June 22, 2023
NSSF Disappointed by U.S. Senators Voting Down Pistol Brace Resolution
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, was disappointed by U.S. senators who voted along party lines in a 49-50 vote to reject H.J. Res. 44, which was passed with a bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives last week.
“This vote was disappointing, if not expected. We are deeply troubled by the unchecked growth of the administrative state that threatens our fundamental rights and liberty,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
H.J. Res. 44 was intended to nullify the Final Rule issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) titled “Factoring Criteria for Firearms With Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces,’” published on Jan. 31, 2023. The Final Rule established new criteria for determining whether a pistol equipped with an attached stabilizing arm brace is a short-barreled rifle (SBR) and thus subject to regulation (and registration) under the National Firearms Act. The Congressional Research Service estimates there could be upwards of 40 million braces that have been lawfully purchased over the past decade after ATF determined affixing a brace did not convert a pistol into a rifle.
Several senators, who face reelections in states where gun rights are critical to voters ceded their authority as legislators to the Executive Branch to unilaterally draft criminal law allowing their constituents to be turned into criminals by administrative fiat.
“These senators must now explain to their constituents why they failed to act to safeguard against the Biden administration’s executive overreach that is chipping away at their fundamental Constitutional rights,” said Keane. “Come election day, NSSF will work to educate gun owners in these states about how these legislators turned their backs on the Second Amendment and failed to uphold their duties as lawmakers who write the law not the Executive Branch. Failing to maintain the balance of power grants unchecked authority to President Biden to run roughshod on citizens’ rights.”
Those senators voting against H.J. Res. 44 and facing tight reelection bids include: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.).
After publishing the Final Rule, ATF announced that in order to remain compliant with the new rule, any law-abiding gun owner who possessed stabilizing arm braces attached to lawfully-purchased pistols had 120 days, or until May 31, 2023, to either remove the pistol’s shorter barrel and attach a longer rifled barrel; permanently remove and dispose of the brace; turn in the brace; destroy the brace; or register it with ATF.
Failing to do any of the options presented puts brace owners in jeopardy of criminal enforcement.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.