In the wake of a 2021 shooting in Boulder, Colorado, BATFE decided that it was time to reassess their view of gun regulation. Instead of further investigating what motivated Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa (whom the FBI already knew of due to links to another investigation) to shoot up a grocery store, Biden decided that the agency should prioritize further regulation of the firearm that was used in the crime.
Since that time, Al-Issa has been found incompetent to stand trial, and the story has found its way into the memory hole.
But, gun control advocates took full advantage of the shooting. Colorado’s Californicated legislature, of course, passed any gun control measure they could dream up. At the federal level, there weren’t enough votes to pass anything in Congress, so the Biden Administration looked for ways to sidestep the legislative process with federal rulemaking.
The shooter’s gun of choice gave them a unique opportunity. It was a Ruger AR-556 pistol equipped with a stabilizing brace. Adding a standard stock designed to shoulder the weapon would have made it a short barreled rifle (SBR) under federal law, which would subject it to much more stringent NFA regulation and taxation. But, because pistol braces had correctly been deemed legal accessories, they were easy to buy and popular.
As usual, the gun control industry identified this as a dangerous loophole. The Biden Administration’s BATFE then created complicated new regulations that cause use of most if not all arm braces to be classified as SBRs. That, of course, was illegal, because the definition of an SBR in federal law is one that is designed to be shouldered, and not one that merely can be shouldered.
Many lawsuits followed and in all of them, injunctions blocking enforcement of the BATFE ban against the named plaintiffs were issued, including the members of the gun rights orgs that were parties to the lawsuits.
But another case, Britto v. ATF, which challenges the BATFE rule under the Administrative Procedures Act, has expanded those protected from enforcement. Instead of issuing a temporary hold on enforcement against just those who sued, yesterday US District Judge Matthew Kaczmaryk put enforcement of the rule on ice nationwide.
That means that everyone, whether they’re members of a plaintiff organization or not, is now free to own and use a pistol brace without concern for government thugs enforcing an unconstitutional ban under color of law.
As Judge Kaczmaryk wrote . . .
As explained in Garland, “[t]he controlling law of this case is that the Government Defendants’ promulgation of the Final Rufle ‘fails fails the logical-outgrowth test and violates the APA’ and ‘therefore must be set aside as unlawful’ under the APA. … It follows, then, that there is no injury that the Government Defendants or public-at-large could possibly suffer from if enforcement of the Final Rule were enjoined.” … Additionally, ATF admits the 10-year cost of the Rule is over one billion dollars. … And because of the Rule, certain manufacturers that obtain most of their sales from the stabilizing braces risk having to close their doors for good.
You can read his order here.
The judge found the plaintiff’s case likely to prevail on the merits, so the rule is probably not coming back unless BATFE can somehow convince the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to start ruling like the Ninth Circuit…in other words, there’s about a snowball’s chance in hell.
While expressing sympathy for the BATFE’s stated goal of reducing mass shootings and protecting the public, the judge let them know where the limits of their authority lie. He concluded with this zinger . . .
…public safety concerns must be addressed in ways that are lawful. This Rule is not.
Read the full article here