NRA Files Comments Opposing ATF’s “Stabilizing Brace” Proposed Rule

Gun Rights

As we’ve previously reported, the Biden Department of Justice is threatening to upend the U.S. firearm industry and how Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights.

On June 10, ATF published a new proposed rule in the Federal Register entitled Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces”.

The rule seems aimed at making nearly all configurations of firearms equipped with stabilizing braces subject to the taxation and registration requirements of the National Firearms Act.

Since 2012, ATF has recognized that stabilizing braces serve a legitimate function and the inclusion of a stabilizing brace on a pistol or other firearm does not automatically subject that firearm to the provisions of the NFA. That’s because stabilizing braces were first designed and intended to help disabled veterans fire large format pistols.

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While ATF estimates that there are approximately three million pistol stabilizing braces, even other portions of the United States government recognize that this is a vast undercounting of the number of pistol braces currently in circulation. A report by the Congressional Research Service puts the estimate much higher, at 10 to 40 million pistol stabilizing braces. With so many in circulation, effectively banning firearms with these devices attached would be the largest confiscatory firearm regulation in the history of the United States.

You can read NRA’s comment on this terrible proposed rule here.

Also, it’s still possible to submit your own comments by midnight tonight (EST) via https://www.regulations.gov.

These are ATF’s instructions for submitting comments:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number ATF 2021R-08, by any of the following methods—

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Denise Brown, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Ave. NE, Mail Stop 6N-518, Washington, DC 20226; ATTN: ATF 2021R-08.
  • Fax: (202) 648-9741.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number (ATF 2021R-08) for this notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM” or “proposed rule”). All properly completed comments received will be posted without change to the Federal eRulemaking portal, https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

ATF also provided the following contact information for any questions regarding the proposed rule:

Denise Brown, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Ave. NE, Mail Stop 6N-518, Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-7070 (this is not a toll-free number).

In addition to these technical requirements, it’s important to keep the following in mind when submitting comments.

  • Comments must be professional and respectful. While it is extremely frustrating, to say the least, that the Biden Administration is attempting to blame law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals, making comments that include profanity will make it easy for ATF to summarily reject those comments.
  • Comments should focus on the arbitrary nature of the proposed rule. ATF’s proposed factoring criteria are subjective, arbitrary, and provide gun owners with no intelligible standard to determine when a firearm they possess could put them in jeopardy of criminal prosecution.
  • Comments should be individualized and focus on how the proposed rule would impact the commenter. ATF will treat all identical comments as a single comment, so it is important to avoid using a form comment.

Comments can be submitted directly through regulations.gov.

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