DOJ Needs ‘More Than 120 Days’ to Process 211K Stabilizer Comments

SIG SAUER Pistol Stabilizing Brace
More than 211,000 public comments were submitted on a proposed rule change regarding pistol stabilizing braces. (Sig Sauer image)

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- A “Joint Status Report” on the Second Amendment Foundation’s January lawsuit against the Department of Justice and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over ATF’s reversal on how it would regulate stabilizing braces on pistols reveals that 211,564 comments were submitted on the proposed rule, and processing them all will “require more than 120 days.”

“In light of these developments, and in the interest of judicial economy, the parties have conferred and agree that this case and all proceedings should continue to be held in abeyance to allow Defendants to undertake these steps,” the status report said.

The update further notes, “Additionally, the parties have conferred and request that the parties be permitted to file a joint status report on or before January 19, 2022, indicating whether this case and all proceedings should continue to be held in abeyance.”

At issue is a proposed rule, posted by the defendants on June 10 at the Federal Register on “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces.” The 90-day public comment period ended Sept. 8.

As originally proposed, firearms with stabilizing braces would be regulated under the National Firearms Act the same as short-barreled rifles. This change would require a special license and $200 fee for each firearm fitted with a brace. Without the special license and fee, guns fitted with the stabilizing braces would be illegal to own. ATF published notice in the Federal Register on Dec. 18, 2020 “seeking to impose NFA controls on braces meeting certain ‘Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’.”

SAF quickly filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division in January. The case is known as SAF et. al. v. BATFE, et. al. SAF was joined by Rainier Arms, LLC and two disabled private citizens, Samuel Walley and William Green. According to a SAF news release, Walley is a distinguished disabled Army veteran who suffered a traumatic injury while serving in Afghanistan in 2012. He was wounded by an improvised explosive device resulting in partial amputation of his right leg and left arm, and a salvaged left leg limb. He uses arm braces to stabilize firearms he shoots recreationally.

Green is a police officer who suffered a line-of-duty injury resulting in permanent nerve damage to his right hand. He also uses arm braces to stabilize firearms while he is shooting.

In addition to DOJ and ATF, the lawsuit also named acting ATF Director Regina Lombardo and Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, in their official capacities as defendants.

On May 4 of this year, the court granted an agreed upon motion for a stay, which was extended on June 15, five days after the defendants published the proposed rule in the Federal Register seeking public comment. As noted above, public reaction was overwhelming.

Now, according to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, additional time is being sought to allow the DOJ to process all of the comments.

“Depending upon the DOJ’s final ruling,” Gottlieb said, “SAF reserves the right to amend the court filing to include provisions of the new rule.”

When SAF filed the lawsuit more than nine months ago, Gottlieb said there were “several issues at play” including alleged failure of the agencies and their officials to abide by long-established and Congressionally-mandated rulemaking requirements, threatening rights protected by the Second Amendment.

“Another issue,” he said, “is the question whether the Executive Branch has the authority to re-define stabilizing braces without approval of Congress. This is especially important to disabled persons because these devices were originally developed to benefit shooters with physical disabilities.”

Gottlieb said the past nine months have confirmed his concerns, expressed at the time the lawsuit was filed, that “The Biden administration has made no secret it intends to take various regulatory actions and issue executive orders directly affecting gun owners.”

Joe Biden acknowledged during a July CNN Townhall broadcast that he would like to ban so-called “assault weapons” plus 9mm semiautomatic pistols. SAF immediately released a 60-second message (below) highlighting Biden’s comments. His now-withdrawn nomination of gun control proponent David Chipman to run the ATF was another clear signal the president is no friend to the Second Amendment.

Stabilizing braces are now used by people with and without disabilities and more than 2 million have been sold, the lawsuit estimated.

In late August, SAF reminded gun owners about the original Sept. 8 deadline for comments. At the time, Gottlieb warned, “ATF wants to reclassify millions of stabilizing brace-equipped pistols by making them subject to the National Firearms Act. If that happens, current owners of such pistols would need to register their guns and pay a $200 tax on each one, or turn it in to the ATF, or take one of several other undesirable options.”

According to the Joint Status Report, “In the event the parties are of the view that the case should not remain stayed, they would include a proposed schedule for continuing the litigation in the joint status report.”

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About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman

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Russn8r
Russn8r
20 days ago

You were the swing turncoat for the 1997 “Winning Team” NRA coup d’etat, saving LaPew & Co in a 32-33 vote. Your vote enabled LaPew & his fellow grifters & vampire vendors to loot $Billions. $Billions that could’ve saved the USA from the current Xiden coup d’etat and junta. Man up and OWN it.

