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Video: Wounded vets, GOP reps blast ATF pistol brace rule: ‘makes majority of law-abiding veterans criminals overnight’

Row of handguns. (US Coast Guard Academy/Released)
July 29, 2021

Wounded veterans, along with Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), on Wednesday blasted proposed pistol brace regulations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which “would make a majority of law-abiding veterans and first responders criminals overnight.”

According to a letter sent to the ATF by 48 Senators in June, pistol braces were originally designed to “assist disabled combat veterans in shooting large pistol platforms that were otherwise too cumbersome for a disabled shooter to use.”

“Stabilizing braces allowed me to instruct the other wounded veterans and first responders to participate in hunts by using similar braces,” one wounded veteran said during a press conference on the steps of the Capitol Wednesday. “Without which, due to their injuries, they would not have been able to use. If this overreach is allowed, it would make a majority of law-abiding veterans and first responders criminals overnight. These are the people that answered the call of our great nation.”

The NRA shared video from the press conference on Twitter.

“For the last several years, I have been traveling the country teaching veterans how to shoot again,” another disabled veteran with a prosthetic arm explained. “That brace is the foundation of everything I did around the country. And I had a young man who had half of a finger and that was all he had. And I took him out there with a braced firearm and I took him on the range and in about 30 minutes I had him hitting a target consistently at 25 yards every single time with his one little digit.”

“And it completely changed his perspective,” the wounded vet continued. “No other tool in the world could do that.”

The proposed rule change appears intended to reclassify AR-style pistols as rifles when affixed with a pistol brace, which would subject them to a more heavily regulated short-barreled rifle (SBR) classification for rifles with a barrel length less than 16 inches. Under the regulation, an individual could become a felon unless they turn in or destroy the firearm, destroy the brace, or pay a tax.

“For the Biden administration to come and try to take away that right for disabled veterans to be able to use these stabilizing devices so that they can exercise their rights to protect their families is just mindboggling,” Rep. Scalise said at the press conference.

Rep. Hudson asked the public to submit comments against the ATF’s regulation and in support of veterans and the Second Amendment.

“It was an honor standing with these veterans yesterday against the ATF’s new rule on stabilizing braces – devices needed by these veterans and millions of others to exercise their #2ndAmendment rights. They are the face of this rule and I will not stop defending them and the #2A,” Hudson wrote on Facebook. “Submit a comment against the ATF’s latest regulation on stabilizing braces by Sept. 8th here.”