Derp Alert: Everytown claims braces make pistols easier to conceal

Derp Alert: Everytown claims braces make pistols easier to conceal
(AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter)

Another day, another “they said what, now?” moment from the gun control lobby.

As the House readies a vote on Rep. Andrew Clyde’s resolution to undo the ATF’s new pistol brace rule, Everytown for Gun Safety is lobbying anti-gunners to contact their congresscritter and urge them to vote “no”. That’s to be expected, and honestly, I suppose at this point we should also expect the prohibitionists to just pull claims out of their collective rear end, no matter how silly or specious they might be.

Still, this is just a spectacularly stupid take, even for the “gunsense” crowd.

You don’t have to be a firearms expert to see the stupidity in Everytown’s argument. Attaching a brace to an AR-style pistol doesn’t make them easy to conceal. A brace-equipped pistol is going to be longer than an AR-style pistol without a brace attached to it, so it’s going to be harder to conceal than a pistol without a brace.

The gun control lobby has long relied on the ignorance of non-gun owners to advance their agenda, and this is another example of that tactic at work. Never mind that their claim doesn’t pass the smell test; as long as they can convince people who don’t know much about firearms that stabilizing braces are an inherent threat to public safety they’ll consider that a win.

Of course, I don’t think Everytown was expecting the flood of comments from gun owners pointing out the idiocy of their argument, which provide an excellent counterpoint to their false claims.

The ATF’s pistol brace rule is already running into trouble in the federal court system, where multiple judges have granted injunctions against the new rule’s enforcement as it applies to members of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Second Amendment Foundation, and Gun Owners of America (the NRA has also requested that its members be exempt from the rule’s enforcement but has yet to receive a reply from the judge overseeing the request). And while the ATF estimated that there were several million brace-equipped firearms that would have to be registered as short barreled rifles in order for owners to be in compliance, according to The Reload’s Stephen Gutowski the agency says only about 250,000 pistols were registered before the May 31st deadline.

The ATF told The Reload on Friday it has received just over a quarter million applications to register pistol-brace-equipped firearms. Registering the affected guns was one path toward avoiding possible criminal punishment for possessing the guns under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) after the agency implemented a rule reclassifying the firearms as subject to NFA restrictions. The ATF waived the tax requirement for registration to encourage owners to comply before the deadline.

“The final rule provided possessors of such firearms the option to comply with the registration requirements of the National Firearms Act through a tax-free process using either the ATF eForms System or a paper application process with a deadline for such applications of 11:59 PM (ET) on May 31, 2023,” Erik Longnecker, Deputy Chief of the ATF’s Public Affairs Division, told The Reload. “As of June 1, 2023, ATF received 255,162 applications for tax-free registration.”

That number represents just a fraction of the braced guns believed to have been sold in the decade since the ATF first classified a version as outside the scope of the NFA. In the impact assessment for the rule, the ATF estimated that three to seven million devices exist. However, the Congressional Research Service puts the number much higher at somewhere between 10 and 40 million.

That puts the registration rate for pistol-brace-equipped guns at between 0.6 percent and eight percent.

Now the House is likely to pass its own resolution that would undo the pistol brace rule entirely, though its prospects in the Senate are still fairly murky and Joe Biden has already vowed to veto the resolution if it gets to his desk. Still, Clyde told Bearing Arms last week that he’s gotten a commitment from at least one House Democrat to vote in favor of the resolution, which only requires a simple majority in both chambers to take effect, and if the House signs off on H.R. Res 44 that will put more pressure on senators like Angus King, Joe Manchin, and Jon Tester to do the same.

The ATF’s rule does not enjoy broad support in Congress, but it’s a key piece of the gun control lobby’s strategy of weaponizing the government agency and using it to do an end run around the legislative branch and enact new gun control laws without a vote on Capitol Hill. Everytown’s pulling out all the stops to save the new rule and enable the ATF to go even bigger in the future, and they’re counting on the ignorance of non-gun owners to make it happen.