ATF and the Pistol Brace Debacle

By Richard Douglas, Guest Opinion. January 19, 2021

The ATF is a boogeyman to any and all members of the 2nd Amendment community. Time after time they have proven to be hard at work chipping away at the right to bear arms, despite being an enforcement agency, not a regulatory agency.

The ATF decided once again to tangle with gun owners everywhere and begin going after pistol braces, (for example with the 'Honey Badger' SBR). Again. A stabilizing brace is designed to make shooting a rifle or shotgun one-handed possible for people with disabilities. Of course, this hasn’t been the first time the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has tried to regulate braces.

The pistol brace has been somewhat of a controversial debate when it comes to the ATF and gun owners across the country. Initially, pistol braces weren’t much of an issue. Disabled people could now shoot without their disability interfering with the activity. Non-disabled people also used stabilizing braces as a substitution for shoulder stocks to circumvent another ATF regulation regarding Short Barreled Rifles which require an expensive tax stamp that requires months of waiting just to have a rifle barrel under 16 inches.

Then in 2015, the ATF ruled that shouldering braces were “a redesign of the purpose of the brace” effectively and illegally banned shouldering braces. This caused outrage within the gun community sparking armed protests and rallies. It’s important to understand that the ATF is merely a regulatory agency and not a legislative one. Their regulations are illegal and unconstitutional, yet they continue to “make laws” at a rate that makes it difficult to discern what’s legal and what’s a felony. ....


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