Disclaimer: This article may contain the personal views and opinions of the author.
You may have heard some controversy recently surrounding a new rule being implemented by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
The Bureau procured a rule about braces on pistols which could classify those who fail to comply with the requirement as felons.
The rule sets out to void all previous guidance on pistol braces. The ATF is attempting to redefine the word “rifle” as any weapon “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.”
This rule will force pistol brace owners, who many gun rights advocates say are disabled, to register their pistols on a Federal Registry as short-barrel rifles instead.
The agency is giving gun owners with pistol braces 120 days to modify their guns so that the barrel is longer than 16 inches, file a form to make the pistol an SBR, remove the brace, or turn in or destroy the firearm.
Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida is standing up for his constituents and fighting back against the rule.
In a phone interview this week, Gaetz talked about the people he represents and their reaction to the new rule.
He said, “I have a lot of disabled veterans in my district who enjoy pistol shooting and rely on stabilizing braces to be able to engage in the activity.”
“The recent actions from the ATF essentially allow them to make case-by-case determinations on whether a pistol with a stabilizing brace is legal or an unlawful, sawed-off shotgun.”
He added, “The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on the actions they’re taking to convert otherwise law-abiding people into felons.”
He plans to introduce a bill to Congress to take action.
Gaetz said, “My bill would abolish the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to try defunding the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to target the individual bureaucrats at the top of the ATF who have exceeded their authority in rulemaking. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to take a meat cleaver to the statutes that the ATF believes broadly authorize their actions.”
The ATF denies the claim that the new rule applies to stabilizing braces used by those with disabilities. Their target is the type of stabilizing brace that makes the firearm a short-barreled rifle.
Gaetz blasted the agency saying, “the people at the ATF making these rules fundamentally don’t understand firearms.”
“I think they are under the flawed conception that a stabilizing brace increases the lethality or danger of a pistol,” he said. “It seems the ATF is on a snipe hunt for regulatory action that virtue signals to the anti-gun left, but that has no real practical safety impact on Americans.”
“I believe that you are likely to see ATF bureaucrats hauled before the Judiciary Committee to explain themselves in the coming weeks and months,” Gaetz said. “Because we’re hearing this very loudly from our constituents, and the reason I filed this bill is, frankly, I think that the ATF should have to justify their existence at all.”
Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President, Alan M. Gottlieb views this latest move by the ATF as a power grab. He said the agency is in “confiscation mode.”
He went on to say that the ATF doesn’t have the authority to make these definitions. That is up to the Congress.
Gun rights advocates and law-abiding gun owners are being targeted by the Biden administration. They’ll use any avenue they can to take away the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans.