Federal Judge Vacates ATF Rule on Pistol Braces

We’re still waiting to see what the Supreme Court does in Rahimi and Cargill, but gun owners did get some very good news from the federal courts on Thursday. A U.S. District Judge in Texas has vacated the ATF’s rule treating pistols equipped with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles; granting relief not only for the named plaintiffs involved in the litigation, but for every gun owner across the country who owns a brace.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the ATF’s rule treating most pistol braces as accessories that turn pistols into SBRs violated the Administrative Procedures Act in a number of ways.

For close to a decade, the ATF concluded that “attaching the brace to a firearm does not alter the classification of the firearm or subject the firearm to NFA control.” The ATF changed course on this position for the first time in 2023, when it issued the Final Rule reversing the agency’s otherwise long-standing policy.

“When an agency changes course, as [the ATF] did here, it must ‘be cognizant that longstanding policies may have engendered serious reliance interests that must be taken into account.’” Dep’t of Homeland Sec. v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal., 591 U.S. 1, 30 (2020) (quoting Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 579 U. S. 211, 222 (2016)). “It would be arbitrary and capricious to ignore such matters” Id. But this is exactly what Defendants did when they inexplicably and fundamentally switched their position on stabilizing braces without providing sufficient explanations and notice.

Under the Final Rule, the ATF estimated about 99% of pistols with stabilizing braces would be reclassified as NFA rifles. The ATF contemporaneously issued approximately sixty adjudications pursuant to the Final Rule that reclassified different configurations of firearms with stabilizing braces as NFA rifles.

The ATF provided no explanations for how the agency came to these classifications and there is no “meaningful clarity about what constitutes an impermissible stabilizing brace.” Mock, 75 F.4th at 585 (5th Cir. 2023). In fact, the Fifth Circuit “[could not] find a single given example of a pistol with a stabilizing brace that would constitute an NFA exempt braced pistol.” Id. at 575. Such “‘unexplained’ and ‘inconsistent’ positions” are arbitrary and capricious. R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. v. FDA, 65 F.4th 182, 191 (5th Cir. 2023) (quoting Encino Motorcars, 579 U.S. at 222).

The Defendants’ disregard for the principles of fair notice and consideration of reliance interests is further exacerbated by its failure to follow the APA’s procedural requirements for public notice and comment. As discussed above, Defendants failed to follow proper notice-and comment procedures because the Proposed Rule and the Final Rule differed in immense ways.

O’Connor also held that the ATF’s final rule on stabilizing braces was “impermissibly vague”, noting that while the ATF developed a worksheet that ostensibly allows gun owners to see if their brace-equipped pistol falls under the rule, the ATF itself still has “complete discretion to use a subjective balancing test to weigh six opaque factors on an invisible scale” to determine the legality of a brace-equipped pistol.

Consequently, the Court finds that the Final Rule’s six factor test is so impermissibly vague that it “provides no meaningful clarity about what constitutes an impermissible stabilizing brace,” and, thus, that “it is nigh impossible for a regular citizen to determine what constitutes a braced pistol” that “requires NFA registration.” Id. at 584–85. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED and Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED as to this issue.

This is a big win for the Firearms Policy Coalition and their co-plaintiffs in the case, and it should provide some meaningful protection for the immediate future. The DOJ will almost certainly appeal O’Connor’s decision, but Merrick Garland and company aren’t likely to find a lot of allies in support of the rule at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which would be the next stop for the case. Garland could try to appeal directly to the Supreme Court on the issue, but SCOTUS has been reluctant to hear interlocutory appeals from gun owners in the two years since Bruen, and there’s no guarantee the Court would take up Mock v. Garland before the Fifth Circuit has a chance to weigh in on O’Connor’s decision.

For the time being, the rule is dead. And depending on what the Supreme Court does with the Cargill case, it might not be the only ATF rule to succumb to court scrutiny this week. SCOTUS is scheduled to release more decisions from this term on Friday, and the challenge to the bump stock ban could be among the cases that are decided this week.

Take a minute to get through the accent. I wouldn’t say ‘education’ per se is the problem. An indoctrination of a partisan agenda feeding the normal fallen human condition is.

What if democracy is merely the politic or superstructure of a particular cultural stage? Simple mass literacy in that case, continuing advances in teaching and learning in secondary and post-secondary levels will necessarily upset democracy in the places where it first appeared. Secondary education and especially higher education will introduce the notion of inequality into the mental and ideological organization of developed societies. After a brief period of hesitation and scruples the more highly educated end up believing they are truly superior.

