WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 7, 2021) — Today, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) officially released a notice of proposed rulemaking announcing yet another unlawful ATF rule to further attack and restrict the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. This newest rule targets “pistol braces” in an attempt to retroactively apply onerous National Firearms Act (NFA) restrictions and potential criminal liability to possibly millions of legally acquired and possessed firearms that are overwhelmingly used for lawful purposes.

ATF Rule 2021R-08, entitled “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces,’” would redefine the word “rifle” in order to administratively reclassify brace-equipped pistols into NFA-regulated “short-barreled rifles” (SBRs). In doing so, this latest proposed rule by the ATF would, if enacted, radically expand the law and turn currently lawful pistol possession into a minefield of felony crimes. A full copy of the proposed rule can be found at SaveTheBraces.com.

The DOJ claims that the new rule would “clarify when these attached accessories [braces] convert pistols into weapons covered by these heightened regulations [the NFA].” In order to do so, the ATF proposes an arbitrary and vague “points system,” wherein if the ATF chooses to give a firearm more than 4 points in two separate parts of the test, the firearm would automatically be considered an SBR, and regulated under the purview of the NFA.

The FPC Law team is currently conducting an in-depth analysis of the Proposed Rule for both regulatory and pre-litigation purposes. FPC strongly condemns the ATF’s proposed new rule and is committed to mounting an aggressive legal, regulatory, and grassroots response. 

“Just as FPC did when the Trump Administration’s DOJ lawlessly declared that bump-stocks were machine guns, we will use every available resource to defend the People’s human right to keep and bear arms from attacks by the ATF,” said FPC Senior Director of Legal Operations Adam Kraut. “We stand ready to defend the People, human liberty, and personal property in this rulemaking process and, if necessary, in court.”

Further information and analysis will be made available at SaveTheBraces.com and FPCLaw.org.

Individuals that are interested in joining FPC in the fight against tyranny can become a member of the FPC Grassroots Army for just $25 at JoinFPC.org.

Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space. Some FPC legal actions include:

  • A challenge to California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Miller v. Bonta) that resulted in a post-trial judgment and permanent injunction against the challenged regulations, the first such victory in United States history
  • A brief supporting certiorari in NYSRPA v. Bruen, which was granted by the U.S. Supreme Court
  • A challenge to Georgia's ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Baughcum v. Jackson)
  • A challenge to Tennessee’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Basset v. Slatery)
  • A challenge to Maryland’s ban on handgun carry (Call v. Jones
  • A challenge to New Jersey’s ban on handgun carry (Bennett v. Davis)
  • A challenge to New York City’s ban on handgun carry (Greco v. New York City)
  • A challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Lara v. Evanchick)
  • A challenge to the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. ATF)
  • A challenge to Maryland’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh)
  • A challenge to California’s handgun “roster”, microstamping, and self-manufacturing ban laws (Renna v. Bonta)
  • A challenge to Pennsylvania’s laws completely denying the right to carry to individuals who were previously granted relief from prior non-violent convictions and are not currently prohibited from possessing firearms (Suarez v. Evanchick)

For more on these cases and other legal action initiatives, visit FPCLegal.org and follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. FPC Law (FPCLaw.org), the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, is the nation’s leader in the Second Amendment litigation and research space.