(Anchorage, Alaska) – Attorney General Treg Taylor joined with 21 other attorneys general in opposing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) proposed rule to require federal registration of handguns equipped with stabilizing braces. The new rule, if it takes effect, would reclassify such handguns as “short-barreled rifles,” and subject them to the stringent requirements of the National Firearms Act.
Stabilizing braces are devices that can be attached to the rear of a handgun’s frame. The brace extends rearward toward the shooter, allowing the handgun to be secured to the shooter’s forearm of the arm holding the handgun’s grip. Stabilizing braces are designed to assist in firing large format pistols without shouldering the weapon. Both stabilizing braces and large format pistols have gained popularity in recent years, with tens of millions in circulation.
“The federal government’s new interpretation of ‘rifle’ would result in the largest unilateral federal firearms registration program in American history,” said Attorney General Taylor. “This definition would effectively force the registration or destruction of millions of privately-owned firearms and possibly criminalize the actions of otherwise law-abiding gun owners without any statutory authority to back it up.”
If the proposed rule becomes law, owners of these popular handguns would be forced to register them with the federal government, destroy them, or face a potential federal felony for illegally possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle.
- ATF Comment Letter – PDF(358K)
Alaska joined the Ohio led comment letter with the attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.
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