Womack Calls on ATF to Withdraw Stabilizing Brace Guidance
Washington, DC—June 15, 2021….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) joined Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-8) and more than 100 representatives in urging the Department of Justice to withdraw proposed guidance on Stabilizing Braces. In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Marvin Richardson, the members warn that this guidance will make millions of law-abiding citizens, including disabled veterans, criminals overnight.
The lawmakers wrote, "This proposed guidance is alarming and jeopardizes the rights of law-abiding gun owners and disabled combat veterans across the country. Should this guidance go into effect, a disabled combat veteran who has chosen the best stabilizing brace for their disability is now a felon unless they turn in or destroy the firearm, destroy the brace, or pay a $200 tax. Furthermore, it could make millions of law-abiding citizens felons overnight.
"We urge you to take action to correct this injustice immediately by withdrawing this proposed guidance."
In their letter, members outline that the ATF has repeatedly stated, “the brace concept was inspired by the needs of disabled combat veterans who still enjoy recreational shooting but could not reliably control heavy pistols without assistance." As the ATF acknowledges there are legitimate uses for certain stabilizing braces, the letter points out that including a $200 tax in its rule is not an attempt to curb gun violence as suggested, but a direct tax on disabled combat veterans.
Furthermore, the members highlight uncertainties in the ATF's proposed guidance and the troubling omission of a process for disabled veterans to report a disability exempting them from this rule.
Read the entire letter here.
In December, Womack supported a similar letter to the ATF. Following their message, the ATF withdrew its guidance on stabilizing braces on Dec. 23, 2020.
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.