GOP Attacks ATF Over New Gun Rules

Photo by Tom Def on Unsplash

( – The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives (ATF) finalized a new regulation on Friday which will treat guns with stabilizing accessories in the same way as short-barreled rifles. Short-barreled rifles can only be acquired by people who had a federal license to own them under the National Firearms Act.

Following the release of the new rule both Republican lawmakers and gun rights groups became critical of the Biden administration’s decision to increase the regulations on pistol stabilizing braces.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, who announced the rule, stated that stabilizing brace accessories are meant to be used to help disabled combat veterans and not for recreational shooting. He added that with the use of a brace, pistols were essentially transformed into short-barreled rifles.

The new rule is part of a comprehensive gun crime strategy President Biden announced in April 2021, in response to the mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, where a gunman with a stabilizing grace managed to kill 10 people. Similarly in 2019, in Dayton, Ohio, a shooter using a stabilizing brace managed to kill 9 people.

Garland added that the most important thing was making sure that all communities were kept safe from gun violence. He added that close to a century ago, Congress had made the decision regarding short-barreled rifles and that today’s rules would also help strengthen the rules and would make it clear that public safety comes first.

ATF Director Steven Dettelback similarly noted that stabilizing braces are designed to convert pistols into “short-barreled rifles to be fired from the shoulder,” as such they should be viewed the same in the eyes of the law.


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