In developed countries, a new class is emerging that comprises roughly 20% of the population in terms of sheer numbers, but controls about half of each nation’s wealth. This new class has more and more trouble putting up with the constraints of universal suffrage. It is a surprising return to the world of Aristotle, in which oligarchy may replace democracy at the very moment when democracy is beginning to take hold in Eurasia, it is weakening in those places where it was born.

These are indeed curious democracies, in which the political system pits elitism against populism and vice-versa. And although universal suffrage persists in theory, the elites of right and left close ranks to block any reorientation of economic policies that would lead to greater equality.

The common understanding among the elite, reflection of a common superior language among them prevents any correcting of the political system facade when universal suffrage would suggest the possibility of crisis.

Emmanuel Todd, After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order, (2001)

Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Against ATF Rule on Gun Dealers

A federal judge in Texas has granted a preliminary injunction against the ATF’s new rule on who is “engaged in the business” of dealing firearms, but his ruling won’t apply to every gun owner across the country. Instead, U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk has limited the scope of the injunction solely to the named plaintiffs in the case.

Still, given that those plaintiffs include the states of Texas, Utah, Louisiana, and Mississippi along with Gun Owners of America, the Tennessee Firearms Association, and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, millions of gun owners who could otherwise be subjected to an ATF investigation or federal charges simply for offering a firearm for sale can rest a little easier for the time being.

In his ruling, Kacsmaryk held that the plaintiff’s argument that the new ATF rule violates the Administrative Procedures Act is likely to prevail at trial. According to the judge, the new language from the ATF goes far beyond the small changes in statute that were approved by Congress as part of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

Here, the Final Rule clashes with the text of the BSCA in at least three ways. First, it asserts that there is no “minimum number of firearms to actually be sold to be ‘engaged in the business’” for the purposes of the licensing requirement. . “[A] single firearm transaction”— or even a mere offer to engage in a transaction — may suffice.

[W]hile selling large numbers of firearms or engaging or offering to engage infrequent transactions may be highly indicative of business activity, neither thecourts nor the Department have recognized a set minimum number of firearms purchased or resold that triggers the licensing requirement. Similarly, there is no minimum number of transactions that determines whether a person is “engaged inthe business” of dealing in firearms. Even a single firearm transaction, or offer to engage in a transaction, when combined with other evidence, may be sufficient to require a license.

But the BSCA says otherwise: The term “engaged in the business” means . . .

as applied to a dealer in firearms, as defined in section 921(a)(11)(A), a person whodevotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of tradeor business to predominantly earn a profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personalcollection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms[.]

Congress says someone must repeatedly buy and resell firearms to be considered a gun dealer, while the ATF says merely offering a single gun for sale can suffice. Kacsmaryk rightfully held that it’s the language in the statute that matters most, and the agency has likely strayed so far from the text that its rule should be rendered null and void when the case is resolved on the merits.

The judge also took issue with the ATF rule’s suggestion that “actual profit is not a requirement of the statute —it is only the predominant intent to earn a profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms that is required,” pointing out that the current statute states “proof of profit shall not be required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism. According to Kacsmaryk, that means that proof of profit is required if the feds want to charge someone with being an unlicensed gun dealer and there are no allegations of criminal activity or terrorism involved.

Lastly, Kacsmaryk found fault with the ATF’s presumptions on “when a person has the intent to ‘predominantly earn a profit’” and “that someone is ‘engaged in the business.’” Under the ATF’s rule, people are presumed to have those intentions unless they can prove otherwise, which the judge says “flip[s] the statute on its head by requiring that firearm owners prove innocence rather than the government prove guilt.”

I wish that the judge would have applied this injunction to all gun owners and not just the named plaintiffs in the case, but this is still a significant victory for those challenging the new rule. Texas v. ATF isn’t the only lawsuit to challenge the ATF rule either, so there’s a good chance that more gun owners will find relief as the other lawsuits move forward in the courts.

U.S. VIOLENT CRIME DROPS AS GUN OWNERSHIP CLIMBS, NOTES CCRKBA

BELLEVUE, WA – New FBI data for the first quarter of 2024 shows violent crime dropped by more than 15 percent from the same period last year, at a time when U.S. gun ownership has continued to rise, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says this is more evidence widespread gun ownership is not the cause of crime.

“More guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is probably a deterrent,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Recent data shows a 6.7 percent increase in gun ownership between 2017 and 2023, and during that period, gun ownership among women went up 13.6 percent.”

