May 28, 2023
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), Christopher Lewis (Maxim Defense Industries, LLC), and William T Mock won an injunction for the plaintiffs against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) new pistol brace rule.

The decision was handed down by a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel this morning. The panel consisted of two Donald Trump appointees and one George W. Bush appointee. The panel is waiting to hear arguments in Mock v. Garland, where the plaintiffs are taking on the ATF’s new pistol brace rule that would reclassify millions of pistols equipped with pistol stabilizing devices as short-barreled rifles (SBRs) under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). The change would mean millions of Americans could become felons on June 1, 2023, when the window closes to register, destroy, modify, or turn in their firearm equipped with a pistol brace to authorities.

The injunction will protect the status quo until the appeals court can hear the case that has been granted expedited status. By granting the injunction, the Court seems to indicate that they believe that the Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of the case because that is one of the hurdles that must be overcome to receive an injunction from the Court.

The case claims that the new rule violates the Administrative Procedures Act because the ATF has no authority to make such a regulation. The Plaintiffs claim that the ATF is sidestepping Congress and making a de facto law at the behest of the White House for political gain.

The Biden Administration has openly opposed gun owners and the Second Amendment. Biden’s ATF has increased the revocation of federal firearms licenses (FFLs) by 500% for errors in paperwork under its zero-tolerance policies.

FPC is claiming that the ATF also is violating the rule of lenity. The rule of lenity states that if a law is ambiguous or unclear, it must be interpreted for the defense (the people, not the government). The Fifth Circuit has taken on the rule of lenity in Cargill v. Garland, where it ruled that the Trump-era bump stock ban violated the legal principle.

Mr. Lewis, who owns Maxim Defense Industries, LLC, will also likely show irreparable harm. Since the introduction of the new regulation, Maxim Defense Industries has had to fire 13 people since the market for pistol stabilizing devices and braced firearms has tanked. If the brace rule is allowed to go into effect, it could put multiple companies out of business, causing the loss of jobs.

A District Court judge ruled against the Plaintiffs because the judge felt that there wasn’t enough information to issue an injunction. The Plaintiffs disagreed with the judge and appealed the case to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for consideration. The appeal in the case has been expedited to the next available Oral Argument Date.

Even though this injunction only applies to the Plaintiffs, it strengthens the case for other requests for injunctions and temporary restraining orders (TROs). Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Texas have a case at the District Court level and are asking for both a TRO and a preliminary injunction (PI). The panel’s decision might sway the District Court judge to issue a nationwide injunction.

If a nationwide injunction isn’t issued, the new rule will go into effect on June 1, 2023, and the window to register a braced pistol with a stabilizing device attached for a tax stamp with a forbearance on the $200 fee will be closed.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at

John Crump

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