Pistol owners across America have mostly ignored the May 31 deadline arbitrarily set by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for registering their pistol-brace-equipped firearms.
The Biden Administration says there are three to seven million such pistol-brace-equipped firearms, but gun groups say the number is far higher — as high as 40 million. These devices are widely purchased and can be manufactured with 3-D printers.
The Reload, a website devoted to firearm news, says “more than 90 percent of the guns equipped with pistol braces remain unregistered despite the risk of potential federal felony charges.”
The new regulation involves devices that help stabilize guns for better accuracy. The agency has put these stabilizers into the same category as other guns, like machine guns, which it regulates and taxes under the National Firearms Act of 1934.
The ATF says it had received just over 250,000 applications for registration during the four-month grace period, after the rule was signed by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Jan. 13. Those who have not registered their stabilizers can now be charged criminally under the National Firearms Act.
During the four-month grace period, the Biden Administration waived the tax requirement for registration to give gun owners an opportunity to bring their firearms into compliance without facing any immediate penalties.
On May 31, ATF wrote on Facebook that owners of stabilizing braces must remove the short barrel and instead attach a 16-inch or longer rifled barrel to the firearm, or permanently remove and dispose of, or alter, the “stabilizing brace” such that it cannot be reattached. Alternately they can turn the firearm into the ATF or destroy the firearm.