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Charlotte, NC — On Wednesday, the ATF announced that it is reversing course on previously announced guidance regarding pistol braces. In the announcement, the ATF states that after consulting with the Department of Justice and Office of the Deputy General, the guidance was being withdrawn. The withdrawal does not change any laws, but it does give some gun owners a little relief.
In the initial notice, issued on December 18th, the ATF had announced the intent to crack down on the use of pistol braces. These are attached to pistols that may have an extended barrel to provide extra stability to the operator. The ATF was concerned because many of these braces were being used to potentially stabilize on the shoulder, thus violating the law by essentially creating a short-barreled rifle.
The law states that any weapon with a barrel under 16″ or an overall length less than 26″ requires registration as a Title II weapon. Many of the firearms with these pistol braces have barrels and lengths well under those requirements.
The guidance issued by the ATF would have required anyone that owned a firearm to address their non-compliance with the law. The options for complying were: registering the firearm in compliance with the NFA, permanently removing the stabilizing brace from the firearm and disposing of it, replacing the barrel of the firearm (16” or greater for a rifle, or 18” or greater for a shotgun), surrendering the firearm to ATF, or destroying the firearm.
The NRA celebrated the removal of the guidance. They mentioned their members and members of Congress who stood against the guidance and asked for it to be corrected.
This was just one example of actions that the ATF has taken in regards to firearms recently. The ATF recently raided popular company Polymer80 as they focused on potential sales of firearms across state lines. The company makes 80% gun parts that the purchaser must finish to build a firearm.
A federal lawsuit is currently in the works over these “ghost guns” to create regulation of this portion of the gun industry. Several AG’s around the country have signed on in support of the measure.
With the removal of the guidance, gun owners get a win for now. Joe Biden has promised a crackdown on firearms with increased regulations and restrictions.
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