Federal regulators on Friday set off the starting pistol in the race to establish what stabilizing brace makers term the largest firearm registration scheme in American history.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives scheduled its proposed 15-page “Objective Factors for Classifying Stabilizer Braces” to publish Dec. 18 in the Federal Register, the official journal of the federal government, for public inspection. Americans have two weeks to provide feedback on the plan, which could be the last chance to make their voice heard on the issue before ATF moves forward.
Written comments on the ATF proposal must be postmarked by, and electronic comments must be submitted on or before Jan. 1, 2021, by midnight Eastern time. SB Tactical is also encouraging members of the public, who are concerned about the issue, to reach out to their lawmakers in Congress as well as the White House.
More background on the brace issue in my column at Guns.com here and here.
Of course, this is a moving target and in most cases would be considered something of a wild ass guess in most cases, but the NSSF, working with industry and regulatory data for the past couple of decades, came up with some interesting figures when it comes to the number of guns in private circulation in the U.S.
The big numbers: 434 million firearms, 20 million “modern sporting rifles” such as AR-15s, and 150 million magazines which are considered in eight or nine states to be “high capacity.”
More in my column at Guns.com.
So, as a backgrounder, the Honey Badger, the gun that broke the internet in 2012 came originally from Georgia-based AAC, the byproduct of a proposed replacement for the HK MP5/MP7 for use by special operations groups.
Thus: The circa 2012 O.G. AAC Honey Badger, which was proposed as the Low Visibility Carbine for special ops about a decade ago, upping the ante on the MP5/MP7 with .300 Blackout. Of interest, I held this very gatt in Remington’s Gun Library in Hunstville a few years ago.
Kevin Brittingham, whose team at AAC developed the Honey Badger initially, moved on and started Q in New Hampshire in 2017, with the current version of the HBP as its flagship firearm. Q, up until very recently, sold it both as an SBR which required a tax stamp, and as a no-stamp-required pistol using an SB Tactical stabilizing arm brace.
Boom: the current Q Honey Badger Pistol. No select-fire and an arm brace sans stock.
Well, the ATF has just come in and zapped them over the pistol version saying that, it too is an SBR, not because of the brace but because of the sub of its parts and how it was marketed.
A possible reason could be that Q formerly listed the HB Pistol version as having a “2-POSITION TELESCOPING STOCK” rather than a brace on their website once upon a time, which seems just like a copy/paste mistake when their e-comm person set up the page, using the same copy from the SBR page.
But, the minor mistake in advertising, which surely could be easily cleared up, has now gone nuclear and the ATF isn’t taking any prisoners in the effort to dub the HBP an SBR through some sort of arbitrary concept without showing their mental gymnastics. The end result could be upwards of 4 million legal gun owners who have braces on their AR/AK pistols becoming potential felons by default once the smoke clears.
Rock Island Auction Company has, for the first time, just released high-rez digital copies of their upcoming premier auction catalog online (for free). If you aren’t aware, these catalogs are book-quality, running 300+ pages on average, and usually cost $170 a set.
They make a great piece of firearms history if nothing else and really are drool-quality.
An example of what you see in these…
Be aware, they are about 300mb each, in pdf format, so they may take a minute to DL.
Jeff Quinn– the gun writer not the current and much younger Notre Dame coach of the same name– has reportedly passed. Every year, I enjoyed bumping into Jeff at SHOT Show and NRA Show. He was most certainly a character and his Gunblast site was unique in the firearms industry.
Jeff, with his brothers Boge and Gregg behind the camera, teamed up in January 2000 to become one of the very first in the online firearms review game back when a 56K dial-up connection was still considered fast in many parts of the country. Keep in mind, they predated Vimeo and YouTube which were founded a half-decade later!
The full-time firearms writer game only has about 100 active players. After all, when compared to other enterprises it is a smallish industry, despite what the left screams. Losing Mr. Quinn feels like we are diminished by far more than just one voice.
So long, Jeff.
So for the past few weeks, I have been fooling around with a T&E DB15 pistol. Featuring a 7-inch barrel, it is a fairly compact blaster and I have to admit that the KAK Flash Can and Gearhead Works Tailhook is growing on me.
