Mandarins at the ATF are back it again with unconstitutional bureaucratic maneuvers to undermine the Second Amendment.
On October 6, 2020, the ATF sent firearms manufacturer Q, LLC a letter declaring that Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol featuring a stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle. Because of this feature, the Honey Badger pistol is subject to the National Firearms Act (“NFA”) and the $200 transfer tax that comes with it.
The ATF’s Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) reached the conclusion that “the objective features of the Honey Badger firearm, configured with the subject stabilizing brace, indicate the firearm is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder” upon reviewing a sample of the Honey Badger pistol.
Ironically, since 2012, the ATF has stated that firearms featuring pistol stabilizing braces are not “designed, made, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.” Because of this, NFA regulations would not apply to pistol braces.
Now, in a typical bureaucratic and unaccountable manner, the ATF is reversing course. By arbitrarily re-classifying firearms, the ATF is creating massive uncertainty for gun owners, manufacturers, and dealers. This is how shady bureaucracies function and American’s Second Amendment rights will be gradually chipped away as a result.
Organizations such as the Firearms Policy Coalition condemned the ATF’s action declaring that it was “devoid of logic and reason, contains no explanation as to the manner in which it arrived at its conclusion, conflicts with its prior determinations, and embodies the very essence of ‘arbitrary and capricious’.”
FPC stressed the importance of the Executive Branch being held in check and operating only within the confines of the Constitution:
"There can be no question that our Constitution requires accountability to coincide with the enactment of laws, and that those laws must be within specific, limited, and enumerated powers, not left to bureaucrats who escape all aspects of responsibility. Once more, we remind ATF and the executive branch that their authority has limits and that, if need be, they will once again be reminded of those limits through legal action."
The fact remains that bureaucratic monstrosities such as the ATF and the unconstitutional legislation that has been imposed on Americans since the New Deal should be thoroughly rejected.
Bureaucratic agencies such as the ATF, unlike legislatures, are not accountable to voters or pressure groups. Unelected bureaucrats follow the cues of elites who hate our rights and do everything behind closed doors to subvert our God-given right to self-defense. We’ve already seen the ATF pull similar shenanigans with regards to bump stocks by categorizing them as machine guns and effectively banning them. With the ATF’s recent move against Q, LLC, there’s a stark trend of bureaucratic violations of Second Amendment rights building up. Casual onlookers obsess about presidential elections and generic day-to-day politics, but ignore the moves taking place in the corridors of unaccountable agencies. That’s where the attention should be focused on. This re-classification of the pistol braces is only the tip of the iceberg. The nature of bureaucracies is to expand power at all costs and continue infringing upon people’s liberties. What’s to stop the ATF from reclassifying other normal weapons as short-barreled rifles? Bureaucracies never let crises go to waste.
It’s not enough for gun owners to just reject the new gun grabs that the Left is currently pushing. We must start attacking bureaucratic centers of power such as the ATF and the litany of 20th century legislation that has brought us to this situation in the first place. The Trump administration must start taking action against the constitutionally derelict ATF.
All this talk about being the most pro-gun administration is noise if it can’t get its own ATF in line. Ideally, the ATF and every gun control law passed since the enactment of the NFA must go. Alas, we live in a time where such prospects seem like a pipe dream. But we must start somewhere.
To get the conversation started, I ask that you sign your Lone Star Gun Rights petition condemning the ATF’s unilateral classification of the Honey Badger pistol as a short-barreled rifle. Every signature counts in getting the Trump administration to recognize that its ATF is totally out of control.
Once you’re done with that, please consider joining LSGR to help us fight gun grabs at all levels of government. We’re going to need all the help we can get.