What The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, And Firearms Taught Us About The Second Amendment

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) proposed and then implemented a rule requiring the registration of pistols using a stabilizing brace as a short barreled rifle. Apparently there are already rules and restrictions in place around short barreled rifles…and ATF was just adding another weapon to the category. Of course the NRA world exploded with indignation and lawsuits since this was clearly a violation of the Second Amendment (note: part of the gun mob’s consternation is a requirement to register them and restrictions on the sale of unregistered guns). And here is where it gets interesting. Obviously the ATF would like to ban pistol braces…but it didn’t. Why? Because they don’t come under the purview of the ATF because a pistol brace is not a firearm.

Let that settle in for a moment. It is not a firearm. And then complete this circuit: if it is not a firearm it is not protected under the Second Amendment. And I imagine that would apply to any number of other accessories like bump stocks and ‘oversize’ magazines and other enhancements to improve the potential for slaughter that are on the market.

And if they aren’t Second Amendment protected artifacts, that essentially means that every municipality, state legislature, and of course the US Congress can ban and restrict them in anyway they deem fit.

Go for it!


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