Rainier Arms v. ATF

Rainier Arms v. ATF

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Filed: January 15, 2021

Status: Active

Since the introduction of the stabilizing brace, ATF has issued many determination letters which have contradicted earlier rulings and walked back prior determinations, leaving the public in a state of confusion. On December 18, 2020, ATF published a notice in the Federal Register seeking to impose NFA controls on stabilizing braces meeting certain “objective factors”. This notice created a points system based on physical characteristics or accessories under which ATF would determine whether a pistol with a stabilizing brace was a “pistol” or a “short barreled rifle”. ATF ultimately withdrew the notice after receiving over 70,000 comments a mere 17 days after publication. This lawsuit followed on January 15, 2021.

Shortly, after the lawsuit was filed ATF entered into rulemaking in June of 2021 and published a final rule in January of 2023, which redefined the term “rifle” in an expansive manner to capture firearms equipped with stabilizing braces. Plaintiffs amended their lawsuit to address the final rule. 

Joining the Second Amendment Foundation in this lawsuit are two physically disabled individuals and one firearms retailer. The lawsuit asks a federal court to declare the new regulation unlawful, set it aside, and enjoin the Defendants from enforcing it.

Case Team: Chad Flores, Hannah Roblyer, Caleb Rawls

Case Documents


To access all of the case documents at the District Court, please visit the docket.

To view documents filed on appeal, please visit the Court of Appeals docket.

Case Media