the federalist

Exclusive: Texas Lawsuit Could Freeze Biden’s Attempt To Turn Pistol Brace Owners Into Felons, With New Injunction Request

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton just filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Biden administration from enforcing its ban on pistol braces — a ban the attorney general and his fellow plaintiffs claim violates the Second Amendment.  

On Jan. 31, the Biden administration published a new regulation declaring Stabilizing pistol braces for guns “short-barreled rifles,” The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), suddenly placed them under the strict requirements. The federal statute governs short-barrel shotguns/rifles, machine guns, and silencers. However, it does not regulate pistols.

A rifle is defined by statute as: defined As “a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder” And set fire to it “a single projectile” With “each single pull of the trigger.” NFA regulations don’t apply to all guns, only certain types. “short” rifles — those defined as having a total length of 26 inches or less, or a barrel of 16 inches or less.  

The NFA does not regulate guns, but they are defined Separately as guns designed to fire bullets “when held in one hand,” Being a good friend. “a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand.”   

In 2012, pistol manufacturers started offering stabilizer braces. The stabilizing brace would allow the pistol to fit inside the brace. A brace attached to the shooter’s forearm provided additional support. In the ensuing decade manufacturers increased the number of available stabilizing braces as well as modified pistol designs in order to allow for easy attachment of an accessory bracket.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms established that stabilizing braces were not capable of converting pistols to short-barreled rifles. This was more than 10 years ago. The ATF offered consistent guidance as new designs evolved over time. It also indicated if the brace was a “brace”. “stock” — left undefined by the ATF — to convert the weapon to one designed to be fired from the shoulder, it could qualify under the NFA as a short-barreled rifle.

But, Biden’s administration changed their course and released a final regulation This was a January 2023 proposal to redefine “rifle” As “a weapon that is equipped with an accessory component, or other rearward attachment (e.g., a ‘stabilizing brace’) that provides surface area that allows the weapon to be fired from the shoulder, provided other factors,” As further described in the regulation “indicate that the weapon is designed, made, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.”

It “other factors” You should consider six things when comparing the pistol to similar rifles. These include the gun’s weight and length, the trigger pull and whether sights are required to be fired from a shoulder. The weapon’s overall design allows you to fire it from your shoulder. Marketing and promotional materials will also show the weapon’s intended purpose. “likely use of the weapon in the general community.”

Individuals with stabilizing braces, which, according to these factors, are considered short-barreled, have until May 31st, 2023 to make the gun a long-barreled weapon. However, the latter could lead to criminal liability in as many as 30 states. This would include those who have unregistered short barrel rifles and/or ban their possession.

The stabilizing brace ban was issued by the Biden Administration. A variety of gun owners and Second Amendment organizations filed lawsuits challenging it. Over 20 Republican-led States filed A lawsuit A federal court in North Dakota heard testimony from Ken Paxton (Texas’ Attorney General), and also two representatives of gun rights. sued In Texas, in separate proceedings in federal court.

Paxton has now filed a motion to halt the progress of his case. In his motion, Paxton stresses that the regulation purports to make millions of law-abiding Americans criminals by virtue of their possession of a stabilizing brace and pistol after May 31 — including even those who seek to register the accessory with ATF, since the ATF processing backlog renders it inconceivable that the gun owners will meet the registration deadline.

Paxton asserts that the regulation, which unconstitutionally tax citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights is unreasonable, is capricious and arbitrary, and it is also unconstitutionally vague. Texas’ top lawyer emphasizes that the braces were first introduced just over 10 years ago. It is estimated that at least 10 million of these stabilizing braces are in use. Thus, they are not uncommon and protected under Section 2. 

The main focus of Paxton’s motion, however, mirrors the one stressed in the lawsuit his sister states filed in North Dakota: that to legally qualify as a rifle, the gun must be Design And It is intended To be fired from the shoulder. The Biden administration’s regulation classifies guns as rifles if they are designed to fire from the shoulders. Please allow These should be fired from the shoulders.  

In redefining the meaning of “ATF” its authority, it exceeded all expectations. “rifle” The Texas attorney general claims that the stabilizing-brace regulation is unlawful. Additionally, the regulation is arbitrary and capricious as well as unconstitutionally vague. The six-factor analysis provides little information to the average American about their accessory status and whether it will render them felons.  

Paxton presents a solid legal analysis, making it likely that an injunction will be forthcoming — either in the Texas case, presided over by Trump appointee Drew Tipton, or in the North Dakota case, where George W. Bush appointee Daniel L. Hovland has before him a similar motion.  

This morning, Paxton, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania stated in a press statement that he “is hopeful that the court will protect the Constitutional rights of Americans by issuing a preliminary injunction against this rule.” 

“The law is on our side,” According to the Texas attorney General, it was important that Texas commits to “prevail in this battle against the Biden Administration’s war on the Second Amendment.”

The Federalist heard from Erich Pratt – the Senior Vice President of Gun Owners of America, and co-plaintiff in Texas – that there are millions of Americans. “facing a shrinking deadline to register or destroy their lawfully owned brace firearms under this draconian rule from the ATF,” His organization “hopes the Judge will hear their pleas and put a halt to this measure before millions of these law-abiding people unexpectedly become potential felons overnight.”

The court must act quickly because time is limited


Margot is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. Her work has also been featured in National Review Online and Townhall.com. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. Later, she served as a seven-year term law clerk on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for almost 25 years. Cleveland was a full-time professor at a university. She now teaches adjunct classes. Cleveland is a mom who stays at home to raise her son, Cystic Fibrosis. She also writes about cultural issues and parenting special-needs kids. Cleveland can be found on Twitter as @ProfMJCleveland These views are hers in private.


“From Exclusive: Texas Lawsuit Could Freeze Biden’s Attempt To Turn Pistol Brace Owners Into Felons, With New Injunction Request


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