Kennedy, Marshall, Clyde introduce resolution to stop Biden admin from turning lawful gunowners into felons with pistol brace rule
Mar 15 2023
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and more than 40 Republican senators today introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to prevent the Biden administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from enforcing an anti-Second Amendment pistol brace rule.
The rule, titled Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces, would reclassify pistols as short-barreled rifles if they have a stabilizing brace attachment, even though many disabled veterans and other Americans rely on these braces to use their firearms. Under this rule, otherwise lawful gun owners could face up to 10 years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines if they fail to register pistols with stabilizing braces with the ATF. If gun owners do not register their firearms, they would have to destroy the firearm, surrender their firearm to the ATF or remove the brace in such a way that it cannot be reattached.
In addition to the CRA resolution, Kennedy and Marshall are introducing a bill to prevent federal funds from being used to implement, administer, or enforce this unconstitutional rule.
“Millions of law-abiding Americans use pistol braces, and many of those Americans rely on braces because they are disabled. If Congress doesn’t correct the ATF’s misguided rule, countless law-abiding gunowners in Louisiana and other states will become criminals in the blink of an eye. The Biden administration’s assault on the Second Amendment isn’t going to stop unless we defend this fundamental liberty,” said Kennedy.
“The Biden administration’s war on every American’s fundamental right to bear arms is relentless and an offense to our founders. Congress must use every tool at its disposal to stop the Biden ATF from enacting this unconstitutional gun grab and creating its newly proposed anti-2nd Amendment gun registry. The Congressional Review Act is one of those important tools and I’m pleased to co-lead this effort with Senator Kennedy,” said Marshall.
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) is introducing Kennedy’s resolution in the House of Representatives.
“The ATF's unconstitutional pistol brace rule reveals the agency's brazen disregard for our Constitution and Congress' sole legislative authority. Unelected anti-gun bureaucrats simply do not have the power to propel President Biden's goal of disarming our nation and dismantling our Second Amendment freedoms by registering and banning millions of firearms. In the face of the Biden Administration's latest gun-grabbing measure, it's time for Congress to utilize the Congressional Review Act to fight for law-abiding gun owners. As a stalwart supporter of the Second Amendment and a Federal Firearms Licensee by trade, I'm proud to lead the effort to terminate the ATF's latest tyrannical tactic with Congressman Richard Hudson and Senator John Kennedy. We remain unwavering in the defense of Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms," said Clyde.
In 2012, the Obama-Biden administration’s ATF determined that pistol-brace attachments do not change the classification of a pistol to that of a rifle. Despite this, the Biden administration in 2021 directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to propose a rule that clarifies when a pistol with a brace attachment should be designated as a rifle.
Earlier this year, the DOJ announced the “stabilizing braces” final rule.
“The ATF’s overreaching rule seeks to penalize and disarm law-abiding gun owners across America, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in challenging this new regulation,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.).
“Every day, people across Wyoming responsibly use their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. President Biden’s unconstitutional rule threatens to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals. We must stop the administration from imposing the largest government-initiated gun registration and confiscation program in history. I will fight against any policies that jeopardize the Second Amendment rights of the people of Wyoming and across the country,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.).
“The Biden administration’s rulemaking on pistol braces is a gun confiscation scheme that would punish millions of Americans for exercising their constitutional right. This rule and the higher taxes, longer waiting periods, and red tape is by design to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens, and I urge Attorney General Garland and ATF Director Dettelbach to reverse it immediately,”said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).
“The ATF’s new rule forces Second Amendment sanctuary states like North Dakota to alter, destroy, surrender, or register pistol-stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles. Instead of targeting criminals, the new rule punishes millions of law-abiding citizens. I will always protect our constitutional right to bear arms, which is why I strongly oppose this rule. I urge my Senate colleagues to do the same,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).
“Gun owners in Nebraska and across our country have a fundamental right to bear arms that is protected by the Second Amendment. This proposal is yet another example of excessive overreach by the federal government that unfairly burdens law abiding firearm owners. I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting a resolution to overturn this misguided rule,” said Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).
“The new rule on pistol braces is a gross violation of Americans’ Second Amendment rights. The Biden Administration has continuously demonstrated a willingness to overstep the bounds of the Constitution. We will stand with gun owners,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
“The President has no authority to order this backdoor attempt to infringe on the constitutional rights of millions of Americans. I’m pleased to join my Senate colleagues in fighting to stop this government gun grab,” said Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).
“I’m a proud supporter of our Constitution and the 2nd Amendment. Biden and the far-left’s blatant attempt to push overreaching policies that infringe on the rights of law-abiding Americans is completely unacceptable. I’m proud to join my colleagues to reverse this ridiculous attempt to make criminals of law-abiding gun owners and protect the constitutional rights our nation was founded on,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.).
