NRA, 25 States Sue Biden ATF Over Pistol Brace Rule

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and 25 states filed suit Thursday against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) new pistol brace rule.

The regulation, which was adopted by the federal agency last month, reclassified pistols with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles. This means they are subject to the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) and must be registered.

According to the ATF, owners of these accessories have five choices. They may turn the pistol with a brace attached over the ATF, destroy the firearm, convert it from a short-barreled to a long-barreled rifle, register the weapon under the NFA, or permanently remove the stabilizing brace.

Pistol brace owners have 120 days starting Jan. 31, 2023, to comply with the new ATF regulation.

The stabilizing braces were first marketed in 2012 as a way to assist disabled veterans to continue sport shooting. Eleven years later, millions of Americans legally own these firearm accessories.

The ATF claimed that the new rule does not apply to “stabilizing braces” which are “objectively designed and intended…for use by individuals with disabilities.” This is little comfort to Second Amendment advocates and millions of owners who worry about the vagueness of the new rule.

According to the NRA’s Jason Ouimet, “every American gun owner is in danger of potentially facing federal charges” on the mere whim of unelected bureaucrats. This despite the fact that there are no new laws in place making the change.

The new regulation was finalized on Jan. 13. It puts pistols with stabilizing braces in the category of short-barreled rifles, meaning they are heavily regulated by the federal government due to being both accurate and concealable.

Biden, who has upped the ante against legal firearm ownership with calls to ban so-called “assault weapons,” accused the firearms industry of attempting to work around federal regulations on short-barreled rifles.

That is the height of irony considering that the ATF is doing exactly that — attempting to work around the constitutional separation of powers by legislating through regulation.

In other words, the constitutional duty of Congress to enact laws is being usurped by a federal agency intent on infringing upon Second Amendment rights.