Sens. Marshall and Kennedy, Rep. Clyde Reintroduce SHORT Act to Roll Back ATF’s New Pistol Brace Rule

(Washington, D.C., January 31, 2023) – Today, U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. and John Kennedy introduced the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act, legislation that fights back against the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) recently announced federal registry for firearms with stabilizing braces. Senator Marshall previously introduced this legislation in the 117th Congress, and is once again partnering with U.S. Congressman Andrew Clyde (GA-09) who has introduced an identical bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. Additionally, Senator Marshall is a cosponsor of a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that Senator John Kennedy (LA) is introducing to prevent the ATF’s new rule from taking effect. 

“Finalization of this pistol brace rule represents the worst fears of gun owners across the country,” said Senator Marshall. “The SHORT Act will protect Americans from the anti-2nd Amendment gun registry that the ATF is abusing the National Firearms Act to create. This Congress, I challenge my colleagues in both chambers to make protecting Americans’ 2nd Amendment Rights a priority and sign onto this legislation that will stop the ATF’s pistol brace rule in its tracks.”

“The Biden administration is going to keep looking for ways to penalize law-abiding gunowners unless Congress makes their rights clear. A brace that countless disabled Americans use to exercise their Second Amendment rights should not be regulated by unelected anti-gun bureaucrats, and this bill would force the Biden ATF to stop devising new restrictions for legal firearms,” said Senator Kennedy.

“Congress cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the Biden Administration’s weaponization of the NFA and ongoing assault on Americans’ Second Amendment freedoms. In the face of President Biden’s unconstitutional tactics and backdoor gun control, the SHORT Act provides a permanent solution to combat the unlawful Pistol Brace Rule and protect Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I’m proud to reintroduce this legislation with Senator Marshall and lead the fight on behalf of all law-abiding gun owners across our great nation against the Biden Administration’s latest gun-grabbing measure,” said Congressman Clyde.

In the U.S. Senate, Senators John Barrasso (WY), John Boozman (AR), Ted Budd (NC), Mike Crapo (ID), Ted Cruz (TX), Steve Daines (MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), Mike Lee (UT), Cynthia Lummis (WY), Markwayne Mullin (OK), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Risch (ID), Mike Rounds (SD), Rick Scott (FL), John Thune (SD), and Tommy Tuberville (AL) are original cosponsors of this legislation.

“The Biden administration is once again attempting to punish law-abiding Americans, including disabled veterans who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights,” Senator Boozman said. “Federal bureaucrats have no authority to tamper with or undermine the Second Amendment. Our bill blocks ATF from acquiring information that could be used to confiscate firearms or target responsible gun owners.”

“As the Biden Administration continues to seek creative methods of advancing their anti-gun agenda, Congress must be resolute and oppose all efforts to undermine Second Amendment rights,” said Senator Crapo.  “Burdening law-abiding Americans with additional firearm restrictions is not the answer to safeguarding the public.”

“The Biden administration has absolutely no regard for the Second Amendment or the Constitution for that matter. Without any input from Congress, his administration has threatened the rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners across the country in an egregious overreach. ATF’s move to criminalize millions of law-abiding Americans who purchased guns legally is wrong. I have serious concerns that this move by the ATF is a step towards creating a national firearms registry. That is deeply concerning and also illegal, and it’s why we need to pass the SHORT Act,” said Senator Cruz.

“This new pistol brace rule from ATF is an assault on law abiding Montanans’ Second Amendment rights,” said Senator Daines. “The SHORT Act will stop them in their tracks and protect Montanans from the Biden Administration’s army of unelected gun-grabbing bureaucrats.”

“President Biden and his administration are trying every which way to impose unconstitutional gun control on law-abiding firearm owners.  The ATF rule to reclassify many commonly-owned pistols and subject them to burdensome regulation, taxation, and registration is an affront to our constitutional Second Amendment rights.  This needs to stop, which is just what the SHORT Act would do,” Senator Hyde-Smith said.

“Stabilizing braces were initially designed and manufactured to assist disabled combat veterans in shooting larger pistols that were otherwise too cumbersome for a gun owner with a disability to use. The ATF previously ruled that they are permissible,” said Senator Lummis. “This decision to overturn that ruling infringes on the Second Amendment rights of Wyoming veterans who served our nation honorably. Thank you to Senator Marshall for introducing the SHORT Act to push back on this egregious government overreach.”

“Congressional action to protect the civil rights of law-abiding gun owners in this country is long overdue. For decades, the ATF has hidden behind the National Firearms Act to impose arbitrary restrictions on the configuration of various firearms. Asserting that a rifle equipped with a telescoping stock, and a barrel less than 16 inches, is somehow more or less dangerous than any other rifle is absurd. Sadly, the bureaucrats at the ATF and the DOJ know this, but they have chosen politics over commonsense. The SHORT Act is good policy and it has my full support.” said Senator Mullin.

