NRA, gun-rights advocates hail ATF withdrawal of planned guidance on pistol-stabilizing braces

Gun Rights

The National Rifle Association and other supporters of Second Amendment gun rights have hailed a recent decision by the Trump administration to reverse course on planned guidance regarding pistol-stabilizing braces.

The initial guidance – proposed via the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – could have effectively banned the braces, which resemble gunstocks and attach to handguns to help improve a user’s aim, according to The Washington Times.

But the ATF recently withdrew the guidance after receiving feedback from the NRA, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., and more than 80 other members of Congress who support Second Amendment rights, the NRA noted in a Twitter post.

Hudson serves North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Fort Bragg. The congressman called the ATF’s reversal a victory for “common sense.”

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“This vague and subjective rule would have made criminals of thousands of law-abiding citizens overnight,” Hudson told the Times.

“This vague and subjective rule would have made criminals of thousands of law-abiding citizens overnight.”

— U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C.

The NRA, a gun-rights advocacy group, called the ATF’s planned ban an “unsuccessful overreach.”

In addition, Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, called the ATF’s decision to pull the guidance a “great victory,” the Times reported.

In its original filing, the ATF accused brace manufacturers of touting the devices as accessories for helping pistol users convert their weapons into short-barreled rifles by allowing them to fire “from the shoulder.”

Actual short-barreled rifles are considered a different classification of weapon by the ATF, one that would require registration with the federal government and be subject to related taxes, according to the Times.

Gun-rights advocates argued the proposed guidance wasn’t clear enough about which devices qualified as a “brace,” and how device users would have to comply with the new rules.

But in a new filing submitted by Marvin Richardson, associate deputy director of the ATF, the agency noted that its guidance regarding the braces “was not a regulation,” therefore its withdrawal decision “does not change any law, regulation, or other legally binding requirement.”

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Richardson noted that ATF reached its decision “upon further consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General.”

However, Cam Edwards, editor of Bearing Arms, warned that the ATF guidance could be revived after Joe Biden takes office in January.

Biden has proposed numerous new gun control measures – and many gun-rights advocates view the ATF as being pro-gun control, the Washington Examiner reported.

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