Today the House Judiciary Committee led by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) will vote to overturn the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) controversial pistol brace rule.
President Biden instructed the ATF to rewrite its regulations to ban pistol stabilizing devices. The ATF did the President’s bidding, reversed years of ATF opinions, and ruled that millions of pistols with stabilizing devices were now short-barreled rifles (SBRs). Gun owners could register their firearms under the National Firearms Act (NFA), remove the brace so it could not be reattached, or turn their guns in to law enforcement.
This move led to outrage among the greater gun community and kicked off a slew of lawsuits claiming that the ATF lacked the administrative authority to make a de facto law banning firearms with the device. In addition to the cases, members of Congress also have taken the ATF to task for their perceived unconstitutional and politically motivated actions.
Today, the House Judiciary Committee will be hearing H.R. 2640, the Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023; and H. J. Res. 44. The complete bill will address border security issues at the southern border where thousands of foreigners are streaming across the border illegally. Some of the people coming across the border are drug and human traffickers.
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) took advantage of the bill and attached a resolution tackling the ATF final rule 2021R-08F, ‘‘Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces.’”
The resolution reads: “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives relat5 ing to ‘‘Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces’ ’’ (ATF final rule 2021R–08F), and such rule shall have no force or effect.”
Rep. Clyde and Rep. Jordan have been staunch critics of the ATF and the Bureau’s actions on behalf of the Biden administration. Both have made gun rights one of their priorities in Congress. Bringing up the resolution shows their commitment since many Republicans would prefer to table the resolutions after the tragedy in Nashville.
The resolution is expected to pass the Judiciary since Republicans have control of the House and some of the strongest Second Amendment supporters in Congress sit on the Committee, including Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Chip Roy (R-TX). The bill with the resolution will face a tough battle to get through the rest of Congress before heading to the President’s desk.
Even if it does get to Biden’s desk, there is almost no chance that the President will sign it into law since he has been openly hostile to gun rights. The Republicans do not have the votes to override a veto, even if some Democrats switch sides.
That isn’t to say that the resolution isn’t necessary. It ensures that members of Congress know the lengths the ATF will go to when trying to usurp Congress. It also sheds light on the ATF and the millions of Americans affected by the ATF’s unilateral move. The hope is when Republicans do have enough power to take meaningful action; they will have the political will and capital to act.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.