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States, Companies, Veteran Sue U.S. To Block Gun Brace Restrictions

More than 20 states, two gun accessories manufacturers, and a disabled veteran joined The Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition Inc, a gun rights and trade association, in a lawsuit contesting proposed federal restrictions on gun braces, according to Courthouse News. A gun brace is an accessory that attaches a gun to the shooter’s forearm, stabilizing the gun when it’s fired. It was originally intended for people with physical disabilities to shoot guns, but it’s since been used by beginning shooters or shooters who don’t have the physical strength to stabilize a gun on their own, and by law enforcement officers, according to the lawsuit. Millions of people in the U.S. have braces, the lawsuit says, “to achieve safer and more accurate firing.” The Biden administration moved to pass tighter restrictions on gun braces after two mass shootings where the gunmen used a gun brace, one in Dayton, Oh., in 2019 that left nine people dead, and one in a grocery store in Boulder, Co., that left 10 people dead in 2021.

Last month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued a rule that classifies guns with braces that are designed to be shot from the shoulder, like a rifle, as “short-barrel rifles,” which are subject to more taxes and more regulation under the National Firearms Act of 1934. “This rule does not affect “stabilizing braces” that are objectively designed and intended as a “stabilizing brace” for use by individuals with disabilities, and not for shouldering the weapon as a rifle,” ATF said “Such stabilizing braces are designed to conform to the arm and not as a buttstock. However, if the firearm with the “stabilizing brace” is a short-barreled rifle, it needs to be registered no later than May 31, 2023.” The lawsuit calls the new rule “arbitrary and capricious on multiple counts,” and said that the rule could affect any gun owner with any kind of brace, contradictory to a decade of prior ATF rules about arm braces. The plaintiffs say the change means that after millions of braces have been sold, millions of Americans will become felons if they don’t turn them in or destroy them. Twenty-five states, including West Virginia, North Dakota, 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 signed the lawsuit, as well as brace manufacturer SB Tactical, gun accessory manufacturer, B&T USA, and Richard Cicero, a retired police firearms instructor and “wounded warrior” who lost an arm and a leg serving in Afghanistan.


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