ATF urged to ‘back away’ from gun grab threat

Gun Rights

A collection of Second Amendment advocates that has already stalled a Biden administration plan to punish millions of gun owners urged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to fully “back away” from controversial plans targeting AR-style “pistols.”

In a legal filing, the advocates predicted that they would eventually beat the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and called on the agency to give up the fight over reclassifying the firearms to regulated and taxed guns.

“Our earlier victory in the case should have signaled to the government to back away from its rule,” said Second Amendment Foundation Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.

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“Instead, the government has appealed in hopes of saving this arbitrary restriction, and we’re simply asking the court to affirm its earlier ruling,” he added.

Gottlieb’s group has teamed with two others to fight ATF’s move to reverse a decadelong policy of not regulating AR-style pistols fitted with arm braces that aid handicapped and unsteady shooters.

When President Joe Biden came to office, the agency moved to rip up its old policy to claim the pistols should be in a category of highly regulated and taxed rifles, potentially turning some 7-10 million owners of the guns into overnight criminals.

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Recent legal cases have found that guns in “common” use are generally free from regulation, and SAF argued that having up to 10 million AR-pistols in use demonstrates that they are “common.”

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans recently ruled 2-1 for SAF. ATF appealed, prompting SAF to seek a new ruling endorsing the original one to set aside the ATF policy.

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The challenge, also being made in other cases around the country, is one of several that is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court and could impact the upcoming presidential election.

Former President Donald Trump has indicated he will not OK the ATF rule. He is planning to address the National Rifle Association convention, which is also challenging ATF on its new regulation, and is likely to win the group’s endorsement again.

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