ATF Pistol Brace Reversal Political Move, 60-Day Suspension of Honey Badger Decision

ATF Pistol Brace Reversal Political Move, 60-Day Suspension of Honey Badger Decision
ATF Pistol Brace Reversal Political Move, 60-Day Suspension of Honey Badger Decision, Photo by @the_official_q.

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are unlikely to have acted, as policy, to deliberately hurt President Trump's chances at re-election. This does not mean a faction of individuals inside the ATF did not do so.

Several sources have been willing to talk, off the record, about what is going on in the ATF. None are currently inside the agency. None were willing to be quoted. All have had considerable contact with the agency over past years.

One source confirmed the AmmoLand article by John Crump on 8 October was “on the money”.  It was claimed Associate Deputy Director Marvin Richardson was quite upset with John Crump's AmmoLand article.

In the article, sources inside the ATF state Acting Director Regina Lombardo is “not loyal to the president”.  They state Associate Director Marvin Richardson believes pistol braces “violate the NFA”.

Believing pistol braces violate the NFA appears to be a common position inside the ATF. ATF rulings on pistol arm braces have been contradictory.

An Acting Director of the ATF is not required to be personally loyal to a President, but they should be expected to follow DOJ directives.

Lombardo was next in line after Acting Director Thomas B. Brandon retired at the end of April of 2019. The simplest thing to do was to make her Acting Director while waiting for approval of a direct appointment by President Trump.

ATF Leadership 2020 Acting Director Regina Lombardo & Associate Deputy Director Marvin Richardson
ATF Leadership 2020 Acting Director Regina Lombardo & Associate Deputy Director Marvin Richardson

GOA actively worked to prevent the appointment of Chuck Canterbury.  That meant Lombardo continued on as Acting Director, at least through the election.  The Giffords organization, which seeks numerous restrictions on gun ownership and use, approved of Lombardo's appointment as acting director.  From Giffords press release:

“Regina Lombardo is a career special agent who has served our country at ATF for over 25 years. We support her ascension to the top role at the agency. Congress and the Trump administration must now provide the increased funding and resources she needs to succeed in an agency that has been historically underserved.”

As someone who has studied bureaucratic dynamics for years, it appears ATF is being obstructionist, waiting out the election.

The inference is that many inside the agency think there will be a different President in 2021, a different Attorney General, and those pesky DOJ memos directing them to carefully follow the Administrative Procedures Act will go away when the next administration takes over.

A significant source of power of the ATF is the ability to make rulings with private letters, reverse them, change them, and never worry about having those rulings challenged in court. The Trump administration, through the DOJ, as part of its regulatory overhaul, has been working to change that and to make ATF rulings more transparent.

A common theme has been: the ATF is more chaotic than most bureaus and has factions inside which work against one another. It leaks repeatedly to Congressional members and resists Congressional oversight. At the same time, Congress has been deadlocked, unable to enact reforms that are needed.

Acting Director Regina Lombardo has a reputation of being reasonably competent, but not a rock star. Getting control of a chaotic ATF is no easy task. ATF has always been rather political.

The Honey Badger Cease and Desist letter may be an attempt to circumvent the DOJ memos.

The Boston Field Office of the ATF issued the Honey Badger Cease and Desist letter. They claimed the Firearms and Technology Division determined the firearm is a short-barreled rifle. It is not clear if Lombardo and/or Richardson approved of the letter before it went out.  In a well run Bureau, such a sensitive item would not be sent out without approval from the top brass.

If people inside the ATF made the pistol brace letters to hurt President Trump, they have a poor understanding of the electoral dynamics. Such shenanigans are as likely to show the need to keep the Trump administration in control to bring the ATF into line. It is not easy to know how such moves will affect voters.

The smart bureaucratic move would be to do nothing so close to an election. It would be easy to justify to a Biden administration, as they could claim to be following the DOJ directives. What administration would want a bureau inside the DOJ to resist their directives?

As a political move, the brace rulings signal overconfidence of a Biden victory.

The ATF is part of the Administrative State. The Administrative State will reflexively resist attempts to control it and reduce its power.  A strong, reform-minded director of the ATF is needed to change the organizational mindset.


