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ATF Stabilizer Brace Rule Finalized – Millions Of Gun Registrations To Follow

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With the finalization on January 13, 2023, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF’s) stabilizer brace rule, millions of guns will have to be registered within 120 days of the rule’s publication in the federal register.

According to the Congressional Research Service, it is suggested that “between 10 and 40 million” stabilizer braces were in use as of April 2021.

For owners of a stabilizer brace who do not want to register their gun, the ATF has offered the below alternatives.

  • Turn in the entire firearm with the attached “stabilizing brace” to ATF;
  • Convert the short-barreled rifle into a long-barreled rifle;
  • Permanently remove and dispose of, or alter, the “stabilizing brace” from the firearm so that it cannot be reattached;
  • Destroy the whole firearm.

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It should be noted that while the stabilizer brace rule has been finalized, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down ATF’s bump stock ban on January 6, 2023.

Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod wrote the majority opinion for the Fifth Circuit and noted that the ban came after numerous demands for a ban were called for after the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017.

Elrod wrote in the opinion:

Public pressure to ban bump stocks was tremendous. Multiple bills to that effect were introduced in both houses of Congress. But before they could be considered in earnest, ATF published the regulation at issue here, short circuiting the legislative process. Appellant Michael Cargill surrendered several bump stocks to the Government following publication of the regulation at issue. He now challenges the legality of that regulation, arguing that a bump stock does not fall within the definition of “machinegun” as set forth in federal law, and thus that ATF lacked the authority to issue a regulation purporting to define the term as such.

Elrod’s opinion went on to clarify that the Court found that the ATF’s bump stock ban violated the “rule of lenity” because it imposed criminal liability on individuals who had legally purchased a product against which there was no law.

With less than 6 months to register more than 10 million guns, the ATF’s new ban is sure to create backlogs and cause headaches for gun owners who utilize stabilizer braces.

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1 comment

SGT SNUFFY January 16, 2023 at 11:49 pm

THEIR SO CALLED BRACE IS NOTHING BUT AN ADJUSTABLE SHOULDER STOCK THAT MANY AR-15 RIFLES ARE EQUIPED WITH NOWADAYS. THE STOCK CAN SLIDE BACK AND FORTH DEPENDING ON THE PERSON’S SIZE. FOR INSTANCE A WOMAN MIGHT HAVE A SHORTER REACH THAN A MAN IN MOST CASES THE SHOULDER STACK BEING ADJUSTABLE ENSURE THAT THE LADIES CAN USE THE FIRE ARM COMFORTABLY . THE ADJUSTABLE STOCK IE ARM BRACE ACCORDING TO THE ATF DOES NOT TURN A FIRE ARM INTO A MACHINE GUN LIKE THEY CLAIM. THIS IS A POWER GRAB TO DISARM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, THE QUESTION WE SHOULD BE ASKING IS WHY WOULD THEY WANT ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ TO BE DISARMED !!

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