The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Judge Reed O’Connor Vacates ATF Pistol Brace Rule

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


FORT WORTH, TX (June 13, 2024) – Today, Firearms Policy Coalition announced a major legal victory in its Mock v. Garland lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s “pistol brace” ban rule issued by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). In the decision, United States District Court Judge Reed O’Connor granted summary judgment in favor of FPC and its co-plaintiffs and issued a final judgment and order vacating the ATF’s rule. The case and opinion can be found at

The decision can be found here.

It’s nice to see that some things still work in America.

Judge Reed O’Connor Rules ATF Pistol Brace Violates The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 2 weeks ago

Fifth Circuit Declares Pistol Brace Rule Unconstitutional

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 2 weeks ago

That’s the good part.  The unfortunate part is that they remanded the case back to district court to determine the scope of relief (to whom this decision applies).

I do like Don Willett’s concurrence.  I’ve followed him for quite a while.  I wish he had been chosen for supreme court rather than Barrett.  Or Kavanaugh.

Fifth Circuit Issues Injunction Against ATF Pistol Brace Rule

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 1 month ago


Some Options for AR Pistols

1 year, 1 month ago

If you own one of these things with a brace you have a decision to make. Doing nothing is still a decision. The article is about more than just the brace and covers AR pistols in .300 AAC Blackout among other things.

Like most people I can shoot more accurately with a rifle. An AR pistol with a brace is not a rifle but it does give at least three points of contact when used as intended. I bought a stripped lower receiver from my local gun shop and ordered a lower build kit from Palmetto State Armory. Online an upper receiver with a ten-inch barrel was ordered. Besides a red dot optic and flashlight, a detachable sling was desired. An SBA3 pistol brace was chosen because of the good reviews and the ambidextrous QD sling socket. After everything was assembled it became one of my favorite firearms. Accurate, low profile, in a caliber that had dozens of projectiles in weight and configuration with many suitable propellants that could be experimented with. But then came January of 2023.

The ATF rule 2021R-08F, almost 300 pages of nebulous wording of what classifies as a short-barreled rifle (SBR) includes overall length, weight, and eye relief of an optic. What it boils down to is if you have a barrel less than sixteen inches and a pistol brace the ATF now considers it an SBR.

NRA predicts Supreme Court will finally define Second Amendment

1 year, 5 months ago

This is horrifying, and why I hate (yes) the NRA. The Second Amendment defines itself. The entire purpose of the 2A is the definition of what’s allowed and the specific purposes for the allowance. The NRA is just awful. They always set a false premise that’s designed to reduce your freedoms. Everything they touch gets worse for Americans while they and the politicians get rich. The NRA must be destroyed.

A coalition led by the National Rifle Association this week sued to stop the Biden administration’s bid to regulate AR-style “pistols,” an effort that could prompt the Supreme Court to finally define what is allowed under the 231-year-old Second Amendment.

While its suit is specifically aimed at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and its flip-flop on regulating and taxing guns, it has the potential to both smoke out the court on what is legal under the Second Amendment and end years of practice by federal agencies and states to make up rules that Congress is supposed to set.

That’s where the AR pistol suit comes in. Until this month, the ATF said the guns equipped with arm braces to steady the firearms, especially for the disabled, were OK to buy with just a background check. But they have redefined them as a weapon covered by the Al Capone era National Firearms Act that requires a lengthy application, registration, photos and fingerprints, and a $200 tax.

In challenging the politically-charged flip-flop by ATF, Cotton hopes the case will land in the conservative and somewhat pro-gun Supreme Court and that it will be ruled unconstitutional. He expects that because the Bruen case reasoned that courts have to decide what is allowed based on what the nation’s founders meant in 1791 when virtually nothing was off-limits.

“Outside legal circles, Bruen is known primarily for holding correctly that citizens’ right to self-defense means they have the right to have the tools to defend themselves outside of their home. You can carry that self-defense firearm outside of your home,” said Cotton.

“But what a lot of people don’t realize is it also set a standard for how all gun laws, federal, state, and local, have to be evaluated in terms of does it pass constitutional muster. And that standard is we roll the calendar back to 1791 when the Second Amendment was adopted, the technical words are ‘is there a historical analog for the proposed current law or the existing current law.’ That’s just a fancy way of saying, ‘Was that type of restriction in existence in 1791?’ If it wasn’t, then it can’t be now,” he said.

Cotton added, “That’s why so many of the things are falling right now.” He cited gun control laws in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Maryland, and elsewhere that are being pulled back to conform to the recent rulings.

