November 27, 2023

Cassidy, Cramer, Blackburn File Bicameral Amicus Brief in Support of the Second Amendment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and 66 Republican colleagues filed a bicameral amicus brief to uphold the rights of all Americans to keep and bear arms, especially veterans and disabled individuals who need assistance to exercise their rights. The Second Amendment is a fundamental protection of liberty which is deeply rooted in our nation’s history and tradition.

The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced a final rule reclassifying pistols with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles. This change subjects purchasers of these pistols—often people with disabilities or in need extra stability to safely use the weapon—to a burdensome regulatory scheme. The amicus brief states the rule infringes Americans’ Second Amendment liberties, and Congress did not grant ATF the authority to criminalize the exercise of a constitutional right. 

“The Rule is especially concerning for Americans with disabilities or otherwise lacking physical strength to comfortably fire pistols, including veterans. Importantly, the Second Amendment protects the rights of all law-abiding adult citizens—not just the strong and able-bodied,” wrote the members. 

“ATF’s Rule threatens that guarantee in a way that Congress never authorized. Article I of the Constitution vests all legislative power in Congress. Federal agencies may exercise only that power that Congress has granted them. And Congress never granted ATF the authority to regulate pistol braces. It is for Congress—not ATF—to decide whether to regulate them. Thus, amici urge the Court to reverse the district court, grant Appellants’ motion a preliminary injunction, and vacate the ATF Rule,” continued the members. 

Cassidy, Cramer, and Blackburn were joined by U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Ted Budd (R-NC), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), James Lankford (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rick Scott (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), and U.S. Representatives Robert Aderhold (R-AL-04), Mark Amodei (R-NV-02), Andy Barr (R-KY-06), Aaron Bean (R-FL-04), Cliff Bentz (R-OR-02), Dan Bishop (R-NC-08), Michael Burgess (R-TX-26), Buddy Carter (R-GA-01), Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09), Tom Cole (R-OK-04), Mike Collins (R-GA-10), Warren Davidson (R-OH-08), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04), Byron Donalds (R-FL-19), Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03), Chuck Edwards (R-NC-11), Ron Estes (R-KS-04), Drew Ferguson (R-GA-03), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-03), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN-07), Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05), Russell Fry (R-SC-07), Russ Fulcher (R-ID-01) Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ-04), Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06), Harriet Hageman (R-WY), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01), Ashley Hinson (R-IA-02), Richard Hudson (R-NC-09), Mike Kelly (R-PA-16), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01), Nick Langworthy (R-NY-23), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08), Thomas Massie (R-KY-04), Mary Miller (R-IL-15), Alex Mooney (R-WV-03), Ralph Norman (R-SC-05), Andy Ogles (R-TN-05), Burgess Owens (R-UT-04), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA-14), John Rose (R-TN-06), Adrian Smith (R-NE-03), Jason Smith (R-MO-08), Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), Greg Steube (R-FL-17), Claudia Tenney (R-NY-24), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA-15), Tim Walberg (R-MI-05), Joe Wilson (R-SC-01), and Rudy Yakym (R-IN-02).

Read the amicus brief here


In March, Cassidy introduced a resolution to prevent the ATF from enforcing the anti-Second Amendment pistol brace rule. Additionally in June, Cassidy joined Leader McConnell and 47 other Republican senators in calling on the ATF to withdraw their proposed rule banning the use of stabilizing braces on firearms in a letter to Attorney General Garland and then Acting Director Richardson. Under this rule, otherwise lawful gun owners could face up to 10 years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines if they fail to register pistols with stabilizing braces with the ATF. If gun owners do not register their firearms, they would have to destroy the firearm, surrender their firearm to the ATF or remove the brace in such a way that it cannot be reattached.