Editor's Note:

Q, LLC., manufacturer of the Honey Badger Pistol, received a 60-day suspension of the cease and desist order from the ATF on October 9th. In a letter sent to lawyers representing Q, LLC it is indicated that the Department of Justice is now reviewing the “applicability of the National Firearms Act to the manufacture and transfer of the model ‘Honey Badger Pistol' firearm.”

In a letter posted on Q's website they explain that they believe this suspension to be, “an effort to put manufacturers, distributors, and consumers at ease, and to postpone the issue past the presidential election in hopes that a new administration will take a different view.”

Q, LLC will not resume manufacturing the Honey Badger Pistol until a definitive decision has been made by the ATF regarding the Honey Badger Pistol, “as the ATF could arbitrarily withdraw the suspension at any time.”


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Bill
Bill
3 days ago

Very good article! Let’s pray for greater wisdom and understanding by the ATF in performing their proper function, nott in policy-making!!

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
4 days ago

Ok, so I have read all the responses and most are ban the ATF and other alphabet organizations. How about this. Lets just make it law that all hand held firearms are legal so long as they are not automatic. If you want auto, get the stamp, pay the fees and make your AR AK auto, no more of this bullshit law about how it has to have been made before a certain date. That was just another ploy to keep them out of the hands of commoners like me. I can’t afford 15,000 for a fully auto and there… Read more »

Oldvet
Oldvet
4 days ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

@MM…Personally I have no use for full auto . Prefer controlled fire . That being said why even have the stamp , the fee’s , and control ? They are after all still infringements !

gooder12
gooder12
4 days ago

This might make the Hate Roll. 68 years and shooting since before I turned 12. Been a Gunner ever since. I have seen a number of arms control measures over the years as that ain’t nothing new. Most of those so called rules came and went, but our FFL System is still around, and I support them. As for The ATF who knows, but I do know that The Stamp system works, and if u want 2 play u have 2 pay. When Bump Stocks first came out I thought they were interesting, but The ATF will come down on… Read more »

Xaun Loc
Xaun Loc
4 days ago

And, miracle of miracles, for the first time in recorded history, we see a photo of someone at least pretending to use that brace as a brace!

Mudhunter
Mudhunter
4 days ago

Yet more evidence that an agency that can make up law regarding the bedrock of the supreme law of the land, should be abolished, no matter the right in question.

As it is, ATF is operating as a null and void extra constitutional authority.

Mystic Wolf
Mystic Wolf
4 days ago

There are times that a brace is needed, when a person has had the wrist injured it is weakened and needs a little something to help steady the pistol, a wrist brace is just the ticket for that. The brace helps to distribute the recoil and helps to minimize further injury and damage to the wrist, as well as helping to steady the pistol a bit more.
There are many reasons why a wrist would be either needed or required for a weapon.

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
4 days ago

Something is messed up big time when it comes to this insanity.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
4 days ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

Give me five more thumbs up.

JIAZ
JIAZ
4 days ago

Alcohol is legal. Tobacco is legal. Firearms are legal. Defund these administrative, federal clowns.

Tionico
Tionico
4 days ago
Reply to  JIAZ

and NOWHERE in the several differne t editions of the US COnstituion that I have whtin reach as I sit here and type can I find ANY source of basis for ANY agency in FedGov having ANY authority over any of the three A, T, or F. Or even E. Sy WHY do we tolerate this unconstitutoinal usurpatioin of power? I’m fine with maintaining some sort of database that will serve as an objective resource to determine whether prohibited persons are attempting to procure firearms. But that can be done in an unobtrusive and liberty-suporting way. First, revise the “disabling… Read more »

JPM
JPM
4 days ago

Another prime example of BATF abusing their “authority” by utilizing Administrative Law to create regulations, which is just as unconstitutional as the very existence of the BATF is in the first place. Next week they’ll come up with another ludicrous requirement (requiring phillips head screws on all firearms or something equally ridiculous) that will allow them to arrest and prosecute innocent citizens and look good, while real criminals walk the streets.

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
4 days ago
Reply to  JPM

The REAL criminals being anyone who works for the ATF in the first place. Thinking of Herb Byerly, the agent that was behind Vicki Weaver and Sammy Weaver DYING because of the “shotgun length” prohibition.

