ATF Blinks – Request For Comment Withdrawn

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has withdrawn their Request for Comment on “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’” as of today.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

Brewer Represents NRA But Not LaPierre?

All the filings for the lawsuit brought by the Attorney General of New York seeking dissolution of the NRA are online. You can see when the individual defendants were served and in what manner.

Both Josh Powell and Wilson “Woody” Phillips had their attorneys file a “stipulation of service” which also granted them time to respond. This was done two weeks ago. Interestingly, they each have hired attorneys with big name firms. Powell’s attorney is Mark MacDougall who is a partner with Akin Gump in DC and was formerly a Federal prosecutor. Likewise, Phillips’ attorney Seth Farber, a partner with Winston Strawn in New York, was also a former Federal prosecutor.

John Frazer was personally served at home in Virginia two weeks ago. The description of the person accepting the service fits that of John Frazer himself.

Here is where it gets interesting. It seems Wayne LaPierre and/or his security guards not only refused service at both the office and his home in Great Falls, Virginia, but is not being represented by Bill Brewer.

Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon noticed that in this filing that was done this past Saturday. He posted about it on Twitter earlier this evening. If you double-click on the embedded tweet you can see the filing. Look at paragraph 2.

Regardless of who is or will be Wayne’s attorney, I really don’t think the judge presiding over the case will look too kindly on the petulant manner in which Wayne and his henchmen treated the process server. The other three individual defendants accepted service politely or had their attorneys reach out to accept it.

NYAG’s Major National Announcement – NRA?

Rumors started flying late last night after New York Attorney General Letitia James’ press office sent out a notice of a press conference to be held today. As the Tweet below from Stephen Gutowski speculates it might have something to do with her investigation into the National Rifle Association and its finances. I have seen other Tweets from journalists that tend to agree.

It might have nothing to do with the NRA or everything to do with the NRA. The announcement could be something about President Trump. Heck, it could even be an announcement that she will be Joe Biden’s VP pick given she fits the narrative.

There is a Livestream of the press conference at 11:30am EDT this morning and I plan to watch.

The link is here.

Cam & Stephen Gutowski On VA Bills

First off, let me say I’m sorry for the slow blogging the last few days. We always joke about the SHOT Show crud. However, there is a new thing – the pre-SHOT Show crud and I’ve got it. I’m guessing the vectors were my granddaughters who passed me the stuff going around their day care and pre-school. If there is a good thing about it, I’ll probably be immune to any bugs out of SHOT!

Now on to the important stuff. Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms and Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon discuss the gun control bills that have been introduced into the Virginia General Assembly by anti-gun Democrats.

It ain’t pretty. The so-called compromise bills are just a prelude to future confiscation. The other bills include outlawing suppressors and a standard capacity mag ban without any grandfathering. Another bill would ban all non-lead ammunition and make it a felony to possess even a single round of a non-lead based ammo. I wonder if they got permission from the environmentalists for that one.

I’ll let Cam and Stephen tell the rest of the story.

The Response

The letter from Sean Maloney, Tim Knight, Esther Schneider, and Robert Brown provoked an almost immediate response from the NRA and NRA President Carolyn Meadows.

The official statement:

The response from Carolyn Meadows:

Both of these come courtesy of Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon. He posted them on Twitter last night.

I seem to remember hearing or seeing a memo from Oliver North, Richard Childress, AND Carolyn Meadows which raised questions about the financial affairs. It seems that once she became president her views changed 180 degrees.

As to Brewer himself, if one were a conspiracy theorist, you would have a field day. Think about it: liberal Democrat lawyer, gives money to Beto and Hillary, AckMac son-in-law, worms his way into the confidence of the EVP of the NRA and starts a civil war within the organization in the run-up to the 2020 elections. Duplicity on this scale is worthy of a Vladimir Putin. Frankly, while some have suggested it, I don’t think Michael Bloomberg could have conceived on creating a mole like this.