Earlier this week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the ATF’s pistol brace ban until the case can be decided. But as Jeremy pointed out in our earlier post, the order only applied to the named plaintiffs in the suit.
The Firearms Policy Coalition, one of those named plaintiffs, petitioned the court for clarification and yesterday, they got it. The injunction does, in fact, only cover the plaintiffs in the suit. However, one of those named plaintiffs is the Firearms Policy Coalition…and all of its members.
That effectively extends the injunction nationwide. Anyone who joins FPC will therefore be covered by the Fifth Circuit’s injunction. As TTAG contributor LKB told us this morning . . .
If I had a braced pistol, I’d be quietly signing up as an FPC member pronto. This wrinkle in the case has the potential to make any injunction effectively nationwide.
For instance, if you’re in Idaho, any test case would have to go thru the Ninth Circuit. Let’s assume the Ninth Circuit disagrees with what we expect Fifth Circuit to do, and upholds the ATF rule. But if you’re an FPC member, and the Fifth Circuit ultimately rules that an injunction issued covers FPC members, no problem: because the Fifth Circuit injunction covers you. The feds are enjoined from prosecuting you.
(Obviously, you’d want to get a clarifying order from the court in the Texas case that establishes that you are an FPC member, and that as such the feds are indeed enjoined from prosecuting you.)
Point taken. Few people want to become a test case. That said, if I owned a braced gun with a barrel under 16 inches, I’d be signing up for FPC membership.
Here’s the FPC’s press release announcing the court’s clarification . . .
Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) released a statement on the Fifth Circuit’s Order clarifying that the Injunction Pending Appeal in Mock v. Garland applies to FPC’s members, Maxim Defense’s customers, and the individual plaintiffs’ resident family members. The order, along with other case documents, can be viewed at FPCLaw.org.
FPC challenged ATF’s administrative rule that seeks to reclassify “braced pistols” as “short-barreled rifles.” In so doing, the rule would transform millions of peaceable people into felons overnight simply for owning a firearm that has been lawful to own for a decade, unless they either destroy their constitutionally protected property or comply with the NFA’s onerous and unconstitutional requirements.
FPC has argued that the rule is a violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act because it infringes upon the fundamental and natural rights of the People. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to secure their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
Per the Fifth Circuit’s Order: “This clarification is granted essentially for the reasons concisely set forth in the May 25, 2023, Plaintiffs-Appellants’ Reply to Their Opposed Motion for Clarification of Injunction Pending Appeal. . . Plaintiffs merely request clarification on whether their reading of the term ʻPlaintiffs’ to include the customers and members whose interests Plaintiffs Maxim Defense and Firearms Policy Coalition (ʻFPC’) have represented since day one of this litigation is correct.’ That reading is correct. Also as requested, the term “Plaintiffs in this case” includes the individual plaintiffs’ resident family members.”
“We’re incredibly excited to report that the Fifth Circuit has clarified that our injunction covers FPC‘s members and Maxim Defense’s customers, as we have always argued for,” said Cody J. Wisniewski, Senior Attorney for Constitutional Litigation. “This relief will offer protection while we continue to fight against ATF’s overreach.”
Individuals who would like to Join the FPC Grassroots Army and support important pro-rights lawsuits and programs can sign up at JoinFPC.org. Individuals and organizations wanting to support charitable efforts in support of the restoration of Second Amendment and other natural rights can also make a tax-deductible donation to the FPC Action Foundation. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit FPCLegal.org and follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.