The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF's) stabilizer brace rule was approved on January 13th, 2023, and it will lead to an era of registration for millions of guns.
Breitbart News announced the release of the finalized rules, noting that the owners of these braces have 120 days to register their braces in the United States.
This means that millions of guns have to be registered in the next 120 days.
On the low part of the spectrum, NPR states “Officials estimated about 3 million stabilizing braces are currently in circulation in the U.S.”
On the other side of the spectrum, it was reported by the Congressional Research Service that there were “between 10 and 40 million” stabilizer braces on April 19, 2021.
If you own a stabilizer brace and don't want to register your firearm, the ATF offers four options:
1, The entire firearm must be turned in using the “stabilizing brace” to ATF;
- Eliminate the entire firearm;
- Convert the rifle from a short-barreled barrel to a long-barreled one;
- Take away, dispose or alter the “stabilizing brace” from the firearm to ensure that it can't be used again.
Breitbart News reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit struck down the bump stock ban by the ATF on January 6, 2023.
Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod wrote the majority opinion of the Fifth Circuit in which she noted that the ban was issued from a variety of requests that were put forth in the aftermath of the 1st of October 2017, Las Vegas shooting:
“The public pressure to stop bump stocks was enormous. Numerous bills in this direction were proposed within both the houses of Congress. However, in the midst of having them debated in full, ATF published the regulation that is at issue which halted this legislative procedure. The appellant Michael Cargill surrendered several bump stocks to the Government after the publication of the regulation in question. The company is now challenging the validity of the regulation, arguing that bump stocks do not meet what is termed a “machine gun” as set forth in federal law. Accordingly, he claims that ATF did not have the authority to issue a regulation that purports to establish the definition of”machinegun.”
Elrod stated that the majority of the court concluded that the bump stock ban infringed on lawful “rule of lenity” by the law imposing criminal liability on those who purchased legally an item against the law.
Congress has not taken action to ban stabilizer braces on AR pistols.