The ATF is proposing a new scheme that would add new regulations to firearms with stabilizing braces, classifying many of them as tightly regulated items. This follows a number of other proposals that are meeting heavy resistance throughout the gun industry and from gun owners alike.
The ATF’s proposed brace rules use a loose points-based system that can be used to classify pistols as short-barreled rifles, or SBRs, as well as certain shotguns as short-barreled shotguns, or SBS-es. Gun companies would have to re-submit their products to the ATF to receive classification under the new system or risk facing severe penalties.
Private gun owners in possession of these firearms have the option of forfeiting their guns or registering them under the National Firearms Act or the Gun Control Act, the NFA and GCA, respectively. In addition to requiring additional costs in the form of tax stamps, these items are tightly regulated and controlled when it comes to many uses, from transportation to transfers.
The ATF would enact the scheme by directly modifying federal gun laws in order to create gun control on their own. All to regulate braces, which were originally developed to assist gun owners with disabilities.
Firearm braces come in many different styles and can vary in function from design to design, but generally make it easier for anyone, disabled or otherwise, to handle certain firearms. Like other proposed rulemaking by the ATF, it will be subject to a 90-day public comment period.
The Firearm Policy Coalition, or FPC, has already created a program intended to halt the ATF and block this proposed ruling. “Comments will be open for 90 days, the ATF has not yet made the docket open for comment,” said the FPC. “FPC will post comment links as soon as they are available.
“ATF’s new proposed rule is an attempt to rewrite the law in an arbitrary and exceptionally aggressive manner,” said the FPC. “In short, ATF proposes to re-define the word ‘rifle’ by essentially appending ‘oh, and braced pistols too, sometimes,’ to the definition.”
“Just as FPC did when the Trump Administration’s DOJ lawlessly declared that bump-stocks were machine guns, we will use every available resource to defend the people’s human right to keep and bear arms from attacks by the ATF,” said Adam Kraut, on behalf of the FPC. “We stand ready to defend the people, human liberty, and personal property in this rulemaking process and, if necessary, in court.”
SB Tactical, makers of the original pistol brace, is urging people to contact their representative and support the ATF Accountability Act of 2021 to create a transparent appeals process within the regulatory agency. This is in response to earlier actions by the ATF to treat braces as NFA items without explaining why.