December 17, 2020
In yet another reckless, bold and illegal move by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the rogue agency has moved to target braced pistols and their owners.
Gun Owners of America received a copy of a draft ATF document concerning pistol braces that is set to be published as a “Notice” in the Federal Register on December 17th, 2020.
“If there were any lingering questions as to how far ATF has gone off into the deep end, this document settles it,” said Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of Gun Owners of America. “The ATF is the embodiment of the word ‘infringement,’ and GOA is prepared to combat its actions at every turn. GOA will rally the grassroots to fight these regulations, and if they eventually go into effect, we will commence immediate legal action to protect gun owners.”
Although ATF issued classification letters which approved various pistol braces, this Notice apparently would rescind all those prior letters. Going forward, ATF claims that a “classification pertains only to the particular sample submitted” — meaning a particular firearm, with a particular brace, outfitted in a particular way with particular accessories. If any of those change, the classification would no longer apply.
The ATF Notice claims to provide “guidance” about how the agency will classify pistols, based on “objective factors” to be used when determining whether pistol braces convert pistols into short-barreled rifles.
ATF states that things like “caliber” will be an “objective factor,” but doesn’t tell what calibers. ATF lists “weight and length” as “objective factors,” but similarly doesn’t provide any specific weights or lengths. In other words, ATF’s “objective factors” will be a secret, and will be interpreted entirely subjectively.
Additionally, if ATF approves of one brace on a particular pistol submitted for classification, that classification may change if the firearm is altered in any way.
“The ATF has apparently agreed to let pistol brace owners register their firearms as short-barreled rifles under the NFA … for free,” Pratt continued. “But what a compromise. Honest gun owners get to add themselves to the ATF’s national gun registry, and the ATF won’t charge them $200 to do it!”
“This ATF is simply out of control,” Pratt concluded. “This agency — which shouldn’t exist in the first place — is not held accountable for its actions, and honest gun owners who are being turned into criminals are paying the price.”
Erich Pratt, or another GOA spokesperson, is available for interviews. Gun Owners of America is a nonprofit grassroots lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over two million members and activists. For more information, visit GOA’s Press Center.