Gun rights groups respond to pistol brace decision

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

On Tuesday, the Fifth Circuit issued an injunction on the ATF’s pistol brace rule.

Needless to say, this is big as the deadline was looming that would turn millions of Americans into felons because of this rule.


Now, that isn’t as big of a threat, and some of the gun rights groups are taking a bit of a well-deserved victory lap.

First, Gun Owners of America’s statement:

Gun Owners of America (GOA) issued the following statements after the 5th Circuit Court partially enjoined the Biden Pistol Brace Ban this morning. GOA and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) had filed an amicus brief in Mock v. Garland, as well as filed their own challenge to the rule in conjunction with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a different federal court.

“This is an encouraging step from the Fifth Circuit, and we hope that the judge in our own case will see this ruling and in turn grant a more robust injunction to relief the millions of Americans nationwide who may soon be in legal jeopardy,” said Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior VP. “This is just the latest attempt by the Biden Administration to weaponize federal agencies against the American people, and we will continue to stand in the way in defense of our rights.”

“This injunction is welcome news, but due to it’s limited nature, we still need Congress to act before the June 1st deadline,” said Aidan Johnston, GOA’s Director of Federal Affairs. “189 Representatives and 47 Senators have already signed on, and we urge the Speaker to put this on the floor for a vote and force Democrats in both chambers to vote on whether to make their constituents felons overnight.”


Of course, GOA is right that the injunction is limited and it’s not as good of a deal as we might want. Still, it’s an important move.

They weren’t the only ones at least somewhat happy with Tuesday’s move. The Firearms Policy Coalition also issued a statement:

Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) released a statement on the Fifth Circuit’s Order granting an Injunction Pending Appeal in Mock v. Garland, FPC and FPC Action Foundation’s federal lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) recent rule reclassifying braced pistols as National Firearms Act (NFA)-regulated short-barreled rifles. The injunction, along with other case documents, can be viewed at

FPC challenged ATF’s administrative rule that seeks to reclassify “braced pistols” as “short-barreled rifles.” In so doing, the rule would transform millions of peaceable people into felons overnight simply for owning a firearm that has been lawful to own for a decade, unless they either destroy their constitutionally protected property or comply with the NFA’s onerous and unconstitutional requirements.

FPC has argued that the rule is a violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act because it infringes upon the fundamental and natural rights of the People. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to secure their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

Per the the Fifth Circuit’s Order, “IT IS ORDERED that the appeal is EXPEDITED to the next available Oral Argument Calendar. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Appellants’ Opposed Motion For a Preliminary Injunction Pending Appeal is GRANTED as to the Plaintiffs in this case.”

FPC intends to seek clarification as to who is covered under the scope of the injunction.

“We are very excited and encouraged by the Fifth Circuit’s decision this morning,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, Senior Attorney for Constitutional Litigation at FPC Action Foundation. “We intend to ask the Court for additional information about who is covered under the injunction, but cannot stress enough just how important this decision is. The fight is far from over, but this is a huge victory in the battle against the ATF’s unconstitutional and unlawful brace rule!


Again, this is big.

The truth of the matter is that we needed at least some kind of injunction due to the ATF’s blatantly unconstitutional attempt to redefine pistol braces as something else, thus impacting millions of gun owners.

This follows the ATF redefining bump stocks as suddenly being machine guns following the events of Las Vegas, which set the stage for the ATF doing just this sort of thing.

And that’s a problem.

The ATF shouldn’t be in the business of defining what’s permissible and what isn’t, for one thing, but once they do and people start buying a product, they shouldn’t be able to swoop in and suddenly tell you that you can’t have it anymore.

I know that ATF Director Steve Dettelbach said you could just take it off and be fine, but we all know that’s not how the ATF works. If you have an AR pistol and a pistol brace in the same house, they’ll hammer you just as if you have an illegal short-barrel rifle sitting there.

That means your purchases have to be gotten rid of or else you face prosecution, despite having bought the item in good faith with the understanding that the ATF approved.

So yeah, this is big, but it’s just the first step.

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