In a recent turn of events, President Joe Biden’s effort to enforce regulations on pistol braces has been confronted by a major challenge. The federal appeals court has raised doubts about the constitutionality of this move, thereby dealing a blow to the administration’s proposed rule.
The Controversial Rule
The Biden administration, earlier this year, had mandated that gun owners register their pistol braces. These devices, attached to the rear of a firearm, aid in aiming and shooting the weapon with one hand.
Second Amendment proponents argue that these braces enhance the safety and accuracy of handguns. Conversely, gun control advocates maintain that the braces could potentially lengthen a concealable handgun, thereby increasing its dangerousness.
This regulation, which came into effect on June 1, was among several steps that President Biden announced in 2021 following a tragic incident where a man using a stabilizing brace killed 10 people at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.
The Legal Challenge
Two Texas gun owners, a gun rights group, and a gun dealer contested the law. Despite the Texas-based federal judge’s refusal to halt the rule, which mandates the registration of these devices and payment of a fee, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary block of the rule, as reported by Fox News.
The Court’s Decision
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans announced on Tuesday that the Biden administration’s rule requiring registration for the braces was likely to fail a legal challenge. Judge Jerry Smith noted the necessity for consistent application of the law and stated that multiple courts had issued orders against the federal registration rule since May.
The court extended the block on enforcement for 60 days and sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas. Judge O’Connor will now decide whether to block enforcement nationwide. For the time being, gun dealers and owners can continue to own, buy, and sell these devices without registering them.
The Future of the Rule
This development questions the future of the Biden administration’s efforts to regulate pistol braces. If the court’s doubts about the constitutionality of this rule prove substantial, it could spell a significant setback for the administration’s gun control measures.