Joe Biden's abrupt move to regulate one of America's most popular firearms for plinkers and hunters could turn up to 4 million owners into felons overnight.
Among the six initiatives he is taking in executive actions, Biden is ordering the Justice Department to regulate AR-15-style pistols, the current rage with buyers.
While they can be purchased like longer rifle versions after an FBI background check, AR pistols could soon be subject to a $200 tax and require approval by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a process that already takes nearly a year.
The difference between the two firearms is a "pistol brace" used in the shorter-barreled gun that is for stabilizing the weapon when used like a pistol. It can also be used as a rifle butt stock, thus making it similar to a short-barreled rifle regulated by the Prohibition-era National Firearms Act and subject to the tax. Critics call the pistol brace a loophole.
The White House last night released its plan on the AR pistol. It said: "The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act. The alleged shooter in the Boulder tragedy last month appears to have used a pistol with an arm brace, which can make a firearm more stable and accurate while still being concealable."
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is vowing to fight gun control. (Photo courtesy of her office)
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who came to Congress this year with a vow to stop Biden's anti-gun policies, said legal gun owners should not be punished because Syrian-born Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa might have used an AR-style pistol in the Boulder shootings.
She told Secrets on Thursday: "There is no cause or justification for the Biden administration to violate Americans' Second Amendment rights and punish legal gun owners. Colorado already had strict gun control laws such as red flag laws, and those overbearing laws did nothing to stop this terrorist attack. After two recent murderous attacks by Muslims, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, and Noah Green, a black nationalist and member of the Nation of Islam, the Justice Department should be investigating radical Islamic terrorist threats inside the U.S. and not making rulings about pistol stabilizers. Bumbling Joe Biden again has forgotten some very important facts. Shall not be infringed."
Last year, ATF moved to regulate one maker of an AR-pistol, Q LLC, which produces the "Honey Badger." It withdrew the plan after the agency came under fire from gun groups and owners alike.
?? STATEMENT ??— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) April 8, 2021
.@erichmpratt: "GOA will spare no expense to defeat Biden's tyrannical agenda and will rally gun owners and Second Amendment supporters nationwide to defend the right to keep and bear arms."
Read more ??https://t.co/aj5tNtKONq
An estimated 3 million to 4 million AR-pistols have been sold, a large slice of the 20 million "modern sporting rifles" sold since the "assault weapons ban" was lifted under former President George W. Bush.
The industry trade group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said up to 40% of AR platforms are sold with pistol braces. And one of the nation's largest gun stores, Hyatt Guns of Charlotte, North Carolina, told us that sales increased after people began to receive the Biden coronavirus stimulus checks.
It is unclear if current owners will have to pay the tax and register their weapons. Many have said in online posts they have no plans to comply, potentially turning them into felons.
A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found that 64% of likely voters do not believe it is possible to stop mass shootings completely.
Of all the actions he is taking today, that one targeting the AR-pistols will affect more gun owners. What's more, it may be a first step to reactivate the ban on all AR-style firearms since he has also announced plans to install an executive with the anti-gun Giffords Law Center as the head of ATF.
Second Amendment groups are ready for war over the issue, as well as Biden's plan to ban so-called "ghost guns" and bar "people in crisis" from having weapons, potentially leading to confiscations. Court challenges are certain.
Erich Pratt, the senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, told Secrets: "After sitting on his hands for more than a year while rioters destroyed American cities, Joe Biden is now blaming innocent gun owners for the destructive acts of criminals. Biden's press statement references the 'historic spike in homicides' as justification for his executive actions. But all he can offer are failed gun control restrictions that never make anyone safer and only violate the constitutional rights of American citizens. Gun Owners of America will challenge the Biden administration at every step, including legal action if these regulations go into effect."
He added, "GOA is committed to the defense of gun owners, their pistol-braced firearms, do-it-yourself firearm kits, unserialized homemade firearms, as well as any other lawfully-purchased, constitutionally protected items the Biden administration proposes to criminalize or confiscate."
National Rifle Association spokeswoman Amy Hunter said that "the proposals Biden announced tonight could require law-abiding citizens to surrender lawful property and enable states to expand gun confiscation orders. The NRA will fight this nomination and ill-conceived executive actions."
Several lawmakers have also said they will fight Biden's gun plans.
Notably, Greene recently seemed to dare Biden and ATF to take action against the AR-pistols when she raffled off a Honey Badger.
"Joe Biden wants to ban it. The ATF tried to ban it," she said of the Q LLC gun that costs $2,900. "I'm giving away the Honey Badger by Q because it's the gun in the crosshairs of gun grabbers all across America," she added.