Republican Senators Attempt to Stop Biden ATF's Pistol Grip Rule from Being Enforced

Matt O'Hern
U.S. CapitolPhoto byNew South Politics

Louisiana Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) more than 40 Republican senators today introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to prevent the Biden administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from enforcing an anti-Second Amendment pistol brace rule.

 The rule, titled Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces, would reclassify pistols as short-barreled rifles if they have a stabilizing brace attachment, even though many disabled veterans and other Americans rely on these braces to use their firearms. Under this rule, otherwise lawful gun owners could face up to 10 years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines if they fail to register pistols with stabilizing braces with the ATF. If gun owners do not register their firearms, they would have to destroy the firearm, surrender their firearm to the ATF or remove the brace in such a way that it cannot be reattached.

In addition to the CRA resolution, Kennedy and Marshall are introducing a bill to prevent federal funds from being used to implement, administer, or enforce this unconstitutional rule.

“Millions of law-abiding Americans use pistol braces, and many of those Americans rely on braces because they are disabled," Kennedy said in a press release. "If Congress doesn’t correct the ATF’s misguided rule, countless law-abiding gunowners in Louisiana and other states will become criminals in the blink of an eye. The Biden administration’s assault on the Second Amendment isn’t going to stop unless we defend this fundamental liberty."

“The Biden administration’s war on every American’s fundamental right to bear arms is relentless and an offense to our founders. Congress must use every tool at its disposal to stop the Biden ATF from enacting this unconstitutional gun grab and creating its newly proposed anti-2nd Amendment gun registry. The Congressional Review Act is one of those important tools and I’m pleased to co-lead this effort with Senator Kennedy,” said Marshall. 

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) is introducing Kennedy’s resolution in the House of Representatives.

“The ATF's unconstitutional pistol brace rule reveals the agency's brazen disregard for our Constitution and Congress' sole legislative authority. Unelected anti-gun bureaucrats simply do not have the power to propel President Biden's goal of disarming our nation and dismantling our Second Amendment freedoms by registering and banning millions of firearms. In the face of the Biden Administration's latest gun-grabbing measure, it's time for Congress to utilize the Congressional Review Act to fight for law-abiding gun owners. As a stalwart supporter of the Second Amendment and a Federal Firearms Licensee by trade, I'm proud to lead the effort to terminate the ATF's latest tyrannical tactic with Congressman Richard Hudson and Senator John Kennedy. We remain unwavering in the defense of Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms," said Clyde.

In 2012, the Obama-Biden administration’s ATF determined that pistol-brace attachments do not change the classification of a pistol to that of a rifle. Despite this, the Biden administration in 2021 directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to propose a rule that clarifies when a pistol with a brace attachment should be designated as a rifle.

Earlier this year, the DOJ announced the “stabilizing braces” final rule

“The new rule on pistol braces is a gross violation of Americans’ Second Amendment rights. The Biden Administration has continuously demonstrated a willingness to overstep the bounds of the Constitution. We will stand with gun owners,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

“The President has no authority to order this backdoor attempt to infringe on the constitutional rights of millions of Americans. I’m pleased to join my Senate colleagues in fighting to stop this government gun grab,” said Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.). 

“I’m a proud supporter of our Constitution and the 2nd Amendment. Biden and the far-left’s blatant attempt to push overreaching policies that infringe on the rights of law-abiding Americans is completely unacceptable. I’m proud to join my colleagues to reverse this ridiculous attempt to make criminals of law-abiding gun owners and protect the constitutional rights our nation was founded on,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). 

“After blessing the use of pistol braces for years, the ATF will now require anyone who owns a gun with a pistol brace to remove it, turn the gun in, or register it. This thoughtless regulation won’t stop criminals—but it will saddle legal gun owners with even more rules,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).

“The ATF under the Biden administration insists on issuing rules that end up infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners while doing next to nothing to stop violent crime. It’s too much. I hope enough Senators will stand up and block this ill-advised and unneeded rule,” said Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.).

“The Biden administration is once again attempting to punish law-abiding Americans, including disabled veterans who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights. Federal bureaucrats have no authority to tamper with or undermine the Second Amendment. Congress should use every tool to block ATF from acquiring information that could be used to confiscate firearms or target responsible gun owners,” said Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.). 

Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dan Sullivan (R-Ohio), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also cosponsored the legislation.

“The Second Amendment explicitly prohibits President Biden from using the ATF to ban millions of lawfully purchased pistols—especially without the passage of a new law by Congress. Gun Owners of America proudly supports using the Congressional Review Act to disapprove of the Biden Pistol Ban and stop this rule from infringing on the rights of millions of gun owners before they are compelled to rebuild, destroy, turn in, or register their pistols in the next 120 days. GOA is proud to see Representatives Andrew Clyde and Richard Hudson as well as Senators John Neely Kennedy and Roger Marshall leading the fight against President Biden’s unconstitutional gun grab,” said Gun Owners of America’s Director of Federal Affairs Aidan Johnston.

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) is leading the legislation with Clyde in the House.

“This rule jeopardizes the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners and disabled combat veterans. I’m proud to lead the fight in blocking the ATF’s unconstitutional pistol brace rule,” said Hudson.

Full text of the CRA resolution is available here

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Matt O’Hern’s journalism experience includes political news reporting for various organizations and news publications in Florida since 2005. O’Hern graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, AL with a degree in journalism.

Orlando, FL

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