JASPER, IN – Senator Braun has penned a letter to Attorney General William Barr and ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo to share his concern about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) practice of relying on non-public standards in its regulation of the importation of ArmaLite Rifle (AR) styled pistols and pistol stabilizing braces.

“Gun-owners and manufacturers want to follow the law, and they can’t when the standards are unclear and communicated through private opinions rather than formal rule-making,” said Senator Braun. “I wrote this letter because law-abiding gun owners shouldn’t have any uncertainty over their Second Amendment rights.”

In 2012, ATF issued guidance which stated the attachment of arm braces to large pistol platforms does not constitute the manufacture of a short-barreled rifle. That standard has been made less clear this year, as private letters to gun manufacturers have indicated ATF considers firearms with a “length of pull” of over 13-1/2 inches that are designed to be fired from the shoulder are short-barreled rifles. In some letters, ATF privately stated that even firearms which fall under the length standard can be classified as short-barreled rifles based on a collection of “indicators,” a list of which has yet to be published. 

This letter requests that ATF clearly and distinctly articulate its position on this matter, as a “know-it-when-you-see-it” approach to firearms by the ATF can quickly become a slippery-slope for all legal American gun owners as well as government firearm regulation enforcement.

Joining Senator Braun as co-signers of this letter are Senator James Risch, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis, Senator Steve Daines, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Todd Young, Senator Mike Rounds, Senator Kelly Loeffler, Senator James Inhofe, Senator Josh Hawley, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator David Perdue, Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Tim Scott, and Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Read the full letter here.