“The protections afforded by the Second Amendment are indispensable, and the ATF’s new rule only restricts access to responsible gun owners, further infringing upon their constitutional rights. I’m proud to support the SHORT Act that will roll back the Biden administrations dangerous attempt to make it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to protect themselves and their families,” said Senator Paul.

“This Administration’s vendetta against lawful gun ownership is a gross violation of Constitutional rights. A federal gun registry has no place in America, yet this Administration is forcing millions of law-abiding Americans to either register these commonly owned firearms or become felons,” said Senator Risch. “With the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act, Congress can protect Idahoans from this unlawful registry by prohibiting the National Firearms Act from requiring registry, tax, and regulations on their cherry-picked list of firearms.”  

“I’m a proud supporter of our Constitution and the 2nd Amendment. Biden and the far-left’s blatant attempt to push overreaching policies that infringe on the rights of law-abiding Americans is completely unacceptable,” said Senator Rick Scott. “Our bill, the SHORT Act, stops the ATF’s ridiculous attempt to make criminals of law-abiding gun owners and protects the constitutional rights our nation was founded on.”

“The ATF’s overreaching rule seeks to penalize and disarm law-abiding gun owners across America, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in challenging this new regulation,” said Senator Thune.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) both endorsed the SHORT Act upon its reintroduction. 

“The NRA is proud to stand with Sen. Marshall and support the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act. Given the ATF’s most recent assault on the Second Amendment, this important legislation will protect the right of law-abiding Americans to choose the firearm that best suits their needs while eliminating an outdated and onerous taxing and registration scheme. If passed, American gun owners will no longer have to fear the unconstitutional and arbitrary reinterpretations of the law by unelected, anti-gun bureaucrats. The NRA thanks Sen. Marshall for his unwavering support of the Second Amendment and his leadership in introducing these commonsense reforms,” said Jason Ouimet, Executive Director, NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

“The Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act will repeal elements of the archaic National Firearms Act, which the Biden ATF is using to justify their pistol ban and “amnesty registration” plan – a policy change that affects millions of law-abiding gun owners and does nothing to curb rising crime. GOA is proud to support the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Act, which will protect millions of gun owners, halt these anti-gun infringements, and restore liberty. Thank you to Sen. Roger Marshall and Rep. Andrew Clyde for leading this No Compromise legislation to restore long-lost Second Amendment rights,” said Aidan Johnston, GOA’s Director of Federal Affairs.

You may click HERE to read the full text of the SHORT Act.

Background on the SHORT ACT:

The SHORT Act will remove the unconstitutional taxation, registration, and regulation in the draconian National Firearms Act (NFA) of firearms such as Short Barreled Rifles (SBR), Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS), and Any Other Weapons (AOW).

Senator Marshall’s bill is needed to push back against the Biden Administration’s attacks on millions of gun owners with his attempted ban on certain pistols through the ATF’s rule change.

Using the NFA, the Biden Administration is pretending people who own pistols with stabilizing braces in fact possess illegal short barreled rifles. ATF is using this excuse to facilitate a ban, forcing gun owners to violate their rule or participate in an unconstitutional “Amnesty Registration of Pistol Brace weapons,” in order to keep their own firearms.

The only way to protect gun owners from the Biden Administration and ensure the ATF does not enact this rule (or any future version of it) is by deregulating NFA firearms through the elimination of unconstitutional and unnecessary restrictions, taxation, and registration placed on NFA firearms in 1934.

Short-Barreled Rifle Deregulation:

• An SBR is a rifle that has a barrel length less than 16 inches or an overall length less than 26 inches.

• SBRs, along with SBSs and AOWs, are not any more dangerous than any other firearm.

• The ATF reports that there are over 532,000 registered SBRs as of May 2021.

• SBRs include many rifles but the most popular SBRs are variants of the AR-15.

• Under ATF Proposed Rule 2021R-08, any rifle with a stabilizing brace would de facto be designated an SBR and thus be subject to all NFA Regulations. This means the Biden Administration may be registering, taxing, and regulating as many as 40 million lawfully purchased pistols without the passage of a new law.

Short-Barreled Shotgun Deregulation:

• An SBS is a shotgun that has a barrel length less than 18 inches or an overall length less than 26 inches.

• The ATF reports that there are over 162,000 registered SBSs as of May 2021.

• Additionally, Sen. Marshall’s legislation would remove the unconstitutional “sporting use” requirement for shotguns, which allows ATF bureaucrats to arbitrarily regulate certain shotguns like explosives.

Any Other Weapon Deregulation:

• An AOW is an ambiguous catch-all term for firearms that do not fit neatly into the provided definitions. Without removing this definition, the ATF could abuse this statue to justify another ban on pistols. This is a crucial provision to end the attack on American’s Second Amendment rights.

• The ATF reports that there are over 67,000 registered AOWs as of May 2021.

Record Destruction:

• Additionally, the legislation would require the ATF destroy all records relating to the registration, transfer, or manufacture of these NFA firearms, preventing the ATF from further harassing owners or confiscating these firearms. Gun registration always leads to gun confiscation.