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Wednesday of last week the Firearm Policy Coalition along with other outlets released a draft of a document that the ATF created for pistol braces. That document was looking to create new guidance on pistol braces and how they would be evaluated in the future. In the document the ATF was looking to supersede the old guidance on pistol braces.

The new guidance would look at the “totality of circumstances”, according to the ATF when it came to classifying it as a pistol or SBR. Those factors taken into consideration for review would be: the type of firearm, caliber, weight, length, the design of the brace, could it be fired with one arm, optics used on the firearm, and accessories on the pistol. Each brace could be individually inspected by the ATF to see if it qualified as a pistol brace or if it is considered an SBR to be filed under the NFA. The factors to be taken into consideration are vague and nebulous. Leaving the potential determination a completely subjective process by the ATF agent reviewing the pistol.

In the document the ATF said it would be posting the document to the Federal Register. People who have a vested interest could leave comments on ATF’s proposed new guidance on pistol braces. Commenters where giving from December 18th- Jan 1st, 2021. During that time to leave comment. Which is against the Gun Control Act which provides a 90-day comment period.

Once posted on Friday, firearm manufacturers and the firearm community started leaving comments on the Federal Register. Action from the community was coordinated, strong, and swift. Thousands of gun owners flocked to comment section to voice their unhappiness with this new guidance being proposed by the ATF.

On Wednesday of this week ahead of the Jan 1st deadline, ATF withdrew the new guidance from the Federal Register. During that 5-day time frame over 48,000 comments were left to the ATF regarding the potential new guidance on pistol braces. The rescinding of the new guidance allows for current guidance to remain in effect. But, the ATF reserves the right to resubmit the new guidance at a later date to the Federal Register for Department of Justice review.

Below, is the ATF official paperwork for the withdrawal of new guidance on pistol braces.

Documentation Of Withdrawal From The ATF

This is a small victory for firearm manufacturers and gun owners. Yet, at the same time the community must remain vigilant on further potential abuses of power and authority.

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