NRA, States Seek ATF Pistol Brace Rule Change

Twenty-five states and the National Rifle Association are challenging a recent Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) rule that restricts the use of pistol braces.

The ATF introduced a new rule this week that has major implications for gun owners. This rule change was done through the legal mechanism of the National Firearms Act, although no change to that law has been yet made by Congress regarding the following.

The efforts of half of the states of the union and the country’s largest gun rights group intend to reverse the significant rule change from the ATF.

The rule change states that gun owners with pistol braces must make major changes. These include the options to turn in the firearm to the ATF, to destroy it, to convert such a rifle from a short-barreled one to a long-barreled one, apply to register the weapon or to modify or destroy the pistol brace.

Gun owners have 120 days, starting at the end of January to comply with the rule.

Furthermore, the rule is counter to arguments from the NRA that focus on accessibility to the Second Amendment. Gun activists argue that the brace allows for multiple uses, including allowing handicapped individuals to handle such a firearm that they would have otherwise been physically unable to.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) joined the group of mostly-Republican states against the ATF action.

The NRA’s executive director for the Institute for Legislative Action, Jason Oimet, told Fox News that “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 change is likely to be a major court case. The most recent large firearms Supreme Court case sided with the Second Amendment in 2008’s Columbia v. Heller case.