Dear Speaker McCarthy, Minority Leader Jefferies, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell,
We the undersigned sportsmen, sportswomen, and conservation leaders write to you today on behalf of the owners of up to 40,000,000 stabilizing braced pistols. These braced pistols are especially important in allowing elderly and/or disabled sportsmen and sportswomen to participate in the American hunting tradition. We urge Congress to pass a joint resolution of disapproval of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) rule entitled Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces.” This current ATF rule is a blatant ban on millions of otherwise legally owned firearms that elderly and disabled Americans need and rely upon to hunt and participate in recreational shooting activities.
This ATF rule not only bans certain semiautomatic pistols like AR-15s (which are commonly used for hunting animals like wild hogs or coyotes), but the Biden Pistol Brace Ban also outright bans certain bolt action pistols which are designed specifically for precision sport shooting and even big game hunting. ATF included no less than four examples of banned bolt action rifles with attached stabilizing braces.[i]
The first braced bolt action banned by ATF by name is commercially known as the “Pork Sword.” The manufacturer advertises it as a Remington 700 type firearm which is “perfect for anything from hunting [to] long range precision.”[ii] The “Pork Sword” configuration can allow elderly and disabled hunters, including many veterans who served our country bravely, to use common big game calibers to hunt animals like deer and elk. In reality, a stabilizing brace gives these hunters an opportunity to hunt America’s most popular big game species which they otherwise might not be able to hunt.[iii] Banning the “Pork Sword” and similar products from being configured with a stabilizing brace as ATF described will have no discernible impact on crime whatsoever.
As hunters, we are also concerned that this ban on a mere firearm accessory—a simple piece of plastic—could be used to justify bans on other firearms and accessories in the future. The hunting community has developed a number of innovative advancements in recent decades that are considered legal – just as ATF considered pistol braces legal for over a decade. If this unconstitutional executive branch action is allowed to stand, it will only be a matter of time until even more hunting firearms, accessories, and traditions are under attack.
Furthermore, the stabilizing brace is an accessory that is protected by the Second Amendment. A judge in the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed this, holding:
[B]races are needed by certain individuals with disabilities to operate a firearm. Thus, arm braces are an integral part of the meaningful exercise of Second Amendment rights for such individuals and can also be considered an “arm.” … It is uncontroverted that law-abiding members of society, including the elderly, infirmed, and disabled, have the constitutional right to arm themselves for self-defense.[iv]
Those same “elderly, infirmed, and disabled” gun owners who have a constitutionally protected right to a braced firearm for self-defense also need braces to engage in hunting and other recreational shooting sports. The stabilizing brace was originally invented to help a wounded combat veteran control and more precisely shoot a firearm while at the shooting range, so imagine how much more helpful it would be for that same individual to use this product in a tree stand or during a spot and stalk hunt!
We urge Congress to hold the ATF accountable for this attack on elderly, infirmed, combat wounded, and disabled gun owners which will negatively impact their ability to hunt. We ask that Congress provide oversight and disapprove of this rule using the Congressional Review Act. Please protect hunters, protect sportsmen and sportswomen, and protect the individual Second Amendment right to own and use pistol braced firearms without restriction.
Gun Owners of America
Gun Owners of California
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Second Amendment Hunters
Donald Trump Jr.
Hunter & Pistol Brace Owner
RealCamoGirl & Shooting Sisterhood
Hunting Life, Hunting Insider
2A Influencer & Podcast Host
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[i] Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. “Commercially Available Firearms equipped with a “stabilizing brace” that are short-barreled rifles”.
[iv] District Judge McGlynn. Federal Firearms Licensees of Illinois et al. v. Pritzker et al.. April 28th, 2023. 19-20. 27.