On Monday (June 3), the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over a rule regulating stabilizing pistols braces.
The NRA wants to bring attention to the flaws of a new rule that can punish legal gun owners with fines, penalties, and even imprisonment for using a plastic attachment on some firearms.
In a statement, NRA Executive Vice President & CEO Wayne LaPierre noted that the Association “has ramped up its offense on this arbitrary and unconstitutional rule,” expressing confidence in n their “ability to confront the ATF and [the Department of Justice] – and preserve freedom for NRA members.”
The NRA previously submitted comments opposing the rule, filed a motion to intervene in another legal action, and supported a lawsuit by several state attorneys general filed in North Dakota.
Gun owners can attach pistol braces to the back of their guns to improve their ability to aim and shoot with one hand. Disabled veterans often use these accessories.
However, according to the ATF rule, pistols fitted with braces are classified as short-barreled rifles, meaning owning them requires a federal license.
The NRA filed a complaint stating that the new rule is unconstitutional.
In its complaint, the NRA highlights that the ATF changed its previous stance on pistol braces not being subject to strict registration and taxation requirements under the National Firearms Act, now considering them to transform pistols into rifles.
The NRA has filed a lawsuit in a Texas district court to request a preliminary, eventually permanent, injunction that would ultimately prevent the ATF from enforcing the rule against NRA members who follow the law. The lawsuit also includes ATF Director Steven Dettelbach and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland as defendants.