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Brady Statement on Final Rule Addressing Stabilizing Braces

Short-barreled rifles have been used in recent mass shootings in Boulder, Colo. and Dayton, Ohio

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 13, 2023 – Today, the Department of Justice announced it has submitted a final rule addressing “stabilizing braces,” devices which are often used to transform pistols into more lethal short-barreled rifles. The rule will prevent the gun industry and private individuals from circumventing the federal regulations regarding short-barreled rifles, which are covered by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA).

Brady President Kris Brown released the following statement:

“This is a long overdue recognition that the gun industry has been undermining laws regulating short-barreled rifles through the sale of accessories marketed as “stabilizing braces.”

“Short-barreled rifles have been heavily regulated since the 1930s because high powered rifles that can be easily concealed are a recipe for disaster. These weapons remain a threat today and their enhanced lethality makes them appealing to mass shooters, as we witnessed in the recent mass shootings in Boulder, Colo. and Dayton, Ohio.

“Brady applauds the Biden-Harris administration for upholding a law that has been in place for nearly a century by preventing manufacturers from erroneously misbranding these accessories that are designed to turn pistols into weapons of war.”

Background

The purpose of a short-barreled rifle is to make the firearm easily concealable and maneuverable, greatly enhancing its lethality. Congress took necessary public safety action to regulate these firearms during the Prohibition era, when they became a weapon of choice for organized crime. The NFA ensures that the purchasers of particularly lethal firearms and components receive heightened scrutiny, including fingerprinting and photo identification, before accessing these weapons.

A stabilizing brace is a device that can be attached to a pistol to help a shooter "stabilize" the firearm when firing it with one hand. However, while stabilizing braces were initially intended to aid shooters with disabilities, similar devices marketed as “stabilizing braces” have since been used to turn pistols into illegal short-barreled rifles and enable easy, accurate, and rapid fire that makes the firearm significantly more deadly. Their enhanced lethality makes them appealing to mass shooters — who knowingly take advantage of the legal loophole to obtain them.

Brady helped drive more than 4,000 comments on the rule during the comment period.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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