The ATF has a booth here at SHOT Show buried deep in the bowels of the event, and despite their unfortunate position they’ve been jam packed with people asking questions about their policies and practices. One of those people was Alex Bosco — inventor of the pistol arm brace — and the disabled veteran for whom the brace was designed. We weren’t present for the conversation itself, but in an exclusive interview with TTAG Alex recounted the entire discussion. And there were some surprising statements made by the ATF, not the least of which is about their reasons for changing their collective mind . . .
According to the ATF agent Alex spoke to (while B. Todd Jones was standing behind him listening intently, we hear), the reason why the ATF decided to reverse its original decision is because they received so many letters asking about the legality of using the pistol arm brace. As Alex said later, that statement is very troubling as it indicates that the ATF is basing their ruling and their decisions not on the law or the technology but instead on mob rule.
The ATF agent reportedly went on to say, in no uncertain terms, that the pistol arm brace Alex designed was not the only device impacted by this letter. Alex asked about other pistol devices like cane tips, padded buffer tubes, and cheek weld adapters. According to the ATF agent that he spoke to, all of those items are also subject to the same classification if used by placing the gun to the shooter’s shoulder.
I attempted to verify this information, but the agent I spoke with told me the complete opposite: that the letter applies only to the pistol arm brace and nothing else. When I asked further questions (“why doesn’t this apply to other items with similar functions?) the agent refused to speak further and asked for my information, claiming I would be contacted “after lunch” by a PR person who was “out getting their computer fixed.” I was never contacted, and no other employees were willing to speak to me on any topic.
It sounds to me like even the ATF employees have no idea what the latest letter on the pistol arm brace actually means. Since the statement was made at a time specifically designed to not allow anyone to actually understand the decision prior to the SHOT Show, it seems that the ATF was intentionally and maliciously trying to confuse firearms companies and the general public rather than helpfully clarify the law. However, since the ATF employees at the show have refused to speak to me and the PR person decided not to return my call, I have no additional information beyond what Alex relayed.
Needless to say, Alex isn’t happy. Neither is SIG SAUER. And they’re looking for solutions.