Lawmakers to ATF: Pump the Brakes on Banning Braces

An AR-15 pistol with a pistol brace held outstretched in a man's hand

It is estimated that as many as 2 million pistol braces. which have exploded in popularity in the past decade, are in circulation of numerous types. (Photo: Chris Eger/

A group of Republican Congressmen is warning federal firearms regulators to slow their roll when it comes to what could be a ban on popular pistol braces.

A letter penned by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla, and co-signed by six other lawmakers on Capitol Hill calls out Attorney General William Barr and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Director Regina Lombardo on crafting “secret rules” restricting the possession of certain pistol braces.

“We understand that ATF is currently considering restricting one arm brace model owned by over 700,000 Americans,” said Gaetz. “We strongly urge ATF to cease taking any actions and reconsider or rescind any secret determinations which call into question the legality of firearms owned by millions of law-abiding Americans.”

While it is not clear what kind of pistol brace could potentially be affected, the lawmakers touch on the Bureau’s past flip flops on pistol braces since 2012, ask what criteria the agency is using to determine if a firearm is designed to be fired from the shoulder, and how many arm braces have been sent to the ATF for evaluation by other law enforcement agencies for criminal prosecution.

Second Amendment groups slammed the possibility of pistol braces coming under restriction from the federal government.

“Our Constitution requires an accountable legislature to enact just laws within specific, limited, and enumerated powers, not decreed by nameless bureaucrats with a political agenda, or even a president,” said the Firearms Policy Coalition in a statement. “And so, today, we remind the ATF and President Trump that they, too, are accountable for whatever actions they take regarding further bans. And neither we, nor the voters, will forget.” reached out to firearms industry insiders for further guidance on what may be going on behind the scenes at ATF when it comes to braces and will update this piece if anything substantial is learned.

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