On June 7th, ATF published a new notice of proposed rulemaking on its website entitled Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces”. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on June 10th, 2021, giving interested parties until September 8th, 2021 to file comments.
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 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.
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 help stop this proposed rule by filing a comment.
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: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
- Mail: Denise Brown, Mail Stop 6N-518, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Ave. NE, 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, 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, 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 confiscate lawfully acquired firearms, 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. The fact that it is essentially impossible to determine when firearm is legally a pistol or a short-barrel rifle makes the proposed rule incompatible with American principles of due process of law.
- 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.
- This is a separate rulemaking from ATF’s plan to change the definition of frame or receiver. If you have not already, please also submit a comment on that proposed rule.
Comments on the stabilizing brace proposed rule can be submitted directly through regulation.gov.
Due to the discretionary scheme created by the rule, the ATF Director would be given an incredible amount of power over the firearm industry. This comes at a time when President Biden has nominated anti-gun lobbyist and gun ban proponent David Chipman to head the ATF. This draft rule is just one more reason why it’s extremely important for all gun owners to contact their Senators and ask that they vote against Chipman’s confirmation.
Please check back to www.nraila.org soon for more information on this burdensome, arbitrary, and unconstitutional proposed rule.