Show notes and links for Shootin’ from the Hip, December 26, 2020.
Jeff and Mark spent most of the show talking about a notice document the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) posted for comment on Regulations.gov titled Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces“. Shortly after we recorded the show, ATF posted a notice on their website indicating that they sent a withdrawal of guidance to the Federal Register (see image). However, the Federal Register had not yet posted the withdrawal as of show time.
As a result, you are still able to submit comments. Once on the Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces” page, click on the Comment Now! button to submit your comments online. The expiration for comments is midnight Eastern time on January 4, 2021.
Before you comment, we STRONGLY recommend reading the entire document! If you read through comments posted already, most of the commenters did not do bother to read it first. Second Amendment issues are important and relevant to the broader issue. It will not help to focus on those issues if you comment on the proposed guidance document.
Like it or not, constitutional or not, Congress did indeed delegate the regulation of firearm configurations and compliance with the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act to the ATF. The first section of the notice provides several references to back up their authority.
If you choose to comment, focus on something specific included in the ATF guidance document. Be concise; be accurate. For example, the ATF has never issued a letter or guidance providing a general approval for using stabilizing braces on AR-style pistol configurations. That’s not how they work, and they explain that clearly in the document. They have evaluated specific configurations and indicated certain ones did not require registration as Short-Barreled Rifles (SBRs). The firearms community has sometimes generalized those evaluations and extended them beyond the scope of the ATF statements.
Although not stated by the ATF, it certainly appears that this draft guidance was posted in response to a letter that 16 Senators sent to Attorney General William Barr and ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo. The letter requested a response to the Senate no later than December 7, 2020. If the Senators received a direct response, it has not been made public.
This is an evolving issue, and Shootin from the Hip will continue to follow what happens on the proposed guidance and the AR-style pistol stabilizing brace issue in general. If you missed the show, it should be posted on the show site on Monday, 12/28/2020.
Please click on the Contact tab if you have questions or comments you would like to share with us!