According to an FBI announcement, “A comparison of data from agencies that voluntarily submitted at least two or more common months of data for January through March 2023 and 2024 indicates reported violent crime decreased by 15.2 percent. Murder decreased by 26.4 percent, rape decreased by 25.7 percent, robbery decreased by 17.8 percent, and aggravated assault decreased by 12.5 percent. Reported property crime also decreased by 15.1 percent.”

“This is a significant report,” Gottlieb stated, “because it literally destroys a myth that has been perpetuated for years by the gun prohibition lobby, that more guns results in more violent crime. Today, 29 states have passed laws eliminating the need for permits to carry firearms for personal protection, yet crime is down. More than 21 million Americans are licensed to carry, according to the most recent available data, suggesting they aren’t a problem, but might be part of the solution.”

The data covers the months of January through March. Attorney General Merrick Garland noted this new data on the decline in homicide “does not represent abstract statistics.” The declines in violent and property crime have been seen in every region of the country.

“What this report shows is that blaming lawful gun ownership for violent crime is a non-starter, and it always has been,” Gottlieb said.

Homeowners hold burglary suspect at gunpoint in Arcadia

A burglary suspect confronted by an armed homeowner was held at gunpoint until police arrived in Arcadia [California] Sunday night.

Police responded to the residential burglary call in the 400 block of Walnut Avenue in the San Gabriel Valley shortly before midnight.

Investigators learned that several suspects exited the residence and were confronted by the homeowners as they waited for officers outside, a spokesperson from the Arcadia Police Department told KTLA.

One homeowner fired a gun into the air when a fight broke out between one of the suspects and another homeowner, the spokesperson said.

The homeowners then kept the suspect from fleeing until officers arrived.

That suspect, and three others who fled the scene in a vehicle, were all detained in connection with the incident, police said.

Police said no one was injured by the gunfire.

Paramedics treated the homeowner who was involved in the fight for minor injuries.

Uvalde Lawsuit Against UPS, FedEx the Dumbest Ones Yet

Lawsuits against companies that had no hand in something like the awful events of Uvalde aren’t surprising, but they’re stupid.

It’s idiotic.

But I thought we’d seen all the stupid we were going to see on that front. That’s a case of “shame on me” for underestimating the vile idiocy of the anti-gun movement. It seems they have found a new target.

Yep. This is pure idiocy.

The Hell Fire trigger has been on the market for over 30 years. It’s nothing but a trigger that allows people to fire semi-automatic weapons a bit faster, much like many other trigger modifications. These are not illegal and are perfectly acceptable to ship through either UPS or FedEx.

Moreover, it doesn’t violate the UPS conditions of carriage because the trigger won’t do any of those things. Not by itself, anyway.

“But it’s also a violation of school zone area protections.”

The courts have long found that people living less than 1,000 feet from a school zone don’t forfeit their Second Amendment rights simply because they live within walking distance of a school. That means people can lawfully buy guns and store them in their homes.

It also means that there is no reason for a carrier to question gun part going to a home within that area.

In short, UPS and FedEx had no reason to not ship the part to the individual who turned out to later become the Uvalde killer.

Let’s also be real here for a moment. UPS and FedEx aren’t gun companies. They don’t have any reason to stay in this fight. They make money shipping guns and parts, but do they make enough to deal with the negative publicity that might arise? Probably not. They’re far more likely to cave than a gun company might.

But let’s understand what this is really about. It’s not about UPS or FedEx doing anything wrong. They know this is a stretch. They don’t expect this to go to trial, even. Oh no, this is about something far different.

What these folks are trying to do is to use the legal system to bully UPS and FedEx into refusing to transport firearms or firearm parts. They want to see these carriers cut out every firearm-related company so that those companies will have a harder time shipping products to customers.

As a result of that, it becomes harder for law-abiding citizens to get not just parts but guns shipped to their FFL.

All of this isn’t about correcting wrongs committed prior to Uvalde. It’s about making it harder for you and me to exercise our Second Amendment rights. Who needs gun control if you can’t find a gun to buy in the first place?

That’s what this is about. Sure, this one lawsuit won’t necessarily change the landscape, but it’s never about one lawsuit. It’s about the death by a thousand cuts. It’s about making it just too difficult to deal with the firearm industry.

And the stupidity won’t end here, either. We’ll see more and worse.

When we were picking up an ammo order,  AK & I had the pleasure of meeting Carlo Fiocchi at the Ozark facility and having him give us a personal tour many years ago.


Fiocchi Ammo Review

When someone starts talking about exquisite Italian engineering, the average person will naturally think of names like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Ducati. And although Italy is very well known for their luxury car brands, if you’ve ever put any number of rounds of Fiocchi ammo through your favorite Glock, Sig Sauer, or Smith & Wesson, you know that Italian ammo is good stuff!

