What’s the Truth Behind ATF’s Pistol Brace Mess?

This Week in Gun Rights is TTAG’s weekly roundup of legal, legislative and other news affecting guns, the gun business and gun owners’ rights.

The truth behind ATF’s pistol brace letters

If you have been following the dumpster fire that is the ATF this year, you’re probably well aware of their sporadic weirdness with pistol braces. In response to a FOIA request, the ATF released a letter from 2018, complaining about SB Tactical’s marketing. This caused a bit of a mess, with many online claiming ATF was “reclassifying” braces (something they don’t quite get to do). I addressed this on my new youtube series targeted at gun law myths and misinformation. (Spoiler: your brace is probably fine, at least for right now).

Basically, the 2018 letter was demanding that SB Tactical stop advertising nearly two dozen of its braces as “ATF approved.” Nonetheless, the ATF has also approved multiple other types of pistol braces over the last decade, so there’s no real justification, legal or otherwise for preventing people from using these pistol braces until there is a rule change or legislation. The reason people are raising this issue now is that the ATF has the apparent backing of the incoming Biden Administration and seems ready to pull out all the stops. Fortunately some politicians are fighting back. On Tuesday, sixteen senators wrote Attorney General Bill Barr and the ATF to demand the ATF articulate its position on pistol braces.

The important thing to remember here is that lack of specific approval doesn’t make a weapon an NFA firearm, and companies aren’t required to have gun “approved” regardless. It’s simply a prudent step businesses with lots of money tied up in products take to feel safe in their investment, or make changes ahead when skirting close to the line. Remember many bump stocks were “approved,” and the agency changed their minds regardless.

Apple tried to bribe officials for concealed carry permits

Apple ipad

Shutterstock

Think Different. That’s Apple’s slogan (or it used to be), but I’m pretty sure it isn’t supposed to include bribing public officials. On Monday, the Santa Clara, California Sheriff’s Department issued a press release announcing that its undersheriff, a sheriff’s captain, and Apple Chief Security Officer Thomas Moyer had been charged for soliciting and offering bribes in exchange for granting concealed carry permits to Apple security employees.

Some of the items offered included $70,000 worth of iPads and luxury box seats for the San Jose Sharks. It seems the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office should have looked to the NYPD Licensing Division for what not to do. 

Justice Department wants government to be able to kill Americans over state secrets

Judge Patricia Millett (Mark Warner, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

In a case being heard by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice argued that the federal government has the power to “unilaterally decide to kill U.S. citizens,” according to presiding Judge Patricia Millett. The basis for the attorney’s argument is that if the courts were to permit litigation following drone strikes, the discovery process might expose state secrets. The case, Kareem v. Haspel, was brought by a reporter who was placed on a kill list by the government and who narrowly missed five drone strikes.

Extrajudicial killings violate the right to Due Process, and although this case doesn’t address the Second Amendment, if the government wins here the government could theoretically use targeting lists against gun owners with impunity under the guise of national security and the protection of state secrets. By making this argument, this government attorney reminds us of the purpose of the right to keep and bear arms: to protect ourselves and our families from the abuses of tyrannical government. 

Proposed rule would end anti-gun discrimination by banks

Brian Moynihan

Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The Comptroller of the Currency, a federal office, has released a proposed rule change that would prevent banking services from being denied to businesses in the firearms industry. As explained in the OCC’s notice, the purpose of the rule is to ensure consistency with the Dodd-Frank Act, which allows banks to assess business risk, but is intended to prevent banks from discriminating against businesses based on the goods and services they provide.

Under the Obama/Biden Administration, the DOJ and FDIC collaborated on a plan called “Operation Choke Point”, which was intended to bleed out the gun industry by encouraging banking institutions to refrain from providing services. This kind of discrimination has been especially insidious, and has also adversely affected non-profit organizations and vital social services like animal shelters and fire departments, who frequently engage in fundraising activities like gun raffles.

While I typically abhor government regulation, this assault on business owners is being brought by major banking institutions like Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, and some are encouraging anti-gun discrimination on the state level as well. America was founded on muskets and lead, not anti-capitalist constraint and discrimination.

