Federal regulators on Friday set off the starting pistol in the race to establish what stabilizing brace makers term the largest firearm registration scheme in American history.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives scheduled its proposed 15-page “Objective Factors for Classifying Stabilizer Braces” to publish Dec. 18 in the Federal Register, the official journal of the federal government, for public inspection. Americans have two weeks to provide feedback on the plan, which could be the last chance to make their voice heard on the issue before ATF moves forward.
"The document is a thinly veiled blueprint for the largest firearm registration--and ultimately potentially confiscation-- scheme in U.S. history," said SB Tactical, the inventor of the modern stabilizing brace, in a response.
SB Tactical argues they have repeatedly asked for years that the ATF be transparent in how they classify braces and their use on pistols and other firearms so that consumers and the industry have clear-cut guidelines to follow. A list of standards that allows everyone to operate in good faith rather than foggy rumors. Sadly, contends the company, the proposed guidance doesn't do that, but instead only makes the fuzzy lines even fuzzier while drastically upping the power dynamic in the government's favor.
The grotesque inadequacies of this document render this “guidance” worse than meaningless. By stating that “no single factor or combination of factors is necessarily dispositive,” the regulated public is left guessing. Which calibers are ok? What is the weight or length of pull limit? What accessories can be mounted on a pistol? By failing to define the criteria, the ATF is codifying its holistic “we’ll know it when we see it” approach to determinations that create confusion and serve as little more than a power grab. It does nothing other than create uncertainty and confirm that ATF does not want to be held accountable. It claims limitless power to assess products under a “holistic” approach that gives the agency maximum discretion and Americans minimum protection.
Alex Bosco, owner of SB Tactical and creator of the Pistol Stabilizing Brace, talked about the issue with The Gun Collective for just under an hour in the below live stream on Thursday.
Written comments on the ATF proposal must be postmarked by, and electronic comments must be submitted on or before Jan. 1, 2021, by midnight Eastern time.
It is estimated that over 4 million braces are in circulation.