The ATF’s challenged rule on unfinished frames and receivers and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn lower court injunctions against enforcement is having an impact; not on criminals obtaining firearms or building their own, but on at least one of the plaintiffs challenging the rule in federal court.
Tactical Machining, one of the named plaintiffs in Vanderstok v. Garland, announced to customers on Friday that the company will soon be closing its doors; news shared by the Firearms Policy Coalition’s Rob Romano on X/Twitter.
Tactical Machining: "As of this moment, once our current stock runs out, we will not be manufacturing any more of our beloved products." pic.twitter.com/LX3JLxUQey
— Rob Romano (@2Aupdates) October 27, 2023
In its email, the company said its making the “difficult choice” to shut down after fifteen years because of the “challenging landscape created by unconstitutional laws being enforced by the current administration.”
We’ve fought long and hard to continue our mision, but unfortunately the obstacles have become insurmountable, and we must regrettably bow out.
This is a tough moment for us, as we have always strived to provide you with the best products and services. We want to assure you that this decision is not a reflection of our dedicatio to you, our cherished customers. We’ve cherished every interaction, every partnership, and every opportunity to serve you.
We want to take this moment to thank you sincerely for the trust you’ve placed in us, for the feedback that helped us improve, and for the memories we’ve created together over these 15 incredible years. Your loyalty has been the fuel that powered us through both the highs and lows.
The letter goes on to say that while Tactical Machining is shutting down, the folks behind the company are launching a new venture manufacturing gearboxes for trailer jacks. They’ll still be around, they say, just not in the firearm parts business.
While I’m glad that the owners and employees at Tactical Machining will still have their jobs, albeit in a different field, it’s bitterly disappointing that it’s come to this, especially when there is still a good chance that SCOTUS will ultimately invalidate the ATF rule in question. Four of the nine current justices (Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh) were opposed to staying the original injunction against the agency’s rules on incomplete frames and receivers, which is a pretty good indication that there are at least four votes to overturn the rule when the case comes before the Court in the course of regular business instead of an emergency appeal.
Of course, it takes five votes to have a majority on the Court, and maybe Amy Coney Barrett and John Roberts have already made up their mind in support of the ATF’s rule, but I don’t think either the plaintiffs or the DOJ are confident about where the majority will be when and if Vanderstok is heard on its merits. Unfortunately, even if a majority of the court ultimately sides with the plaintiffs it could be a long time before that decision is handed down. It looks like the folks behind Tactical Machining couldn’t afford to wait for months or years for the prospect of a positive outcome in their litigation, and I worry that other plaintiffs may find themselves in the same position before long.