Judge Denies Rare Breed’s Injunction Against ATF Over Gun Trigger

ORLANDO, FL-(Ammoland.com)- A district judge has denied Rare Breed Triggers’ request for a preliminary injunction against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Last July, the ATF issued a cease-and-desist letter to Rare Breed Triggers ordering the company to stop selling the FRT-15 trigger. The Bureau reviewed the device and determined that it converts semi-automatic rifles into machine guns. If a device can convert a firearm into a machine gun, then the ATF considers that device itself as a machine gun.

Rare Breed and its owner, Kevin Maxwell, filed a lawsuit against the ATF seeking an injunction against the cease-and-desist. Maxwell, a lawyer by trade, claimed that if the cease-and-desist were allowed, it would cause irrebuttable financial harm to the company and Maxwell himself.

The company argued that if the ATF started seizing triggers from customers, those consumers would start issuing chargebacks against Rare Breed, leading to the company’s financial ruin. Maxwell also argued that it would prevent him from providing for himself and his family.

The judge rejected Maxwell’s claims that he would not be able to provide for himself and his family since he is a licensed attorney. The Court said that Maxwell did not provide evidence of his claim so that it would disregard his argument of financial ruin.

The Court ruled: “Absent supporting factual evidence, the Court may disregard the conclusory statements in the affidavit.”

The Court also said that the Plaintiff did not demonstrate that the alleged injuries to Maxwell and the company could not be remedied by monetary means. The judge cited Ne. Fla. Ch. of Ass’n of Gen. Contractors v. Jacksonville. In that case, the Court ruled that “An injury is ‘irreparable’ only if it cannot be undone through monetary remedies. . . . Mere injuries, however substantial, in terms of money, . . . are not enough.”

Mr. Maxwell said the company would be forced to hand over its customer list or risk criminal prosecution.

He said he is “at risk of suspension of his legal license due to criminal prosecution.” The Court came to the same conclusion that it did in the ruling on the temporary restraining order and ruled against the Plaintiff.

Judge Carlos Mendoza said that the Plaintiff did not explain how the Court had the authority to “temporarily restrain a law enforcement action or criminal prosecution by an executive branch agency.” The judge said he was unsure if the Court even had that power. The judge also cited that criminal prosecution cannot constitute irreparable harm.

One interesting argument that Rare Breed used in its argument is that if the ATF’s order were allowed to be enforced, then the company would not be able to prosecute its patent infringement case against Big Daddy Unlimited successfully. Rare Breed sued BDU claiming the online giant ripped off the FRT-15 design for its Wide Open Trigger. The judge ruled that the company did not show how monetary damages could not remedy such harm.

Finally, the judge stated that the company did not show that the alleged harm was imminent. Rare Breed did present evidence that the ATF did seize at least one FRT-15 showing that the ATF was taking some enforcement action, but the Court cited the ATF letter requiring Rare Breed to contact the ATF to address the FRT-15s already in customer’s hands.

Since the Court did not find that Rare Breed proved irreparable harm, the judge did not consider the company’s other argument.

Judge Denies Rare Breed’s Preliminary Injunction Against the ATF

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.

John Crump


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The judge is never going to provide a fair and impartial trial, or a judgement based on the law. These first steps prove it.


Courts that support tyrany and do not uphold the constitution are irrelevant and should be not be taken as credible .

Wild Bill

But they should be removed and replaced.


It sounds like Maxwell isn’t the best a creating a legal argument, lawyer or no.

Regardless, if an American cannot petition the government for redress of grievances, there is no Constitution. It’s hard to say whether that is the case here. He petitioned, but the court offered no remedy. Maybe he could try again, focusing on his “civil rights.”

Which is my second point: if courts offer no opportunity for remedy when rights are violated, and no means or process through which the injured can be made whole, then the courts are utterly illegitimate.


I was thinking the exact same thing. Never forget that the person who represents himself has a fool for a client.


Now that the “fool” has shown how foolish his legal skills are, we ALL get to pay the price. If he had any smarts at all, he would have spent the money to hire a good legal team instead of taking the cheap way out. Seriously folks if you are ever up against the ATF or any other branch of government, don’t try and represent yourself. I’m sure in his mind he had a rock-solid argument. Had he not been so cheap, he could have hired a legal team that specializes in 2A law that would have made a better… Read more »

Henry Bowman

The whole regime is illegitimate! Corrupt, criminal, incompetent and traitorous too!

Deplorable Bill

Back to basics; “Shall not be infringed” is still constitutional law and it works for me. Mendoza, those working for the atfe , or the treasury as they like to call themselves, corrupt politicians like biden, harris and those nuts that say “hell yes we are coming for your AR-15 and AK-47 are people and names to remember when it hits the fan. They are no less evil than king George, parliament and the British military were before, during and after the first revolutionary war for freedom and independence. Tyranny and treason come with the dearest of consequences. Corrupt politicians,… Read more »


this is the test to take all simi auto guns , time to stand up people

Henry Bowman

Actually it is time to lay down, not stand up, in the weeds

Henry Bowman

Mendoza is an Ovomit appointed activist judge and he will rule against every motion that Rare Breed makes. I suggest that anyone who has an FRT15 trigger assembly take those out & cache them for the day of reckoning.


Better yet, “sell” them “6 or more months ago at a gun show” or suffer a “terrible boating accident.”

Henry Bowman

Exactly. Do Not Comply!


The argument presented by the owner Mr Maxwell was completely monetary and weak, and based solely on that injunction the judge ruled. This decision by the judge have nothing to do with the legality of the trigger or about the unconstitutionality of the ATF’s letter to desist but exclusively to the fact that Mr Maxwell was unable to proof that he will not be able to provide to his family because of the economic repercussions he will be facing. Please, dear patriots, we are all for our constitutional rights and particularly for the 2nd Amendment that clearly states “cannot be… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Leo

And this is exactly why companies should keep customer lists.



Alan in NH

works similar to a ‘lightning link’

Roland T. Gunner

No, it does not. Totally different device and function. Think of this as a super-tuned hair-trigger version of a competition AR trigger.

Last edited 1 year ago by Roland T. Gunner
Alan in NH

It looks like the trigger is forced forward to the reset position when the bolt hits the green reset lever in the rear of the trigger group on closing, therefore the trigger is then tripped by simply holding pressure on the trigger.


No, it doesn’t work the same way. The Lightning Link actually releases the hammer, the RBT only forces the reset of the trigger. If you pull the RBT firmly, it will fire one round. You have to set up your rifle as well as learn how to use it to get it to perform – similar to a bump-stock … which was also not a machine gun … until it was … and then it wasn’t … The ATF, like most of the Gubmint, is filled with incompetents who couldn’t make it in the real world. The lack of quality… Read more »


Like a dog is similar to a cat.