Earlier this week, Joe Biden laid the groundwork for eventually banning handguns with the announcement by his Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and his Department of Justice (DOJ) that he would begin taking new steps to reduce gun violence.
Biden is using a gun-control ploy used by Trump when he banned bump stocks by redefining the rifle attachment as a “machine gun” and therefore, making it subject to prohibition under the 1934 National Firearms Act banning machine guns (his bump stock ban was recently ruled unconstitutional by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals).
In Biden’s case, he’s also using a firearm attachment — stabilizing pistol brace — to redefine handguns as “short barrel rifles,” a change that would subject handguns to heightened regulations under the 1934 National Firearms Act.
If successful, Biden’s new rule would make guns equipped with such a brace illegal, requiring gun owners to either register them as rifles, forfeit them, or disassemble them. Failure to do so would subject them to being charged with a felony.
Biden’s DOJ said in a statement:
“[W]hen individuals use accessories to convert pistols into short-barreled rifles, they must comply with the heightened regulations on those dangerous and easily concealable weapons.
“[Stabilizing braces] make it easy for people to convert pistols into these more dangerous weapons without going through the statute’s background check and registration requirements.”
According to ATF, a gun with a brace that is intended to be fired from the shoulder by its manufacturer will be reclassified as a short-barreled rifle. ATF has created a complicated “worksheet” that uses a point system to help owners, retailers, and regulators determine if a gun with a stabilizing brace should be classified as a pistol or rifle.
A few of the considerations included in the worksheet for reclassifying a handgun includes: the weight or length of the firearm, the design of the brace, in addition to “peripheral accessories” that may be attached to the gun like “flip-up sights.”
If you’re wondering how this will eventually lead to Joe Biden banning handguns, it will begin by establishing a gun registry.
Gun owners who possess a handgun equipped with a stabilizing brace falling under the ATF’s new definition of a short-barreled rifle will be required to pay a $200 tax stamp and apply to register the weapon with the agency as a rifle. If they prefer not to do so, they will be required to remove the brace or remove the short barrel and attach a 16-inch or longer barrel to the firearm to comply with the provision of provisions of the National Firearms Act.
Handgun owners using a stabilizing brace will also have the option of destroying their weapon or turning it over to a local ATF office, which is essentially gun confiscation.
In a statement released by Gun Owners of America — the plaintiffs in the successful challenge to Trump’s bump stock ban — Biden’s obvious abuse of power and his goal of banning handguns were fully exposed:
June 7th, 2021
For immediate release
GOA Commits to Fighting DOJ’s Unlawful Regulation on Pistol Braces
Springfield, VA – This afternoon, the Justice Department released new proposed regulations surrounding the popular accessory known as a “Pistol Stabilizing Brace.”
“Today’s proposed rulemaking on pistol-braced firearms represents a gross abuse of executive authority,” said Aidan Johnston, Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America. “Millions of otherwise law-abiding gun owners now will be forced to destroy, register, or surrender their lawfully-acquired pistol-braced firearms.”
Analyzing the proposed rule, it appears that ATF has intentionally designed its Factoring Criteria for Rifled Barrel Weapons with Accessories Commonly Referred to as “Stabilizing Braces” to effect a complete ban of every pistol-braced firearm currently on the market.
Specifically, ATF proposes to create a “worksheet” to be used to classify firearms as either legal pistols or illegal short-barreled rifles. Yet under that framework, literally nothing would count as a pistol.
Johnston concluded, “Gun owners are disgusted by today’s blatant infringement on their right to keep arms by the Biden Administration. Gun Owners of America will work to defeat these unlawful regulations during the comment period or, failing that, through legal action.”
The new rule is the result of Biden’s anti-gun executive actions announced back in April in the Rose Garden announcement. That’s when he officially directed the DOJ and ATF to create proposals to ban so-called ghost guns and pistol braces in the aftermath of mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado.
Calling gun violence an “epidemic” and an “international embarrassment,” Biden rolled out his executive orders (or actions) complete with a boatload of Washington doublespeak about how he will address the gun violence without violating the Second Amendment — which means, of course, he’s doing the exact opposite.
Biden’s new rule “will be the largest gun registration, destruction, and confiscation scheme in American history,” Alex Bosco, who invented the stabilizing brace and founded the biggest manufacturer of them, told The Reload.
Despite how his administration is laying the groundwork for eventually banning handguns, Biden wants you to know that he is operating completely within the confines of the Constitution because none of our rights are “absolute.”
“Nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment,” Biden said back in April. “They’re phony arguments suggesting these are Second Amendment rights at stake with what we’re talking about. But no amendment, no amendment to the Constitution is absolute.”
“So the idea is just bizarre to suggest that some of the things we’re recommending are contrary to the Constitution,” he added.
By the way, Biden’s nominee for director of ATF is David Chipman, an anti-gun zealot who made millions of dollars working as a senior policy adviser at the Giffords Law Center. Chipman is also the brains behind the idea of using ATF to arrest prospective gun purchasers in gun stores following a failed background check in order to stop a crime before it happens.
“While at ATF, I conducted studies involving people who failed background checks to determine how many later committed crimes with a gun — many did. This is a perfect opportunity to arrest people before committing crimes rather than responding after the fact.” (emphasis mine)
I guess that would be one more way for Joe Biden to begin banning handguns, wouldn’t it?
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.