The ATF decided that the stabilizing braces they told people could be put on their AR-pistols and it still be a pistol are now illegal. If that makes no sense to you, welcome to the wonderful world of life with the ATF.
They can approve of a product, allow companies to sell millions of them, then decide on a whim that they’re now illegal.
Yet we now live in a world with the Bruen decision in play.
That decision basically says that if the Founding Fathers didn’t restrict it or something like it, you can’t either.
And on the issue of braces and such, well, it seems they knew about such things. From David Codrea writing at Ammoland:
In light of the Bruen decision, where “text, history, and tradition” of the Second Amendment at the time it was written is what informs us as to what the Founders understood the right to protect, I couldn’t turn to the Borchardt – that would play right into the hands of the gun prohibitionists, who, unable to identify Founding-Era infringements have tried turning to later laws, including post-Civil War edicts intended to keep freed blacks disarmed.
“Here ya go. Yes, we go back to the Founding,” he followed up, attaching a complaint by parties including the State of Texas, Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation, and private citizen/FFL Brady Brown against ATF. “The pics start on page 70.”
“It is a massive case,” he advised. “We are currently waiting for the judge to rule on whether or not to grant a preliminary injunction.”
He wasn’t kidding. The complaint, embedded below is a treasure trove of examples from even before the Second Amendment was written, presenting photographic examples including:
- 1720 Flintlock Pistol with Stock
- 1750 Flintlock Pistols with Stocks
- 1760 Flintlock Grenade Launcher
- 1780 Flintlock Pistol w Stock
- 1760-1820 Flintlock Pistol Carbine with detachable stock
- 1790 Flintlock Blunderbuss Pistols – w detachable stocks (and bayonets)
- 1795 Flintlock Blunderbuss – 15” barrel
Now, take a look at those firearms.
All of those are relevant when you look at the criteria laid out by Bruen. In fact, the earliest example provided here predated not just the nation but potentially some of the Founding Fathers themselves. These weren’t unheard of.
As a result, it seems incredible to claim that they would have favored a restriction on such braces when they did absolutely nothing about those pistols with stocks–essentially something that does what the ATF says they’re trying to prevent today–suggests that they didn’t have an issue with them.
If they did, they had plenty of time to restrict them.
So if they didn’t and if we follow the Bruen decision’s criteria, then there really are no grounds for restricting the stabilizing braces as the ATF has done.
Granted, I’d argue the only way the ATF is constitutional is if it were a privately-owned convenience store, but I get that a lot of people disagree with me on that one.
Either way, though, it seems there’s enough historic support for these braces that a court will be hard-pressed not to overturn the ATF’s regulation.