This Thursday, a federal appeals court determined that a Biden administration regulation banning stabilizing braces for weapons is probably unlawful and remanded the matter to a judge for further consideration.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives website states that stabilizing braces, often referred to as pistol braces, “[provide] surface area that allows the weapon to be fired from the shoulder.”
The organization singled out guns with braces in January, reclassifying such weapons as rifles and placing stricter ownership restrictions on them.
Americans who own pistol braces have a few options: register their firearms, alter or destroy them, remove the brace permanently and dispose of them, turn their firearms into the ATF, or go on the lam.
A gun rights organization appealed the ATF’s judgment, and on Tuesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of gun owners, according to Reuters.
The ATF targeted stabilizing braces without giving the public a chance to comment on the policy, the court ruled 2-1.
Agencies are mandated by the Administrative Procedure Act to notify the public of proposed decisions and give interested parties a chance to comment.
The ATF did allow for public comment on the proposed rule in 2021, according to Judge Jerry Smith, but the final regulation was so dissimilar from the proposal that it amounted to “a rug-pull on the public.”
Judge Don Willett concurred and noted that the law would infringe on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.
The regulation did not require public comment, according to Judge Stephen Higginson, who dissented, because it “merely interpreted a law passed by Congress,” according to Reuters.
The Firearms Policy Coalition, a pro-gun organization, brought the legal action. The group’s attorney, Cody Wisniewski, hailed the decision as “a huge win for peaceable gun owners across the nation.”
According to Reuters, neither the ATF nor the Department of Justice responded to the court’s ruling.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the panel extended a temporary hold on the pistol brace regulations and remanded the issue to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor after he declined to do so in March.
While the case is ongoing, O’Connor will assess whether the rule can be applied.
Barack Obama, who served as president from 2009 to 2013, selected Higginson, the judge who dissented from the ruling on Tuesday. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, respectively, appointed Smith and Willett.