May 20, 2024

15 June 2023

Dear Speaker McCarthy, Minority Leader Jefferies, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell,

We the undersigned sheriffs, peace officers, and law enforcement officials urge Congress to vote on H. J. Res. 44 and S. J. Res. 20 to reject the unconstitutional ban on up to 40,000,000 pistols as enacted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) on June 1st.

ATF cannot simply restrict access to pistols because a stabilizing brace has been attached—they are essential to the exercise of the Second Amendment by Americans with disability. According to the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, every American has an individual right to keep a handgun inside the home.[i] And a federal judge in the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed:

[B]races are needed by certain individuals with disabilities to operate a firearm. Thus, arm braces are an integral part of the meaningful exercise of Second Amendment rights for such individuals and can also be considered an “arm.” It is uncontroverted that law-abiding members of society, including the elderly, infirmed, and disabled, have the constitutional right to arm themselves for self-defense.[ii]

While ATF is a federal law enforcement agency, it has no authority to enact such a gun ban. Furthermore, ATF agents have no authority to seize pistol braced weapons because they are protected by the Second Amendment. As constitutionally minded law enforcement, we recognize and fully respect the right of the People to keep and bear arms free from infringement—including any pistol with an attached stabilizing brace.

As Representative Paul Gosar said so well, if Congress allows “this rule to pass without lifting a finger” it will “dishonor law enforcement” which it recently sought to commemorate during Police Week.[iii] Indeed, we agree with the Congressman that:

Few things would do greater harm to the thin blue line between law enforcement and the civilians they are charged to protect and serve. This rule would pit peaceful Americans against officers obligated to enforce this rule. No officer should be put into the position to confiscate pistol brace firearms from peaceful civilians who legally purchased them. What officer wants to carry on their conscience that they imprisoned unaware, physically disabled members of their community? If an objector’s concern is public safety, then know enforcement of this rule will only endanger the American citizenry.[iv]

As constitutionally minded law enforcement, we affirm that we do not wish to be pitted against the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. More than half the country has passed Second Amendment Sanctuary laws prohibiting the enforcement of such new federal gun laws.[v] In some states, law enforcement is explicitly prohibited from working with ATF to violate the Second Amendment or enforce new federal gun controls under these sanctuary laws.[vi] And on May 25th, 27 state Attorneys General wrote to Congress condemning the Biden Pistol Ban and urging Congress to vote to overturn it.[vii]

Attorneys General and private organizations like Gun Owners of America are fighting this in court and we will protect gun owners in our jurisdictions, but it is time for Congress to act. We the undersigned sheriffs, peace officers, and law enforcement officers urge the passage of H. J. Res. 44 and S. J. Res. 20 immediately, to protect the people from this unconstitutional gun ban and preserve the Second Amendment rights of the people.

Sincerely,

Sam Bushman
Constitutional Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association
Sheriff Richard Mack
Constitutional Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association
Daniel Steubs
American Police Officer Alliance
Sheriff Chris Brown
Cleburne County, AR
Sheriff Jordan Weiss
White County, IL
Sheriff Ross Schultze
Washington County, IL
Sheriff Jeff Bullard
Jefferson County, IL
Sheriff Mike Lewis
Wicomico County, MD
Sheriff Todd Hood
Madison County, NY
Sheriff Roger Deeds
Hood County, TX
Sheriff Doc Wigington
Throckmorton County, TX
Sheriff Bob Songer
Klickitat County, WA
Sheriff David West
Cross County, AR
Sheriff Glenn Wheeler
Newton County, AR
Sheriff Greg L. Alexander
Marion County, AR
Sheriff Herschel Tillman
Bradley County, AR
Sheriff Hobe Runion
Sebastian County, AR
Sheriff James Singleton
Hempstead County, AR
Sheriff Jason W. Massey
Logan County, AR
Sheriff Jay Cantrell
Washington County, AR
Sheriff Jeff Black
Lafayette County, AR
Sheriff John Staley
Lonoke County, AR
Sheriff Kevin Bell
Randolph County, AR
Sheriff LeRoy Martin
Columbia County, AR
Sheriff Marty Boyd
Craighead County, AR
Sheriff Randy Shores
Scott County, AR
Sheriff Ricky Roberts
Union County, AR
Sheriff Robert Gault
Yell County, AR
Sheriff Rodney Wright
Saline County, AR
Sheriff Ronald Nichols
Chicot County, AR
Sheriff Roy Martin
Boone County, AR
Sheriff Scott Sawyer
Polk County, AR
Sheriff Shane Jones
Pope County, AR
Sheriff Shane Russell
Sharp County, AR
Sheriff Shawn Holloway
Benton County, AR
Sheriff Shawn Stephens
Independence County, AR
Sheriff Steve Young
Lincoln County, AR
Sheriff Tim Nichols
Drew County, AR
Sheriff Travis Hill
Pike County, AR
Sheriff Vernon Morris
Calhoun County, AR
Sheriff Tim Nichols

Drew County, AR

Sheriff Brad Snyder
Greene County, AR
Sheriff Brandon Long
Stone County, AR
Sheriff Bryan McJunkins
Howard County, AR
Sheriff Charles Melton
Izard County, AR
Sheriff Dale Cook
Mississippi County, AR
Sheriff Daniel Perry
Crawford County, AR
Sheriff Danny Martin
Nevada County, AR
Sheriff Travis Hill

Pike County, AR

Sheriff Bobby Walraven
Little River County, AR 
Sheriff Vernon Morris

Calhoun County, AR

 

[i] Justice Scalia. District of Columbia v. Heller. June 26th, 2008. 1-2.

[ii] District Judge McGlynn. Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois et al. v. Pritzker et al.. April 28th, 2023. 19-20. 27.

[iii] Gosar. “Impending ‘Pistol Brace’ Rule Seeks to Subvert American Electoral System and Her Citizenry”. American Thinker. May 27th, 2023.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] See Second Amendment Sanctuary Localities.” Gun Owners of America.

[vi] See Second Amendment Sanctuary States Meeting the ‘Gold’ Standard”. Gun Owners of America.

[vii] Hawkins. “27 Attorneys General: Congress Must Act Against ATF Pistol Brace Rule”. Breitbart News. May 26th, 2023.

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