On March 30, United States District Judge Reed O’Connor denied plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction preventing the ATF from enforcing its recent rule effectively banning pistol braces.  The case, William T. Mock, et al. v. Merrick Garland et al., is pending in the Northern District of Texas and was brought by the Firearms Policy Coalition and Maxim Defense in the wave of legal challenges that followed the ATF’s adoption of the final rule.
Plaintiffs argued that the rule is an unconstitutional issuance of legislative rules, and that the rule violated their rights pursuant to the First Amendment (by reclassifying pistols as rifles based on manufacturer claims), Second Amendment (as a de facto ban on a class of firearms), and Fifth Amendment (by being unconstitutionally vague).
Judge O’Connor,  who was appointed by President George W. Bush, ruled that the plaintiffs had not established that they are substantially likely to succeed on the merits of their case and thus were not entitled to an injunction that would prohibit enforcement of the final rule regarding pistol braces.  However, Judge O’Connor also commented that “Plaintiffs may ultimately prevail on summary judgment.”  Plaintiffs have already filed a notice of appeal and a request for an injunction pending the appeal.  The appeal will be heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  If Judge O’Connor grants the injunction pending the appeal, the ATF may be unable to enforce the final rule until and unless the ATF prevails in the litigation. 
Furthermore, Mock v. Garland is only one of six legal challenges to the ATF’s final rule regarding pistol braces being litigated around the country.  Renzulli Law Firm is closely monitoring these lawsuits and other litigation that affect the firearms industry. If you have any questions about complying with the ATF’s final rule regarding pistol braces and its applicability to specific firearms, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.