Iowa attorney general joins suit against limits on pistol braces, a device used in mass killings

Rick Newman, owner of Cherokee Firearms in Springfield, Mo., shows how an AR-15 pistol with a pistol brace is used.

Rick Newman, owner of Cherokee Firearms in Springfield, Mo., shows how an AR-15 pistol with a pistol brace is used.

Iowa is among two dozen states whose Republican attorneys general have joined conservative and gun-rights groups in a challenge to new federal regulations on pistols with stabilizing braces, suing to block a gun-control action touted by President Joe Biden after the accessories were used in two mass shootings.

The lawsuit that Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird joined was filed Tuesday in federal court in North Dakota. Two other lawsuits also were filed in federal court in Texas against the move to treat the guns like short-barreled rifles, a weapon like a sawed-off shotgun that has been heavily regulated since the 1930s.

The cases argue that millions of people have guns with the braces and use them to make firing “more accurate, and therefore safer,” according to one of the Texas lawsuits, filed on behalf of three veterans by the conservative, Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

Previously:Iowa deer hunters fight DNR’s proposed rule changes that would ban AR pistols

They said in the lawsuits that the new rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives forces owners into “unthinkable choices” of removing the brace, submitting to a national registry at a cost of $200 or opening themselves up to possible charges.

“The new rule unlawfully usurps Congressional authority by significantly expanding the definition of ‘rifle’ under federal law and, with it, imposes potential criminal liability on millions of Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights,” the lawsuit argues. A decade ago, the ATF found that the braces did not make guns similar to short-barreled rifles.

Bird, in a statement, said the Biden administration in imposing the new rule “is blatantly attacking the Constitutional rights of

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