Tweet Of The Day

The tweet of the day comes from the Firearms Policy Coalition with the reminder that tonight is the last time to make your voice heard on pistol braces.

Make sure to turn up your volume.

Comments On Pistol Brace Ban End At 11:59pm EDT Tonight

The comment period on the BATFE’s proposed rule that would make virtually all firearms with a pistol brace a NFA item requiring both registration and a $200 tax closes tonight at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time.

If you have not submitted a comment, do it. The numbers are important and you know that Giffords, Brady, and the rest are pushing their useful idiots to submit comments. The latest reported number of comments was over 180,000. It needs to be more.

First, your comment needs to have the proposed rule number on it – ATF 2021R-08.

Second, while you can say “I oppose it” or “mah rights”, those will get overlooked. It is much better to pick one thing and expound on it. For example, you could say it discriminates against the disabled in violation of the Americans with Disability Act.

Third, the Second Amendment Foundation has put out a good “how to” list on making comments. Read it and then comments. Your comment need not be long.

Fourth, you might pick something from the public comments submitted by the SAF, the FPC, or the NRA and use that.

Fifth, use this link.

Finally, if all else fails, GOA has a pre-written comment which you can add on to that makes it easy to comment.

UPDATE: I have commented probably more than once. However, this is the comment that I submitted today. You can copy it if you wish.

Re: ATF 2021R-08

I object to the proposed rulemaking entitled “Factoring Criteria for Firearms With Attached “Stabilizing Braces””.

The factoring criteria are vague and contradictory. For example, what are features that prevent use as a shouldering device? Is it a spike that would make it painful to shoulder the pistol, is it a bare buffer tube for an AR pistol, or may it have a crutch tip on it? When you are creating factoring criteria for rulemaking that would involve criminal penalties, any hint of vagueness calls its constitutionality into question.

This rulemaking is not entitled to Chevron deference. As stated by Judge Karen Batchelor of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in GOA v. Garland, “But in 2014, the Court said, “we have never held that the Government’s reading of a criminal statute is entitled to any deference.” United States v. Apel, 571 U.S. 359, 369 (2014)(emphasis added) (citing Crandon v. United States, 494 U.S. 152, 177 (1990) (Scalia, J.,concurring in the judgment)). “Never” and “any” are absolutes, and the Court did not draw any distinctions, add any qualifiers, or identify any exceptions.”

By reclassifying pistols equipped with a brace that fail your vague factoring criteria as “short barreled rifles” as defined under Title 27 CFR Chapter II, §479.11 and thus must be registered under the Title 27 CFR Chapter II, §479.84 thru 86, you have now made it a criminal offense not to register and pay the tax on these pistols. Per 26 US 5871, violations carry a penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years imprisonment. If Congress wishes to add pistols equipped with arm braces to the National Firearms Act, that is their job and not yours.

Finally, the numbers of pistols with arms braces in circulation as described by the BATFE is approximately 2-3 million. This conflicts with both industry reports and that of the Congressional Research Service which puts estimates in the 10-40 million range. Your proposed rulemaking would thus make up to 40 million American citizens potential felons if this rule is adopted.

SB Tactical On Proposed “Pistol Brace” Regulations

SB Tactical is one of the leading manufacturers of pistol braces for the AR, AK, CZ, and many others. Indeed, they were the originators of the pistol stabilizing brace for which they received BATFE approval in 2012. Co-founder Alex Bosco designed it as an aid for a fellow veteran who was disabled to allow him to shoot safely.

As you can imagine, they are not exactly thrilled with the new proposed regulations on pistol braces and the supposedly objective worksheet. They came up with the satirical video below which, to be honest, if you’ve read the BATFE’s proposed worksheet is right on the mark.

If you would like to read the proposed rulemaking, you can find it here along with a link to make a comment. I would encourage you to comment as any and all comments will help establish the baseline for future litigation which is sure to come. Even if you only use one of the pre-written comments from organizations such as GOA, do it! Here is another pre-written letter which goes into much more detail but you will need to do a copy and paste of it. It is a bit over the 5,000 character limit so you will need to put it in a Word or other type document and attach it.

DOJ Pushes Red Flag Laws Plus Pistol Brace Rule

We knew something was coming out on pistol braces as it has been signaled for a while now. The Department of Justice just released their notice of proposed rulemaking on pistol braces and have also said they will provide states with model “extreme violence protection order” legislation. The rule, if adopted, would make AR pistols with pistol braces an NRA item. I guess those who need a brace to shoot an AR pistol due to war wounds or other disabilities need to cough up $200. Evidently, DOJ doesn’t consider that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to the BATFE nor to wounded veterans.

Here is the press release from Biden’s Department of Justice. I have highlighted a few things in it.

