Military veterans in Texas and Wisconsin filed two separate lawsuits against the Biden administration's new restrictions on stabilizers for pistols, the Western Journal reported. Attorney General Merrick Garland claimed the rule was in line with regulations under the National Firearms Act.
President Joe Biden's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued the restrictions that some are calling an overreach. Garland claimed authority for the restrictions because the stabilizers effectively turn pistols into short-barreled rifles that fall under the National Firearms Act.
This would mean that they are regulated and would require registration like other rifles. However, the lawsuits argue this is a false claim.
The first legal challenge, brought by Texas residents Christopher Lewis and William Mock along with the Firearms Policy Coalition, took aim at the procedural problems with the restriction. Cody Wisniewski, senior attorney for constitutional litigation at the coalition, said that the ATF was writing "new laws" with this change that fall outside of its purview .
"Federal agencies do not have the power to write new laws, and yet the ATF continues to attempt to expand its authority using the federal rulemaking process," Wisniewski said in a statement. "This ‘rule’ is, in effect, a federal law that will transform millions of peaceable people into felons overnight simply for owning a firearm that has been lawful to own for decades."
The legal filing contends that treating pistols differently because they're outfitted with stabilizers is a thinly-veiled attempt to regulate firearms against the Constitution's Second Amendment protections. "Stabilizing braces are analogous to their Founding Era predecessors in that they allow gun owners to customize pistols to facilitate easier and more accurate one-handed shooting," the lawsuit alleges.
"The Final Rule makes what has been an unregulated historical practice for centuries nearly impossible for those individuals with a stabilizing brace,” the suit said. The plaintiffs believe it was done to fulfill Biden's campaign promises to crack down on gun owners.
Besides overreach, the regulation is also too vague to be effective. The lawsuit contends it "leaves gun owners with no meaningful way to know if, overnight, they have become felons."
The second legal challenge came from a Wisconsin legal firm on behalf of ex-Marines Gabriel Tauscher, Shawn Knoll, and Darren Britto. Tauscher and Knoll are from Wisconsin, and Britto hails from Texas.
"My first amendment right is my first amendment right to speak, to write whatever I want," Britto said in a news release. "Why should my Second Amendment rights be any different from one state to another?"
Britto explained that the stabilizer has a legitimate use for someone like him who is dealing with a rotator cuff injury. "For myself and for people with similar or same issues, you can’t necessarily put a stock of a rifle in your shoulder because of an injury or a limitation," he said.
"By having the brace, I can affix it to my forearm and be able to have better control of the firearm," Britto added. Such a helpful modification shouldn't result in more red tape, including government tracing that comes along with the regulation.
"I’m sure there’s gun owners in Texas that do not want their names on a registry … and so it’s a bad precedent to set to say that the government can just tell people to put their names on a registry or to face criminal penalties,” Deputy Counsel Dan Lennington from the Wisconsin Institute for Liberty & Law said. “The minute you tell people that we need to have a national gun registry, it gives tools to the government, which would allow them to confiscate those weapons in the future if they decided to go out and confiscate them,” he added.
Democrats routinely seek to restrict Second Amendment rights in any way that they can. This particular rule seems like a ridiculous and nitpicky way to get that job done -- even for a zealot like Biden.