Biden conspires with ‘rogue elements’ within Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).
Just in case anyone needed further proof that much of the federal bureaucracy is more interested in serving themselves and left-wing political interests than public service, news broke this week that rogue elements of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) have been conspiring with Joe Biden’s transition team to enact gun control by executive fiat. At the top of these anti-gun government functionaries’ wish list is executive regulation of commonly-owned pistol stabilizing braces and materials used by individuals to make their own firearms –sometimes referred to as unfinished or “80%”frames or receivers.
On November 10, gun rights activist John Crump published a piece for Ammoland.com with details of a leaked BATFE conference call in which BATFE Acting Director Regina Lombardo and Associate Deputy Director Marvin Richardson participated. According to the article, “Acting Director Regina Lombardo told those in attendance that the anti-gun Biden transition team has reached out to the ATF to get the agency’s ‘top priorities.’”The item went on to note that “Lombardo told those on the call that her priorities would be pistol braces and 80% lower receivers.”
It is unclear from Crump’s initial report how Lombardo wants the BATFE to target these items, but under a proper reading of federal law the agency’s options are limited.
Pistol stabilizing braces are an item that attaches to the rear of many configurations of commonly-owned semi-automatic pistols that helps stabilize the pistol on a shooter’s arm so that they may effectively shoot the firearm with one hand. These items are particularly valuable for differently-abled shooters who may not have the use of two hands. BATFE has approved several arm braces for this purpose. At present, Americans own over 4 million of these items.
BATFE already has a fraught history with pistol stabilizing braces. In January 2015, BATFE released an Open Letter on the Redesign of “Stabilizing Braces.” With the letter, BATFE sought to stop individuals from using pistol stabilizing braces in a manner in which they were not designed for –specifically, using a brace to shoulder the pistol.
Federal law defines “rifle”as “a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.”Further, a “rifle having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length”is categorized as a “short-barreled rifle.”“Short-barreled rifles”are subject to the National Firearms Act and must be registered with the federal government in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. On the other hand, a “handgun”is defined as “a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.”
In the letter, BATFE contended that an individual who shouldered a pistol equipped with a pistol stabilizing brace was creating a short-barreled rifle.
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