So far, according to The Epoch Times, 24 states have joined the suit over the rule that subjects the stabilization braces to federal regulations.
"The legal challenge, led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, argues that the new rule represents an abrupt reversal of the" BATF's "longstanding position on stabilizing braces and is a violation of the statutory language and history of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and the Gun Control Act (GCA)," the outlet reported. "The new ATF rule, called Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces, classifies pistols equipped with stabilizing braces, or pistol braces, as short-barreled rifles, which subjects them to federal regulation."
Legal gun owners who utilize the braces are going to be required to comply with laws that regulate rifles, including the NFA, meaning they will have to apply for a permit, be placed into a federal guns database, provide the ATF with fingerprints, pay a fee, and then face restrictions on their ability to transfer the braces in the future, the outlet noted.
The suit says that the new rule requires millions of law-abiding Americans to make a choice between losing their legally purchased guns, loss of their privacy, or be put at risk of criminal penalties.
“Frustrated with congressional inaction, the President of the United States ordered ATF to abandon a decade of practice under an established statutory framework and ‘to treat pistols modified with stabilizing braces’ as ‘subject to the National Firearms Act,'” the lawsuit says, while going on to claim that the BATF's rule is arbitrary and capricious and that the standard established to determine whether a brace is designed and intended to be shouldered is unworkable and unclear.
“Let’s call this what it is: an effort to undermine Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” said Morrisey in a statement. “This is an egregious final rule turning millions of common firearms accessories into ‘short barreled rifles.’ This is a completely nonsensical regulation.”
The West Virginia AG also said the rule is “part of the continued attack by the Biden administration against lawful gun owners.”
The lawsuit says that the rule violates the text, history, and purpose of the NFA and GCA and thus, ought to be considered illegal.
“Congress enacted the NFA to regulate ‘sawed-off guns’ and other dangerous weapons favored by criminal ‘gangster[s]’ for concealability and indiscriminate accuracy, and specifically left ‘without any restriction’ ‘pistols and revolvers and sporting arms,'” the lawsuit notes. “The Rule, by contrast, regulates pistols and other firearms based on accessories designed as orthotics that make them less concealable, more accurate, and less dangerous, thereby undermining public safety.”
The stabilizing braces were initially designed to assist those with disabilities in utilizing pistols. However, they have been adopted by a wider range of gun owners including older citizens and people with limited mobility to cut down on weapon recoil and improve the shooter's accuracy.
“We should not be making it harder for senior citizens and people with disabilities—and many disabled veterans—to defend themselves,” Morrisey said. “I will continue [to] stand up for the Second Amendment rights of all West Virginians.”
“This is also another case of a federal agency not staying in its lane and doing the job the constitution clearly delegates to Congress—writing laws,” he added. “The Separation of Powers clearly bars federal agencies from making new laws without Congressional directive.”
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota Western Division.
“As long as I’m attorney general, we will never willingly cede Hoosiers’ cherished liberties to the whims of federal bureaucrats,” Attorney General Todd Rokita of Indiana said in a statement. “This is a clear case of overreach by the executive branch, and we fully expect to prevail in this lawsuit.”