Short-barrel rifles and shotguns don’t really serve any function on the list of NFA devices. It’s far too easy to circumvent the law–sawed-off shotguns, anyone?–and it does nothing but drive the cost up for shorter weapons that might benefit smaller shooters or those looking for a better home-defense firearm.
That’s where the recently introduced SHORT Act comes into play.
Introduced on Tuesday, the bill seeks to remove these shorter long guns from the NFA registry.
WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) today introduced the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act to undo the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) federal registry for firearms with stabilizing braces by clarifying that short-barreled rifles cannot be further regulated.
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.
“The Biden administration is going to keep looking for ways to penalize law-abiding gunowners unless Congress makes their rights clear. A brace that countless disabled Americans use to exercise their Second Amendment rights should not be regulated by unelected anti-gun bureaucrats, and this bill would force the Biden ATF to stop devising new restrictions for legal firearms,” said Kennedy.
“Finalization of this pistol brace rule represents the worst fears of gun owners across the country. The SHORT Act will protect Americans from the anti-2nd Amendment gun registry that the ATF is abusing the National Firearms Act to create. This Congress, I challenge my colleagues in both chambers to make protecting Americans’ 2nd Amendment Rights a priority and sign onto this legislation that will stop the ATF’s pistol brace rule in its tracks,” said Marshall.
“Congress cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the Biden Administration’s weaponization of the NFA and ongoing assault on Americans’ Second Amendment freedoms. In the face of President Biden’s unconstitutional tactics and backdoor gun control, the SHORT Act provides a permanent solution to combat the unlawful Pistol Brace Rule and protect Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation with Senator Marshall and lead the fight on behalf of all law-abiding gun owners across our great nation against the Biden Administration’s latest gun-grabbing measure,” said Clyde.
Kennedy is also introducing a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to prevent the Biden administration’s ATF from enforcing a new pistol brace rule that would turn law-abiding gun owners into felons.
Under this rule, gun owners could face up to 10 years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines if they fail to register pistols with stabilizing braces with the ATF. If gun owners do not register their firearms, they would have to destroy the firearm, surrender their firearm to the ATF, or remove the brace in such a way that it cannot be reattached.
“The Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act will repeal elements of the archaic National Firearms Act, which the Biden ATF is using to justify their pistol ban and “amnesty registration” plan—a policy change that affects millions of law-abiding gun owners and does nothing to curb rising crime. GOA is proud to support the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Act, which will protect millions of gun owners, halt these anti-gun infringements, and restore liberty,” said Gun Owners of America’s Director of Federal Affairs Aidan Johnston.
“The NRA is proud to stand with Sen. Marshall and support the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act. Given the ATF’s most recent assault on the Second Amendment, this important legislation will protect the right of law-abiding Americans to choose the firearm that best suits their needs while eliminating an outdated and onerous taxing and registration scheme. If passed, American gun owners will no longer have to fear the unconstitutional and arbitrary reinterpretations of the law by unelected, anti-gun bureaucrats,” said Jason Ouimet, Executive Director for NRA Institute for Federal Affairs.
Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Mike Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are also original cosponsors of this bill.
Basically, the SHORT Act removes the ability for the ATF to regulate pistol braces because these would no longer be NFA items in the first place.
After all, even under the ATF’s ruling, you can still put a pistol brace on a full-size AR-15 or similar rifle. It’s just about the fact that they decided putting one on a pistol made it a short-barreled rifle.
So, the SHORT Act removes that for good.
Gun Owners of America wasted no time in supporting this measure, either.
Aidan Johnston, GOA’s Director of Federal Affairs said in a statement, “The Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act will repeal elements of the archaic National Firearms Act, which the Biden ATF is using to justify their pistol ban and ‘amnesty registration’ plan — a policy change that affects millions of law-abiding gun owners and does nothing to curb rising crime. GOA is proud to support the SHORT Act, which will protect millions of gun owners, halt these anti-gun infringements, and restore liberty. GOA is grateful to Rep. Clyde and Senator Marshall for leading this No Compromise legislation to restore long-lost Second Amendment rights.”
Look, I get that some people will freak out over the idea of short-barrel rifles and shotguns being sold over the counter, but we have to remember that this law actually does nothing. The vast majority of criminals who wants a firearm that’s shorter than the law allows will just make one. Shotguns are inexpensive and easy to modify, as just one example.
But on the same token, as I mentioned earlier, they’re incredibly useful for anyone who is looking for something a little easier to wield inside the confines of their home. You can do it with a full-size rifle, but you shouldn’t have to.
So the SHORT Act is a good thing.
Realistically, though, don’t get your hopes up. While Republicans control the House, they don’t control either the Senate or the White House. As a result, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see this go much of anywhere.