“I too served with you in that era, and had forgotten about Workman’s duplicity.”
https://www.ammoland.com/2019/07/shit-storm-todays-nra-heads-need-to-roll/#comment-2766267

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
20 days ago

What needs to be done is for our so called representatives in DC to remove sound suppressors and short barreled rifles from the NFA as the first step and then shit can the rest of the NFA as the 2nd step. SHALL NOT BE INFRIGED should be branded on the forehead of every ATF agent BACKWARDS so that they can be reminded of it every time they look in a mirror.

Orion
Orion
20 days ago

over 3 million pistol braces in civilian hands but only 211K comments received??? this low turnout shows the apathy within the shooting community. you gurls never cease to disappoint.

I Haz A Question
I Haz A Question
20 days ago
Reply to  Orion

Don’t be so quick to mistake it all for simple apathy. Many brace owners don’t want to be in the ATF’s crosshairs unless absolutely necessary. For example: I’m a native Californian, born and bred here, and have personally experienced its slide from a red state decades ago to the Leftist insane asylum it is today. I have many guns of all kinds, legally owned for various reasons such as inheritance, transfer, purchase, or assembly before we had universal registration foisted upon us. However, to take advantage of the rare opportunity to apply for a CCW license in my home County… Read more »

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
20 days ago

Did you notice that I’m still banned at that “other site”? Even after all this time. I feel so…. special. It would appear that catching the management red-handed and sticky-fingered is an unpardonable sin! 🙂

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
20 days ago

botslammed again. Let’s see if sticky is the keyword.

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
20 days ago

sticky-fingered?

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
20 days ago

management?

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
20 days ago

special?

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
20 days ago

OK. I give up.

Russn8r
Russn8r
20 days ago

Get out while you still can. Millions of Cali conservatives are like the Jews in Germany who fooled themselves that it would get better and waited until it was too late.

Considerthis
Considerthis
20 days ago
Reply to  Orion

While I am not offering an excuse for those who sit back and do nothing, I see this as a “Catch-22” type situation. The whole “Public Comment” system is flawed. Many who could take a stand are fearful that by making a comment they will simply elevate themselves to the top of a list that the ATF will attack. I admit to having reservations myself, in spite of that I posted my comments and made them public record. When the current “president” gifted our sworn enemies with billions of taxpayers dollars of the real “weapons of war” while trying every… Read more »

Don
Don
19 days ago
Reply to  Orion

I commented, and I don’t own a brace. I knew this was coming when braces hit the market. I propose the BATFE allow for a no fee, one year amnesty to get them registered. Otherwise they are going to turn owners into felons unless they cough up the $200.

Stag
Stag
19 days ago
Reply to  Orion

Your beloved NRA with their support of banning certain stocks never ceases to disappoint.

Orion
Orion
19 days ago
Reply to  Stag

if… IF… you were a member or kept up with the news, you would be aware of their view. you would know while they initially came out with a soft line on bump stocks they quickly reversed that opinion and came out in hard opposition to the proposed ban much like they did with any red flag regulation. of course, your Pratt boyees over at the GOA never tell you the whole story, i.e. the history of the NRA after LaPierr came on board and changed their focus by opposing any and all unjust federal legislation. no, the impotent GOA… Read more »

Stag
Stag
19 days ago
Reply to  Orion

I would love to see the statement by the NRA saying how they we’re wrong on bumpstocks and are now fighting to overturn it. It may take you a while considering it doesn’t exist. I’m a Benefactor Member and I see you’re still either flat out lying or your cognitive dissonance won’t allow you to see how the NRA still supports arms control like red flag laws and “FixNICS” in the video below. https://youtu.be/A8ijtVkTCCQ Since your beloved Wayne came aboard they have supported the Hughes Amendment, import bans, NICS, red flag laws, and FixNICS. That’s not 50 or 100 years… Read more »

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
16 days ago
Reply to  Stag

“your cognitive dissonance won’t allow you to see”
It reminds me of an old saying. Something about nobody being more blind than those who just REFUSE to see???

Russn8r
Russn8r
19 days ago
Reply to  Orion

More Zerorion дезинформа́ция. I’m Endowment NRA, member since the late ’70s.

NRA backs lots of Red Flag analogs & precursers e.g. GCA’68, NICS, “Fix Nics”, Lautenberg DVRO disability, Carolyn McCarthy’s veterans disarmament law.

Who are you kidding with that hot shill action?

Last edited 19 days ago by Russn8r
HLB
HLB
20 days ago

211,564 comments.
more than 2 million have been sold.
258.3 million adults (2020 U.S. Census).About 1 comment for each 9.4 sales of braces.About 1 comment for each 1221 adults in the U.S.
This is what qualifies as an overwhelming public reaction. We don’t know how many responses were pro or con. I hope that information comes out.
HLB

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
20 days ago
Reply to  HLB

What can you say? Does anyone seriously believe in this world of make believe that ANYTHING you say is going to sway these psychopathic control freaks agenda??? WELL DO YOU?? When the government FEARS the people there is freedom. When the people fear the government there is tyranny. ~Thomas Jefferson. Explain to me how you get the government to fear the people. By commenting? BY writing letters? By voting? By mass resistance with a gallows for those in government that violate their oaths of office? Oh, wait…that is the ONLY way you are going to get those in the government… Read more »

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Last edited 20 days ago by CourageousLion
Tank
Tank
19 days ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

10% true ^

Montana454Casull
Montana454Casull
20 days ago

$200 to exercise a right ? This is unconstitutional. We should be charging the ilegitiment idiot Biden 2 trillion for all his blunders.

Matt in Oklahoma
Matt in Oklahoma
20 days ago

The AFT doesn’t need more time to process comments that are all the same.
The government knows it’s in trouble and is about to lose midterms, doesn’t have its head henchman to do the dirty work of illegal things because the nomination failed, is taking a beating from the courts on these failed policies, has an Alzheimer’s patient at the head, and the giant dumpster fire of a world they are in is their fault and can’t risk open war.

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
20 days ago

The government knows it’s in trouble and is about to lose midterms,” LOL! Well we know you have to be right after all those in the government that are voted in don’t have to worry in the least bit about voter fraud, election integrity, mail in ballots etc etc…everything is fine in la la land. Now move along little bovine.

Tank
Tank
19 days ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

Exactly many people don’t realize it’s all rigged anyways so why talk in platitude midterms. I truly find it disgusting & sad that so many Americans are still not awake to what the real picture going on is.

Knute Knute
Knute Knute
16 days ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

That’s the scam alright. The people are unhappy about the Ds taking their rights? Well, we’ll just have the Rs win! Then when we have the Rs take their rights away also, they can take it out on them next time around. Back and forth… until they have nothing left.
The only treatment for this disease is when the sheeple wake up to how badly they’re being manipulated by the swamp creatures that own both parties.

Duane
Duane
20 days ago

Any delay is good.

The closer we get to the mid terms the less will happen.

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
20 days ago
Reply to  Duane

The closer we get to hanging them the less will happen.

Tank
Tank
19 days ago
Reply to  CourageousLion

This & that is exactly why they have been able to get to far. We don’t drink from the skulls of our true enemies anymore. That which you allow is what will continue.

Don
Don
19 days ago
Reply to  Duane

If we sane people win the mid-terms nothing will happen in our favor. Biden is still in the oval office. We can win the house and senate, pass pro-gun laws and get them vetoed by the president. It is time to dismantle the NFA ’34. We’ve had Republican majorities and no repeal of a gun law at any level has happened on the federal level. Even with 21 states now in the free zone, it will never happen for the people of CA. MD, MA, NJ, NY, CT, DC, DE. We need new leadership top down. 2024 is our only… Read more »

Stag
Stag
19 days ago
Reply to  Don

You said it yourself. Republicans have had complete control of Washington numerous times since 1934 and they have yet to repeal the NFA, GCA, Hughes Amendment, import bans, etc… Yet people still believe if we just keep voting against Democrats then we’ll be safe. All Republicans have done is give us more arms laws. They just take smaller bites out of the 2A than the Democrats would like.

Orion
Orion
19 days ago
Reply to  Stag

numerous times? prior to 1996 when Newt Gingrich led the way for the House (under Clinton) just how many times have Republicans held both houses of Congress AND the White House in the past 121 years?
inquiring minds would like to know? lol.

Stag
Stag
19 days ago
Reply to  Orion

Since 1857 Republicans have had complete control 25 times. In the last 121 years they have had complete control 16 times. This isn’t very difficult info to find. Anything else you would like to know?

https://history.house.gov/Institution/Presidents-Coinciding/Party-Government/

Stag
Stag
19 days ago
Reply to  Stag

No problem. Orion likes to make a lot of claims about his beloved NRA and the Republican Party like they’re the saviors of the 2A. Funny how he can never provide anything to back it up.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
19 days ago
Reply to  Stag

,
The Republican Party may have a majority in the House of Representatives, but each House member votes on his own. The Repubs may have had a majority in the Senate, but each Senator votes on his own. The president may have been a member of the Repub party, but normally the president is his own man (with the exception of the current “administration”.)
Complete control by a political party is kind of a myth in this nation.

Russn8r
Russn8r
19 days ago
Reply to  Orion

LOL. Don’t ask Qs you might not want As to. Do your homewk so gophers don’t blow on your face.

“how many times have Rs held congress & WH the past 121 yrs? lol” -0rion

“Since 1857 Rs had complete control 25x…” -Stag

Last edited 19 days ago by Russn8r
Wild Bill
Wild Bill
19 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Gophers? You mean like “Caddyshack”?

Last edited 19 days ago by Wild Bill
Russn8r
Russn8r
18 days ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

No, like thinking of cute little ploys to make someone do a bunch of homework, “go for this, go for that”. Zerorion’s would-be gopher sprayed his face.