Politics /

Matt Gaetz Introduces Abolish the ATF Act In Response To 'Stabilizing Braces' Ruling

'The People At The ATF Making These Rules Fundamentally Don't Understand Firearms'

On Tuesday, Florida representative Matt Gaetz introduced a bill seeking the elimination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)

Last Friday, the ATF ruled the agency would require federal licensing under the National Firearms Act for guns with stabilizing accessories like short-barreled rifles following a contentious ruling seeking stricter regulations on pistol stabilizing braces.

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland said the court’s ruling “enhances public safety,” though Gaetz rebutted by saying it unfairly punishes disabled gun owners and veterans who rely on stabilizing braces to operate firearms with one hand. On Tuesday, the Florida representative introduced the Abolish the ATF Act in response to the ruling.

“I have a lot of disabled veterans in my district who enjoy pistol shooting and rely on stabilizing braces to be able to engage in the activity,” Gaetz told Fox News Digital in a Wednesday morning phone interview.

“The recent actions from the ATF essentially allow them to make case-by-case determinations on whether a pistol with a stabilizing brace is legal or an unlawful, sawed-off shotgun.”

“The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on the actions they’re taking to convert otherwise law-abiding people into felons,” he continued. “My bill would abolish the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to try defunding the ATF. If that doesn’t work, we’re going to target the individual bureaucrats at the top of the ATF who have exceeded their authority in rulemaking. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to take a meat cleaver to the statutes that the ATF believes broadly authorize their actions.”

“This rule does not affect ‘stabilizing braces’ that are objectively designed and intended as a ‘stabilizing brace’ for use by individuals with disabilities, and not for shouldering the weapon as a rifle,” reads a statement from the ATF regarding the new rule. “Such stabilizing braces are designed to conform to the arm and not as a buttstock. However, if the firearm with the ‘stabilizing brace’ is a short-barreled rifle, it needs to be registered within 120-days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.”

“The people at the ATF making these rules fundamentally don’t understand firearms,” said the Florida representative of the ATF’s statement. “I think they are under the flawed conception that a stabilizing brace increases the lethality or danger of a pistol,” Gaetz said. “It seems the ATF is on a snipe hunt for regulatory action that virtue signals to the anti-gun left, but that has no real practical safety impact on Americans.”

“I believe that you are likely to see ATF bureaucrats hauled before the Judiciary Committee to explain themselves in the coming weeks and months,” said Gaetz, who is a member of the committee. “Because we’re hearing this very loudly from our constituents, and the reason I filed this bill is, frankly, I think that the ATF should have to justify their existence at all.”

Gaetz’s bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee, though does not have any cosponsors yet. However, there is “broad support … to go after the actions of the ATF,” the outlet reported.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*