The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) has established a new rule regarding pistol braces that could classify millions of gun owners as criminals.
These owners would be considered felons if they fail to comply with the updated requirements, according to gun rights advocacy groups.
The new policy was announced in January and it will void all past guidance on pistol braces. The rule redefines “rifle” as any weapon “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.” This forces pistol brace owners to register their pistols as short barrel rifles (SBR) with the federal government.
The ATF has put in place a 120 limit for gun owners with pistol braces to adjust their barrel longer than the required 16 inches, file a Form 1 to “make” the pistol an SBR, remove the brace, or simply surrender the firearm or destroy it.
Alan M. Gottlieb, the Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President, believes the ATF is in “confiscation mode.”
“I mean, realistically, if you don’t register your gun with them in a certain timeframe and pay the $200 tax, you have to either destroy the gun, turn it in, or convert it somehow with a different barrel,” he said.
Right now there are somewhere between 10 million and 40 million gun owners who use pistol braces and pistol-braced firearms in the U.S.
Pistol brace owners will need to complete one of the ATF’s provided options or they will face up to 10 years in jail and a potential $10,000 fine.
Gottlieb said, “They really don’t have the authority to make these definitions. Congress didn’t give them that authority. Congress has defined what a firearm is, the ATF doesn’t get to do it.”
He went on to describe that when the ATF decides its own rulings, gun owners are threatened in America.