Justice Department Issues Proposed Rule and Model Legislation to Reduce Gun Violence

New Steps Would Enhance Enforcement of the National Firearms Act and Aid States in Drafting “Extreme Risk Protection Order” Laws

Today, the Department of Justice announced two new steps to help address the continuing epidemic of gun violence affecting communities across the country. First, the department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that makes clear that when individuals use accessories to convert pistols into short-barreled rifles, they must comply with the heightened regulations on those dangerous and easily concealable weapons. Second, the department published model legislation to help states craft their own “extreme risk protection order” laws, sometimes called “red flag” laws. By sending the proposed rule to the Federal Register and publishing the model legislation today, the department has met the deadlines that the Attorney General announced alongside President Biden in April. 

“The Justice Department is determined to take concrete steps to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in our communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “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.”

The department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would make clear that the statutory restrictions on short-barreled rifles apply to pistols that are equipped with certain stabilizing braces and intended to be fired from the shoulder. The National Firearms Act imposes heightened regulations on short-barreled rifles because they are easily concealable, can cause great damage, and are more likely to be used to commit crimes. But companies now sell accessories that make it easy for people to convert pistols into these more dangerous weapons without going through the statute’s background check and registration requirements. These requirements are important public safety measures because they regulate the transfer of these dangerous weapons and help ensure they do not end up in the wrong hands. The proposed rule would clarify when these attached accessories convert pistols into weapons covered by these heightened regulations.

Once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 90 days to submit comments.  To view the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, please see here.

The department also published model legislation and detailed commentary that will make it easier for states to craft “extreme risk protection orders” authorizing courts to temporarily bar people in crisis from accessing firearms. By allowing family members or law enforcement to intervene and to petition for these orders before warning signs turn into tragedy, “extreme risk protection orders” can save lives. They are also an evidence-based approach to the problem. The model legislation, developed after consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, provides a framework that will help more states enact these sensible laws.

To read the model legislation, please see here.

To learn more about the rulemaking process, please see here.

There is so much bull shit in the paragraph on pistol braces that it would keep most farms fertilized for generations.

As to the legality of it, I really don’t see how they can square it with the 6th Circuit’s ruling in GOA v. Garland in which that court found that only Congress can change definitions like this when a criminal penalty is involved. Trump really screwed up things when he pushed DOJ to ban bump stocks.

As to Merrick Garland, I owe Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a big thanks for keeping him off the US Supreme Court.

Biden’s BOHICA

The White House just posted the proposed Executive Actions along with their intent to nominate David Chipman to head BATFE.

It has all the stuff we’ve been expecting.

“Ghost guns” (sic). Check.

Pistol braces under NFA. Check.

Red flag law. Check.

Infrastructure monies to “community violence intervention.” Check.

So you don’t have to go and pull it up, here is it in its entirety.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing six initial actions to address the gun violence public health epidemic. The recent high-profile mass shootings in Boulder – taking the lives of 10 individuals – and Atlanta – taking the lives of eight individuals, including six Asian American women – underscored the relentlessness of this epidemic. Gun violence takes lives and leaves a lasting legacy of trauma in communities every single day in this country, even when it is not on the nightly news. In fact, cities across the country are in the midst of a historic spike in homicides, violence that disproportionately impacts Black and brown Americans. The President is committed to taking action to reduce all forms of gun violence – community violence, mass shootings, domestic violence, and suicide by firearm.

President Biden is reiterating his call for Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence. Last month, a bipartisan coalition in the House passed two bills to close loopholes in the gun background check system. Congress should close those loopholes and go further, including by closing “boyfriend” and stalking loopholes that currently allow people found by the courts to be abusers to possess firearms, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and investing in evidence-based community violence interventions. Congress should also pass an appropriate national “red flag” law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws of their own.

But this Administration will not wait for Congress to act to take its own steps – fully within the Administration’s authority and the Second Amendment – to save lives. Today, the Administration is announcing the following six initial actions:

The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.” We are experiencing a growing problem: criminals are buying kits containing nearly all of the components and directions for finishing a firearm within as little as 30 minutes and using these firearms to commit crimes. When these firearms turn up at crime scenes, they often cannot be traced by law enforcement due to the lack of a serial number. The Justice Department will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of these firearms.

The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act. The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable.

The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition for a court order temporarily barring people in crisis from accessing firearms if they present a danger to themselves or others. The President urges Congress to pass an appropriate national “red flag” law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass “red flag” laws of their own. In the interim, the Justice Department’s published model legislation will make it easier for states that want to adopt red flag laws to do so.

The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions. Community violence interventions are proven strategies for reducing gun violence in urban communities through tools other than incarceration. Because cities across the country are experiencing a historic spike in homicides, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking a number of steps to prioritize investment in community violence interventions.

* The American Jobs Plan proposes a $5 billion investment over eight years to support community violence intervention programs. A key part of community violence intervention strategies is to help connect individuals to job training and job opportunities.

* The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a webinar and toolkit to educate states on how they can use Medicaid to reimburse certain community violence intervention programs, like Hospital-Based Violence Interventions.

