Wyoming Gun Owners Not Covered By Injunction Halting Pistol Brace Restrictions

An injunction in Texas on the restriction of pistol braces for certain AR-15s and other popular firearms doesn’t cover Wyoming gun owners.

Mark Heinz

May 23, 20233 min read

A 5th District Court of Appeals injunction on a ban on stabilizing braces for AR-15s and other weapons won't cover Wyoming gun owners.
A 5th District Court of Appeals injunction on a ban on stabilizing braces for AR-15s and other weapons won't cover Wyoming gun owners. (Getty Images)

A federal court injunction halting restrictions on pistol braces for certain models of AR-15s and similar firearms won’t help Wyoming gun owners, a local gun rights activist said.

“I don’t know if Wyoming people are going to get relief in the short term,” Mark Jones of Buffalo, a spokesman for Gun Owners of America, told Cowboy State Daily.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives in January announced a ruling to classify those ARs — as well as numerous other firearms outfitted with pistol braces — as “short-barreled rifles.” 

Such firearms would have to be registered as short-barreled rifles and subject to a $200 tax stamp. The ATF ruling set a June 1 deadline for owners to register those firearms.

Restrictions on short-barreled rifles date back to the 1934 Firearms Act, which also severely restricts private ownership of fully automatic weapons and sawed-off shotguns, weapons that were popular with gangsters at the time.

More Court, Congressional Action Pending

A preliminary injunction on the pistol brace restriction was issued Tuesday in the federal 5th District Court of Appeals for the Northern District of Texas.

However, that will affect only in that particular district. Wyoming is in the 10th District, and therefore still likely subject to gun registrations, Jones said.

“We (GOA) were a friend of the court in today’s case. We have another case that could have wider implications. We filed it ourselves with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton,” he said.

GOA hopes that the two cases in Texas will pressure other courts of appeals — including the 10th District — to file similar injunctions, Jones says.

The group also is lobbying for U.S. Congressional legislation that would block the ATF’s ruling before the June 1 deadline, Jones said.

Wyoming Gun Owners Say Braces Are Handy

When the ATF first announced its ruling some Wyoming firearms dealers told Cowboy State Daily that AR-15 pistols are popular with customers.

Pistol braces allow those guns to be fired from the shoulder. That makes the braces useful for backpackers and disabled shooters.

Jones said the fight over pistol braces is far from over.

“Biden may well veto it (the legislation) if it passes anyway, so this is still a confusing mess,” he said. “The courts have not decided the matter in a way that will affect all Americans and the legislative process is still up in the air.”

Mark Heinz can be reached at Mark@CowboyStateDaily.com

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter