Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody released a legal opinion Monday regarding the use of stabilizing braces for handguns in Florida.
Moody issued the opinion in response to a request from Representative Shane Abbott to provide clarity on Florida law following a recently released Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives interpretation of a federal law.
According to Moody’s office, the ATF interpretation subjects handguns with stabilizing braces to National Firearms Act controls. Attorney General Moody issued an opinion on a similarly worded provision of Florida law concluding that stabilizing braces are not short-barreled rifles.
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“The Second Amendment is alive and well in Florida, and our state laws protect the gun rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Moody. “We issued this important legal opinion to provide clarity about our state law as the federal government continues to overreach in an effort to over-regulate certain firearm accessories.”
Moody’s opinion deals solely with Florida state law and has no bearing on the ATF’s action.
The opinion states: “Unless and until judicially or legislatively clarified, I conclude that the definition of ‘short-barreled rifle,’ which the Legislature enacted in 1969, does not include a handgun, such as a pistol, to which a person attaches a stabilizing brace, because the use of such an optional accessory does not change the fundamental characteristics of the handgun.”
Separately, the State of Florida is challenging the ATF interpretation.
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