48 Republican Senators Demand ATF Withdraw AR-Pistol Brace Rule

AR-15 Pistol Brace
AWR Hawkins

Forty-eight Republican Senators signed a June 24, 2021, letter calling for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to withdraw its proposed AR-pistol brace rule.

On June 7, 2021, Breitbart News noted that the ATF put forward a proposed rule that would place some AR-pistols with stabilizer braces under the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA). This means the process for acquiring said AR-pistols would be the same as the process for acquiring a suppressor, short-barreled-rifles (SBRs), or a machine gun.

The process includes being fingerprinted and photographed, undergoing a background check, registering the AR-pistol with the ATF, and paying a $200 federal tax. The entire process takes nine to ten months to complete.

In the June 24 letter, the Senators noted that “the way the proposed rule is written makes clear that ATF intends to bring the most common uses of the most widely possessed stabilizing braces within the purview of the NFA.”

“Doing so would turn millions of law-abiding Americans into criminals overnight, and would constitute the largest executive branch-imposed gun registration and confiscation scheme in American history,” they noted. “We therefore vehemently oppose this proposed rule and urge its immediate withdrawal.”

The Senators added:

ATF seems to believe that re-characterizing millions of pistols as SBRs is no big deal because the agency kindly offers gun owners what it deems to be plenty of means of complying. They can surrender their firearm to ATF. Or, for gun owners who purchased firearms without stabilizing braces and later added one, ATF will permit them to destroy their pistol braces (but not if the gun owners purchased the firearms already equipped with braces). Or they can spend more than $400 to convert a brace-equipped pistol to a long-barreled rifle subject to GCA regulation, (Where gun owners will find $400 lying around for such an undertaking, ATF doesn’t venture a guess.) Or, they can register their brace-equipped pistols as SBRs under the NFA and pay a $200 tax on each pistol. Missing from ATF’s reasoning, of course, is that, even in its own very conservative estimate, A TF requires many months to process the registration forms for SBRs. Thus, gun owners will have to give up the use of their firearms for months while waiting for ATF to process their registration forms and tax payments.

The Senators described the proposed rule as “offensive” and noted the ATF’s attempts to justify it are “shocking.”

They ended the letter by writing, “Correct this mistake and withdraw the proposed rule.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.