CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is co-leading a coalition of 27 state attorneys general in urging Congress to schedule a vote on a resolution involving the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ rule regarding pistol stabilizing braces.
The coalition sent a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Thursday concerning the Congressional Review Act resolution for the ATF’s final rule—Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces—urging the scheduling of a vote early “enough to complete the CRA process before the rule’s May 31, 2023, registration deadline.”
“Although we have filed a lawsuit challenging the pistol brace rule—and have sought preliminary injunctive relief—the matter is too important to be left to the courts,” Attorney General Morrisey and the coalition wrote.
In February, Attorney General Morrisey led a coalition of 25 states and others in challenging the rule as unlawful, arbitrary and capricious. The coalition’s motion to preliminarily enjoin the rule remains pending.
“ATF’s final rule is nothing more than an effort to undermine Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This is an egregious final rule turning millions of common firearms accessories into ‘short barreled rifles.’ This is a completely nonsensical regulation.”
“Let’s call this what it is: an attack by the Biden administration against lawful gun owners.”
Stabilizing braces were designed to help people with disabilities use pistols. Since then, many others, including older persons, people with limited mobility and those with smaller stature have come to use the braces. For more than a decade, these braces have been sold as firearms attachments not subject to regulation.
The rule, however, affects most all owners of combinations of stabilizing braces and pistols and handgun owners—many lawful gun owners use stabilizers to prevent some recoil when using firearms and to help with accuracy. An estimated 10 to 40 million pistols with stabilizing braces are presently in circulation nationwide, and the ATF’s rule requires nearly all of them to be registered with the federal government by May 31.
“Although we generally defer to you on the schedule of the House, this issue is pressing and demands immediate action,” the coalition wrote to McCarthy.
Attorney General Morrisey co-led the letter with Texas. They were joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.