals associated with the plaintiffs in the case, i.e. employees of the state of Texas and Gun Owners of America members.
Former Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had filed for the injunction on behalf of the state, arguing that the rule would “inflict compliance costs on Texas police who own previously legal handguns with stabilizing braces and must now expend resources to register those weapons.”
According to the ATF’s definition, a stabilizing brace “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,” essentially turning a pistol, according to the ATF’s argument, into a short-barreled rifle.
Congress considers short-barreled rifles more dangerous than other firearms because they are both more accurate that pistols and more easily concealed than other rifles.
President Joe Biden announced the push against such braces two years ago, after one was used by a gunman in a Boulder, Colorado, store who killed 10 people.
Groups like GOA have sued the federal government over the rule, arguing that a requirement for millions of legal gun owners to register with the government is unconstitutional.
“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.
“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,” he said.
Sam Paredes of the Gun Owners Foundation, another plaintiff in the suit, said: “While Congress was slow to act on this wide-reaching rule, GOF stepped in to defend the millions of Americans facing legal jeopardy.
“We are proud to have helped partially halt this rule, and hope it sends a message to anti-gunners hellbent on continuing the assault on the Second Amendment.”
You can read Tipton’s entire order here:
The exact number of guns potentially affected by the ATF’s new rule, should it go into effect, is unknown.
According to Fox, the ATF has said that U.S. gun owners possess “at least” 3 million guns with stabilizing braces, while the Congressional Research Service has estimated that gun owners have between 10 and 40 million such braces.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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