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Wed Jul 21, 2021, 10:05 AM


Biden's Pistol Brace Rule Would Put Pressure on an Already Strained ATF Division [View all]


President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is moving forward with a pledge to clamp down on pistol-stabilizing braces after the popular gun accessory was used in the March mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.

But the plan put forward by the administration this summer will hinge on the efficiency of an obscure division at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that routinely misses its own performance benchmarks. And now, with millions of stabilizing braces estimated to be in circulation, some outside observers are warning the efforts to restrict them could flounder if federal regulators are unable to handle the workload.

The rules, which were proposed in June, would bring stabilizing braces under the purview of the National Firearms Act, an 87-year-old law that imposes tight restrictions on machine guns, silencers, rifles with short barrels, and other weapons deemed by Congress to pose an acute threat to public safety. If the rules come into force, gun owners seeking to attach a stabilizing brace to their pistol would have to obtain approval from the ATF’s NFA Division. That process can stretch more than a year and entails filing an application, undergoing extensive vetting, paying a $200 tax, and registering the weapon with the federal government. Violations can result in a 10-year prison term.

Mark Jones, a former ATF special agent who held various supervisory positions before retiring in 2011, said the rule change could trigger an avalanche of NFA applications for a division that is underprepared. “ATF’s been so poorly funded and resourced over the decades that it doesn’t have the people it needs,” Jones said. “If they just snapped their fingers and said, ‘Tomorrow all of you have to register these weapons or you’re felons,’ it would fail in a huge way.”


As pointed out further in the article, there may be as many as 40 million pistol braces in the United States. An agency that already struggles to deal with registering a mere half million NFA items would be completely overwhelmed trying to deal with such numbers.

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Reply Biden's Pistol Brace Rule Would Put Pressure on an Already Strained ATF Division [View all]
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