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ATFs Pistol Brace Rule Edges Closer to Supreme Court

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An AR pistol equipped with a pistol brace.
An AR pistol equipped with a pistol brace.

The Texas-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the ATF’s new rule on pistol braces, bringing the case closer to the Supreme Court.

As we previously reported, SAF v. ATF is a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation in 2023 that challenged the constitutionality of the ATF’s new rule that compelled registration, modification, or destruction of pistols with braces. Some estimates indicate that there may be as many as 40 million braced AR pistols in the United States.

“We are delighted about the court’s decision,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, in a statement on their website, adding, “We will be fully prepared to argue our case before the appeals court, and hopefully see a quick resolution of this case.”

SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut noted the SAF case is part of a consolidation of four separate cases for briefing purposes, but still stands apart on separate issues.

“The ATF’s ‘Final Rule’ is a complete reversal of previous policy, and it was adopted in violation of APA guidelines.” Kraut said. “We certainly expect to prevail.”

The 5th Circuit has already issued a preliminary injunction against the ATF rule, which suggests that it could rule in favor of the Second Amendment Foundation, an action that the ATF would likely appeal to the Supreme Court. A separate injunction was issued in a case brought by the National Rifle Association in November of last year.

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