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Idaho State News

Two dozen AGs sue Biden’s ATF for taxing, registering pistol braces

Joe Mueller | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey joined 24 other attorneys general in suing President Biden’s administration for implementing a rule outlawing pistol braces.


The regulation will “result in the destruction or forfeiture of over 750,000 firearms and will cost the private sector somewhere between $2 and $5 billion,” according to the filing.

“As Attorney General, I will defend the Constitution, which includes holding the Biden Administration accountable for blatantly violating the Second Amendment,” Bailey said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “I have long held that the Constitution was meant to be a floor, not a ceiling, and the Second Amendment is the amendment that makes all of the others possible.”

The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief was filed in the U.S. District Court in North Dakota. The document includes information from a patent for a “Pistol Stabilizing Brace,” used to secure a pistol to a shooter’s forearm to stabilize firing. “Through this design, braces are orthotic devices that allow users to more safely and accurately fire handguns,” the document states. Braces are often used by older people and those with limited mobility and prevent recoil and help with accuracy.

The lawsuit states President Biden was frustrated in 2021 with congressional inaction and ordered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to abandon “a decade of practice under an established statutory framework” and place pistols modified with stabilizing braces under the National Firearms Act. The classification requires owners of a pistol with a stabilizing brace to pay a $200 fee and submit their name and other identifying information to the Justice Department or face criminal penalties, the lawsuit states.

The Department of Justice proposed amending ATF regulations in 2021 to clarify when a rifle is “intended to be fired from the shoulder.” The DOJ requested comment on whether firearms equipped with a “stabilizing brace” should be considered a rifle or short-barreled rifle under the Gun Control Act of 1968 or a rifle or firearm subject to the National Firearms Act. The new ATF rule was enacted on Jan. 31.

Joining Bailey in the suit are attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The complaint states the ATF violated the Separation of Powers by implementing the rule and calls the regulation arbitrary and capricious. Last month, a federal appeals court struck down a ban on bump stocks instituted by President Trump after an assailant used it to kill and injure dozens of people in Las Vegas in 2017.


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