He predicted that a fuller definition of the Second Amendment by the court could come within two years because so many new gun cases are being filed and likely headed to the high court.

The good news is that the NRA is not the lead plaintiff. The West Virginia and North Dakota AGs appear to be the lead on this, which may answer the prior question; why file in North Dakota? Not sure if the disabled veteran, who is also a plaintiff, is a resident of North Dakota, which may also explain that decision.

Whatever you do, dear friends of liberty, keep the NRA lawyers out of the courtroom if you want to keep your rights!

From the NRA page, there are no usable details other than this.

The case is captioned Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc.[FRAC], v. Merrick Garland and was filed in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota. Other plaintiffs are: SB Tactical, B&T USA, Wounded Warrior Richard Cicero, and a coalition of 25 states led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley, also including Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.

I don’t know anything about FRAC. It appears to be a lobbyist group that seeks consistent regulations. I’m not a fan of industry lobbyists suing over the Pistol Brace. They are not suing on behalf of individual rights under the 2A; they are suing for consistent regulation. I don’t want consistent regulations; I want none!

The clock is ticking on this; we’ll have to see if any of the suits can get traction and resolution in the remainder of the 120 days.

Herschel has been tracking this prior:

Six Pistol Brace Lawsuits

Complaints in the Case of ATF Pistol Brace Rule

Six Pistol Brace Lawsuits

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

The current count is six pistol brace lawsuits.

Gun Owners of America

Second Amendment Foundation

Texas Public Policy Foundation, et. al.

Firearms Policy Coalition

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, Veterans

Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition

Complaints in the Case of ATF Pistol Brace Rule

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago


More than 20 Republican-led states, along with gun rights groups and a disabled Army veteran, on Thursday sued the Biden administration over a new rule restricting sales of gun accessories known as pistol braces.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in North Dakota, the states said that the rule finalized earlier this year by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

This case is joined by the NRA.  I guess they arm twisted and pulled enough money out of Wayne’s account for buying suits to assist with the lawsuit.  I cannot locate a URL for the complaint.

Why on earth they’re targeting the state of ND I have no idea.  They’re not likely to be successful there, and the whole goal should be to drive this to the supreme court.  On the other hand, this might be the sacrificial lawsuit to do just that.

A much better chance comes from GOA, and the complaint can be found here.  Friend of TCJ, Stephen Stamboulieh, is responsible for this fine work.  It has been filed in Texas.

Firearms Policy Coalition: Mock v. Garland

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

In what may be one of the earliest in many complaints filed, Firearms Policy Coalition legal action in the pistol brace rulemaking.

It can be found here: Mock v. Garland.

The Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty also filed a federal lawsuit in Texas.

Perhaps some enterprising reader/contributor would locate this PDF for us and drop it in the comments.

“Common Use” Excludes “Dangerous and Unusual”

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

A friend sends this along (“Dangerous and Unusual: How an Expanding National Firearms Act Will Spell its Own Demise”), written almost as if prescient concerning the ATF circus on braced weapons.

In what must have been an allusion to the NFA, the Court found support for this common-use formulation by recognizing the “historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons.'”  Removing the double negative, the Heller rule provides that the Second Amendment protects weapons in “common use” and those “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” but not those that are traditionally thought to be “dangerous and unusual.” What could follow from this formulation is concerning – if the legislature or an executive agency can make a certain type of firearm sufficiently rare to the point that the citizens do not typically possess it for lawful purposes, the firearm presumably loses Second Amendment protection. Using this exception, the Heller Court carved the NFA out of its common-use formulation, granting deference to historical prohibitions and a presumption of constitutionality therefrom. In short, the prevailing [*288] understanding of 2008 was that weapons that are “dangerous and unusual” are antithetical to being in “common use” or even “typical,” at the very least. However, “dangerous and unusual” must be treated as a rebuttable presumption, as it is possible for weapons that once fell into this category to gain such popularity through legal acquisition so as to become quite typical – and indeed common.

I think it’s obvious that the ATF has an uphill battle in court.  Doubtless there will be some lower and appellate courts who side with the administrative state, but in the end, this will all have to be rectified at the supreme court.  If they are true to their previous rulings, this brace ruling will be overturned.

The case against the ATF is clear enough just from the Heller court.  After Bruen, it’s really difficult to imagine why the ATF would be doing this if it were not for political pressure (and the existence of crackpot nutcase Merrick Garland).


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