Judge issues limited injunction on forced reset triggers

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The federal definition of a machine gun is a firearm that is capable of firing more than one round with a single pull of the trigger. Forced reset triggers do nothing to allow this in a firearm. Despite this fact, the Biden administration decided to ban them via the regulatory power of the ATF.


However, the ATF doesn’t actually have the authority to up laws. It can only interpret and enforce laws passed by Congress, which makes its decisions here a tad questionable, at best.

Especially since they had to know this would land in court, which it has. A previous case resulted in an injunction.

Now, it’s happened again.

A federal judge in Texas has sharply limited the Biden administration’s ability to enforce a ban on forced reset triggers, after-market accessories that allow AR-15 type rifles to be fired more rapidly by automatically returning the trigger to its starting position after it is pulled.

While the order, handed down Sunday by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, does not block the rule altogether, it could have a broad effect because it applies to all members of the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR). The group says it has 4.5 million members across the country.

The order also extends to any “downstream customers” of any commercial gun sellers that belong to NAGR or Texas Gun Rights, the state’s largest gun rights group, which sued the administration in August along with three individuals.

O’Connor’s order is a preliminary injunction, not a final ruling, and will remain in effect while O’Connor hears the case. He had previously issued a narrower temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the ban only against the individual plaintiffs.


This isn’t the universal case with these lawsuits. At least one judge has decided that forced reset triggers really are machine guns despite the way the triggers actually work.

However, the truth of the matter is that this rule doesn’t meet the framework of what the ATF can actually restrict. It’s not the same thing as a machine gun as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934. The judge here knows that.

Now, we’re looking at another potential case that could end up before the Supreme Court.

If that happens, there’s no way the rule stands.

However, if that happens, I can’t say definitively that the machine gun restrictions currently in place would survive, either. After all, this is the same court that decided Bruen. If we apply that standard, machine guns and forced reset triggers alike will survive and be readily available to anyone who wants them.

That’s a huge win.

I’m not holding my breath on machine guns, but forced reset triggers aren’t the same thing and they should never have been restricted in the first place. The ATF clearly overstepped its authority and now they’re getting the smackdown the agency so richly deserves.


They do not get to just make up laws, which is what they did. They don’t have that authority, even if the president really, really wishes they did.

Now, with this soon to be out of the way, let’s talk about bump stocks

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