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A U.S. District Court in Texas has ruled that the Biden Justice Department’s Final Rule redefining braced pistols as “short-barreled rifles” violates the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) so is therefore unconstitutional.

In the lawsuit Mock v. Garland, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor granted summary judgment in favor of the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and its co-plaintiffs and issued a final judgment and order vacating the DOJ/ATF rule.

At issue wasn’t the constitutionality of the Final Rule under the Second Amendment, but the fact that the APA forbids bureaucratic agencies from making laws, which is the purview of a duly elected Congress. The district court ruled that the DOJ and ATF have no such power.

“The Defendants’ disregard for the principles of fair notice and consideration of reliance interests is further exacerbated by its failure to follow the APA’s procedural requirements for public notice and comment,” the ruling states. “As discussed above, Defendants failed to follow proper notice-and-comment procedures because the Proposed Rule and the Final Rule differed in immense ways.”

In the end, the court ruled the federal government didn’t have a legitimate leg to stand on in its defense of the Final Rule.

“The proper remedy for a finding that an agency failed to comply with the APA’s procedural requirements is vacatur of the unlawful agency action,” the ruling further stated. “In this case, vacatur is appropriate given the Court’s conclusion that Defendants’ adoption of the Final Rule violated the APA’s procedural requirements. An illegitimate agency action is void ab initio and therefore cannot be remanded as there is nothing for the agency to justify.”

For its part, FPC, a plaintiff in the case, was happy, although not at all surprised, at the court’s ruling.

“The Biden Administration’s ATF hates us so much that it lawlessly acted to run millions of gun owners into felons, but FPC and our members ran toward the fire and defeated this evil,” FPC President Brandon Combs said in a release announcing the action. “Today’s order shows that our community can take on an immoral government and win.”

Combs added that with an appeal very likely in the case, his organization refuses to back down.

“FPC members should be proud of what was accomplished today,” he said. “We look forward to defending this victory on appeal and up to the Supreme Court, just as we have in other cases.”

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45 COMMENTS

    • “Wouldn’t this apply to the EPA and all of their dictates as well?”

      One of the SCotUS rulings to look for in the next few weeks is called ‘Loper Bright’, about a family-owned fishing business forced by fiat to pay for a ‘fishing monitor’ to live on their fishing boat while they are at sea, fishing. At a rate of $1,000 per week. EVERY week.

      It looks promising that will be bitch-slapped down by our side on the high Court…

    • “…millions of lost pistol braces are going to be floating to the surface”

      Mine never disappeared entirely, but it was temporarily separated from the gun it was on…

    • Thanks! That was funny, I will be sure to ask a buddy who is going fishing this weekend to net me one if he gets a chance since I have an unbuilt lower that really needs to meet up with a short little 300 Blackout barrel.

      • “I have an unbuilt lower that really needs to meet up with a short little 300 Blackout barrel.”

        You might wanna grab that barrel fast, there’s now gonna be run on pistol barrels… 😉

    • Funny how people keep forgetting that little fact…as well as the fact the bump stock ban was Trump’s…and the fact Trump supported red-flag laws to deny gun rights without due process.

      • to be fair though….bumpstocks are fucking lame. did people actually buy those stupid things?? that’s like the rail mounted pistol knife idea

        • This was the pistol brace redefinition, not the bump stock redefinition.
          As a workaround to the useless SBR restrictions of the NFA, pistol braces are quite useful (esp. for suppressed pistols to improve balance).

  1. The APA does apply across the board to all regulatory agencies and related regulating bodies. The differences in court fights based on the APA are in the details of the regulation in dispute. ATF was pretty blatant in their disregard of the APA for this rule, and imo other ATF rules as well. We may see the same kind of slap down of the ATF when the SC releases their ruling on bumpstocks in the very near future – perhaps tomorrow.

  2. The only person to articulate the solution to this continuing problem is Vivek Ramaswamy. The executive branch can fire government employees without the permission of congress.

    And it is routinely done by the executive. And of course people will complain.

    And that is an outstanding reason to vote for him for president.

  3. Are we back to where we started yet to before FDJT opened up this AFT regulatory Pandora’s box?

  4. I have a number of firearms equipped with braces and while I was already a member of SAF, I did join FPC which double protected me while the BS rule wound its way through the courts.
    I sure as hell didn’t buckle and register jack sh—- with the ATF.

  5. For all the snot nosed bump stock crybabies who held hands with biden democRats to slander and libel POTUS DJT…

    Say what you would have done following Vegas if you were POTUS dealing with a knee jerk congress who wanted to ban a heck of a lot more than bumpstocks. A) Toss bumpstocks under the bus by an EO that can be reversed. B) Handed the football to congress so they could ban anything they wanted and override your veto.

    It’s TRUMP or this…

  6. Yay for the win! The problem is still the cost and speed of these cases, a rogue agency can still implement a bad faith rule and mess with millions of people and hurt companies, and it takes more than a year to stop them. And what harm will the ATF see other than aw shucks, our rule is gone

    A strange side effect now will be the likely worthless “free registrations”… if people put stocks on them, then in trying to prevent illegal SBRs the ATF may have encouraged the creation of many more illegal SBRs.

  7. So pistol braces are legal in texas?
    I do not see how a Texas court would have power over a Federal law.
    Kinda like marijuana.
    The whole damned SBR SBS, stocked pistol is an infringement.
    Blame Bonnie and Clyde and our Fathers who thought the NFA was a good thing.
    How double standard, my great uncle had a full auto Thompson and Dad thought that was Okay but he didnt like Bonnie and Clyde packing the weapons they had??

  8. I may or may not have gotten two SBR MP5s under the amnesty that I was already planning on SBRing. Regardless it’s a dumb law.

  9. ATF DESTROYED in COURT But Will We Go to Prison Anyways? Does selling a gun make you a Dealer?

  10. Joe Biden Says If He Becomes Tyrannical There’s Nothing You Can Do About It, AR-15s Would Be Useless. (While Biden’s son was being convicted for illegal possession of a gun, Joe Biden was giving a speech to the largest Anti-gun group in the country, and during that speech, Joe Biden said, “IF WE get out of line”… there’s nothing you can do about it! – note: only a person intending to be a tyrant would threaten such.).

  11. Before a regime takes over in the Power Play those with the ability try or do disarmn the citizens.
    I can still remember a story told to me by a classmate who was a Cuban refuge during the Castro take over. The stars seem to be aligning.
    In the game of chess a good chess player can defend against a two fronted assault quite easily, however it appears Free America is now assaulted from all sides and from within. I would lose easily if my own Queen was antagonistic against my King.
    Hunter was the sacrificial lamb, Malinowski’s murder was the way.
    A concerning question in my mind is where will our Law Enforcement and Military stand when the balloon goes up, which I have a premonition is close to fruition, and from what I have witnessed I have a sinking feeling our Law Enforcement and Military will stand with their ideas of a precieved righteousness as We The People will be cast as villains.
    theBiden is a Hydra.

  12. No matter what the issue, the response should ALWAYS be the same…….COME AND TAKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • As to the question posed, at some point in time, or so one would hope. That said, this elderly citizen likely won’t be around to see it, pitty that.

  13. So the DOJ/ATF cabal have finally been told where to get off, at least it so appears. Hopefully, this judicial finding will not be overturned. Re a passing note, this citizen wonders as to how come this admonition didn’t come from The Congress. At least the presiding judge had his head screwed on correctly.

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