December 29th, 2020

ATF Rescinds Official Notice about Pistol Braces

AR16 AR pistol arm brace BATFE ATF guidance ruling retraction

The NSSF reports that on December 23, 2020 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rescinded its Notice of “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with Stabilizing Braces” that was published on December 18, 2020. One of the reasons for the change was the massive amount of comments on the proposed rule change. Over 48,000 comments were posted on the Federal Register, the overwhelming number of them critical of the ATF’s proposed policies on pistols with braces.

AR16 AR pistol arm brace BATFE ATF guidance ruling retraction

NRA Instructor and gunwriter John Crump noted:

“After tens of thousands of comments left by gun owners over the ATF’s proposed guidance over pistol braces, the agency pulled it from the [Federal Register].

The agency released the proposal and gave the public two weeks to respond. Many in the gun world believed that the ATF chose to release the document right before the Christmas holiday, hoping that the gun community wouldn’t notice it until it was too late. The American people did notice. Every firearms publication ran non stop coverage of the confusing and nonsensical proposal. YouTubers of all sizes encouraged people to write comments to the government about the new guidance.

Even the politicians got involved in rebuking the ATF’s power play. North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson and 89 other Congress members signed a letter urging the ATF to reverse course[.]”

What was the main problem with the ATF’s “guidance” firearms with braces? Fundamentally it was vague, confusing, and overly complex. With so many factors listed, the “guidance” would have permitted the ATF to require registration of virtually any brace-equipped pistol based on a complex collection of factors, some quite subjective. That wasn’t good policy and gun owners saw the problem. We need clear, definite, objective standards for what is allowed and what is not.

The NSSF concurred: “NSSF has long requested the ATF to publish objective criteria by which firearm manufacturers can readily produce firearms equipped with arm braces in compliance with the law. To date, the criteria is subjective and open to interpretation on a case-by-case basis. The guidance proposed by the ATF last week did little, unfortunately, to clear the ambiguity that exists with subjective criteria.”

Similar Posts:

Tags: , , , , ,