After allowing law-abiding gun owners to purchase pistol braces for years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has unilaterally implemented a new restriction that could turn those who currently possess the devices into felons.
In a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) addressed what he sees as a clear overreach by unelected bureaucrats.
“This is a bureaucrat making a unilateral decision to turn MILLIONS of Americans into FELONS.”
The Second Amendment MATTERS. Self-defense is a human right.
More from Rep. Roy on ATF's latest unconstitutional attack on law-abiding gun owners: pic.twitter.com/U1IwKmzxs0
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) March 23, 2023
His primary complaint revolved around the fact that the legislative branch was not involved in what amounts to a new law that stands to impact the lives of millions of Americans.
Roy lamented the result of authoritarian actions that have allowed “a bureaucrat making unilateral decisions to try to turn millions of Americans into felons, to advance a radical leftist agenda, which is clearly what is at play.”
The Heritage Foundation’s Amy Swearer was among those called to offer testimony, and she clearly agreed with Roy’s assessment.
“Our constitution … is set up with separated powers,” she explained. “The executive branch enforces laws and the legislative branch passes laws, because Congress is held accountable to the people.”
Furthermore, Swearer noted that those impacted by the new ATF rule have had their rights abridged without any recourse, which she asserted is “unconstitutional and unlawful.”
Numerous other lawmakers and pro-gun advocates have expressed similar outrage over the ATF’s decision since it was announced earlier this year. According to the agency, anyone who fails to relinquish or properly register a stabilizing pistol brace within 120 days of the enactment of the rule could face felony charges.
Alex Bosco, who invented the device, also testified before Congress, noting that the brace was initially created to help a friend with “limited mobility” more effectively handle a firearm and that it “does nothing to make the weapon any more dangerous than it already is.”
He added: “Yes, there are people that are not using my product the way that I’ve designed it to be used, but the intent has always been that. The idea that by adding a brace to a pistol, makes the firearm more concealable and, therefore, more dangerous is laughable. It’s a piece of plastic.”