Biden administration finalizes new rule tightening regulations on gun stabilizing braces

Biden administration finalizes new rule tightening regulations on gun stabilizing braces

The Biden administration has finalized a new rule to tighten restrictions on stabilizers for firearms that can convert handguns to rifles.

The Justice Department said in a release Friday that it submitted its rule to the Federal Register, clarifying that manufacturers, dealers and individuals must comply with laws governing rifles when using stabilizer bars to convert handguns into rifles with barrels less than 16 inches. . , which are known as short-barreled rifles.

The release states that Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to address stabilizer bars in April 2021.

“Nearly a century ago, Congress determined that short-barreled rifles should be subject to increased requirements,” Garland said in the release. “Today’s rule makes clear that firearms manufacturers, dealers and individuals cannot evade these important public safety protections simply by adding accessories to handguns that convert them into short-barreled rifles.”

The notice says the National Firearms Act has placed certain restrictions on short-barreled rifles since the 1930s because they are easier to conceal than long-barreled rifles and have more destructive power than handguns. traditional.

The increased requirements include background checks on all transfers and additional taxes.

“This rule increases public safety and prevents people from circumventing laws that Congress passed almost a century ago,” said ATF Director Steven Dettlebach. “Back in Al Capone’s day, Congress said at the time that short-barreled rifles and sawed-off shotguns should be subject to greater legal requirements than most other weapons.”

But Dettlebach said stabilizing braces are designed to attach to a pistol to turn it into a short-barreled shoulder-fired rifle.

The notice says the rule allows a 120-day period for manufacturers, dealers and individuals to register any existing barreled rifles covered by the rule tax-free. They can also remove the stabilizer bar to restore the firearm as a pistol, or convert short-barreled rifles converted to ATF.

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The notice notes that stabilizer bars are not prohibited under the rule, only that certain restrictions must apply when they are used to convert pistols.

The Justice Department originally proposed the rule in June 2021, and ATF received more than 237,000 comments during the 90-day public comment period.

The rule will take effect on the date the Federal Register publishes it, which Reuters reported is likely to be next week.

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