WASHINGTON, DC- We have already seen the plans a potential Biden administration has in mind if he actually gets inaugurated on January 20. However, we may not have to wait that long before the run on the Second Amendment rights gets underway.
New guidance put forth by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should serve as a wakeup call to all who cherish the Second Amendment, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
According to a notice published Thursday by the ATF, it would require millions of AR-15 pistols and similar-style firearms—those designed with braces that strap on a shooter’s forearm—to be either registered, turned in, destroyed or dismantled, the outlet reported.
However, the standards the ATF laid out is vague. For example, it does not provide an objective measure in so far as caliber or weight, and the agency left it wide open as to their ability to use “undisclosed factors” to judge the legality of such devices.
And we know how things to when it is left “open to interpretation,” especially with a Supreme Court as wishy washy as the one we have now.
The notice did offer some conciliation as the ATF did note that some such braces are legal and would not be subject to the registration or destruction requirement.
However with that said, they also said they couldn’t provide a “blanket determination” and would have to examine each such gun on a “case-by-case bases.”
So what does that mean? It appears to indicate that owners of three to four million AR-15 pistols and similar such weapons may have to register with ATF. And we all know what registration portends. With a loon like Kamala Harris a potential heartbeat from the presidency, that would be the first step toward confiscation.
The Western Journal posted what the ATF said in detail:
“ATF’s longstanding and publicly known position is that a firearm does not evade classification under the NFA [National Firearms Act] merely because the firearm is configured with a device marketed as a ‘stabilizing brace’ or ‘arm brace,’” the post said.
“When an accessory and a weapon’s objective design features, taken together, are not consistent with use of the accessory as an arm brace, that is, not to stabilize a handgun when being operated with one hand, such weapon, configured with the accessory may fall within the scope of the NFA, particularly where the accessory functions as shoulder stock for the weapon.
“Accordingly, ATF must evaluate whether a particular firearm configured with a stabilizing brace bears the objective features of a firearm designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and this subject to the NFA, on a case-by-case basis.”
The ruling has gotten the attention of Second Amendment advocates, who are rightly concerned about the proposed regulation. They are concerned that an uncertain legal status could impact several businesses that make pistol braces and would hurt the gun industry.
Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America (GOA), addressing the subjective nature of the ATF’s guidance, said it showed the “ATF has gone off into the deep end.”
“GOA will rally the grassroots to fight these regulations, and if they eventually go into effect, we will commence immediate legal action to protect gun owners,” Pratt said in a statement.
The new directive stems from a case in October where a New Hampshire gun company was informed by ATF that its AR-15 pistol which is equipped with a specialized brace is actually an illegal short-barreled rifle and noted that anyone who owns such a weapon could be subjected to up to 10 years in prison or $100,000 in fines.
An article from October in the Washington Free Beacon noted that the decision by the ATF ran in conflict with a decision the agency had made back in 2012. In that case, the agency advised Sig Sauer that the braces, designed to strap to a shooters forearm as opposed to being pressed against their shoulder, would be able to combine with guns which have a barrel shorter than the 16-inch federal limit for rifles.
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The letter sent to the New Hampshire company called into question the legality of those devices.
Carolyn Gwathmey, the public affairs officer for the ATF, said the letter only applied specifically to the New Hampshire gun company’s pistol, however there was no explanation offered either in the letter, nor did Gwathmey explain how that particular model differed from other such firearms with the braces. She repeated what the guidance issued by the ATF said…cases would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
The Free Beacon reached out to the ATF, and Gwathmey replied, “Regarding other firearms or manufacturers, ATF cannot comment until we see the platform and what accessories may be attached to said platform.”
There you have it…clear as mud.
At that time, the Trump administration was reviewing the ATF’s letter, according to White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern.
“The White House and leadership at the Department of Justice are reviewing this matter to ensure there is no interference with the ability of law-abiding citizens—including lawful firearms manufacturers—to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed liberties,” he told the Free Beacon.
After the most recent guidance was issued from the ATF, the Free Beacon reached out to both the ATF, as well as the White House for comment, however no response was issued from either source.
The notice said the agency would waive the $200 tax for those registering the affected firearms during a grace period, to be announced later. The public has two weeks to comment on the ATF notice before it goes into effect.
The Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski attempted to explain the situation with a little more detail.
“The controversy stems from how federal law distinguishes between short-barrel rifles and shotguns, both of which must be registered and require a $200 tax stamp, and pistols that do not require either. The key component is whether a firearm is designed to be pressed against the shooter’s shoulder,” Gutowski said.
Keep an eye on this one. It could be the first step in a run on our gun rights. With crime exploding across the country and police having their hands tied, our gun rights are more important than ever.
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Author: Pat Droney