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Arkansas

New regulations expected for gun owners

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Arkansas – In the latter part of this month, gun owners who make use of a brace stabilizer may be required to register the device with the authorities or face the prospect of being charged with a felony.

Handguns, rifles, and short-barreled rifles are the three primary categories of firearms. A handgun is a type of rifle with a shorter barrel.

More regulations apply to short-barreled rifles, and it is anticipated that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) will implement yet another regulation before the year 2023.

A handgun that has a brace stabilizer attached to it may soon be reclassified by the ATF as a short-barreled rifle under new laws that will take effect in just a few short weeks.

Nathan House, who works with the Arkansas Armory, provided some background on the decision to make the modification.

“Even though [the brace stabilizer] was intended and designed to be a brace, certain people were using it from the shoulder. And [the ATF is] concerned that, that now changes the classification of this thing into a short-barreled rifle, when, for the past 10 years, it hasn’t been,” he described.

House also mentioned that some of his clients are already perplexed about the forthcoming regulation that will classify a brace as if it were a bump stock.

“That’s a lot of gun owners that the ATF is saying now look, you’re gonna have to turn in that property, destroy that property or register it,” House said.

Robert Steinbuch, a law professor at UALR, commented on how the dispute between gun regulation and the rights guaranteed by the second amendment can generate extra confusion.

“You do tend to see this swinging back and forth. ATF has unfortunately become politicized, not as an agency, but by those that are controlling it by administrations,” Steinbuch explained.

It has been suggested by activists like Lindsay Nichols of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence that these braces should be banned in order to protect the general population.

“[Braces] make these [guns] easy to manage, essentially, so that they function like an AR-15 rifle… mass shooters are choosing these because they are extremely dangerous,” Nichols said.

This decision was made at the conclusion of a year that set a record for the number of mass shootings that occurred across the country.

“Registration means that the people who own these guns go through a very thorough background check, and they know they will be held accountable if these guns are used in a crime,” Nichols added, in support of the expected registration requirement for braces.

If the bracing weapons were not federally registered and taxed, the owner ran the potential of being charged with a felony. House indicated that the qualifications for a normal riffle are different from these standards.

Representative House noted that the new categorization would have an effect on around 40 million gun owners across the country and at least 200,000 in the state of Arkansas.

“If you’ve got 40 million more applicants just trying to register a pistol brace, if they even chose to do that, then it’s going to totally back the system up,” House

The Armory has already put an end to the sales of the brace since they anticipate the change will take place within the next several weeks.

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