At least one more federal legislator is packing heat

Lauren Boebert congress gun glock

In this Sept. 4, 2020, file photo Lauren Boebert, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in Colorado’s vast 3rd Congressional District, during a freedom cruise staged by her supporters in Pueblo West, Colo. An aide to Boebert, a firearms-toting congresswoman-elect, says she has already asked Capitol Police about carrying her weapon on Capitol grounds once she’s sworn into office. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

After winning this year’s race for House of Representatives, Representative-Elect Lauren Boebert made an unofficial inquiry into her right to bear arms while serving her Colorado constituents at the Capitol. According to a congressional regulation passed in 1967, no federal or District of Columbia laws may be applied to prevent legislators from transporting firearms to and from, and from keeping firearms in the offices on The Hill.

According to Congressman Thomas Massie, the Second Amendment Caucus has no Democrats, but some Democrats are rumoured to concealed carry. Surely that couldn’t have anything to do with reelection concerns. While it is great that legislators are able to carry, it is remarkably ironic considering the hoops that an ordinary D.C. resident has to jump through in order to exercise their rights, like applying for licenses and firearms transfers through the Metro Police Department, which is the only FFL in town.

Yet another reminder of the ruling class mantra: rules for thee, not for me.

Democrat strategist opposes party’s renewed push for gun control

Matthew_Yglesias_cropped

Matthew Yglesias (CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

In an impressively self-aware article published on Thursday, Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias candidly discussed the lack of political enthusiasm for gun control over the last sixteen years of American political history. What’s interesting about the article is that he concedes a great number of the points we in the gun community have been making for years.

The majority of gun deaths are self-inflicted, homicides are overwhelmingly committed using handguns (in comparison with other types of firearms), and that a minute amount (7%) of criminals purchased their firearms from licensed dealers, with 43% of criminals reporting that they purchased their firearms on the black market. In terms of gun restrictions, Yglesias noted that in 2004 (the same year that the federal assault weapons ban expired), Dem operatives recognized that gun regulation proposals failed to motivate supporting voters, but energized opposition voters – the reason being that voters cared about other issues, like health care, the environment, and immigration.

This of course changed after certain high-profile shootings, but Yglesias closes out the article by providing a very simple explanation for where the DNC is going wrong: by supporting gun control initiatives, Democrats are unable to win over the working-class voters that they’ve been courting since the Obama Administration. In short, the Democratic Party should consider abandoning gun control as a party platform if it wants to start winning over rural and working-class Americans. 

comments

  1. avatar Mad Max says:

    “In short, the Democratic Party should consider abandoning gun control as a party platform if it wants to start winning over rural and working-class Americans.”

    Seriously supporting and respecting the Bill of Rights across the board will garner any politician many votes. But they have to prove it with their record.

    1. avatar Fix The Site says:

      TTAG Most comments are not posting. This has been happening more and more frequently.

      1. avatar Yup says:

        Especially any comments with Links

      2. avatar Martha "Shrillery" McSally says:

        I think some of it is deliberate.

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Posted this morning. ATF stating that 23 of SB Tactical’s 25 brace models – including the most popular SBA3 – were not specifically approved and therefore are not permissible without NFA regulations.

      Oh really? So the sales are allowed to go for three years and flood the market into literally hundreds of thousands of consumers’ hands, and now they’re suddenly verboten?

      https://koliasa.com/military/atf-singles-out-23-sb-tactical-firearms-braces-that-do-not-have-determination-letters

  2. avatar Michael says:

    Now that Democrats have realized they can steal elections with impunity where voters stand on any particular issue may well be meaningless.

    1. avatar VicRattlehead says:

      This, exactly. 😡

      1. avatar AlanInFL says:

        Remember we are under a Zombie voter uprising and they are voting Democrats.

        1. avatar Donald J. Trump says:

          Trump lost fair and square. Just deal with the reality.

        2. avatar Big E says:

          No he didn’t and remember, the second part of your advice goes both ways. So prepare accordingly.

          Can’t un-ring the bell of “giant conspiracy to defraud the voting public”. The gloves are off.

