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Sheriffs in Arkansas stated they will not implement a new ATF regulation on handgun stabilizing braces



Garland County, Arkansas – On Friday, the sheriff of Garland County joined a number of other law enforcement officials from across the state in making the announcement that he will not enforce a new federal rule that requires the registration of stabilizing braces for handguns.

The rule, which was approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland, classed handguns that were fitted with these braces as short-barreled rifles, which are required to be registered regardless of their configuration.

“The ATF is concerned that people are using these against their shoulder as a short-barreled rifle instead of a handgun,” said Nathan House, the Arkansas Armory’s General Manager.

Soon, it will be a crime to own orthodontic appliances that are not registered with the government. The ATF advised gun owners that if they do not wish to register their braces, they can either connect larger barrels to their firearms, get rid of them, hand them into the agency, or destroy them.

In an open letter that was published on Friday, Sheriff Mike McCormick of Garland County stated that his office will not assist the federal government in implementing this law because he considers it to be an infringement on the rights guaranteed by the second amendment. The statements of multiple sheriffs in Arkansas are consistent with one another.

“They’re going to essentially turn a blind eye to someone who’s breaking the law,” said Matt Bender, a University of Arkansas law professor. “They have the discretion to do that.”

Bender stated that sheriffs point to legislation that was approved two years ago and says that Arkansas can reject any gun-related federal judgments passed after January 2021. The law was passed in Arkansas.

“They are relying on sentiment and also a very performative piece of legislation,” Bender said.

According to Bender, the vast majority of people will undoubtedly feel safe maintaining their orthodontic appliances, but this does not mean that they will not be in violation of the law.

“That does carry serious penalties just like most federal criminal offenses do,” Bender said.

House has stated that he believes the sheriffs’ intentions to be good, but he has questioned whether or not they will ultimately defer to federal law in situations in which they require an arrest warrant.

“I appreciate that stand, but in practice, I don’t think it makes a big difference,” House said.

House has indicated that he agrees with the view that the courts ought to intervene to overturn the federal verdict.

People who are impacted by this ruling will have one hundred and twenty days from the time it goes into effect to comply with it, according to the ATF.