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NRA Wins Preliminary Injunction Protecting Braced Pistols

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A gavel in front of a smoky background

On March 29, United States District Judge, Sam Lindsay, granted a preliminary injunction in favor of the National Rifle Association of America (NRA), in a case challenging the ATF’s pistol brace rule. The injunction covers all NRA members.

“This is a major victory for the NRA, its members, and all who believe in Second Amendment freedom,” says NRA President Charles Cotton, in a statement on the NRA website. “From day one, we vowed to fight back against President Biden and his rogue regulators – and to defeat this unlawful measure.”

The case, known as National Rifle Association of America Inc., v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was brought by the NRA on July 24, 2023.

In May of 2023, in a separate case known as Mock v. Garland, brought by Firearms Policy Coalition, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction pending appeal for those plaintiffs, including all FPC and GOA members.

The 292 page rule was issued by the ATF in January of 2023 and attempted to arbitrarily and capriciously redefine a long-understood term, “rifle”, as it relates to braced pistols. The rule compelled owners to comply by destroying or surrendering their pistol brace, or registering the firearm as an SBR (short barrelled rifle).

In his ruling, Judge Lindsay leaned heavily on precedent from the previous Fifth Circuit decision. His opinion stated simply:

The court, therefore, grants the NRA’s Motion (Doc. 8) and request for a preliminary injunction, and it enjoins the ATF; Steven Dettelbach, in his official capacity as the Director of the ATF; the United States Department of Justice; and Merrick Garland, in his official capacity as the United States Attorney General from enforcing the Final Rule against the NRA’s members pending the final resolution of this action on the merits.

While we are not legal experts, a simple reading of the decision would suggest that the ATF is not able to enforce the rule against lawful owners of braced pistols, for the moment.

We highly suggest consulting with an attorney or legal service such as US LawShield on the legality of your firearm as it relates to this ruling. We also encourage you to donate to the NRA.

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