The May 31 deadline to register pistol braces came and went. With more 30-million pistol braces in circulation, the ATF reports that a quarter of a million pistol brace owners complied. For those not familiar with the issue, a pistol brace is a stock designed for use with AR “pistols.” Pistol braces allowed owners to have some type of stock on shorter AR15s without having to register them as a short barrel rifle (SBR).
Americans' Message to the ATF—
Though they seem to “pass laws” and “make rulings,” to be clear, the ATF is not a legislative or judicial body. But that's a discussion for another time.
Despite a lack of authority, they can scare people into compliance. If the ATF's numbers are accurate, the quarter million who registered represent only 0.83% of those targeted. That works out to over 29-million owners who took their chances and chose not to register their braces.
I'm no legal expert, but this seems like a failed attempt to create a “law,” or at least an excuse to pursue enforcement action against tens of millions of Americans who became felons overnight by simply refusing to comply.
The logistics of pursuing enforcement action on more than 29M citizens is, to put it mildly, daunting, bordering on unrealistic.
ATF has 5,099 total full-time employees and 2,586 special agents. Despite being grossly outgunned and outnumbered in this scenario, they'll inevitably still pursue action when possible. After all, this is the agency that has shot puppies and killed cats, so anything is possible.
This could prove a pivotal moment in US history, and it really could go either way. Currently, non-compliant pistol brace owners considerably outnumber the ATF. But the federal government can always bolster those numbers by teaming up with other federal agencies, as well as state and local law enforcement.
However, they may not find willing assistance in some areas, as 26 states joined gun groups26 states joined gun groups to block this pistol brace ban. The ATF might find further non-compliance in attempting to enlist law enforcement agencies in these states to assist with enforcement action. And, if the treasure trove of anti-ATF memes readily available in gun circles from Fudd sites to more mainstream sites like Reddit are any indication, some people may be willing to die on this hill.
I Hope I am Completely Wrong, But—
By labeling anyone who disagrees with their politics as an “extremist,” the government may very well force Americans into violence against their fellow countrymen. I hope it doesn't come to this, but the last few years have not left me in an optimistic frame of mind.
What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.