A district court judge on Wednesday halted the Biden administration’s new rule that would charge gun owners who failed to register their braced firearms with a felony, just hours before it was set to go into effect.
In January, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces‘” rule that said all gun owners with “stabilizing braces,” shoulder devices that turn pistols into short-barreled rifles, would need to get their gun registered and comply with the regulations for those types of weapons or face felony charges. Texas and several gun groups filed a lawsuit against the ATF, and on Wednesday Judge Drew Tipton of the Southern Texas District Court issued a preliminary injunction, barring the rule from going into effect on June 1. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Cruz Leads Bicameral Republicans In Defending American Sovereignty, Protecting Second Amendment)
In the eight-page order, the court ruled that the state of Texas had established grounds that the rule would create “irreparable harm” if allowed to go into effect before the lawsuit was decided.
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) June 1, 2023
Texas argued that the law would harm gun owners in three areas: (1)”harm to its sovereign interests, (2) harm to its quasi-sovereign interests and (3) unrecoverable compliance costs with respect to a subset of its employees,” according to the decision. Tipton determined that Texas’ arguments for the first two did not prove grounds for “irreparable harm” but agreed that the state’s gun owners would face an undue burden due to the cost of compliance.
In Texas’ motion for a preliminary injunction, the state argued the rule would prevent its citizens and law enforcement from defending themselves.
“The Final Rule adversely affects Texans’ health and well-being by criminalizing the possession of previously lawful weapons, diminishing Texans’ ability to defend themselves,” the state’s motion for a preliminary injunction reads. “Finally, Texas police who possess previously legal handguns with stabilizing braces will have to expend resources to register those weapons.”
Tipton agreed with this reasoning and granted the injunction until the “resolution of the expedited appeal in Mock v. Garland,” another lawsuit at the federal level targeting the ATF’s rule.
“This assault on millions of Americans was just the latest example of President Biden trying to weaponize the DOJ against law-abiding gun owners, and we doubt it will be the last,” Erich Pratt, Gun Owner’s for America’s senior vice president, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said in a press release. “We are incredibly grateful to Judge Tipton for hearing the pleas of our members who were facing serious prosecution simply for owning a piece of plastic – all because of an arbitrary reclassification by the ATF. GOA and our millions of members nationwide will continue to fight back against this rogue anti-gun administration at every turn in defense of our rights.”
ATF told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the agency “is unable to comment on litigation.”
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