Good Chance You’re a Felon on May 31 If You Own a Pistol Brace


Chairman Jim Jordan grilled ATF Director Steven Dettelbach on the upcoming deadline for pistol brace owners. This took place during the House Judiciary Committee’s Oversight hearing of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on April 26th.

It was hard to get a direct answer from Director Dettelbach, but what we do know is that millions of Americans could become felons on May 31st if they don’t follow an ATF rule that contradicts past ATF statements.

The pistol brace is a stabilizer and the ATF said it does not turn a gun into a machine gun.
Pistol stabilizer

Dettelbach agreed that on May 31, 2023 millions of American gun owners could become felons if they possess pistol braces. Dettelbach said on two occasions that would be okay. When he said that, he reasoned it would “not cause the pistol to be reclassified as a short barrel rifle.”


Jordan read from a letter Dettelbach sent on March 5, 2014. “We have determined that firing a pistol from the shoulder would not cause the pistol to be reclassified as a short barrel rifle. We did not classify weapons based on how individuals used the weapon. So you told them not once but twice that it was OK. And I’m just asking, does it bother you now that [what] you are doing, that you’re making the change that’s going to impact millions of Americans?”

Director Dettelbach replied that the rule was necessary to address inconsistencies in the definition of pistol braces. He further explained that specific products get presented for classification, and these products sometimes change. He concluded that the rule was necessary to ensure consistency.

Jordan accused Dettelbach of reversing what he told Americans.

Dettelbach responded by saying that only specific products would be impacted, and those impacted individuals would have several options. They could detach the brace from the firearm – keeping both or attaching the brace to another firearm. Other options would be to remove or destroy the brace, or get a longer barrel. And they could always turn in, destroy the firearm, or register the firearm.

Jordan followed up by asking what would happen to those who do not take any of these actions and let the deadline pass.


“Mr. Chairman as a prosecutor, I just want to be accurate about what happens,  former prosecutor; what happens is depending on the circumstance. If a person is unaware, [they’re] not going to be prosecuted. “…They could be a felon … it depends on the facts and circumstances of each case, and of course, we would prioritize enforcement on gang members.”

The government gets to decide if the person was unaware!

Rep. Jordan asked how it would be enforced, at “gun ranges” or by going to “gun manufacturers lists”?

Dettelbach filibustered, said ATF would consider it as one of the charges when doing a search warrant in a drug case and discovering an unlawful item.


Neither The Gun Control Act nor the National Firearms Act prohibits pistol braces.

Biden and the people who make the rules are ignoring laws to make these rules. Agencies are legislating. This sounds like something that should run through Congress. It’s the camel’s nose under the tent.

There is no reason to ban the pistol brace.

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