VETOED – Judge Says GUN Rule ‘UNLAWFUL’!

The ATF has suffered yet another setback in its ongoing fight to keep its so-called “Pistol Brace Rule” alive and kicking. On March 29, Judge Sam Lindsay, a 1998 Clinton appointee to the US District Court, granted a petition by the National Rifle Association enjoining the ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) from enforcing its rule against the NRA’s millions of members.

Judge Lindsay agreed with the NRA that the agency’s rule, which forces pistols equipped with stabilizing braces to be re-classified retroactively as “short-barreled rifles.” This rule, adopted after earlier rulings that stabilizing braces were perfectly legal, makes the weapons subject to regulation by the National Firearms Act (NFA) and subject to a tax. It renders them illegal in states that outlaw NFA items per-se, and made felons out of millions of Americans who own pistols with attached braces and have not applied for a tax stamp.

The Fifth Circuit Appeals Court ruled last year that the Pistol Brace rule violates due process as outlined under the Administrative Procedures Act, and is thus unlawful on those grounds. Judge Lindsay cited this as one of the precedents upholding his ruling.

He also concurred with the NRA’s contention that, were its membership subject to the pistol brace rule, it would suffer “irreparable harm.”

Since the pistol brace rule is not discretionary, and those who fail to comply face severe penalties, the injury faced by the NRA members far outweighed injuries that the ATF might suffer as the result of an injunction, Judge Lindsay said held all of the requirements for injunction were satisfied. According to this reasoning, he proceeded to issue an injunction which prevents the ATF from enforcing its ban against any present or future members of the NRA. The injunction will hold until such time as the various cases currently facing the ATF on this matter are decided on the merits, probably at the Supreme Court.