By Michael Infanzon |
Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the use of stabilizing braces on firearms, with some people suggesting that these braces make guns deadlier and easier to use in violent attacks. This belief has been perpetuated by some anti-Second Amendment politicians and advocacy groups, including Giffords Law Center, which claims that shooters have used stabilizing braces to “skirt the National Firearms Act and commit horrific tragedies.” But this claim is both misleading and inaccurate.
First, let’s discuss what stabilizing braces actually are. These accessories can be attached to certain firearms, such as pistols, to provide additional support and stability when shooting. They were originally designed to help people with disabilities or injuries to safely and effectively use firearms. But they have since become popular among gun enthusiasts and sport shooters as well.
Giffords and others claim that stabilizing braces are somehow responsible for enabling shooters to commit violent acts. But there is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, the vast majority of shootings in the United States are committed with illegally obtained firearms, rather than legally purchased guns that have been modified with accessories like stabilizing braces.
Furthermore, the idea that stabilizing braces allow shooters to “skirt” the National Firearms Act (NFA) is also misleading. The NFA regulates certain types of firearms, such as machine guns and short-barreled rifles, and requires owners to register these weapons with the federal government and pay a tax. However, the use of stabilizing braces on pistols is not a violation of the NFA and does not allow individuals to avoid the registration and tax requirements.
In fact, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has issued guidance on the use of stabilizing braces, stating that “the use of a handgun stabilizing brace… does not change the classification of the firearm or impose any additional registration, licensing, or other requirements on the firearm or its owner.” The ATF has also made it clear that it will take action against individuals who use stabilizing braces to create a firearm that meets the definition of a short-barreled rifle, which is regulated under the NFA.
The claim made by Giffords and others that stabilizing braces make firearms deadlier and enable shooters to “skirt” the National Firearms Act is simply not true. There is no evidence to support this claim, and the ATF has made it clear that the use of stabilizing braces on pistols does not violate any federal laws or regulations. It’s important to separate fact from fiction when discussing issues related to firearms and public safety, and to base policy decisions on sound evidence and analysis.
That’s why the Arizona Citizens Defense League and the Arizona Firearms Industry Trade Association will continue to stand up for Arizona citizens and the firearm industry against unconstitutional laws and these types of lies.
Michael Infanzon is the Managing Partner for EPIC Policy Group and lobbies on behalf of groups like the Arizona Citizens Defense League and the Arizona Firearms Industry Trade Association.