(USA Features) The Biden administration on Monday issued a new rule that will apply regulations governing rifles to certain pistols bearing “stabilizing braces.”
The rule says that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) should determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether any gun, when it is configured with a stabilizing brace, “bears the objective features of a firearm designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder and is thus subject to the NFA [National Firearms Act].”
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“The use of a purported ‘stabilizing brace’ cannot be a tool to circumvent the NFA (or the GCA) and the prohibition on the unregistered possession of ‘short-barreled rifles,’” the proposed rule states, with GCA being an acronym for the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Such braces are used to bolster the stability and accuracy of rifle-caliber pistols.
The proposed rule was published Monday in the Federal Register. The public and concerned groups have 90 days to register comments.
Also Monday, the Justice Department published model legislation making it easier for states to craft laws aimed at risk protection orders. Those orders, often referred to as “red flag laws,” authorize courts to temporarily ban people from possessing or having access to firearms.
Critics and civil rights groups have pushed back on red flag laws, claiming they deprive gun owners of their constitutional right to due process, since they can be employed against persons who have not been convicted or even charged with a crime.
Under such laws, anyone — including family members — can petition a court to have a person’s access to guns banned only on a suspicion that person is a danger to themselves or others.
“The Justice Department is determined to take concrete steps to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in our communities,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
“Today we continue to deliver on our promise to help save lives while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans. We welcome the opportunity to work with communities in the weeks and months ahead in our shared commitment to end gun violence.”
Gun rights groups say the proposals violate the Second Amendment.
“Joe Biden knows he cannot beat gun owners in Congress, so instead he’s abusing his executive authority—throwing the full weight of the federal bureaucracy behind his attack on gun owners,” Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, told members in an alert.