Senate rejects resolution to repeal ATF pistol brace

The ATF’s new rule on pistol stabilizing braces survived a Senate vote on Thursday as senators narrowly voted down an effort to undo the new rule via a congressional resolution.


Before the 49-50 vote, opponents of the new rule pointed out that despite Joe Biden’s bizarre assertion that attaching a stabilizing brace to a pistol increases the caliber of the bullet that’s fired, stabilizing braces do not increase the rate of fire nor magically turn a 9mm into a .308. Instead, as Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana argued, the ATF rule is just a backdoor attempt at establishing a gun registry that could ensnare millions of lawful gun owners. Failure to register brace-equipped firearms under the National Firearms Act could result in a ten-year prison sentence and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, though the ATF has admitted that just 250,000 brace-equipped guns were registered before the May 31st deadline.

One of the reasons for the lack of compliance is because federal courts have so far exempted members of Gun Owners of America, Second Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition from the registration requirements, but given that there are some estimates of 40-million braces around the country it’s evident that even some gun owners who aren’t covered under those federal injunctions have chosen not to comply.

With the federal judiciary already casting doubt on the ATF’s authority to impose the new rule and reverse a decade of previous guidance that held brace-equipped weapons are not short-barreled rifles and the House already voting in favor of Rep. Andrew Clyde’s resolution to undo the rule, it wasn’t out of the question that the Democrat-controlled Senate would follow suit, even with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer bizarrely asserting that adding a brace to a pistol somehow makes them easier to conceal and have become the accessory of choice for mass murderers.


Illinois Senator Dick Durbin doubled down on Schumer’s rhetoric, falsely claiming that “strapping on” magazines onto a pistol somehow converts that firearm into a machine gun.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, meanwhile, is either completely ignorant of what today’s vote was all about or, more likely, was content to lie about the resolution and its effect.

The resolution in question wouldn’t have removed short barreled rifles from the National Firearms Act, or undone the NFA in any form or fashion. It simply repealed the ATF’s designation of brace-equipped pistols as SBRs, but the factually deficient arguments won the day in the Senate when Democrats, including supposed moderates like Jon Tester, Angus King, and Krysten Sinema, stuck with the Biden administration’s executive branch gun gun.


Once King cast his vote in opposition to the ruling, the writing was on the wall. At least two Democrats were needed in order for the resolution to pass, and with King and Tester voting “no” even the support of Joe Manchin wasn’t going to be enough to carry the day, though the West Virginia senator declined to vote in favor of the resolution regardless.

It’s worth noting that the resolution was going to be killed by Joe Biden if it ever got to his desk, so a vote in favor of repeal by the likes of King and Manchin could have provided them with some political cover back home without actually causing the ATF regulation to be repealed. I thought there was a good chance that one or both of the senators would vote to undo the rule, but in the end it looks like both decided to be good foot soldiers for Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden rather than defend those constituents who could face federal charges for simply possessing a stabilizing brace.

What this tells me is that there is no “moderate” Democrat when in the Senate when it comes to gun control. Not only does the ATF’s new rule reverse more than a decade of previous guidance, by adopting the rule the agency usurped Congress’s authority to write and pass new laws. Every Senate Democrat told us they’re okay with that move, even though it could result in federal prison sentences for non-violent, possessory offenses. Though that’s far from moderation and completely lacking in common sense, it’s now officially the Democratic party line.





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