ATF Appeals (Most Likely in Vain) Texas Federal Judge’s Ruling



So what’s new on the legal front with regard to pistol stabilizing braces? Well, as we anticipated in an earlier blog, the Department of Justice did in fact appeal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk’s ruling in Britto v. ATF to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. One of the ATF’s main arguments is that the Northern District of Texas Court shouldn’t have applied the ruling from Judge Reed O’Connor (also of the Northern District of Texas Court) in the Mock v. Garland case in determining issuance of the nationwide injunction that’s currently in place. You may remember that relief in the Mock v. Garland case included an injunction for members of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, and others.

Now if that all sounds a bit like legalese word salad, that’s because it kinda is. NGL The short and sweet of it all is that we gun owners still enjoy a nationwide injunction on the pistol stabilizer brace ban that the ATF tried to put in place. The ATF is appealing the injunction at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Do they stand a chance of winning? Doubtful. The ATF has lost two big cases at the 5th Circuit in recent years: the bumpstock ban and the ghost gun ban. And those cases weren’t nearly the clear-cut violation of the 2nd Amendment that this overreach is.

So what’s next, you ask? As we wrote before, the consensus within the legal community is that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will support the injunctive relief and issue a permanent injunction in the coming months. The various lawsuits against the ATF will continue for some years. No doubt that the issue will find itself in front of the U.S. Supreme Court at some point. In the meantime, Americans will be protected by the injunctions

Submit a Comment to ATF to Protect Pistol Stabilizing Braces

On June 7, 2021, the ATF proposed a rule on pistol stabilizing braces that’s going to impact millions of Americans. They’re calling it: Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces.”


Here are a couple key highlights in this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM):


  • ATF is trying to update the definition of a rifle to include any weapon with a rifled barrel that has a stabilizing brace because they believe firearm owners are using these pistol stabilizers with the intent of converting pistols into short-barreled rifles.
  • ATF would apply a “point system” (up to 4 points) to determine whether a pistol stabilizer would convert and classify it as a short-barreled rifle.  


If this rule goes into effect, it will be the largest firearms ban in the entire history of the United States that will impact millions of Americans with privately-owned firearms (including thousands of jobs in the firearm industry). These firearms will suddenly become unlawfully possessed  unless owners do the following:


  • Add a longer barrel to the firearm so it won’t be considered a short-barreled rifle
  • Surrender the firearm to ATF 
  • Completely remove and destroy the pistol stabilizer (if the firearm was assembled from scratch). 
  • Completely destroy the firearm (if it was an OEM-made firearm because a pistol cannot be made from something that was first manufactured as a rifle).  
  • Pay ANOTHER $200 tax and register the firearm with ATF.  



That means millions of Americans will become felons by owning these items if this rule gets put in place. 


For the sake of gun owners across the country (including yourself) who own a pistol stabilizing brace for your firearm, we need your help to stop this.






How to submit a quality comment to make sure it gets counted:


  • Include why the proposed rule is arbitrary, vague, complex, and burdensome.
  • Mention the rule is going after lawful gun owners and not criminals.
  • Detail that the rule is vague or complicated and that the “score card” doesn’t make sense
  • Show how the rules is arbitrary
  • Remind them that Arm braces are common
  • Remind them that they are common because the ATF always has said they were legal and provided approval letters
  • Discuss potential for felony penalties
  • Describe how the rule is complex and will be impractical to enforce



What NOT to include in your comment:

  • Talk about unrelated matters
  • Use the words Tyranny or bootlicker
  • Use profanity
  • Ramble
  • Submit anonymously – it won’t count


Comments must be submitted on or before September 8, 2021.


You can submit comments in one of three methods (but only one – do not submit multiple times or by more than one method). 


  • Federal eRulemaking Portal:
    • ATF recommends that you submit your comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal at and following the instructions
    • Link to Comment: Federal Register :: Factoring Criteria for Firearms With Attached “Stabilizing Braces”
    • Keep the comment tracking number that is provided after you have successfully uploaded your comment.
  • Mail:
    • Send written comments to:
      Denise Brown
      Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
      ATTN: ATF 2021R-08
      Mail Stop 6N-518
      99 New York Ave. NE
      Washington DC 20226
    • Written comments must include:
      • the reference agency and docket number: ATF 2021R-08
      • Legible and appear in minimum 12-point font size (.17 inches)
      • Commenter’s first and last name
      • Commenter’s full mailing address
      • Must be signed
      • Must be postmarked on or before September 8, 2021
  • Facsimile: 
    • Submit comments by facsimile transmission to (202) 648-9741
    • Faxed comments must include the following:
      • Reference agency and docket number: ATF 2021R-08
      • Legible and appear in minimum 12-point font size (.17 inches)
      • 8 ½” x 11” paper 
      • Commenter’s first and last name 
      • Commenter’s full mailing address
      • Must be signed
      • Must be transmitted on or before September 8, 2021 
      • No more than five pages long

Contact your senator and house representative today to let them know this is unconstitutional and illegal under the current laws under the NFA. 


It does matter. It does impact you. 


Do your part and make your voice heard to keep this rule from being put in place.