While right out of the box, the 23-inch long 5.56 NATO handgun weighs just 4.53-pounds, I have added a Sig Sauer Romeo 5 red dot, a 600-lumen Streamlight and a Magpul D60 drum to it, bringing its loaded all-up weight with spare batteries (in the MOE grip) and boolits of 8.7-pounds.
Nice. For reference, the total cost as shown with all accessories is still under $1K.
More in my column at Guns.com.
Lots of people don’t know, but the Boy Scouts of America is, for many kids, their introduction to gun culture and safety. My son and I participated when he was in the program and I volunteered as a certified firearms instructor and range safety officer.
In 2015 alone, 43,196 Boy Scouts earned a Marksmanship Merit Badge, which is available in rifles and shotguns. Older Venture Scouts also can take smallbore pistol marksmanship as well.
As noted by Michael D. Faw in The Outdoor Wire:
Scouting holds title to more than 400 summer camps across America and every camp has a range that promotes various firearms shooting programs. For many Scouts, this can be the first introduction to the shooting sports. More than 300 of those camps have rifle ranges, and nearly 300 camps have shotgun ranges. Many have both.
Shooting venues are popular at Scout camps and those attendees shoot—and shoot often.
During 2019, Scouting shooting programs at those camp ordered more than 5,130,000 rounds of .22 ammunition, more than 850,000 20-gauge shotshells and more than 360,000 12-gauge shotshells from the national headquarters supply center. Ironically, not all camps order their ammunition supplies through the national headquarters supply program or those numbers would be significantly higher. Several camps have programs with local suppliers to secure ammunition and save shipping costs.
“The shooting programs offered in Scouting camps are one of our most popular programs,” reports Rob Kolb, Scouting Range Program Director. “Adding to those camps in 2019 was the World Scout Jamboree that came to The Summit (a Scout adventure camp) in West Virginia. There were more than 42,000 participants from more than 150 countries, and the shooting range was open and it was one of the top visited sites. For some of those Scouts, this was the first time they had shot any firearm—and for some it was the first time they had ever seen a firearm.” 2019 was the first time the World Scouting Jamboree had been in America in 50 years.
In May 2013, Cody Wilson, through his Austin-based company Defense Distributed, created the Liberator, a nearly entirely 3-D printed, single-shot .380 ACP pistol for which he freely shared the plans for online. In the first two days, the files were downloaded nearly 100,000 times. Then the federal government, specifically the State Department under John Kerry, demanded the plans for the Liberator be pulled from the website until further notice under international arms regulations, citing “the United States government claims control of the information.”
Wilson, allied with the Second Amendment Foundation, challenged that logic in court and won the settlement announced this week that will see DefDist once again post 3-D gun files starting Aug. 1 via Defcad.com. “The age of the downloadable gun begins.”
And they aren’t just about the Liberator anymore:
More in my column at Guns.com.
In California, it is pretty tough for one of the 13 million estimated legal gun owners to buy an AR-15 or similar gun deemed by local law since 1989 to be an “assault weapon” without seriously neutering the firearm itself to be compliant. Fast forward nearly 30 years, numbers of (non-compliant) ARs still pop up with regularity in gun crime. Recently, the ATF and LAPD busted a group associated with street gangs that were operating DIY gun mills from Hollywood area weekly-rent hotels that made ARs and Glocks from 80 percent lowers.
Some of the firearms appear to violate National Firearm Act regulations for short-barreled rifles. Go big or go home, I guess. (Photo: LAPD)
So, just regulate “ghost guns” right?
Here’s the funny part: under a bill, signed into law in 2016 by Gov. Jerry Brown, legal builders of homemade firearms have to first obtain a serial number through the state Department of Justice to complete their built and abide by a myriad of California laws.
More in my column at Guns.com
With Justice Kennedy moving on to enjoy some twilight years after more than four decades on the bench (he was originally an appointment of the Ford administration), the question of gun rights comes into play in the newly recast Roberts court.
Both sides are pulling out knives ready to fight over the issue. I spoke to several stake holders involved.