Although many shooters know Fiocchi for their handgun ammo, the company also has an excellent line of centerfire rifle ammo and has made a huge impact in the world of sporting clays with their shotgun target loads as well as offering a comprehensive line of rimfire ammo as well.

To put it bluntly, Fiocchi makes quality ammo at a price point most every shooter can afford. In this Fiocchi ammo review, we will take a look at what makes Fiocchi an excellent choice for your favorite handgun or rife as well as digging into the storied history of Italy’s oldest ammunition factory.

What is the quality of Fiocchi ammo?

Fiocchi ammunition is good ammo, extremely high-quality, and is perfect for plinking, competitive matches, or long-distance target shooting. I have not experienced any jams of failure to fire (FTF) malfunctions while using Fiocchi ammo. No matter if you enjoy rimfire shooting, sporting clays, or centerfire rifle/pistol, factory Fiocchi loads are perfect for any situation.

Where can I buy Fiocchi Ammo?

Check out our entire selection of Fiocchi Ammo for sale online! Don’t hesitate to purchase rounds like 5.56 NATO in bulk to save even more money on Fiocchi ammunition!

Fiocchi Ammo History and Important Information

Fiocchi Munizioni (Fiocchi Ammunition) was established in 1876 by Giulio Fiocchi in Lecco, Italy. It is one of Italy’s oldest and largest ammo manufacturers and supplies centerfire, rimfire, and shotgun ammunition to civilians, hunters, and law enforcement.

Although Fiocchi is not Europe’s oldest ammo manufacturer (that tile goes to Sellier & Bellot), Fiocchi has developed a reputation as one of the world’s finest loaders of metallic cartridges. In 1989 they received NATO qualifications to produce 9x19mm NATO ammunition to CIP specs, and their 5.56x45mm NATO qualification came 10 years later in 1999.

Although the ammo factory in Italy remains the home of Fiocchi ammo, access to the American market has been a tricky path Fiocchi has had to traverse.

During the 1950’s, Fiocchi in partnership with Smith & Wesson, owned a factory in Alton, Illinois. However, Fiocchi decided to sell their portion of the factory back to Smith & Wesson and it wasn’t until 1980 when Carlo Fiocchi helped put Fiocchi ammunition back into American shooting goods stores.

On his honeymoon, Carlo traveled in the United States with the interest of locating a site for a new Fiocchi ammunition plant. Carlo was able to convince the then president Paolo to build a manufacturing plant in Ozark, Missouri near Springfield.

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MA: Carry Permit Case Derived from Bruen Resolved in Favor of Plantiff

The Second Amendment case of Morin v Lyver, granted certiorai, vacated, and remanded back to the First Circuit, has been decided in favor of the plaintiff, Alfred Morin.

In June of 2022, the Supreme Court published clarification of how the Second Amendment should be treated by the Courts, in the Bruen decision. Bruen gave clear guidance on how Heller should be applied. This was necessary because the Circuit courts had created a complicated two step process which was used to side step the Heller decision. In Bruen, the court said the two step process was one too many. The Court laid out a simple process to judge Second Amendment cases. As a result of Bruen four pending cases were granted certiorari, vacated, and remanded back to their circuits for rehearing using the Bruen process. Morin v Lyver was one of the four cases. It was remanded back to the First Circuit on October 3, 2022.

Morin was severely victimized as an honest man attempting to follow the law. He suffered significant legal damage for the attempt. Morin had been issued a Massachusetts license to carry in 1985. He had grown accustomed to legally go about armed. He visited the District of Columbia, and was about to enter the Museum of Natural History when he noticed he was not allowed to carry firearms in the Museum. From casetext.com:

The Commonwealth issued Plaintiff a Class A license to carry firearms in 1985. His Class A license allowed him to carry a concealed firearm in public, and he had a habit of always carrying a loaded pistol on his person. In October 2004, Plaintiff drove from Massachusetts to Washington, DC, to visit his daughter.

Unaware that the District of Columbia would not recognize his Massachusetts license, he carried his pistol with him. While visiting the American Museum of Natural History during his trip, Plaintiff noticed a sign banning firearms. He approached a guard at the museum and asked to check his weapon. The guard contacted the police, who arrested Plaintiff and charged him with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Plaintiff pled guilty to attempting to carry a pistol without a license, in violation of D.C. Code § 22-3204(a)(1) (2004), and possession of an unregistered firearm, in violation of D.C. Code § 6-2376 (2004). (Docket No. 21-3). The court sentenced him to sixty days in prison on each count, to run concurrently, as well as three months of supervised probation and twenty hours of community service.

