Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has introduced a bill to dissolve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), declaring the agency’s recent move against stabilizing braces to be the “final straw.”
The bill to “abolish” the ATF was introduced on Tuesday and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, according to Congress.gov.
Gaetz said in a press release that House Republicans have the federal government’s top gun regulator “in our crosshairs.”
“The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on their repeated actions to convert law-abiding citizens into felons,” he said. “They must be stopped.”
Gaetz told Fox News that the new rule requiring a federal license to put a stabilizing brace on a pistol will hurt disabled veterans in his district who rely on the devices to shoot for sport. He said the rule was the agency’s “final straw.”
“I think they are under the flawed conception that a stabilizing brace increases the lethality or danger of a pistol,” Gaetz said. “It seems the ATF is on a snipe hunt for regulatory action that virtue signals to the anti-gun left, but that has no real practical safety impact on Americans.”
Certain braces can be attached to pistols to provide stability against the user’s shoulder like a rifle. The new rule, finalized Friday, classifies pistols with braces as short-barreled rifles, which require a federal license and are regulated by the National Firearms Act.
The ATF said the new rule “does not affect” braces that are “objectively designed and intended … for use by individuals with disabilities.”
Gaetz’s bill to abolish the ATF currently has no co-sponsors, but he told Fox News there is “broad support” in the Republican Party “to go after the actions of ATF.” If his bill passed the House, it would need to pass through a Democratic-controlled Senate and be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.