Nine years ago, the BATF established that attaching stabilizing braces to pistols or any other firearm serves a legal function. These firearms were not subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). Since then, the BATF has continued changing its stance over the legal use of pistol braces. On June 7, 2021, the BATF published the “Factoring Criteria for Firearms With Attached Stabilizing Braces,” attacking the constitutional right of the American citizens.
The Proposed Ruling
In its new proposed ruling 2021R-08, the BATF intentionally targets legalized stabilizing braces with the aforementioned rules intended to bring the future of pistol stabilizing braces to a predetermined outcome. The new proposed regulations are divided into three sections. The first section aims at the weight of the firearm, which needs to be at least four pounds , and the length should be between 12 to 26 inches. A firearm moves to the second section only if it passes the first criteria. In the second section, the brace is evaluated on specific parameters and features. The third section evaluates the entire firearm with the brace for some other features, design, and intent. A point system covers the second and third sections via ‘worksheet 4999.’ If any firearm scores a total above 4 points (hardly any firearm would score four or below), it will be classified as a ‘short-barreled rifle.’ The owner of the braced pistol will be considered a felon till the time they register their firearms with a $200 tax, or remove the brace, destroy the firearm, or give it up to the BATF.
No pistol brace lover is in favor of the new proposed regulations. Many representatives, senators, attorney general, and millions of law-abiding braced pistol owners criticize the proposed ruling.
- On June 24, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Rep. Ashley Hinson, and Rep. Randy Feenstra, among others from the House of Representatives, signed a letter opposing the ban. They pointed to the war veterans who still enjoy recreational shooting, citing reasons that the proposed ban poses potential penalties making them felons overnight if they decide to not turn in the pistol to the BATF, or pay $200 tax fees. They said this ruling is an infringement of every American’s Second Amendment right. They also said that the ruling imposes direct taxes on those war veterans.
- Also, on June 24, Senator John Kennedy and 47 other Republican senators too condemned the Justice Department and the BATF for their proposed ruling on stabilizing braces, citing similar reasons.
- On June 10, Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, opposed the BATF’s proposed ruling on stabilizing braces citing reasons that the ruling infringes every American citizen’s right to the second amendment.
Post Your Comments Effectively and Make Yourself Heard
The proposed regulations on pistol stabilizing braces are not something any legal brace lover likes to see but we do have an opportunity to fight back. Thankfully, the US constitution allows everyone the right to have their voices and opinions voiced, and often heard. The best way to let the BATF hear your voice and opinion is by effectively posting your comments online, via mail, or fax. Let us elaborate on the best way to effectively post your comments on the proposed regulations by the BATF.
First and foremost, this proposed ruling is separate from the previous pistol brace rulings. The comments posted during initial rulings will not be considered for this one. You have to post new comments in this ruling (2021R-08) for them to be considered.
- Stay On Point. The proposed rule 2021R-08 is specifically targeted towards stabilizing braces on pistols and other firearms to be classified as ‘rifles.’ Talking about ‘frame or receivers’ from the proposed ruling 2021R-05 won’t make any sense in this proposed ruling (however these tenets are applicable to that situation as well). Such comments will be marked irrelevant and thrown out of context by the BATF. Talk about things relevant to this proposed rulemaking.
- How subjective is this ruling in nature, and how it looks like the BATF has intentionally planned to remove pistol braces from the market with a predetermined outcome of its future and that this proposed rulemaking is merely a formality?
- How the ruling would directly affect the law-abiding pistol brace owners, instead of bringing the crime rate down.
- How the proposed ruling is complex and contradictory as per the BATF’s previous stabilizing brace approval.
- You could also relay your feelings about how worksheet 4999 is so absurdly written that adding or changing the magazine or adding or removing a sight would add further points and could make a gun fall out of compliance.
- Be Real. While it’s convenient to remain anonymous when posting comments for proposed rulings like this, it will not be good for the impact you want to bring to the ruling. Using a real name would help your comment count, as no official regards comments written under any fake name. We advise refraining from using any alias name, imaginary name, or name other than your real name. It’s always better to stay away from name-calling or using obscene language as it would only work against the judgment we want the BATF to come to. Being precise and clear with strong points to hold on to is always better when posting comments for such rulings.
- Be original, factual, and logical. Write in the comments your own opinion on the matter and how you think, maybe bring up that the proposed ruling is vague in nature and completely based on the BATF’s previous unilateral rulemaking. Copying anyone’s comments or flooding the comment section with the same comments written differently would not make any sense. The BATF will completely ignore such comments. Politely add your thoughts on the proposed ruling. Be precise and respectful while mentioning all the logical facts on how the BATF plans to turn legal pistol brace owners into criminals overnight when it legalized the braces in the first place.
- Spread the word. Use social media and personal connections to create awareness on the issue at hand. Talk about how the BATF plans to infringe their second amendment rights instead of working to curb the crime. Tell your friends and family to comment on the proposed rule as well in the same way.
Pistol stabilizing braces were invented and approved for disabled war veterans who couldn’t hold heavy handheld weapons with one hand. It promises to improve the performance and the stability of the firearm. The BATF itself legalized it for the same reasons. Unfortunately, some criminal minds misused the pistol brace for wrong reasons. But, jeopardizing the right of the law-abiding pistol brace owners and war veterans for the deeds of a few criminal minds isn’t justified. On top of that, the BATF’s proposed regulations are complex and at the same time rather vague, leaving some room for interpretation, with the BATF mentioning in the ruling if the brace incorporates shoulder stock design “features”.
Remember, right now the only direct way to counteract this regulation is by posting effective comments based on facts, logic, and real-world effects of the regulation. Be respectful, polite, and to the point when commenting, and hopefully, logic can prevail when we as a firearms community work together.