His prison sentence was suspended.

When Morin applied to have his carry permit renewed in 2008, he was denied because of the D.C. conviction. Morin appealed this decision all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Morin’s case became part of the legacy of the Bruen decision. The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit sent the case back to the Massachusetts District Court.

Rather than re-hear the case, the Plaintiff (Alfred Morin) and the defendants (Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Police Chief William Lyber) agreed to a joint motion for judgement and proposed judgement. Plaintiff Morin would be issued a permit to purchase. The judgment was filed on March 3, 2023. From the Joint Motion for Judgement:

The parties agree that the Court should enter the following order of judgment in favor of Plaintiff:

Under the specific facts of this case and applicable law, including but not limited to New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022), the limitations contained in G.L. c.140, § 131A to the extent it incorporates G.L. c. 140, § 131(d)(ii)(D), cannot properly be applied to Plaintiff, and Defendants should accordingly issue Plaintiff a permit to purchase pursuant to G.L. c.140, §131A.

Morin is the second  of the four cases which were granted certiorari, vacated, and remanded back to their circuits to reach a final judgement after Bruen.  Young v Hawaii  reached a settlement on December 15, 2022.  Duncan v Bonta is still in play in the Ninth Circuit. Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc v Grewal is ongoing in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

 

“Studies show that moslem terrorists are less prone to violence after they’ve been shot in the face” – unattributed.


Israeli Special Forces Disguised as Palestinian Refugees for Hostage Rescue

Israeli special forces were disguised as Palestinians looking for a place to live when they rescued hostages from Gaza during the weekend, two Israeli security sources told ABC News.

Special forces were already in position near the hostages before being given the “go” command, which was given at 11a.m. local time.

The helicopters carrying the hostages and wounded officers landed at Sheba Medical Center in Israel a bit later.

The hostages were in “good medical condition” when they were rescued, according to IDF officials.

So the Democrat/Media Complex is aghast that the “Far Right” won so dramatically in the European elections. That “Far Right” is, in reality, just ordinary people, and let me tell you what it is that their votes rejected. They rejected the following:

1. The deliberate depopulation of Europe.
2. The deliberate destruction of centuries-old European culture in favor of Islam via unchecked migration of “refugees.”
3. The deliberate lowering of standards of living and life expectancy through the mandated use of inefficient energy sources in response to the “climate change” hoax.
4. Centralized control of all facets of life by unelected, unaccountable EU bureaucrats.
5. Deliberate reductions in the farming, production and consumption of traditional food stuffs in favor of, among other things, bugs.
6. Failure of law enforcement to protect citizens from urban violence.

Americans, do these issues sound familiar to you? Remember how Brexit was a harbinger of Trump? I suspect that is about to play out again in 2024.

Both European and American citizens have come to understand that for the first time in history their political leadership is deliberately seeking to lower their quality of life as a specific policy objective.

Change is coming.

C. Publius

The new Minutemen buy guns

As we approach 60 consecutive months of more than a million gun sales, it’s time to review the state of gun ownership in America, and enjoy the tears of anti-liberty/gun cracktivists.

According to a report by the National Sports Shooting Foundation (NSSF), the number of people who became first-time gun owners since 2020 has reportedly grown to over 22.3 million people, or the population of Florida.

Keep in mind every federal background check prior to purchase, can account for more than one gun. Why would so many Americans become new gun owners? In a word: Democrat/socialist/communist (D/s/c) policies:

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The Top 11 Flags You Should Fly To Trigger Communist Enemies Of The People.

Corporate media recently took old smears about a Revolutionary War-era flag and applied them to Justice Samuel Alito after his wife allegedly displayed the “provocative” symbol in front of his home.

The meaning behind the “An Appeal To Heaven” flag, a pine-tree-adorned symbol used by squadrons of the Continental Navy during the Revolutionary War, is rather innocuous. George Washington’s secretary Col. Joseph Reed created the flag in 1775 to publicly display “an appeal to God to save the colonists from the King’s oppressive ruling.”

The same outlets fomenting fake scandal about the alleged Alito flag have never taken issue with any Americans displaying Black Lives Matter, Ukrainepro-terrorist, and rainbow flags, despite their connections to anti-American agitation. The New York Times, however, suggested the historic “An Appeal To Heaven” flag was associated with a “push for a more Christian-minded government.”

Here are 11 flags you should fly to not only show your loyalty to God and country but also your disdain for the top enemy of the people that is constantly looking for ways to smear Americans who love their original flag and the Constitution it stands for.

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