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Sheriff’s Association, McCormick say no to new ATF brace rule

by James Leigh | January 21, 2023 at 4:04 a.m.
A Garland County Sheriff's Department patrol unit. - File photo by The Sentinel-Record

Following last week's announcement by the Justice Department to tighten restrictions on stabilizing braces for guns, Garland County Sheriff Mike McCormick on Friday joined with other members of the Arkansas Sheriff's Association to oppose the new rule put forth by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The Arkansas Sheriff's Association said in its statement an estimated "3 (to) 40 million of these braces are currently in use all over the United States," and they "have been at the forefront of popularity since 2012."

"Although, citizens all over this country have legally purchased these braces and done so in compliance with state and federal law the new ATF rule would make these braces illegal," McCormick said in his statement. "This new rule would then require current owners to take further steps in order to legally own them."

According to Jason Spavins, manager at Mountain Valley Armory, the braces attach to a shooter's arm to help stabilize the weapon.

"They're made to strap to your arm to help stabilize the gun when you shoot it, just by the sheer design of the AR-15," he said. "The idea was that it would allow the user more control over the weapon, so it attached to the forearm of the individual that was shooting it to help make it easier to control the gun."

The rule by the ATF amends the definition of a rifle to include weapons "designed, redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder." This includes weapons with a "rearward attachment ... that allows the weapon to be fired from the shoulder."

The rule does not bar any braces intended for disabled persons, a news release from the ATF said.

"Such stabilizing braces are designed to conform to the arm and not as a buttstock," the release said.

McCormick said the Second Amendment "was put into place to protect freedom, personal safety, and all those we love and hold dear."

Act 1012, which was passed by the state Legislature in 2021, "prohibits state and local employees, including law enforcement officials from assisting the federal government in the enforcement of firearms regulations enacted after January 1, 2021. This law helps to place a safeguard between the citizens of our great state, and the federal government," his statement continued.

"The deputies and myself, having the full weight and backing of the State of Arkansas, and in accordance with that statute, want to make the community aware that we do not support assisting the federal government in the enforcement of the new rule," McCormick said.

Print Headline: Sheriff’s Association, McCormick say no to new ATF brace rule

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