Proposed guidance regulating AR-15 pistols is touching off anger among Second Amendment activists and sparking controversy.
According to The Washington Free Beacon the proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) could require millions of AR-15 pistols and similar firearms — which are designed with braces that strap on to a shooter’s forearm — to be registered, turned in, dismantled, or destroyed.
But the Beacon said the standards for determining the devices’ legality provide no objective measures. In addition, it noted the ATF said it may also use undisclosed measures to determine the legality.
And the Beacon reported the guidance could mean that owners of the majority of the estimated three to four million AR-15 pistols and similar firearms may have to register with the ATF.
Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America (GOA), said the guidance shows that the "ATF has gone off into the deep end."
"GOA will rally the grassroots to fight these regulations, and if they eventually go into effect, we will commence immediate legal action to protect gun owners," Pratt said.
The problem stems from how federal law distinguishes between short-barrel rifles and short-barrel shotguns, both of which must be registered and require a $200 tax stamp, and pistols, which do not require either, according to the Beacon. A key distinction in whether the is whether a firearm is designed to be pressed against the shooter's shoulder.
The Washington Examiner reported in October that the ATF had temporarily backed off the proposed guidance until after the presidential election.
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