The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on Thursday night unexpectedly withdrew its proposed guidance on AR-15-style pistols with “stabilizing braces,” which could have turned some 3 to 4 million owners into felons.
“Upon further consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, ATF is withdrawing, pending further Department of Justice review, the notice and request for comments entitled ‘Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’,’ that was published on December 18, 2020. 85 FR 82516,” the agency said.
The National Rifle Association thanked its members, gun owners, pro-Second Amendment members of Congress and “all who helped strike down the @ATFHQ’s unsuccessful overreach.”
JUST IN: The ATF withdrew its guidance on pistol stabilizing braces.
Thank you to all @NRA members, gun owners, pro-2A members of Congress, @SenateMajLdr McConnell, @RepRichHudson, and all who helped strike down the @ATFHQ’s unsuccessful overreach.
— NRA (@NRA) December 24, 2020
Paul Bedard reported in his “Washington Secrets” column in the Washington Examiner that the ATF already had ordered one company making the weapons to halt, claiming it was being used as a rifle.
“The weapons use a short barrel, and the brace is supposed to be used to stabilize shooting, though many extend the adjustable brace and use the weapon like a short-barreled gun. That can allow users to get around rules on short-barreled rifles that require registration and a $200 fee,” Bedard wrote.
The proposed guidance was criticized by 90 House members.
But the ATF could eventually implement the guidance, warned Bearing Arms editor Cam Edwards, who noted the agency said it was engaged in “consultations” over it.
Joe Biden has promised new gun control measures, including a ban on AR-style weapons.
Several Democratic Party presidential candidates discussed sending troops to citizens’ homes to confiscate their guns.