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Thread: 2A: Take Action Notice - Comment Period on ATF Brace "Guidance" Document

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    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    2A: Take Action Notice - Comment Period on ATF Brace "Guidance" Document

    Now available and comments can be submitted digitally:

    https://beta.regulations.gov/documen...2020-0001-0001

    ___

    Does anyone have suggestions for a universal/semi-universal comment to submit?

    I'm thinking something like this:

    I oppose the proposed guidance document ATF-2020-0001-0001 for the following reasons:

    The proposed 'objective guidance" does not meet the definition of 'objective'. Merriam-Webster defines Objective as; "of a test : limited to choices of FIXED ALTERNATIVES and reducing subjective factors to a minimum." (emphasis mine)

    Under the proposed 'objective guidance' document criteria for delimiting if a pistol stabilizing brace ('brace' hereafter) is attached to a weapon rendering it a short-barrel rifle ('SBR' hereafter) and subject to regulation under the National Firearms Act of 1934 ('NFA' hereafter) are given. These criteria are subjective open to substantial interpretation and therefore fail to meet the most basic form of 'objective'.

    1) Type and Caliber. - Guidance document does not clearly state precisely what type and caliber weapons would be considered 'impractical to fire or aim with one hand'. This means that the ultimate definition is subjective.

    2) Weight and Length. - No clear guidance (ennumeration) is provided for what would be the minimum weight and minimum length to be considered 'impractical to fire or aim with one hand'. This means that the ultimate definition is subjective.

    3) Length of Pull. No clear guidance (ennumeration) is provided for what the maximum allowed 'length of pull' would be. This means that the ultimate definition is subjective.

    4) Attachment Method. The document suggests that certain types of mounting approaches would make a brace into a stock. Because they would lengthen the brace and make it unusable on the forearm. However, because no maximum allowed 'length of pull' is defined under criteria 3, this definition is subjective.

    5) Stabilizing Brace Design Features. None of the provided examples give clear ennumerration of how comparisons must be conducted to allow objectivity to be achieved. Comparison of braces, 'square area', etc. remain undefined. Ergo, this definition is subjective.

    6) Aim Point. No definition nor testing criteria are provided for what constitutes an 'appropriate aim point'. Because 'appropriate' is context specific and therefore is subjective.

    7) Secondary Grip. No definition nor testing criteria are provided for what constitutes a 'secondary grip', and therefore is subjective.

    8) Sights and Scopes. Definition provided is: "Incorporation of sights or scopes that possess eye relief incompatible with one-handed firing..." - However no definition of one-handed firing and testing criteria are provided, resulting again in a subjective definition.

    9) Peripheral Accessories. "Installation of peripheral accessories commonly found on rifles or shotguns that may indicate that the firearm is not designed and intended to be held and fired with one hand. This includes, but is not limited to..." - By definition a list that is not limited cannot allow the end user to objectively define what are and are not 'offending' accessories. Therefore the guidance provided here is subjective.

    ___

    I fully oppose this document and the proposed guidance within. I have provided a detailed set of explanations for why the proposed 'objective' guidance fails to meet the definition of 'objective'. Because the ATF has failed to provide objective guidance for defining braces as stocks, it cannot move forward with these changes and potentially invoke that all 'brace equipped' pistols are now SBRs and subject to NFA regulation.

    Further, the proposal here includes 'expedited' NFA processing as a form of 'amnesty', but fails to define how such processes would/could be expedited. The ATF currently has a multi-month backlog in processing SBR forms, and the NFA Registry has less than 500,000 arms registered. At present, there are an estimated 4,000,000 braces held by law-abiding American citizens.

    Finally, amnesty is unnecessary, since at present American citizens have not broken any laws. The ATF is attempting to criminalize millions of Americans for no compelling reason, it should cease and desist immediately.
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

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    That sounds good to me. I copied and used that for my comment.

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    Great work bringing this up to the forefront. I went all over the internet with the RFC for 41P.

    I’m shocked there is an RFC for this one, but not surprised.

    Thank you for bringing this up! I recommend this be pinned in all sub forums IMHO.

