ATF Sued For Violating Administrative Procedures Act Over Pistol Brace Regulations

A gun rights group joined by two disabled citizens and a gun retailer sued the Bureau of Alcohol , Tobacco and Firearms over its pistol braces regulations.


The Second Amendment Found, Inc., joined by Rainier Arms, LLC, and two private citizens, Samuel Walley and William Green, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division, accusing the ATF of violating the Administrative Procedures Act over pistol braces regulation.


Walley is a disabled Army veteran who sustained severe injuries in an Afghanistan tour in 2012. Green is a police officer who sustained permanent nerve damages to his right hand in the line of duty. Both rely on pistol stabilizing braces while shooting.


The lawsuit names the ATF, the Acting Director of the ATF Regina Lombardo, in her official capacity, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, in his official capacity.


The lawsuit says that the ATF committed “serious wrongdoings,” violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and Second Amendment provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

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The complaint also points out that the defendants avoided undertaking a full-fledged administrative process because doing so would have interfered with their anti-gun agenda.


Their actions “imposed illegal restrictions on the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms by way of rules that violate the most rudimentary commands of due process and the APA,” the lawsuit adds. Additionally, the actions harmed law-abiding Americans, “particularly persons with disabilities.”


Commenting on the SAF et al. v. BATFE, et al. lawsuit, SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said that the case stemmed from the failure of public officials to abide by legally-mandated rulemaking requirements, thus threatening the Second Amendment rights.


“This is especially important to disabled persons because these devices were originally developed to benefit shooters with physical disabilities,” Gottlieb added.


The plaintiffs request the court to rule that ATF’s actions amounted to violating the Administrative Procedure Act and the Second Amendment. They also demand a temporary and permanent injunction prohibiting the ATF from violating the APA in the future.


Further, the court should order the ATF to publish the public comments received during the 2020 feedback window. Any future action on pistol braces should have a 60-day public comments window and describe and respond to the responses received in 2020.


The court should also order the ATF to pay actual damages to affected individuals, for example, those raided in the enforcement action. Lastly, the defendants request that the ATF should refund the defendants’ attorney fees and costs and any other relief they are entitled.

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