    2. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Agree.

      The year 2020 and this election are turning into a pivotal point in self-government.

    3. avatar GS650G says:

      Yup, rather than change minds or lie it’s easier to just win the contest and impose their will. Theybarent even shy or hiding it any longer.

      Wait till they depose Biden and reorder Convressional rules.

    4. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      Certainly did a poor job “stealing” anything but the presidential race. Didn’t win the Senate, lost seats in the House, lost in the states. Worst stolen election ever.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “Didn’t win the Senate, lost seats in the House, lost in the states.”

        They won’t make the same mistake again next time.

        We caught ’em flat-footed. They weren’t expecting our turnout to be as *massive* as it was, so they didn’t have time to throw the down-ballot in proportion to the fake Biden vote they stuffed the ballot-boxes with.

        If the true extent of our win was ever made public, it would have been a far-larger bomb than even his first 2016 win.

        Those in the know on the Left are scared shitless as to our turnout, and what it would have meant to expose just how corrupt and toxic their brand has become. Their higher-ups are terrified at the monster (Trump-ism) that they themselves were responsible for creating. They know now they can’t compete in the market of political ideas any more. that makes them even more dangerous.

        What we have to do is whatever it will take to exterminate their cheating. Nothing is off the table, or we’re politically-doomed, and that will lead to this nation splitting…

  3. avatar Leigh says:

    Many ATF are anti-gun and love screwing gun owners and gun companies and gun sellers. Get a perverse pleasure in it.

    1. avatar Donald J. Trump says:

      That is true. On the other hand, the ATF works for me and only does what I tell them to do. Now if the NRA had shown me the love with campaign cash like they did in 2016, maybe I’d have a reason to shut down the ATF.

      So tell me why I should do anything for gun owners when they failed to show me loyalty this election?

      1. avatar Joseph says:

        Does your mother know you are on the computer? I bet she gets tired of you masturbating in her basement.

        1. avatar Country Boy says:

          he thinks he’s repainting the basement walls evidently……………….

    2. avatar Southern Cross says:

      The ATF have decided to be a political police force along with the FBI. And the Democrats will need willing enforcers above ANTIFA and BLM shock troops.

      1. avatar Country Boy says:

        The two at the top of ATF are democrats.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    The dems don’t want the support of the working class or rural Americans. They sold out to the wealthy white men like bloomberg, gates, zuckerberg and soros. They want poverty stricken worker bees that cannot challenge their monopoly’s.

    They’ve discovered that with the right tech they can steal any election they want. Why do they need voters?

  5. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    I don’t care what ATF decides or what Sniffin joe and the Ho do. I will not comply. I will not give up my brace, my 80%, or any of my magazines.

    1. avatar VicRattlehead says:

      That’s all fine and dandy, and I plan on doing exactly the same, but the problem comes in when you want new magazines, or another ‘assault rifle’ or some other piece of gear that’s deemed ‘too dangerous for civilians to own’.
      That’s why its ALWAYS better if these idiotic bans never see the light of day in the first place.

    2. avatar Cale15 says:

      The big problem is everyone on here runs their mouth talking about how they won’t give them up but sure as hell won’t use them either! I’ve almost got killed twice in Iraq I sure as hell will use them on anyone and I do mean anyone that tries to take or punish me for having them! But you guys keep talking while the democrats keep doing! No wonder Trump lost!

  6. avatar former water walker says:

    Saw a guy buying a pistol brace on Black Friday…blissfully clueless they “may” be delared verbotten. Didn’t know whut I was talking sbout. Golly I thought the gubmint could already kill me with impunity😋 Kinda dumb to “argue” in public. SEE: The Clinton cartel.

  7. The feds don’t care one bit about hearing protection.
    Or about anything else

    Grrr.

  8. avatar No one of Consequence says:

    What’s up with the ATF?

    Two words: Rogue agency.

    It’s fairly easy to state what’s underlying all of this nonsense (leaving aside the overarching legality of the GCA, GOPA, etc.): the ATF refuses to issue standards defining what they choose to consider to be a pistol brace, vs. what they consider to be a rifle stock. Instead, they’re treating it like pornography (“we’ll know it when we see it”); it’s therefore impossible to follow the regulations with any certainty, because they don’t exist as a complete set.