    We stand together!
    God Bless,

    Brandon

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    I will try to prepare a more detailed comment, but my initial suggestion would be to focus on the requirements for procedural due process - notice and the opportunity to be heard. Specifically, the guidelines provide almost no meaningful notice about what is and is not prohibited. It is critical that a person be able to read the regulations, and know whether or not a given configuration falls within the acceptable guidelines. Without adequate notice of what is prohibited. people do not have a reasonable opportunity to conform to the requirements of the law.

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    We'll be putting up a draft comment and advice for commenters who would like to draft their own this weekend.

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    Site Supporter ccmdfd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshs View Post
    We'll be putting up a draft comment and advice for commenters who would like to draft their own this weekend.
    Please post back with a link once that is done.

    Never having done something like this, does the fact that many comments are going to be obviously copied and pasted from another site have any effect?

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    Member LHS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshs View Post
    We'll be putting up a draft comment and advice for commenters who would like to draft their own this weekend.
    Outstanding.


    Matt Haught
    SYMTAC Consulting LLC
    https://sym-tac.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillSWPA View Post
    I will try to prepare a more detailed comment, but my initial suggestion would be to focus on the requirements for procedural due process - notice and the opportunity to be heard. Specifically, the guidelines provide almost no meaningful notice about what is and is not prohibited. It is critical that a person be able to read the regulations, and know whether or not a given configuration falls within the acceptable guidelines. Without adequate notice of what is prohibited. people do not have a reasonable opportunity to conform to the requirements of the law.
    Thanks, @BillSWPA and @joshs. I’d like to see you inputs before drafting my own comment. I really like @RevolverRob ‘s points on lack of objective standards, too - which I think is what @BillSWPA is getting at.

    It’s not lost on me that a document titled “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with Stabilizing Braces” that contains no objective standards that one can read and apply is a great example of 2020 newspeak.
    And the two week comment period that spans Christmas and New Years Day sounds like something out of a poorly-written techno-thriller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GyroF-16 View Post
    Thanks, @BillSWPA and @joshs. I’d like to see you inputs before drafting my own comment. I really like @RevolverRob ‘s points on lack of objective standards, too - which I think is what @BillSWPA is getting at.

    It’s not lost on me that a document titled “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with Stabilizing Braces” that contains no objective standards that one can read and apply is a great example of 2020 newspeak.
    And the two week comment period that spans Christmas and New Years Day sounds like something out of a poorly-written techno-thriller.
    The lack of objective standards as mentioned by RevolverRob is exactly what I am referring to. If, for example, they are relying on length of pull, what length of pull is acceptable? What is the minimum eye relief for any optic or sights selected? How heavy is too heavy? How far forward is the balance point allowed to sit? Perhaps the weight and forward balance elements could be addressed by a maximum downward torque value on the shooting hand? Exactly what design features in the brace make it more suitable for shouldering rather than securing against an arm? Is a pre-approved configuration by a manufacturer presumed to be acceptable unless specific modifications are made?

    I do like the options for dealing with a potential problem brace. If one can solve the problem by simply attaching a non-brace buffer tube and disposing of the brace, then the majority of the usefulness of an AR pistol is maintained.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillSWPA View Post
    The lack of objective standards as mentioned by RevolverRob is exactly what I am referring to. If, for example, they are relying on length of pull, what length of pull is acceptable? What is the minimum eye relief for any optic or sights selected? How heavy is too heavy? How far forward is the balance point allowed to sit? Perhaps the weight and forward balance elements could be addressed by a maximum downward torque value on the shooting hand? Exactly what design features in the brace make it more suitable for shouldering rather than securing against an arm? Is a pre-approved configuration by a manufacturer presumed to be acceptable unless specific modifications are made?

    I do like the options for dealing with a potential problem brace. If one can solve the problem by simply attaching a non-brace buffer tube and disposing of the brace, then the majority of the usefulness of an AR pistol is maintained.
    Yep, and you'd think that an agency that had already been slapped for using "much faster" as a standard would know that too.

    "ATFE's relational definition suffers from a further methodological flaw: it designates no points of comparison. In order to say that one item burns 'much faster' than another, one would need to know the speed at which each item burns. But ATFE has never pointed to evidence establishing the data points necessary to make a comparison." Tripoli Rocketry Ass'n, Inc. v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives, 437 F.3d 75, 82 (D.C. Cir. 2006).

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