Tionico
Tionico
4 days ago
Reply to  JPM

JPM you arerequirement (requiring phillips head screws on all firearms or something equally ridiculous) JPM you are too kind and gentle by half….. they would not use a commonly available screwhead and tool system that is near universally availble. They would invent their own.. something like a FIVE_pointed Torx, then require ALL fixings on firearms to be of that type, in appropriate sizes, and require anyone purchasing the appropriate tools to obtain a license. The tool would ONLY be usable on firarms, and any work on firarms would require the tool. Thus they limint who can work on the firearms.… Read more »

Oldvet
Oldvet
4 days ago
Reply to  Tionico

@Tionico…If the versions of the horass administration proposed laws on 80% ers is correct , “any tool used” they would be outlawing ,drills , drill bits , routers , light bulbs , clamps , allen wrenches , screwdrivers , on and on and on . But they don’t care how it’s written the more ambiguous the better . That seems to be what they thrive on .

Leo
Leo
4 days ago

I will not be surprised at all if the people who wants to continue erecting policies to restrict our 2nd amendment at the ATF are getting economic incentives by Soros and/or Bloomberg. The level of corruption is blatantly undermined by the media because they are too part of the problem, and as usual, there will be people that not matter what, they will blame President Trump for everything, even do these people involved in corruption are people inherited from other administrations. Defund the ATF!!!

AZ Lefty
AZ Lefty
4 days ago

Plain and simple THESE ARE TRUMPS PEOPLE; just like with the bumpstock ban it is on Trump

SEMPAI
SEMPAI
4 days ago
Reply to  AZ Lefty

Well let’s ask your candidate his thoughts on the honey badger? Those who are voting for trump are voting for trump I seriously doubt any ATF decision’s or attempts of banning braces calling it instead an SBR (honey badger) will affect the outcome of the general public’s presidential choice Trumps people ? Well AZ tell us all about bidens people please and how he is going to restore your 2A rights going forward. Any infringement is wrong that I agree with but last time I checked you can still get yourself a binary trigger and even a Suppressor ! And… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by SEMPAI
CourageousLion
CourageousLion
4 days ago
Reply to  SEMPAI

Biden will be declared unfit to “lead” and Camel Toe Harris will become the dictatorial bitch president.

SEMPAI
SEMPAI
4 days ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

Yep nancy set it up just last week with the whole 25th amendment announcement

Knute
Knute
4 days ago
Reply to  SEMPAI

Plus, she already admitted it. It was a “freudian slip”, and later denied, but that’s what a freudian slip is. She meant to lie, but the truth slipped out!
DOH!!!!! [Slaps herself on forehead]
https://www.redstate.com/brandon_morse/2020/09/16/harris-admin-gaffe/

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
4 days ago
Reply to  Knute

You sure she doesn’t slap her bottom like Willy Brown did when she was procuring her position. The job I mean.

Tionico
Tionico
4 days ago
Reply to  SEMPAI

Pugliugly’s plot can ONLY work if Dopey Joe gets it. Once the dust settles, if that happens, then good ol’ Whorzontal Harris will be Veep, and will launch her plan, with Nannie Baybe right in the same bumpercar for the ride. Because then SHE will be next in line, and what WH does NOT recall or perhaps refuses to acknowledge, is that Nannie Baybe has far better “gunneggshuns” than Harris has yet managed to have accumulated. Remember, The PelosiUnit has been at this game about twice as long as has the New Kid On the Block. Arkancide is stil a… Read more »

Oldvet
Oldvet
4 days ago
Reply to  Tionico

@Tionico…Does Scalia come to mind ?

Tionico
Tionico
4 days ago
Reply to  Oldvet

along wiht Seth Rich, that newspaper guy whose Mercedes suddnly went nuts down in LA, I’d also think Julian Assange, though not quite yet actually dead, is being steadily pushed in that direction. I’l bet we could, collectiively, come up with a pretty long list of names…..

SEMPAI
SEMPAI
4 days ago
Reply to  Tionico

You think they gonna give Biden a covid shake? Kinda lookin that way and his wife doesn’t give a possums ass she has to know he won’t be in charge 30 days if he wins the election

Oldvet
Oldvet
4 days ago
Reply to  SEMPAI

@SEMPAI…What better way who would question that it wasn’t natural happening ? My first thought when Trump tested positive was that the left purposely put someone infected in close proximity to him . You know like china did on those cruise ships , knowing when those passengers got back to the U S they would spread like oil on water through the country .

