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The ATF has a notorious history of backpedaling on previous decisions and interpretations given. The ATF has given guidance going back and forth on if you can shoulder a pistol brace or not. Clarification on determination on how to properly measure a AR pistol to have the ability to use a fore grip. Finally, the atrocious flip flop of reclassifying a bump stock as machine guns. Recently, Congressman Matt Gaetz and six other congressional members has sent ATF a letter about the ATF’s secret ban on pistol braces.

In the letter to the ATF regrading the secret ban Congressman Gaetz states, “ We understand that ATF is currently considering restricting one arm brace model owned by over 700,000 Americans,” Congressman Gaetz writes along with six other members of Congress. “We strongly urge ATF to cease taking any actions and reconsider or rescind any secret determinations which call into question the legality of firearms owned by millions of law-abiding Americans.”

Congressman Gaetz in the letter addresses Attorney General William Barr and acting ATF Director Regina Lombardo. In the letter he expresses his concerns about the ATF’s practice of crafting secret restrictions which would impact law abiding citizens.

In the letter Congressman Gaetz and his colleagues pose three specific questions to Attorney General Barr and Director Lombardo.

  1. What specific criteria does ATF use to determine whether a firearm is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder?
  2. What specific ATF publications are available for Americans to determine whether their firearm is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder?
  3. How many firearms with affixed arm braces have been evaluated by the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division in support of other law enforcement agencies or criminal prosecutions?

“This practice not only burdens the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American citizens,” Gaetz concludes, “but has recently been used by ATF to stifle innovation within the firearms industry and prosecute unwitting firearm owners.”

Here is a link to the full letter by Congressman Gaetz. Congressman Gaetz letter to ATF regarding secret brace ban.

Congressman Gaetz breaks the news about the ATF’s secret pistol band on his podcast, “Hot Takes with Matt Gaetz.” In the episode he discusses how the ATF is crafting secret rules restricting the possession of pistol braces and how he has sent them a letter demanding them to stop.

In the podcast he discusses that even during conservative held presidency’s that people can make it more difficult shooters to acquire things the need for safety or that is unique to the individual and circumstances. He states, “Some do “try to make it more difficult to acquire things that shooters need and gun owners need, for safety and for the unique circumstances that an individual may have.”

The congressman also discuss the need for Americans to remain active in defense of their second amendment rights and civil liberties.

But now, what we find, is that the ATF is making it very difficult for people to have arm braces. They’re changing standards and changing rules.” Gaetz continues: “And I am particularly frustrated when our government, at the administrative and executive level, goes beyond their grant of authority in our Constitution and in our Federal Statutes. Nothing gives anyone at ATF the ability to constrain the use of arm braces.”

“So the breaking news is this – I’ll be sending a letter to the Department of Justice, asking for a review of the decisions made by ATF and asking that ATF stop, in this crazy effort to limit access to arm braces for people who seek to have them.”

The Firearms Blog reached out to Alex Bosco, CEO of SB Tactical. Below is SB Tatical statement in regards to the secret ban.

Press Release

Although this may seem alarming, it is, in fact, nothing new. Since 2015, SB Tactical has been actively engaged in discussions with the ATF and working tirelessly to encourage them to provide clear and public guidance regarding what constitutes a brace and the standards by which braces are measured. At this time, we are unaware of any plans by the ATF to make any announcements regarding Pistol Stabilizing Braces. We are grateful that Congressmen Matt Gaetz, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Daniel Webster, Neil P. Dunn, W. Gregory Steube, and Ted S. Yoho are committed to protecting the second amendment rights of law abiding Americans.

The big issue with this is the secrecy at play here from the ATF. They are actively looking restrict and evolve the interpretation and use of a pistol brace. That change shouldn’t be made in secret. The public should have full knowledge of those changes and why. The reclassifying of this brace as stock could be devastating for millions of law abiding citizens. Turning their legal firearms to illegal firearms overnight and without their knowledge.

What do you think of the ATF secretly trying to reclassify the interpretation of pistol braces? Do you think Congressman Matt Gaetz should do more? Let us know in the comments below.

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