statement on the recent ruling from the ATF regarding pistol braces.
As sheriff of Hempstead County, I would like to make a statement on the recent ruling from the ATF regarding pistol braces.
I stand with my fellow Sheriffs of Arkansas and will not support Assisting any Federal Agency, ATF or otherwise who would attempt to violate the Constitution of the State of Arkansas or The Constitution of the United States.
As your Sheriff, I believe that the 2nd Amendment was not put in place to protect deer hunting or sport shooting, but to protect freedom, personal safety, and all those we love and hold dear.
In 2021, the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 1012, which prohibits state and local employees, including law enforcement officials, from assisting the federal government in the enforcement of firearms regulations enacted after January 1, 2021. This law helps to place a safeguard between the citizens of our great state, and a federal government that would seek to trample on our most basic rights, including the right to self-defense.
On January 13, 2023 the ATF published their final rule on pistol stabilizing braces. It's estimated that between 3 and 40 million of these braces are currently in use all over the United States. Pistol stabilizing braces have existed in several forms for decades, and have been at the forefront of popularity since 2012. Citizens all over this country have legally purchased and used these items, and done so in compliance with state and federal law. The new ATF rule would make these braces illegal, and require current owners to take further steps to avoid becoming a criminal.
Arkansas Code 21-1-904 says, "(a) All acts, laws, orders, rules, and regulations of the United States Government that were enacted on or after January 1, 2021, that infringe on the people's right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Arkansas Constitution, Article 2, § 5, are invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state. (b) Such a federal ban that is null and void in this state under subsection (a) of this section includes without limitation: (4) Any act forbidding the possession, ownership, use, or transfer of any type of firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition by law-abiding citizens; (1) The following persons shall not enforce or assist federal agencies or officers in the enforcement of any federal statute, executive order, or federal agency directive that conflicts with Arkansas Constitution, Article 2, § 5, or any Arkansas law: (A) A public officer or employee of this state."
The Hempstead County Sheriff's Office, in accordance with that statute, is making the public statement that we do not support assisting the federal government in any way in the enforcing of this offensive affront to the rights of law-abiding citizens of the State of Arkansas. Criminals don't obey the law, and when rules like this are put in place, they seek only to criminalize otherwise law-abiding citizens. Our government needs to focus on keeping violent repeat offenders off the street, and not on how to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens.
James A, Singleton, Sheriff