The National Rifle Association (NRA) announced backing and support for a lawsuit filed against the Biden administration's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) over what it called the agency's "clear abuse of power" in a recent rule on stabilizing braces.
The lawsuit is filed in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota (Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc., v. Merrick Garland). Additional plaintiffs include: 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.
“This rule demonstrates a clear abuse of power by the ATF,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “They’re clearly carrying out the Biden Administration’s anti-gun agenda and it’s got to stop. The NRA is putting its full weight behind fighting this unlawful rule.”
NRA officials explained, "Stabilizing braces were designed to enable gun owners to operate certain firearms with one hand with more stability. The ATF’s new rule says, essentially, that using a stabilizing brace with a pistol turns the firearm into a short-barreled rifle and must now be regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) — which means they’d be subject to registration, additional taxation, and long wait times for approval due to ATF’s lengthy NFA processing times."
The NRA added that millions of firearms owners that utilize a stabilizing brace must either dispose of, alter, or register their firearm. A violation of the new Brace Rule could lead to prosecution and imprisonment for up to ten years. Large fines can also be assessed.
“ATF’s new definition for stabilizing braces is arbitrary," Quimet stated. "The bureau is declaring that they will effectively decide on a case-by-case basis whether a firearm is subject to the NFA. Every American gun owner is in danger of potentially facing felony charges at the whim of these bureaucrats and without any new statute in place. The NRA believes this rule will fail for the same reasons the bump stock rule failed — ATF can only apply federal statutes; it can’t rewrite them,”
Breitbart News' AWR Hawkins reported that owners have up to 120 days to register their firearms under this rule. He stated the new rule requires the following:
• Scenario 1: Turn in the entire firearm with the attached “stabilizing brace” to ATF;
• Scenario 2: Destroy the whole firearm;
• Scenario 3: Convert the short-barreled rifle into a long-barreled rifle;
• Scenario 4: Apply to register the weapon under the NFA; or
• Scenario 5: Permanently remove and dispose of, or alter, the “stabilizing brace” from the firearm so that it cannot be reattached.
Gun Owners of America's Erich Pratt also expressed concern about the new rule, saying, “This admin continues to find ways to attack gun owners. We will continue to work with our industry partners to amplify the disapproving voices in the firearms industry," he stated.
Last week, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) announced the ATF's pistol brace rule "will not be enforced in Montana. "Our right to keep and bear arms is integral to Montana’s and our nation’s rich heritage, and this rule directly violates our long-held traditions,” the Montana governor said.