Senators Blackburn, Cramer Lead Bicameral Amicus Brief to Support the Second Amendment

November 28, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) co-led an amicus brief to urge the Supreme Court 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 members’ brief emphasizes that 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 of 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,” the brief notes. 

“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,” the brief continues. 


  • Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
  • U.S. Representatives Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Aaron Bean (R-Fla.), Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.), Dan Bishop (R-N.C.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Mike Collins (R-Ga.), Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Chuck Edwards (R-N.C.), Ron Estes (R-Kan.), Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.), Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Russell Fry (R-S.C.), Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho) Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Mike Kelly (R-Penn.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Nick Langworthy (R-N.Y.), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.), Burgess Owens (R-Utah), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Penn.), John Rose (R-Tenn.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Penn.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), and Rudy Yakym (R-Ind.).


  • The Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition (FRAC), based in Bismarck, North Dakota, filed its challenge to ATF’s final rule in District Court. 
    • The District Court denied the request for a preliminary injunction, and FRAC has filed an emergency appeal in the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • In March, Senator Blackburn led a similar amicus brief to the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota.
Click here to read the brief.