Gun accessory regulation prompts national debate

Stricter rules coming for pistol-stabilizing braces, angering Republicans and gun-advocacy groups
Stricter rules coming for pistol-stabilizing braces, angering Republicans and gun-advocacy groups
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 5:21 PM CST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A gun accessory is at the center of a national debate after a new rule heavily regulates it.

Pistol-stabilizing braces are going to be harder to get. It’s something East Tennessee Republicans are speaking out against.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives just announced regulations for pistol-stabilizing braces, an accessory that gives a pistol the power of a short-barreled rifle, but it’s easier to conceal, and stabilize when firing it.

“It’s just a complete overreach, I feel, by a federal agency,” said Representative Tim Burchett, a Republican representing Tennessee’s Second District.

It’s opposed by most Republicans. The rule was one of several steps President Biden announced in 2021, after a stabilizing brace was used in a Boulder, Colorado and Dayton, Ohio, shooting.

The new rule would subject pistol-stabilizing braces to higher taxes, longer waiting periods and registration.

“It’s a lot more regulations for people that hold the Second Amendment near and dear to them,” said Burchett.

Gun control advocates are applauding the rule, saying it properly classifies the lethal weapon, opening it up to stricter regulations.

“Thankfully, the Biden-Harris Administration understands that preventing gun violence requires action,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action. “And we’re grateful for its continued leadership in finalizing this rule and helping save lives.”

Congressman Burchett doesn’t believe the rule will make a difference.

“These gun-free zones, the only people that follow that are the law-abiding citizens. The criminals laugh at those things,” Burchett said.

Anyone who has a gun with an arm-stabilizing brace has four months to register the weapon with the federal government, remove the brace or surrender the firearm.

The rule is set to go into effect this week.