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Kansas rejects handgun brace ban

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Sen. Roger Marshall, one of the state’s Republican senators, is against ATF rule 2021R-08 that regulates firearms with “pistol reinforcements.” His Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act would eliminate the taxation and regulation of firearms such as shotguns, shotguns, and any other firearms.

“The finalization of this gun brace rule represents the worst fears of gun owners across the country,” Marshall said on his website. “The SHORT Act will protect Americans from the 2nd Amendment anti-gun registry that the ATF is abusing the National Firearms Act to create. In this Congress, I challenge my colleagues in both houses to make protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights a priority and to sign into this legislation that will block the ATF’s gun brace rule.

The ATF has provided an amnesty period to register guns with braces. Firearm owners should register their guns with stabilizing braces by May 31 or they will violate the national firearms law.

Rule 2021R-08 changes ATF regulations to clarify when a rifle is designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and determine whether these weapons are considered a “shotgun” or a “shotgun.”

“You can register the gun, destroy the gun, give them the gun, and I think you can modify it as well,” said Ozawkie entrepreneur Tony Stein of Free State Armament. “But there is no grandfather.”

Firearms with a barrel length of less than 16 inches and an overall length of less than 26 inches are considered short barrel rifles and require an ATF Form 1 to be filed along with a $200 tax stamp. The amnesty period would waive the $200 Firearms Tax Stamp. Prior to the rule, firearms fitted with a stabilizing brace based on length requirements were considered handguns and did not require Form 1 registration or duty payment.

Stabilizer braces, also known as pistol braces, are accessories that attach to the rear of a firearm and allow for one-handed shooting. Of the designs described in the rule, “fin” designs incorporate a thin “blade” designed to rest against the shooter’s arm. “Cuff-type” designs are the most popular form of stabilizing brace and typically wrap around the forearm and use straps to limit movement of the cuff.

“Sometimes it takes six months to a year for you to be approved and that doesn’t really work when you only have 120 days to finish the thing,” Stein said. “It would become virtually illegal in 120 days and you will never get a response. There will be a small mistake where your gun would actually be illegal.

The ATF responded to the filing times by stating, “as long as the form is submitted by May 31 and the person can legally possess such a firearm in their state, the processing time does not matter.”

A table on page 47 of the 2021R-08 standard provides a summary of the affected population and costs. Between 3 and 7 million braces were sold by 8 brace manufacturers. 3,881 shotgun manufacturers have used braces on their firearms. There are 13,210 firearms dealers and 1.4 million firearm owners affected by the rule.

“I had guns that we had made that had braces on them,” Stein said. “For now we cannot sell them. If they were outlawed, we’d be left holding the bag with this stuff, all the components, the buffer tubes, the braces themselves, we’d be stuck with all that and we’re still a small shop.

Some alternatives to registering firearms with a Form 1 are removing the brace and disposing or altering it so it cannot be reattached, abandoning the rifle to the ATF, replacing the short barrel with a 16″ or longer, or destroying the weapon.

Kansas joined 24 other states in a lawsuit against ATF Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and ATF Director Steven Dettelbach. The lawsuit argues that Rule 2021R-08 gives the ATF unlimited discretion and will result in the confiscation of more than 750,000 firearms and cost the private sector between two and five billion dollars. West Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming are members of the plaintiffs.

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