The Brace Ban — What Can You Do About It? By: Travis Pike

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On the last day of January, the ATF published their unconstitutional pistol brace rule in the Federal Register. They announced the rule, which totaled almost 300 pages, right before SHOT Show. Depending on whose estimate we use, this rule can affect anywhere from three to 40 million people. It’s not a small drop in the bucket. The ATF has flipped-flopped on braces more than a trout on land. It’s been insanely frustrating as a gun owner to try and keep track of this level of incompetence and tomfoolery.

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The latest rule change seems to go overboard and essentially gives gun owners limited options. Turn the gun in, destroy it, remove the brace, or register it as a short-barreled rifle. Gun owners were given 120 days to comply. At the same time, the rule oddly states that braces are still legal when used correctly in correct configurations but fails to detail what that means.

Anyway, if you’re a gun owner, and a brace owner, you are likely quite frustrated and wish you could do something about it. The good news is you can. Although it might not be on-the-ground action, it still has its palace. The three pillars of democracy are the ballot box, the soap box, and the cartridge box. Let’s take advantage of the ballot box and soap box.

Write Your Representatives (And Everyone Else)

The first thing we need to do is start writing our representatives. Every single one of them. I’m talking federal and state. Write them all. Even if your representative has an antigun mindset, it’s still smart to write them. Not only is it important to write them, but it’s also important to be logical, emotionless, and informative.

Writing “ShAlL nOt Be iNFrInGeD” with a half dozen exclamation marks does nothing. Be smart. Don’t curse, don’t threaten, and don’t let your passion get the best of you. Be educational. Detail how the ATF has approved these braces over and over and how many millions of people use them. Detail how the braces are used and how they are intended to be used by disabled shooters to safely utilize their weapons.

Flux raider with brace deployed
The Raider is an effective little PDW.

Ensure you mention that the ATF does not make laws and that it is Congress’ job to create laws in accordance with the Constitution of the United States. Once you’ve written your representatives, write everyone else. Write your sheriff, write your governor, write everyone. It’s time to be the squeaky wheel.

Inform Friends, Family, and Fellow Gun Owners

There are different layers of people in the gun community. Some are casual owners, some are hunters, and others are only interested in home defense and concealed carry. They may not have heard about the brace ban and the ATF’s meddling. Be the one to inform them. Inform the people in your life who have no interest in guns.

Any reasonable person could see that this meddling isn’t just anti-2A, but it’s against the way the United States Government is supposed to work. We have a balance of powers, and the ATF doesn’t get to wave its wand and turn millions of Americans into felons overnight. No unelected government officials should have that power. When it comes to informing and educating, you have to avoid being passionate, and preferably you’d be nonpolitical.

SB Tactical PDW Stabilizing Brace
The SB Tactical SBPDW Stabilizing Arm Brace uses telescoping rods on either side of the AR pistol.

If you want to win, you can’t immediately turn people off by attacking political parties or the sensibilities of voters who think differently. Calling people communists isn’t going to work. Be informational and seemingly unbiased. This rule is so arbitrary that it doesn’t need spin to make people realize how bad it is.

It seems crazy, but even on websites with users who tend to be antigun, I’ve had great success being nonconfrontational and just exposing the truth. On both Twitter and Reddit, people who are not in the gun realm seem to understand how ridiculous the ATF is acting.

If you don’t have the right words to express the issue, share articles and videos from gun rights organizations and Youtubers you like.

Support your Favorite Gun Right Organization

So far, I know that the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Gun Owners of America have filed suit. A group of disabled veterans in Wisconsin has also filed a suit against the ATF. Lawsuits against the Feds aren’t cheap. Support these organizations if you can. Donate a buck or five to them, and hopefully, it will fund the fight and ultimately get us a W.

I don’t particularly care which one you plan to support, but GOA and FPC get my money. That’s not to say that SAF doesn’t do good work. The Feds have seemingly a limitless pile of your money to fight with, so fight back. Literally, put your money where your mouth is. I tire of the shall not infringe and boogaloo warriors who talk a big game but can’t come off five bucks when it’s needed.

Buy A Brace

Yep, so this is a risky one, but these companies need our support. Even if we win, it might take time, and in that time, companies like SB Tactical are going to be feeling the pressure. Purchasing a brace and sending them some of your dinero can help keep them afloat. The ATF might lose, but they could still put American companies out of business in the meantime. We don’t want to just win the war, we also want to win the battle.

pistol brace
The Protector Pistol features the company’s own AR pistol brace. (Photo credit: Wilson Combat)

When bump stocks got the ban hammer, the companies that made them shut down. Only now, years later, are the courts ruling in our favor. The companies are still gone. Let’s not have that happen with the braces.

Time to Fight

It’s time to write, to call, to spread information. We have a chance to beat the ATF back once more. We could possibly do it permanently this time. My only hope is the ATF overplayed its hand, and we can stop their laws via the bureaucrat approach to doing their job. It’s time to resist, and by resist, I mean more than talking tough on social media. Get out there and do something that matters. Writing your reps isn’t tough, and spreading factual information isn’t tough either.

Get out there, and let’s win this thing!