A new Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) rule has Second Amendment supporters up in arms after they announced they are tightening their grip on allowing rifles.
Previously, the ATF ruled that rifles were legal. However, President Joe Biden sought to enlist a new rule, part of his “gun crime strategy,” that would ban millions of rifles.
In the 296-page document, the rule states heavy restrictions to Americans who seek to own a firearm, treating guns with stabilizing accessories like short-barreled rifles.
“Any weapons with 'stabilizing braces' or similar attachments that constitute rifles under the NFA must be registered no later than 120 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register," read the rule, adding "or the short barrel removed and a 16-inch or longer rifle barrel attached to the firearm; or permanently remove and dispose of, or alter, the 'stabilizing brace' such that it cannot be reattached, or the firearm is turned in to your local ATF office. Or the firearm is destroyed.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the rule, claiming that braces added to the firearms were a way for legal gun owners to avoid laws against short-barreled rifles.
"Keeping our communities safe from gun violence is among the Department’s highest priorities," Garland said while announcing the rule. "Almost a century ago, Congress determined that short-barreled rifles must be subject to heightened requirements. Today’s rule makes clear that firearm manufacturers, dealers, and individuals cannot evade these important public safety protections simply by adding accessories to pistols that transform them into short-barreled rifles.”
However, this led to Senate Republicans opposing the rule calling it the largest “confiscation scheme in American history.”
In a letter from the Republicans, they vowed to challenge the rule, filing a lawsuit against the ATF and Biden.
“This administration continues to find new ways to attack gun owners, and this time their target is brace-equipped firearms that allow persons with disabilities to safely and effectively use pistols,” Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America senior vice president said.
The National Rifles Association (NRA) hit back at the Biden Administration saying that “Joe Biden is an enemy of our Second Amendment.”