Fifth Circuit Rules that ATF Pistol Brace Rule is Likely Illegal


The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Action Foundation (FPCAF) announced that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in Mock v. Garland, finding that FPC and FPCAF are likely to win on the merits of their lawsuit challenging ATF’s pistol brace rule.

The Fifth Circuit also remanded the lawsuit back to the district court with instructions to reconsider the other preliminary injunction factors within 60 days.

“The ATF incorrectly maintains that the Final Rule is merely interpretive, not legislative, and thus not subject to the logical-outgrowth test,” writes Judge Smith in the Court’s opinion. “The Final Rule affects individual rights, speaks with the force of law, and significantly implicates private interests. Thus, it is legislative in character. Then, because the Final Rule bears almost no resemblance in manner or kind to the Proposed Rule, the Final Rule fails the logical-outgrowth test and violates the APA.”

The Court goes on to state: “To ensure relative stability, we MAINTAIN the preliminary injunction pending appeal that the motions panel issued on May 23, 2023, as clarified by this merits panel on May 26, 2023. This court’s injunction will expire 60 days from the date of this decision, or once the district court rules on a preliminary injunction, whichever occurs first. We direct the district court to rule within 60 days.”

Cody J. Wisniewski, FPCAF’s General Counsel and FPC’s counsel in this case, said, “In its simplest terms, the Fifth Circuit just indicated that the Plaintiffs–Firearms Policy Coalition, Maxim Defense, and FPC’s individual members–are likely to defeat ATF’s pistol brace rule when the merits of this case are finally heard. This is a huge win for peaceable gun owners across the nation, a huge win for FPC’s members, and yet another massive defeat for ATF and this administration’s gun control agenda.”

Currently, ATF is being enjoined (stopped) from enforcing its pistol-brace rule that said the braces converted AR-style pistols to Short-Barreled Rifles. Photo courtesy of 80% Arms



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