A U.S. regulation restricting ownership of gun accessories known as pistol braces is likely illegal, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday, a victory for a gun rights group challenging the rule.
A 2-1 panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives finalized the rule in January without giving the public a meaningful chance to comment on it. That made it invalid under the federal Administrative Procedure Act, the panel found.
Based perhaps on the ATFs own haste to publish the rule, which if you’ll recall the put up for comment and then withdrew early when it got savagely panned by commentary, the published rule that went into effect back in January and added just over 200,000 SBRs to the NFA Registrar out of an estimated 5,000,000 to 15,000,000 is probably illegal.
Even before considering the arguments under the 2A and ADA, or any other avenue of legal attack the brace rule was wide open for, the ATF may have run afoul by simply not opening a second comment period on the revised rule.
Bump stocks, frames, and braces oh my. ATF rule making, at the behest of the administrations, to appease emoting demanding moms and mayors continues their string of well earned losses.
It is increasingly evident that gun control ‘wins’ are nothing more than courts not wanting to conflict with their local rule makers when they can easily just let it be decided by a higher court and it isn’t their problem anymore.
The court did not immediately block enforcement of the rule, instead sending the case back to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas. O’Connor will have to decide whether to issue an order blocking enforcement while the case goes forward, and if so, whether that order will apply nationwide or only to the plaintiffs in the case.