The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is about to force millions of gun owners to register their pistol braces as short-barreled rifles, which will be regulated by the National Firearms Act.
This new rule negates the Bureau’s previous opinion letters, which said it was fine and legal for gun owners to install a pistol brace on their guns.
In other words, gun owners were not supposed to worry about politically motivated enforcement actions if they bought braces, which an estimated 4 million people did.
However, after President Joe Biden declared war on guns, the ATF is caving to pressure from the administration, and the new law will now have around 4 million law-abiding citizens pay a steep price, with their names needing to be entered into a national gun registration database.
For gun owners, this has little to do with reducing the skyrocketing violent crime rates — it is just another way for the Biden-Harris administration to attempt to control the use of guns.
AmmoLand’s Lee Williams noted that gun registration won’t impact criminals at all — it won’t even slow them down, because they will never register their braced pistols in the first place. However, it will put a damper on law-abiding gun owners as the current administration is bent on persecuting them, instead. (Related: Thumbs down on gun control, won’t stop shootings: Rasmussen.)
“This plan could turn millions of gun owners into felons overnight. There’s a word for a law or rule that instantly criminalizes the law-abiding – tyranny – and tyranny is what we’ve come to expect from the ATF,” Williams wrote.
Federal crackdown on untraceable firearms
In August, federal regulations also took effect on so-called ghost guns, and businesses that sell untraceable firearms rushed to offload their inventory.
The Biden administration’s new regulations are set to substantially curb the proliferation of ghost guns by requiring those who sell them to abide by the same rules and regulations as traditional gun sellers in the U.S.
These weapons, which are assembled from kits, did not carry serial numbers, which made them attractive to criminals and extremists, and anyone who doesn’t want to be tracked. Parts could be bought online or at a store as do-it-yourself kits, and their purchase did not require background checks — for those who are familiar, these guns can be assembled into working firearms within 30 minutes.
A spokesperson for the ATF said the new rule will “play a key role in preventing convicted felons, domestic abusers and other prohibited persons from acquiring these firearms.” It will also allow them to trace the guns when they are being used in crimes.
The new regulations also require manufacturers and dealers of ghost guns to be federally licensed: parts used to make the weapons will need serial numbers and purchasers must undergo background checks.
Days before the announcement, until after the law took effect, ghost gun dealers ramped up their efforts to offload inventory. Online dealer GhostGuns.com even had a live countdown banner on its home page to remind shoppers of the date the restrictions were to take effect.
The company also saw an uptick in sales for its ghost gun kits, when the rule was first announced in April. The website was able to sell out their ghost guns. They also admitted that their countdown was intended to “drive awareness and sales.”
Ghost guns have become more popular in recent years, as those reported to the ATF have increased tenfold since 2016. In 2021 alone, there were approximately 20,000 suspected ghost gun recoveries reported to the bureau.
In Washington, D.C., ghost gun maker and distributor Polymer80 was successfully sued by the district’s attorney general, Karl Racine.
The company was found to have violated city consumer protection laws by falsely claiming that ghost gun kits were legal to purchase in D.C., selling them to dozens of customers in the city, including through its website. The company was then ordered to pay over $4 million in penalties.
“These weapons are unlicensed, undetectable, and untraceable, and must be subject to regulation just like other guns,” Racine said in a statement.