Wyoming, 24 Other States Sue Over Anti-Pistol Brace Rule Pushed By ‘Frustrated’ Biden

Wyoming is among a group of 25 suing the ATF and a frustrated President Joe Biden over a new rule restricting the use of guns modified with pistol braces.

Clair McFarland

February 12, 20233 min read

Pistol brace 2 1 2 12 23
(Getty Images)

Wyoming, 24 other states and an association representing gun-makers are suing the Biden administration over a new federal rule restricting pistols with stabilizing braces.  

The lawsuit complaint accuses President Biden’s federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau of conjuring an arbitrary rule restricting guns with pistol braces under the 1934 National Firearms Act. The act was written to ban sawed-off guns and other gangster-style weapons that made them easier to conceal but less accurate.  

Pistol brace weapons, the states argue in the lawsuit filed Thursday, should not be restricted now without a specific law change from Congress.  

Issued Jan. 31, the new federal rule gives ATF new restrictive discretion over pistols with stabilizing braces which, the lawsuit states, “will result in the destruction or forfeiture of over 750,000 firearms and will cost the private sector somewhere between two and five billion dollars.”  

Mark Jones, director of hunter programs for Gun Owners of America, told Cowboy State Daily in a prior interview that the new rule could mandate registration for 40 million guns, which the group considers unconstitutional. 

Wyoming’s top attorney and other attorneys general appear to agree, stating in the suit that the rule “will require millions of Americans to choose between the loss of their lawful – and lawfully acquired – firearms, the loss of their privacy and the risk of criminal penalties.”

A ‘Frustrated’ Biden

The suit also blames the rule change on Biden’s frustration with a lack of federal gun control.  

“Frustrated with congressional inaction, the President of the United States ordered ATF to abandon a decade of practice under an established statutory framework,” the lawsuit reads, adding that in 2021, Biden said the rule change should require owners of pistol-brace guns to pay a $200 fee and submit their names and other identifying information to the U.S. Justice Department, or face criminal penalties.  

The firearms union suing with the states is the Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition. In addition to suing the ATF, plaintiffs also have named ATF Director Steven M. Dettlelbach and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland as defendants.  

The other states suing are West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.  

The federal government has not yet filed a response to the complaint. 

Share this article



Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter