Federal Court Blocks Biden’s AR-15 Style Pistol Ban as Unlawful

A federal court in Texas has declared President Joe Biden's attempt to control AR-15 like "pistols" to be "illegitimate" and "unlawful." Millions of firearms may have been destroyed and non-compliant gun owners could have faced criminal penalties if the ruling had not overturned a regulation that attempted to tax and regulate these weapons.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was chastised by the U.S. District Court for its abrupt decision to remove a long-standing exemption and thus make owning specific firearms illegal over night. Key participant in the case, the Firearms Policy Coalition, praised the court's ruling, claiming that the ATF had exceeded its power.

After the same court had previously approved the ATF rule, an appeals court reversed the decision, giving gun rights activists this triumph. The case is predicted to go on to the US Supreme Court after the District Court judge decided that the ATF's rule was illegal.

People can currently own AR-style pistols with stabilizing arm braces. Although these adjustable bracing may operate like a stock and turn pistols into short-barreled rifles, the ATF had already given permission for their use on handguns.

Judge Reed O'Connor faulted the ATF for writing the rule vaguely and for without providing a justification for its sudden change in long-standing policy. Because the agency used too ambiguous standards and could not sufficiently justify the policy change, the judge concluded that the agency adopted the final rule arbitrarily and capriciously.

With an estimated 10 million or more of these weapons in circulation, very few owners took advantage of the ATF's grace period to register their weapons free from the $200 tax. Their small size and movable pistol brace stock make these guns ideal for self-defense and leisure shooting.

Few incidents using these kinds of guns have supported the Biden administration's justification for the regulation, which cited the usage of such weapons in mass killings. The administration's efforts at gun control are severely harmed by this decision, which also upholds the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding firearm owners.

Written by Staff Reports

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