Those of you that are interested in firearms and spend time at gun ranges, in gun stores, or checking out guns online (which you can now do on Conservative Economy!) have probably seen an AR-15 pistol with a stabilizing brace.
The barrel is generally short (under 16 inches), and what looks like a stock, but isn’t, extends from the back. The pistol itself is usually quite small and would be easily maneuverable and quite useful in a close-quarters personal defense environment.
For those of you that don’t know about the guns to which I am referring, here’s a picture:
As you can see, although the gun resembles a rifle, it isn’t. The barrel is short, but, as there’s no true stock, the gun isn’t a short-barreled rifle, and thus doesn’t fall under the aegis of the unconstitutional ATF’s ridiculous rules. Rather, it’s just an odd-looking pistol with a brace on the back, meant to help those that can’t otherwise stabilize the gun fire accurately.
No matter, the DOJ wants to crack down on stabilizing braces regardless. According to Just the News:
“The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday [(June 7,2021)] revealed a proposed rule which would make pistols outfitted with certain stabilizing braces subject to rifle regulations.
The Epoch Times reported that the proposed rule says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives should decide case-by-case if a specific firearm, when outfitted with a stabilizing brace, “bears the objective features of a firearm designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder and is thus subject to the NFA [National Firearms Act].”‘
The released document reads:
“Given the public interest surrounding these issues, ATF is proposing to amend the definition of ‘rifle’ in 27 CFR 478.11 and 479.11, respectively, by adding a sentence at the end of each definition. The new sentence would clarify that the term ‘rifle’ includes any weapon with a rifled barrel and equipped with15 an attached ‘stabilizing brace’ that has objective design features and characteristics that indicate that the firearm is designed to be fired from the shoulder, as indicated on ATF Worksheet 4999.”
1 point: Minor Indicator (the weapon could be fired from the shoulder)
2 points: Moderate Indicator (the weapon may be designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder)
3 points: Strong Indicator (the weapon is likely designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder)
4 points: Decisive Indicator (the weapon is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder)
The ATF would consider any gun with a score of four or more points an SBR. Firearms over 13 ½ inches would automatically be an SBR. If a pistol has a standard buffer tube, then the firearm would be assigned two points. The ATF would consider any gun that is over 120 ounces unloaded an SBR.
So, if you own a pistol with a stabilizing brace and some of the features common to such a firearm, the ATF is trying to make you a criminal.
Merrick Garland, the current Attorney General, said in a statement about the proposed rule change that “Today we continue to deliver on our promise to help save lives while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans. We welcome the opportunity to work with communities in the weeks and months ahead in our shared commitment to end gun violence.”
However, it’s not exactly clear what gun violence he hopes to solve with this rule. Few homicides are the result of criminals using guns, even fewer are because of rifles, and almost no one is killed by a criminal with a real SBR, much less a pistol with a stabilizing brace. Nothing would be solved, so-called “gun violence” would not decrease.
Rather, at the stroke of a pen, the DOJ’s desire to crack down on stabilizing braces would turn millions of otherwise law-abiding American gun owners into criminals. It would be the government creating and prosecuting yet another victimless crime.