“The Biden Administration’s blatant disregard for Constitutional rights hit a new low with their pistol brace rule. A pistol brace is a stabilizer that serves as a gun accommodation to help veterans with disabilities more safely handle a pistol. Regardless of this safety function, this new rule will require owners of a pistol brace to consent to being added to a federal gun registry—which is blatantly illegal—or risk up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to a quarter million dollars. The American people need a say in whether this bill is instituted, and the only way to guarantee that is for Congress to demand Congressional approval before this rule is implemented. I strongly oppose this unlawful ban, and I hope our Congressional Review Act ensures that I have the chance to vote against this rule in the Senate,” said Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho).
“Second Amendment rights are not based in law or regulation, but enshrined in the Constitution. Oklahomans know well how the progressive Biden Administration is trying to erode Second Amendment rights by making guns, ammunition, and gun-related products like pistol braces difficult to own. Law-abiding gun owners are counting on us to protect their rights and their use of pistol braces. Congress should make it clear to the ATF that we won’t stand for this overreach,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.).
“After blessing the use of pistol braces for years, the ATF will now require anyone who owns a gun with a pistol brace to remove it, turn the gun in, or register it. This thoughtless regulation won’t stop criminals—but it will saddle legal gun owners with even more rules,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
“The ATF under the Biden administration insists on issuing rules that end up infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners while doing next to nothing to stop violent crime. It’s too much. I hope enough Senators will stand up and block this ill-advised and unneeded rule,” said Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.).
“This new rule is yet another example of federal overreach by Biden’s Department of Justice. The unconstitutional action from the ATF is an infringement on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join us in halting this action by the Administration,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
“The ATF has proven time and time again that they are determined on carrying out Biden and Senate Democrats’ unconstitutional gun-grabbing agenda. I will fight this move by unelected Washington bureaucrats that would strip Montanans of their Second Amendment rights,” said Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).
“Joe Biden’s Pistol Brace Rule is wholly inconsistent with the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment. Along with its impractical application, it is unacceptable for the federal government to tax and take away the ability of tens of millions of Americans, including disabled veterans, to exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms. As a strong defender of the Second Amendment, I will always protect the rights of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms,” said Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.).
“Stabilizing braces were initially designed and manufactured to assist disabled combat veterans in shooting larger pistols that were otherwise too cumbersome for a gun owner with a disability to use. The ATF previously ruled that they are permissible. This decision to overturn that ruling infringes on the Second Amendment rights of Wyoming veterans who served our nation honorably as well as other people in Wyoming who use pistol braces. I'm proud to join Senator Kennedy in introducing this Congressional Review Act resolution opposing this unconstitutional rule,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).
“The Biden administration is once again attempting to punish law-abiding Americans, including disabled veterans who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights. Federal bureaucrats have no authority to tamper with or undermine the Second Amendment. Congress should use every tool to block ATF from acquiring information that could be used to confiscate firearms or target responsible gun owners,” said Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.).
“The disrespect shown to disabled veterans by the Biden administration is unconscionable. Make no mistake; unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats are punishing veterans for enjoying their rights protected by the Second Amendment. Stabilizing braces have long been a safe, helpful, and legal remedy for those who have lost the physical ability to conventionally use a firearm due to their service to our country. Senator Kennedy’s legislation is a thoughtful check on the disdain conveyed by President Biden. I’m proud to support those who have sacrificed their bodies to support America,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
“Congress has the sole power to change our federal laws, and the Biden administration’s rule on the use of pistol braces infringes on both the Constitutional authority granted to the legislative branch and further erodes public confidence in the administration’s adherence to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).
“The Biden Administration’s recent stabilizing brace rule is blatant overreach of ATF’s rulemaking authority—adding burdensome regulations on law-abiding gun owners without actually doing anything to make our communities safer. The Administration should focus on cracking down on violent crime, not punishing law-abiding Americans,” said Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dan Sullivan (R-Ohio), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also cosponsored the legislation.
“The Second Amendment explicitly prohibits President Biden from using the ATF to ban millions of lawfully purchased pistols—especially without the passage of a new law by Congress. Gun Owners of America proudly supports using the Congressional Review Act to disapprove of the Biden Pistol Ban and stop this rule from infringing on the rights of millions of gun owners before they are compelled to rebuild, destroy, turn in, or register their pistols in the next 120 days. GOA is proud to see Representatives Andrew Clyde and Richard Hudson as well as Senators John Neely Kennedy and Roger Marshall leading the fight against President Biden’s unconstitutional gun grab,” said Gun Owners of America’s Director of Federal Affairs Aidan Johnston.
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) is leading the legislation with Clyde in the House.
“This rule jeopardizes the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners and disabled combat veterans. I’m proud to lead the fight in blocking the ATF’s unconstitutional pistol brace rule,” said Hudson.
Full text of the CRA resolution is available here.