This week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) presented legislation to abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in response to a contentious judgment that tightens limits on pistol-stabilizing braces.
Under the National Firearms Act, firearms with stabilizing devices will be regulated as short-barreled rifles, which need a federal license to acquire. The ATF released its final rule on Friday.
Fox News reported on update and said: “The move is part of a comprehensive gun crime strategy President Biden announced in April 2021, in response to the massacre at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, where a gunman using a stabilizing brace killed 10 people. A stabilizing brace was also used in a shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that left nine people dead in 2019.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland stated, in announcing the regulation, that stabilizing brace devices, which are intended to allow injured war veterans to enjoy leisure shooting, convert handguns into short-barreled rifles.
“Keeping our communities safe from gun violence is among the Department’s highest priorities,” Garland said. “Almost a century ago, Congress determined that short-barreled rifles must be subject to heightened requirements. Today’s rule makes clear that firearm manufacturers, dealers, and individuals cannot evade these important public safety protections simply by adding accessories to pistols that transform them into short-barreled rifles.”
Garland stated that the decision increases public safety, however Gaetz argued that it unfairly punishes handicapped gun owners and veterans who rely on stabilizing braces to fire with one hand.
“I have a lot of disabled veterans in my district who enjoy pistol shooting and rely on stabilizing braces to be able to engage in the activity,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday morning. “The recent actions from the ATF essentially allow them to make case-by-case determinations on whether a pistol with a stabilizing brace is legal or an unlawful, sawed-off shotgun.”
“The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on the actions they’re taking to convert otherwise law-abiding people into felons,” he said. “My bill would abolish the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to try defunding the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to target the individual bureaucrats at the top of the ATF who have exceeded their authority in rulemaking. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to take a meat cleaver to the statutes that the ATF believes broadly authorize their actions.”
The brief legislation states, “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is hereby abolished.”
“House Republicans have the ATF in our crosshairs,” Gaetz stated in a news release. “My bill today would abolish the ATF once and for all.” CONTINUE READING…