Oldvet
Oldvet
4 days ago
Reply to  SEMPAI

@SEMPAI…She is in a win win situation . The string pullers have promised to take care of her , just like they arranged with all of the presidential candidates . Besides she will be shut of creepy joe .

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
4 days ago
Reply to  SEMPAI

Practice makes perfect.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
4 days ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

That is the plan from the very beginning and they have both Freudian slipped on that point.

gregs
gregs
4 days ago
Reply to  AZ Lefty

whomever sent this cease and desist letter is a leftist deep administrative state person. they arbitrarily came up with an administrative order they “felt” should be law and tried to make it so. people shouldn’t spend their whole life working in government, they lose touch with reality.
leftists always want to control citizens and that is antithetical to the American way, pick any topic.
i do agree that the bumpstock ban is illegal, as are all infringements on the Second Amendment.

Tionico
Tionico
4 days ago
Reply to  gregs

working in government, they lose touch with reality.

more ike government BECOMES the new reality. S
ort of like what happens when one descends the rabbit hole. It is a universe unto itself with all its own standards and realities.

Franz Kafka wrote about that place….. and he was stone cold sober. Louis Carroll, maybe not so much. Opium was quite common in his day and place.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
4 days ago
Reply to  AZ Lefty

AZL, You do like stirring the pot, don’t you? You read the article, right? So which part of, From Giffords press release:“Regina Lombardo is a career special agent who has served our country at ATF for over 25 years. We support her ascension to the top role at the agency.” makes the careerists in the ATF “Trump’s people”? That’s pretty much the definition of deep state. Trump’s main mistake in this was acting like a businessman rather than a politician, Business doctrine when taking on a new position is to watch how the people work before making changes. Political doctrine… Read more »

Knute
Knute
4 days ago

And the second rule in politics is to keep an eye peeled for the backstabbers in your own staff too. You must assume there are a whole bunch of moles secretly working for your political enemies, even though you’re paying them to work for you.
You already KNOW the ones appointed by your predecesor are working for your opponent. Or should, if you have half a brain. The other guy did pick them, after all. 🙂

Tionico
Tionico
4 days ago
Reply to  Knute

I think it was Chuck Baldwin who did a deep study of all the kinyun’s appointments in the DOJ on his watch. He dug into the background and work history of every one of them. EVERY ONE was a seasoned marxist liberal big government operative, mst of temhaving been working more or less undercover for various agencies and corporations. Trump iherited that lot, and, as Dave in F so well pointed out, did not take pains to evaluate more than a couple of them. I wish Trump had Baldwin’s articles to read, and could thus get a good hard look… Read more »

BigJim
BigJim
4 days ago
Reply to  AZ Lefty

Maybe, but The Mandalay Bay Shooting is on the Democrat Party.

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
4 days ago
Reply to  BigJim

According to my reviews of all mass shootings I can find only one where the information shows that the person was a republican or raised in a republican household. All the others have been demonrats. That is why they don’t want us to have guns, they are afraid of themselves and they think that we are all like them and that they can’t trust themselves to have an AR so no one else should have one either.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
4 days ago
Reply to  musicman44mag

MM44Mag,
I get hit with the “Prove it” all the time when I point that out. Do you have a chart or list made up that you could post? I’m sure that LOTS of us would have a great use for it, if you’ve already done the legwork.

Last edited 4 days ago by Dave in Fairfax
Tionico
Tionico
4 days ago
Reply to  AZ Lefty

that Lombarto creature has been at ATF for 25 years. SHe is NOT Trump material.She is holdover, perhaps the only one at the time the other guy left who could even stand a chance of wranging that messed up department. We can hope, once reelected and some of the wildfires are at least under control, that Trump will find a suitable replacement for this wretch. Perhaps this Honey Badger madness will be a big enough clue that she is incompetent and/or corrupt, or both.

Oldvet
Oldvet
4 days ago
Reply to  Tionico

… I like the suggestion to eliminate atf myself !