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February 04, 2023

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Gun News

Gun groups sue Biden administration over rule on stabilizing braces

Gun rights activists have filed a pair of lawsuits seeking to challenge a Biden administration rule requiring gun owners to place firearms that can be modified to become rifles on a federal registry.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and the Nevada-based Firearms Policy Coalition each filed suits alleging that the rule, which reclassifies pistols with stabilizing braces as rifles which must then be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, violates the Second Amendment.

The WILL's lawsuit, filed on behalf of military veterans in Wisconsin and Texas, notes that the rule could apply to as many as 40 million people who would be required to pay a tax on the registered weapon and could face a fine or imprisonment for failure to comply.

The suit argues the braces -- which were invented to help disabled veterans fire their pistols safely -- make many types of pistols more accurate and therefore safer. It adds that the veterans use the braces either because they have life-altering injuries suffered during military service, or for firearms instruction and training purposes.

Their lawsuit alleges that ATF's new rule violates the Second Amendment and the Separation of Powers, which prohibits federal agencies from making new laws without clear Congressional authorization.

FPC's suit alleges the actions of the Justice Department and ATF violate both the Administrative Procedure Act and the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

It seeks an injunction against the so-called "final rule" being enforced as well as clarification on its legality.

"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," said Cody Wisniewski, FPC's Senior Attorney for Constitutional Litigation.

Announcing the change last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland, said the rule was in line with his department's priority to keep communities safe from gun violence.

"Almost a century ago, Congress determined that short-barreled rifles must be subject to heightened requirements. Today's rule makes clear that firearm manufacturers, dealers, and individuals cannot evade these important public safety protections simply by adding accessories to pistols that transform them into short-barreled rifles,'' Garland said.

Individual gun owners, manufacturers and dealers have a 120-day grace period from Jan. 13, the day the rule was published in the Federal Register, to register tax-free any existing National Firearms Act short-barreled rifles covered by the rule.

Other options include removing the stabilizing brace to return the firearm to a pistol or surrendering covered short-barreled rifles to ATF.

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Alec Baldwin, armorer formally charged with involuntary manslaughter in 'Rust' shooting

Actor Alec Baldwin and his armorer have been formally charged with involuntary manslaughter in the deadly shooting on the set of the film Rust that killed a cinematographer.

The Santa Fe District Attorney filed involuntary manslaughter charges against Baldwin and his weapons armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, alleging the actor had not been properly trained to handle the weapon that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, because he was "distracted."

"The evidence clearly indicates that Baldwin recklessly ignored these rules, on multiple occasions, resulting in the fatal shooting," according to the 10-page statement of probable cause that was filed with the charges.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza confirmed that the firearm was an Italian-made .45-caliber Pietta Long Colt revolver.

The assistant director of Rust, David Halls, handed the weapon to Baldwin before the shooting and is facing a single misdemeanor count of negligent use of a deadly weapon. After signing a plea deal, Halls is expected to serve a suspended sentence and six months of probation.

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The Editor

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