Boozman, Cotton, Kennedy, Marshall Introduce Resolution to Overturn ATF Pistol Brace Rule
Joint Effort with House Republicans Aims to Stop Biden Administration’s Attack on Lawful Gunowners
Mar 16 2023
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Kennedy (R-LA) and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) led over 40 of their Republican colleagues in introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to prevent the Biden administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from enforcing an anti-Second Amendment pistol brace rule.
The rule, titled Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces, would reclassify pistols as short-barreled rifles if they have a stabilizing brace attachment, even though many disabled veterans and other Americans rely on these braces to use their firearms. Under this rule, otherwise lawful 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 it to the ATF or remove the brace in such a way that it cannot be reattached.
“The Biden administration is once again attempting to punish law-abiding Americans, including disabled veterans who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights. Federal bureaucrats have no authority to tamper with or undermine the Second Amendment. Congress should use every tool to block ATF from acquiring information that could be used to confiscate firearms or target responsible gun owners,” said Boozman.
“After blessing the use of pistol braces for years, the ATF will now require anyone who owns a gun with a pistol brace to remove it, turn the gun in, or register it. This thoughtless regulation won’t stop criminals—but it will saddle legal gun owners with even more rules,” said Cotton.
“Millions of law-abiding Americans use pistol braces, and many of those Americans rely on braces because they are disabled. If Congress doesn’t correct the ATF’s misguided rule, countless law-abiding gunowners in Louisiana and other states will become criminals in the blink of an eye. The Biden administration’s assault on the Second Amendment isn’t going to stop unless we defend this fundamental liberty,” said Kennedy.
“The Biden administration’s war on every American’s fundamental right to bear arms is relentless and an offense to our founders. Congress must use every tool at its disposal to stop the Biden ATF from enacting this unconstitutional gun grab and creating its newly proposed anti-2nd Amendment gun registry. The Congressional Review Act is one of those important tools and I’m pleased to co-lead this effort,” said Marshall.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sens. John Thune (R-SD), John Barrasso (R-WY), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Jim Risch (R-ID), James Lankford (R-OK), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Steve Daines (R-MT), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), JD Vance (R-OH), Mike Braun (R-IN), Todd Young (R-IN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Ted Budd (R-NC), Katie Britt (R-AL), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WVA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) also cosponsored the legislation.
A companion resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09).
Congress, through the CRA, has an expedited mechanism to overturn certain federal agency regulations and actions. A joint resolution of disapproval under the CRA is also afforded special privileges that bypass normal Senate rules and allow for a vote on the Senate floor. When a CRA resolution is approved by a simple majority in both chambers of Congress and signed by the president—or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto—the rule is invalidated.
In 2012, the Obama-Biden administration’s ATF determined pistol-brace attachments do not change the classification of a pistol to that of a rifle. Despite this, the Biden administration in 2021 directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to propose a rule that clarifies when a pistol with a brace attachment should be designated as a rifle.
Boozman, Marshall and Kennedy have also introduced the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act to undo ATF’s federal registry for firearms with stabilizing braces by clarifying that short-barreled rifles cannot be further regulated.
Full text of the CRA resolution is available here.