BELLEVUE, WA – March 25 – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed an Appellant’s Brief in 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in response to the Biden administration’s appeal of SAF’s lower court victory in its challenge of the administration’s “final rule” regarding pistol braces, seeking oral arguments apart from other cases with which the SAF case has been consolidated. The case is known as SAF v. ATF.

Joining SAF are Rainier Arms, LLC, and two individual citizens, Samuel Walley and William Green. They are represented by attorney Chad Flores at Flores Law in Houston, Texas. Defendants are the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and its director, Steven Dettelbach, in his official capacity; United States Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland. The case is on appeal from U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

“The Final Rule enacted in 2023 constitutes a marked departure from the BATF’s past position about whether brace-equipped pistols still constitute ‘pistols,’” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “As we explain in our brief, for over a decade, the agency took the position that brace-equipped pistols did not constitute short-barreled ‘rifles.’ Between 2012 and 2014 in particular, ATF issued no fewer than 17 classification letters about one specific arm brace or another, all opining that arm brace designs did not convert pistols into short-barreled rifles. But that suddenly changed under the Biden administration.”

“The Final Rule completely alters the rifle-pistol distinction,” added SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut. “There are millions of common firearms formerly defined as ‘pistols’ covered by the 1968 Gun Control Act that are now defined as ‘rifles.’ By shifting this definitional boundary, the Final Rule turned millions of Americans into potential felons overnight, simply because they complied with the letter of the law and ATF’s own guidance. We look forward to defeating this legislative fiat by the executive branch.”