LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas has joined a coalition of 25 states and others in a lawsuit against a federal gun regulation banning a weapon accessory.
The federal rule, formalized by the United States Department of Justice on Jan. 13, regulated the use of stabilizing braces on pistols, requiring registration and a fee for use.
The rule regulates stabilizing brace-equipped guns the same as short-barreled shotguns, which have been heavily regulated since the 1930s. The Biden administration announced it would regulate the use of the braces after a man using a stabilizing-brace-equipped pistol killed 10 in a mass shooting in a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, in 2021.
In a statement, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin called the rule “unlawful,” noting that these accessories have been used for over a decade.
“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ new ‘stabilizing braces’ rule is unlawful,” Griffin said. “For more than a decade, these braces have been sold as firearm attachments not subject to regulation.”
The attorney general claimed gun braces were first developed to help those with disabilities use handguns and said they have grown popular with older shooters. He also said this new rule would target “many lawful gun owners” who use braces and stabilizers to lessen recoil and “enhance accuracy.”
Griffin went on to claim the regulation was an overreach by federal officials.
“Congress didn’t grant President Biden’s ATF the authority to impose such a broad and sweeping mandate on Americans, and we’re asking the Court to immediately block it,” he said.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley brought the suit in federal court in North Dakota against United States Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Arkansas joins Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming in the suit. Other plaintiffs are SB Tactical, B&T USA and Wounded Warrior Richard Cicero.
The National Rifle Association has come out in opposition to the regulation, calling it arbitrary. NRA officials said they backed the multistate lawsuit against Garland.
Several Arkansas sheriffs said they would not enforce the rule when it was announced, often citing a January 2021 Arkansas law. That law states that any new federal restrictions on firearms ownership after Jan. 1, 2021, are invalid, including firearm registration or taxation.