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The 11th Hour: Texas Federal Judge Halts New Gun Restriction Just in Time

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In a momentous move on Wednesday, a federal judge from Texas prevented an imminent gun control measure from being fully implemented. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was gearing up to enforce a new rule mandating the registration of pistol braces with the federal government. Noncompliance with this regulation would be met with harsh penalties, including fines, imprisonment, or both, as reported by Fox News.

However, just hours before the new rule was set to go live on Thursday, Judge Drew B. Tipton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction. The order prevents enforcement of the rule on individuals related to the plaintiffs, specifically employees of the state of Texas and members of Gun Owners of America.

The injunction came as a response to former Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who sought the order on behalf of Texas. He argued that the new rule would burden Texas police officers who own handguns with stabilizing braces, now forced to register these previously legal weapons.

The ATF defines a stabilizing brace as a device that allows a pistol to be fired from the shoulder, similar to a short-barreled rifle. These firearms have been considered more dangerous by Congress because of their potential for accuracy, similar to rifles, and concealability, akin to pistols.

President Joe Biden initiated this campaign against pistol braces two years ago, following a tragic incident where a gunman, using a weapon with a brace, took ten lives in a Boulder, Colorado, store.

Gun rights advocacy groups, such as the Gun Owners of America (GOA), have sued the federal government over this rule. They contend that obligating millions of lawful gun owners to register with the government infringes on constitutional rights.

Responding to Judge Tipton’s order, GOA Senior Vice President Erich Pratt criticized the Biden administration for what he sees as an attempt to “weaponize” the Department of Justice against law-abiding gun owners. Pratt lauded Judge Tipton for defending their members from potential prosecution due to what he referred to as an “arbitrary reclassification” by the ATF.

Sam Paredes of the Gun Owners Foundation, another plaintiff, stated, “GOF stepped in to defend the millions of Americans facing legal jeopardy.”

The ATF’s new rule, if it ever takes effect, would impact an unknown number of firearms. Reports estimate that US gun owners possess anywhere from 3 million to 40 million guns equipped with stabilizing braces, underscoring the widespread potential impact of this regulation.

Alexandra Russel
Alexandra Russel
Highly respected journalist and political commentator with over a decade of experience in the industry. Alex was born and raised in Florida, where she developed a passion for writing at a young age, leading her to pursue a degree in journalism from the University of Florida. After graduation, she worked as a political reporter for several local and national publications before being appointed as the chief editor at Conservative Fix.
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