New ATF Rule Could Turn Millions of Gun Owners into Felons, Literally Overnight

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“The ATF’s Brace Rule is Incoming – Are you ready?”

(Gun Owners of America) — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is set to release its final rule on Braced firearms later this month.

In Analyzing the proposed rule, which was released June 2021, it appears that ATF has intentionally designed its Factoring Criteria for Rifled Barrel Weapons with Accessories Commonly Referred to as “Stabilizing Braces” to effect a complete ban of every pistol-braced firearm currently on the market.

Masquerading as a helpful rulemaking “to assist” gun owners and the firearms industry in complying with the law, in reality the proposed rule is designed with the obvious and specific intent to largely outlaw the use of stabilizing braces on firearms, threatening millions of current owners with imprisonment and putting a large segment of the gun industry out of business entirely.

To accomplish this goal, the proposed rule creates “Worksheet 4999,” which contains three sections of analysis, each more restrictive than the last, designed to ensure that virtually no stabilizing brace is eligible for use on a non-rifle firearm, and thereafter ensuring that most firearms do not qualify to even use an allowed stabilizing brace.

Even if a firearm passes the checks listed in “Worksheet 4999” ATF reserves unto itself the unbridled discretion to override the results of the worksheet at any time and for any reason, creating a system where no person or company could possibly rely on anything the agency says.

ATF in their proposed rulemaking claims that the number of Stabilizing braces in circulation is around 7-9 million. Whereas the Congressional Research Service estimates that the actual number of braces in circulation is anywhere between 10 – 40 million.

If this proposed rule becomes law, millions of gun owners could find themselves in possession of illegal, unregistered short barreled rifles or shotguns overnight.

ATF attempted once before to effectively ban pistol braces in 2020, during the Trump administration. Because of the massive grassroots response to the rule change, ATF abandoned their attempt and withdrew the rulemaking. But now that a new anti-gun regime has taken control of the White House, the ATF feels empowered to revive its war on pistol braces and essentially ban an extremely popular gun accessory.

What is Gun Owners of America doing to combat this arbitrary and capricious regulation?

We’ve submitted comments to the Federal Register detailing our arguments against the proposed rule.

We’ve worked with 48 Senators to demand that the ATF withdraw its proposed rule.

In Congress, we’re targeting the core of the issue, the National Firearms Act. The outdated and unconstitutional NFA allows ATF to regulate these sorts of items in the first place. We’re working with Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas and Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia to pass the SHORT Act which would remove Short Barreled Rifles and Shotguns from the NFA.

Finally, if the rule does go into effect, we’re prepared to take the fight to the courts.

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