Texoma sheriffs say they won't enforce new gun rule
(KTEN) — Some county sheriffs in Texoma say they are standing up for the Second Amendment after a new ruling from the Department of Justice requiring gun owners who have a "stabilizing brace" attached to a pistol to either register the device or remove it within 120 days.
A stabilizing brace is attached to a firearm that permits the weapon to be fired from the shoulder.
"In the days of Al Capone, Congress said back then that short-barreled rifles and sawed-off shotguns should be subjected to greater legal requirements than most other guns," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a written statement. "Today’s rule makes clear that firearm manufacturers, dealers, and individuals cannot evade these important public safety protections simply by adding accessories to pistols that transform them into short-barreled rifles."
"The federal agency has no right to circumvent the rights set by the Constitution, and a rule of this magnitude should not be passed," said Love County Sheriff Andy Cumberledge. "And especially not put into law... especially without the representatives that were elected by the people being involved."
Cumberledge and several of his Oklahoma colleagues say they will not enforce the ruling from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney General.
Marshall County Sheriff Donald Yow posted a statement saying if deputies encounter someone with using a stabilizing brace "...in the course of normal contact, it will not be addressed."
Cumberledge said more than 10 million of the braces have been legally made and sold in the U.S.
"In law enforcement we see them all the time, both being used correctly by law-abiding citizens, and used incorrectly in the commission of a crime by criminals," he said.
The ATF notes that the ruling exempts braces made for individuals with disabilities.
Based on the rule, gun owners have 120 days to register their stabilizers with the ATF as of the January 13. Violators are subject to 10 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
"They have not followed the proper avenues for creating laws, therefore we at the Love County Sheriff's Office and many sheriff's offices across the state have chosen not to enforce the rule," Cumberledge said.
Sheriff Yow saying, quote,
"I will always stand up for our Constitution and county, for if we allow one of our Constitutional rights to be infringed, where does it stop?" asked Yow.