ATF Ruling Vacated After Judge Slaps Agency Silly

( – Yet another agency rule from the Biden administration was struck down in court on June 30, this time from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The agency attempted to equate “partially complete pistol frames” with a firearm, which the judge said are not defined as such in the Gun Control Act (GCA). Several gun rights groups banded together in filing the lawsuit to rein in the ATF, as they believed the rule exceeded their authority.

Officials from the ATF have testified in front of Congress on several occasions regarding the pistol brace rule, with many Republicans blasting the agency for restricting an accessory that is often used by disabled veterans when exercising their Second Amendment rights. Representative Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has spent time during these hearings schooling the Democrats on what a pistol brace actually does after Representative David Cicilline, D-RI, told members of Congress in July 2022 that the brace changes a pistol into an automatic weapon. Massie also cornered Representative Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., when it appeared that he did not know the details of the ATF rule he was defending.

On June 13, the House voted to overturn the rule, with two Democrats joining the Republicans in sending the measure to the upper chamber for a vote. President Biden had announced just a day prior that he would veto the legislation if it made its way to his desk, but this did not deter the Republicans from challenging the ATF for its overreach. Democrats responded to the passage of the resolution with talking points similar to Rep. Cicilline’s, claiming that a weapon is more deadly with the pistol brace attached. The Senate subsequently rejected the measure, but now that the rule has been halted by a judge, Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief. The ATF refused to comment on the ruling, telling reporters to contact the Department of Justice for questions related to the matter such as whether the Biden administration plans to appeal the ruling.

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