By Mike Keleher
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives just dropped a gun registration whopper in full view of the apprehensive post-election public in a classic Washingtonian move.
If you have never seen it play out, this is how bad news is put out in D.C. – you wait until a Friday before a three day weekend or a major holiday to release your bad news. That way not too many people see it or hear it or get too upset about it while they go off on their personal getaways from reality.
Coming right behind the election results and last weeks search warrant raid on Poymer 80, ATF is moving out smartly to act against things that bug them-even before the new president gets in to office. Why wait? Make your moves now at holiday time where it won’t be noticed.
Well today, Friday December 18th, 2020 the ATF published a required notice of proposed rule changes in the Federal Register related to Stabilizing Pistol Braces. Their potential actions stand to make over one million legal to own and use items contraband. ATF has previously issued letters and opinions stating the items are completely legal to own and use-but now they are providing notice “Um, maybe we changed our mind-again.” Thankfully, the posted notice has a two week (normally 4 week) window where the public can log in or mail in or fax in public comment.
Well it has been noticed by gun media, and it is being seen as a thinly veiled gun registration scheme. The text of the notice is available online and is a stinker.
They lay out several ways to evaluate/demonize Stabilizing Braces in quite generic terms, have no statement about why they need to be re-defined at this moment in time. Nor do they state they are used in criminal acts, and even make mention of how they previously told people they could legally own them.
They are proposing to just slip the now nefarious wrist braces under the National Firearms Act, and avoid all this fuss about what is a pistol and what is a short barreled rifle. You know how we all worry about that daily.
Yes, just register your previously legal item, so the Government will have a record of them, just like other NFA items- you know, fully automatic weapons and suppressors. Yes, we can just register a piece of slip-on plastic wrist brace as a NFA item under the new plan. Seems so cheerily friendly they are even offering to drop the normal $200 tax stamp/registration fee in a one time offer! New, improved, bolder colors! Get yours today!
Please take exactly two minutes to use the GOV rules against them. You can send in your objection and/or opinion during this two week long public opinion period. It is is painless and easy to do.
Just go to www.regulations.gov and in the search window type in the ATF notice number-ATF-2020-0001-0001 and it will bring up the entire ATF document for you to read at your leisure. You can then hit the “Comment Now” button on the same page, and it leads you to a comment window where you can fill in up to 5000 characters of content (a couple of pages worth of your best arguments.) When finished they ask for a name, and you have the option to send it anonymously. You can also mail in or fax in a response-the addresses are listed in the ATF document.
Want to cut down your work time even further? You can copy and paste my submission (below). You can also send in an opinion once a day. Have fun!
Oh they do make a special note about abusive language and how they will be tossed out-so keep those F-bombs in your shoulder holster. I am sure you will get plenty of chances to use them creatively in casual conversation in the coming year.
SAMPLE TEXT BELOW- COPY AND PASTE TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT-I DID NOT GET YOU ANYTHING ELSE FOR CHRISTMAS-UNCLE MIKE
“I object to the proposed actions set forth by ATF related to Classifying Weapons with Stabilizing braces. These items have been previously found to be perfectly legal by ATF and the proposed new vague “definitions” followed by the idea they should now become NFA items and registered and tracked just like machine guns and suppressors is ludicrous and an obvious bid to force registration of weapons and a violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Over one million Stabilizing Braces are in the hands of lawful citizens, and do not make any attached firearm ultra-hazardous like machine guns, or ripe for misuse. In fact, no evidence is presented for any public safety reason why these items should suddenly be perceived as “needing” narrower definitions and ultimately registration. Continued action by BATF has the ability to make one million owners criminals-after they relied up on BATF regulations stating these items were legal to own and use as the consumer saw fit.
The initiation of this action this week follows a search warrant raid by ATF last week on the 80% Polymer company where ATF is now claiming selling non-functioning plastic frames, sold with the parts needed to assemble a pistol are now somehow illegal. Once again ATF told the company and other companies selling the 80% complete frames are legal for several years now, and it is within federal law to assemble your own firearm, yet they now claim selling all necessary parts at the same time instead of purchasing them separately are somehow illegal.
These actions, coming just days after the 2020 elections are obvious politically motivated gun control schemes – the worst kind of regulation- as well as being wielded by a Government Agency against law abiding citizens. Notice of this is being held just prior to Christmas and obviously planned to slide under the public radar in addition tos being patently against our Second Amendment rights.
Please halt any further action related to Stabilizing Braces as well as sudden post-election interest in 80% firearms.”