A Florida Congressman sent a letter (see below) to the ATF this week imploring the agency to keep its regulatory fingers off a certain pistol brace owned by thousands of citizens.
“We understand that ATF is currently considering restricting one arm brace model owned by over 700,000 Americans,” Congressman Gaetz (R) wrote in a letter signed by six other lawmakers.
“We strongly urge ATF to cease taking any actions and reconsider or rescind any secret determinations which call into question the legality of firearms owned by millions of law-abiding Americans,” he continued.
On his podcast, “Hot Takes with Matt Gaetz,” Rep. Gaetz explained that the ATF “is making it very difficult for people to have arm braces. They’re changing standards and changing rules.”
Gaetz goes on to say, “And I am particularly frustrated when our government, at the administrative and executive level, goes beyond their grant of authority in our Constitution and in our Federal Statutes. Nothing gives anyone at ATF the ability to constrain the use of arm braces.”
To eliminate confusion and to protect innocent gun owners from being prosecuted by Big Brother, Gaetz and his colleagues included these three questions in their letter:
- What specific criteria does ATF use to determine whether a firearm is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder?
- What specific ATF publications are available for Americans to determine whether their firearm is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder?
- How many firearms with affixed arm braces have been evaluated by the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division in support of other law enforcement agencies or criminal prosecutions?
GunsAmerica reached out to several industry insiders and were told by one individual, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, that (a) the ATF is still filled with Obama appointees who are not exactly the most gun-friendly people and (b) that these individuals would love nothing more than to stymie Trump’s re-election chances by ratcheting up restrictions on pistol braces this Fall.
While the ATF would never admit that it has a political agenda, it may be true that they have an ax to grind against President Trump. For starters, he is Trump, which makes him enemy number one if you’re a deep state bureaucrat.
Second, one can argue that Trump embarrassed the agency when he strong-armed it into banning bump stocks in 2018. Remember, ATF claimed it didn’t have the authority to do so on its own, that only a law from Congress could make it so. But Trump put their feet to the fire and they capitulated.
The good news, I’m told, is that unlike bump stocks the Trump administration has no issue with pistol braces — if for no other reason that were president Trump to take another public stand against an innocuous firearm accessory there would be an immense backlash from the gun community. Keep in mind that there are at least 3 million pistol braces in circulation.
Put quite simply, Trump can’t afford more gun control on his watch. He needs gun owners to show up at the poll in November. And, again, I’m told, that Trump is going to look out for the 2A faithful moving forward.
To some extent he has made good by issuing two executive orders in 2019 that check the ATF’s ability to go rogue on its rule-making procedures:
- Executive Order on Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents
- Executive Order on Promoting the Rule of Law Through Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication
Shinning a light on the ATF’s backdoor conversations on pistol braces is a good way to get out in front of this issue. We should thank Congressman Gaetz, and the six others, Reps. Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Daniel Webster, Neil P. Dunn, W. Gregory Steube, and Ted S. Yoho who sent this letter to the DOJ and ATF.
As it stands today, no one is coming for your brace. But as always, stay tuned for updates.