Bill Would Zap Pistol Brace Scheme, De-regulate SBRs
A bicameral measure proposed by Republicans in Congress aims to upend a pending rule change on millions of pistol braces and remove many National Firearms Act regulations.
The newly announced Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today, or SHORT Act, introduced by U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) in the Senate and U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) in the House, will remove the taxation, registration, and regulation in the NFA of firearms such as Short Barreled Rifles, Short-Barreled Shotguns, and Any Other Weapons. The sponsors argue it is past time for this reform and, in doing so, halt the Biden Administration’s pretending that people who own pistols with stabilizing braces in most cases possess illegal short-barreled rifles.
“The ATF’s federal gun registry is just the latest proof that the Biden Administration has no understanding of firearms and only seeks to limit American citizens’ ability to rightfully own firearms of their choosing,” said Marshall in a statement. “Gun control activists disguised as bureaucrats are corrupting the ATF, and my legislation will put a stop at their extremely misguided and incorrect interpretations of the National Firearms Act.”
The ATF’s proposed 71-page “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces,'” was published in the Federal Register, essentially the federal government’s public bulletin board, in June. When the smoke cleared and the comment period closed on Sept. 8, some 211,564 comments were received, and it is believed that the agency will publish its final rule after the mid-term elections in November. Estimates by the ATF are that a minimum of 1 million Americans would be impacted by the proposed rule. Meanwhile, the Congressional Research Service thinks the true numbers could trend as high as 40 million.
As there is no grandfathering allowed under the rule – even for guns lawfully purchased with braces pre-installed by the manufacturer – owners of such newly-defined SBRs would have to either turn the braced pistol over to Uncle Sam, permanently remove or alter the brace so that it cannot be reattached, remove the short barrel from the firearm and install one at least 16-inches in length, destroy the firearm, or submit a Form 1 and $200 to convert it to a legal, registered SBR.
Besides upending the brace rule, the SHORT Act would drop the onerous regulations on more than 532,000 registered SBRs, 162,000 registered SBSs, and 67,000 registered AOWs, all relics of early 20th Century gun control legislation that many argue have never been logical or effective.
“As stewards of the Constitution, Members of Congress cannot allow President Biden to further trample on Americans’ Second Amendment liberties through the continued weaponization of the NFA,” said Rep. Clyde.
The bills have the support of national 2A groups including Gun Owners of America and the NRA.
The SHORT Act was introduced into the Senate as S. 4986 with five co-sponsors while the House version is listed as H.R. 9033. While it is unlikely that either will see any success in the Democrat-controlled Congress, with the mid-term elections just a month away, it is likely the SHORT Act will be front and center when the new 118th Congress is seated next January and could give the Biden administration a moment of pause in its campaign to outlaw and regulate pistol braces.