Lankford Stands up to ATF in Defense of Oklahomans’ Second Amendment Rights

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) is standing up for Oklahomans’ Second Amendment right to own and use pistol braces without burdensome regulation, registration, and taxation. Last week, Lankford introduced the Pistol Brace Protection Act. Lankford’s bill would gut an upcoming final rule by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) by exempting pistol braces from regulation under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The bill eliminates subjective standards that exist in federal law that have allowed ATF to reclassify firearms under the NFA, and guarantees that law-abiding gun owners will not have to register, destroy, or surrender their pistol brace.

“This is standard behavior for the ATF.  ATF consistently finds new ways to manipulate the NFA so it’s difficult and burdensome to be a law-abiding gun owner” said Lankford. “Oklahomans know well how the progressive Biden Administration is trying to quietly erode Second Amendment rights by making guns, ammunition, and gun-related products like pistol braces almost impossible to find and buy. Congress should not wait for ATF to finalize the pistol brace rule. Law-abiding gun owners are counting on us to proactively protect their rights and their use of pistol braces by passing my bill immediately to make clear to the ATF that we won’t stand for this overreach.”

“It should come as no surprise that the most anti-gun administration in American history would distort the rules to suit their gun control agenda. NRA-ILA applauds Sen. Lankford‘s introduction of the Pistol Brace Protection Act, that would thwart Biden’s misguided pistol brace rule and prevent millions of lawful American gun owners from becoming felons overnight,” Jason Ouimet, Executive Director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

Pistol braces were originally created to help disabled veterans. In June 2021, ATF issued a proposed rule that stated most pistol braces, when attached to a pistol, turn the pistol into a short-barreled rifle. Short-barreled rifles are regulated by the NFA and require taxation and registration. This rule has been pending ,but the final rule is expected in the next few months.

For years, ATF has assured gun owners that pistol braces are not NFA items and not subject to the taxation and registration scheme. Given this green light from ATF, millions of Americans have purchased and used pistol braces lawfully. If this rule goes into effect, it will make it so that millions of law-abiding gun owners have to either pay a tax and register their pistol brace or surrender it to ATF. This is a significant shift in policy and Congress should not allow ATF to get away with confiscating or registering devices that have long been considered exempt from NFA regulation.

Lankford continues to stand up for Oklahomans’ Second Amendment rights by calling on ATF to provide answers on their recent actions that law-abiding citizens from creating and owning sound suppressors. Lankford recently joined a letter to ATF expressing concern over their use of secret internal guidance to push new regulations. This secret guidance has been used to justify the seizure of lawfully owned property, which is unacceptable and not in accordance with the Constitution. 

This week, ATF released a final rule to regulate guns assembled at home. Lankford plans to introduce a resolution of disapproval to overturn the rule. Additionally, President Biden announced a new nominee, Steve Dettelbach, to serve as ATF director. In early September, the White House pulled its previous nominee to lead ATF, David Chipman, after Lankford and others sounded the alarm about Chipman’s positions on gun control and his open support of an AR-15 ban.