DES MOINES, IOWA (February 10, 2023) — Attorney General Brenna Bird joined 24 other states in a lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) over a new federal rule requiring gun-owners to register their firearms with attached pistol-braces, or risk criminal penalties.
The ATF explicitly approved pistol-braces as legal ten years ago and has since reaffirmed that decision multiple times. Pistol-braces were designed to help people with disabilities defend themselves, improving their safety and accuracy. But with this sudden rule-change, American gun-owners will now have to register all guns with a pistol-brace attachment and pay a $200 fee each — or face being found a felon in violation of the National Firearms Act. The Congressional Research estimates that more than ten million pistol-braces have been sold and that 99% of those legally-purchased firearms will be affected by this rule-change.
“The Biden Administration is blatantly attacking the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens,” said AG Bird. “This new rule will make law-abiding citizens, who are unaware of the rule-change, felons overnight, even though they had legally purchased their weapon. This is just the latest example of aggressive federal overreach from the Biden Administration. We must hold the federal government accountable.”
The rule went into effect on January 31, but gun-owners have until May 31 to register their firearms. Failure to do so could result in pistol-brace owners being charged with a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison, a significant fine, and forfeiting of the firearm.
The states joining the West Virginia-led lawsuit include Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.
Read the full lawsuit here.