ATF Blinks – Request For Comment Withdrawn

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has withdrawn their Request for Comment on “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’” as of today.

Upon further consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, ATF is withdrawing, pending further Department of Justice review, the notice and request for comments entitled “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’,” that was published on December 18, 2020. 85 FR 82516. As explained in the notice, the proposed guidance was not a regulation. The
notice informed and invited comment from the industry and public on a proposed guidance prior to issuing a final guidance document.


The withdrawal of the guidance does not change any law, regulation, or other legally binding requirement.
December 23, 2020

Marvin G. Richardson
Associate Deputy Director

In other words, BATFE was feeling the heat. They had over 67,000 comments at last count and a letter from 90 Congressmen.

According to Dan Zimmerman at TTAG, what may have swung the decision was the involvement of Mitch McConnell.

But TTAG has learned that the final straw that persuaded the ATF to back down was serious pressure applied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A call took place over the weekend involving a number of firearms industry companies and McConnell’s office.

Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon reports more on that phone call.

Second Amendment activists and industry giants are imploring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use his influence on the Department of Justice to scuttle a proposed firearms regulation that would banish a popular gun accessory known as a “pistol brace.”

In a phone call with McConnell’s office on Saturday, approximately 80 gun makers warned that a proposed ruling from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms could cost them nearly $2 billion in sales, according to several sources who participated in the call. 

The Daily Caller indicates that the runoff elections in Georgia may have played a role in McConnell getting involved in addition to the loss of revenues by the firearms industry.

Jamin McCallum, founder of Palmetto State Armory, one of the leading manufacturers of AR-15s, predicted a $150 million loss if the ATF  followed through with the regulation. McCallum also insisted that inaction by Republicans to stop the agency may have a deleterious effect on the Georgia runoffs.

“This could actually cost the Georgia runoff for Republicans,” McCallum told the Free Beacon. “Gun owners are demoralized right now.”

Regina Lombardo and Marvin Richardson got slapped down on this move. However, given the anti-gun fervor of the incoming Biden Administration, I fully expect more moves by BATFE when they have the full support of the White House. In other words, we may have won the round of the battle but we are far from winning the war.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *