ATF Overreach Turns 29 Million Americans Into Felons

Seldom has a federal edict been so roundly rejected by the people as that by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) concerning pistol brace stabilizers.

Best estimates are that 99% of the tens of millions of Americans who own the popular firearm accessories ignored the new ATF rule. Those who did not comply with the May 31 deadline face up to a 10-year prison sentence, a $10,000 fine, or both.

The ATF noted that lying to the agency about pistol braces could bring a fine and imprisonment of up to five years.

Still, almost all owners resisted.

These rather simple modifications, invented in 2012, allow a semiautomatic pistol to be braced and more easily controlled. They were initially intended to assist disabled veterans to shoot their pistols more accurately.

The ATF previously declared that these pistol braces were legal, and tens of millions were purchased and utilized under this guidance. That was before the Biden administration’s radical anti-gun agenda dictated that they would now be illegal.

Republicans are working to overturn the White House overreach, but it appears the best chance to right the wrong will come through the courts. The House GOP produced a measure to reverse the rule, but it is not likely to clear the Democrat-controlled Senate.

And on Monday, the administration announced the measure will be vetoed if it reaches the president’s desk.

As the deadline to comply with the ATF came and went, it was clear that most gun owners chose to ignore the rule. The tens of millions of braces that had to be detached, registered, or destroyed were apparently unaffected by the change.

According to John Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, the numbers point to roughly 29 million Americans who are technically committing felonies.

Registration of the firearms with braces, which are now classified as short-barreled rifles, came with a $200 tax along with a fingerprinting requirement. Even with the ATF’s temporary waiving of the tax, only 255,162 gun owners complied before the deadline.

These figures prove yet again just how resistant Americans are to firearm registration and federal legislation of weapons. Infringing on Second Amendment rights is not taken lightly by gun owners, and millions now take their chances instead.