    Every maker of, for instance, automobiles, knows the specific regulatory standards which their product must meet. So many ppm of NOx per mile allowed; so many PPM of unburned hydrocarbons; and so on. While meeting said standards may be difficult, and there may be a lot of them to meet, they exist, they are known and published, and there are standardized methods to determine whether they are met or not. Any other industry subject to the ATF’s brand of regulation would be screaming to high heaven, to the press as well as to the courts, because such a capricious and non-specific approach towards regulation makes it impossible to run a business with any certainty, not to mention the potential for corruption and favoritism it engenders.

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      The five justices necessary to kill Chevron, Auer, and a lot of other shenanigans the administrative agencies get away with are now on the SCOTUS. It’s just a matter of time.

  9. avatar Shawn says:

    “… if it wants to start winning over rural and working-class Americans.”

    The group of people the democrats care the least about and openly despise. And now they do not have to court at all when they legalize every illegal immigrant in the country and also have the system needed to never lose elections again by just injecting hundreds of thousands if not millions of fraudulent ballots that guarantee victory every time and will be upheld by every court since the judges are all Democrat operatives as well.

    As far as the democrats are concerned these rural and working class Americans have no place in the one world communist government run by China they want to create and they tend to overlap with certain groups of people such as Trump voters, registered republicans, gun owners and white males. Groups they now are openly declaring should be rounded up and exterminated.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Because illegals can have the carrot of possible residency or citizenship (which is only realized very very rarely) and stick of being sent back home with nothing. This would make the illegals very compliant.

  10. avatar . says:

    Unilaterally kill U.S. citizens to protect government secrets.
    Unilaterally kill U.S. citizens because they pose a threat.
    Unilaterally kill U.S. citizens because they will not comply.
    Perhaps America needs more undocumented immigrants?

  11. avatar drunkEODguy says:

    On a lighter note in these uncertain times: if you’re a red blooded American male do yourself a favor and image search Lauren Boebert

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Already did. 😀

    2. avatar ChoseDeath says:

      Holy shit 😍

  12. avatar Shire-man says:

    “Lie until elected” basically.
    Even in writing up all the ways their anti-rights zealotry is wrong they still can’t let the crusade end.

  13. avatar Draven says:

    “(Spoiler: your brace is probably fine, at least for right now).”

    yeah, ‘for right now’… as in, at least until the third week of January.

  14. avatar HEGEMON says:

    #0BAMAISACANCER appointed a lot of leftist nut job judges. Judge Millett is no exception.

  15. avatar Alternator says:

    You put more thought into your comments than the ATF has. Much as you think you know the law and the “truth” behind what’s going on, you’re fooling yourself. You cannot know what the ATF will do, what the ATF intends to do, what the ATF meant to say, what the ATF was trying to imply, how the ATF will interpret stuff, or anything else. Even the ATF doesn’t know.

  16. avatar rosignol says:

    The case, Kareem v. Haspel, was brought by a reporter who [claims to have been] placed on a kill list by the government and who narrowly missed five drone strikes [while in a combat zone, covering a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda].

    If someone is working in dangerous places, in close proximity to dangerous people, and his cellphone’s IMEI gets flagged as belonging to a likely terrorist and starts to draw fire, he’s the dumb*** for thinking his status as a journalist makes him immune to danger.

  17. avatar Kevin B Craig says:

    “Apple tried to bribe officials for concealed carry permits”

    Nonsense. Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department demanded bribes in exchange for pistol permits.

    The Apple CSO (allegedly) tried to play the game. Apple and everyone else in that county is a victim, not the instigator.

  18. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    As I have said before. The rich, criminal or law abiding, will always have guns. And gun permits.
    Also the Bumpstock and the Armbrace made guns less expensive for poor people. And the government and certain FUDD’s don’t want the poor to have guns. They like the $200 tax.

  19. avatar Chris L says:

    Is the pic with the main page link the Yankee Marshall?

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