ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando-based company that manufactures an attachment allowing an AR-15 to fire even faster has lost an early court battle, meaning it cannot sell its product while it waits for trial.
Rare Breed Triggers sued the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in early August after the ATF told the company to stop making its signature trigger or face fines and jail time.
The government agency believed the attachment converted the semi-automatic weapon into a “machinegun,” capable of firing more than one bullet per trigger pull. The company has rejected the accusation, saying it only allowed a shooter to fire faster than usual.
Company executives filed a request for a preliminary injunction as part of the lawsuit, which would have stopped the ATF from taking action against the company while a federal judge considered the case.
United States District Judge Carlos Mendoza denied that request Tuesday, citing a lack of evidence that the ATF’s actions would financially harm the company or its leaders. Additionally, Mendoza said he wasn’t sure a court had the authority to stop a federal law enforcement agency from a criminal prosecution.
“As far as the court is aware, the status quo has been – and can continue to be – preserved by Plaintiff’s own actions of working with the ATF to develop a plan,” he wrote.
The trigger in question, which retails for $380, is currently listed as “out of stock” on the company’s website. Court documents indicate that the ATF, in addition to forcing the small business to stop making new triggers, may attempt to seize any currently in existence using a list of the company’s customers.