* Five federal agencies are making changes to 26 different programs to direct vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. These changes mean we can start increasing investments in community violence interventions as we wait on Congress to appropriate additional funds.

The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking. In 2000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) issued a report summarizing information regarding its investigations into firearms trafficking, which is one way firearms are diverted into the illegal market where they can easily end up in the hands of dangerous individuals. Since the report’s publication, states, local, and federal policymakers have relied on its data to better thwart the common channels of firearms trafficking. But there is good reason to believe that firearms trafficking channels have changed since 2000, for example due to the emergence of online sales and proliferation of “ghost guns.” The Justice Department will issue a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.

The President will nominate David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. ATF is the key agency enforcing our gun laws, and it needs a confirmed director in order to do the job to the best of its ability. But ATF has not had a confirmed director since 2015. Chipman served at ATF for 25 years and now works to advance commonsense gun safety laws.

I’m surprised that they didn’t add a PS saying, “Fuck you, all you bitter clingers.”

I fully expect each and every one of these proposals to be fought in the courts. If it was good enough for President Trump’s immigration Executive Actions, it is good enough for this.

As to Chipman, you damn well better start calling your senators. Filibuster or no filibuster, he must be stopped.

FPC Explains ATF Actions

The Firearms Policy Coalition has posted a long Twitter explanation of what the withdrawal of the ATF’s Request for Comment may mean as well as digging deeper into the language used in both the withdrawal and the original document. It is well worth a read to comprehend what we are facing.

Reflections On ATF’s Withdrawal Of Request For Comment

On the face of it, the ATF’s decision to withdraw their Request for Comment on “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’” is a win for the gun rights community. We organized, we submitted 67,401 comments (at last count), we got buy in from both the House and Senate, we made ourselves heard, and ATF backed down.

However, the more I think about it, the more I’m wondering if it wasn’t a feint by ATF to scope out the opposition.

I am reminded of this dialog from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story Silver Blaze. It is also known as The Case of the Dog That Didn’t Bark.

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

In this case, the dog was the gun control industry.

Did Brady United issue a call for comments? No. They did, however, urge people to get involved in the Senate run-off elections in Georgia and endorsed Raphael Warnock.

Did Everytown for Gun Safety issue a call for comments? No. However, they are calling for action to ban 80% frames.

Did Giffords issue a call for comments? No. They are instead asking you to contribute to both Warnock and Ossoff to flip the Senate.

Did Shannon Watts tweet about it? No. She seems more worried that President Trump is going to pardon the Tiger King guy.

In every case, there was absolutely nothing sent out or issued by any of these gun prohibitionists.

Do I think that Acting Director Regina Lombardo and Deputy Director Marvin Richardson would like to make pistols braces come under the regulations of the National Firearms Act? Hell, yes, I think they want that.

Could Lombardo and Richardson be Machiavellian enough to float the Request for Comment as a trial balloon or as way to distract the gun culture from other things?

Let’s look at the evidence.

Lombardo is a 29-year veteran of BATFE. According to her LinkedIn profile, she started as a Special Agent, spent over 7 years as an Attache’ for the ATF in Canada, and then had progressively higher promotion. She certainly has the bureaucratic chops needed.

What about Marvin Richardson? He has put up less about his career in his LinkedIn profile. Nonetheless, we know he has moved up from a Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Field Division to the number two position at ATF over the last 10 years. More importantly, he got promoted after he was found to have lied to the Office of Inspector General’s Office of Special Counsel. In bureaucratic speak, in an interview by OIG inspectors, he was found to have answered questions with “less than candor.” (OIG Investigation number OSC file number D1-07-0367). Nonetheless, despite what should have been a terminating offense, he was appointed as Chief of the ATF’s Professional Review Board and then to SAC in Denver. He knows how to survive and prosper in the wilds of bureaucracy. We also know he will lie when it suits his purpose.

I think the answer is yes, they are Machiavellian enough.

Both Lombardo and Richardson want to curry favor with the incoming Biden Administration. The Trace has already suggested that they go after pistol braces by reclassifying them. Moreover, both Lombardo and Richardson have prospered in what traditionally has been a white male led agency. They didn’t get to where they are by not playing the game very astutely.

So whether this was a trial balloon or a diversionary tactic, I think it served the purposes of Lombardo and Richardson. While we might not know their actual motivation or ultimate goals, we do know that somewhere, sometime, somehow they are going to come after us again. We should never forget that.

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.

Congressmen Question ATF’s Pistol Brace Move

In a move organized by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), he and 89 other members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr and BATFE Acting Director Regina Lombardo expressing their “deep concern” on proposed guidance on pistol braces.

You can read the letter in its entirety below. You can also check to see if your representative is one of the 89 others who signed on to this letter. If they are not, ask them why not.

My current congressman, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), signed it and I have no doubt my incoming congressman, Rep-elect Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) would sign on to it in the future.

Hudson and Members Letter to Doj and Atf Re Stabilizing Braces by jpr9954 on Scribd