In a modern day example of “What Second Amendment? I’ve never heard of the Second Amendment!” the ATF sent a Cease and Desist letter to Q, LLC regarding the manufacture of their Honey Badger pistol. Q responded to the letter and has taken up a legal battle with the ATF. Now, you can go read the letter yourself from the link above, or you can listen to me, a self-proclaimed expert and blowhard, break it down and rave ad nauseum about what a crock of shit this is, and how the ATF is such a dysfunctional and broken organization that it doesn’t even understand its own regulations.
Basically, the ATF is saying that Q is manufacturing short-barreled rifles (SBRs) and not pistols, when it’s pretty obvious (to anyone whose head lives outside of their rectums) that the Honey Badger, et al., are AR pistols. By the ATF’s own definitions, an SBR is a firearm with a rifled barrel under 16″ in length (overall length less than 26″) and that is intended to be fired from the shoulder. That last clause is the one the ATF is saying damns the Honey Badger to a life of hellfire and arbitrary NFA censorship.
Like most everything in the world of laws, legalities, and political double-cross, the devil is in the details. So what, you may ask, are those details?
Well, I’m glad you fucking asked.
Back in the old days of pistol manufacturing, folks (Sig, in particular) started replacing the stocks on shorty ARs with these awesome little forearm braces, so they could actually control the crazy little fucker in their hands instead of turning the entire countryside into a sporadically-planted field of 5.56mm Freedom Seeds. These braces had a split along the bottom and a Velcro nylon strap around them so these pioneers of shoot-em-up could have a safe and fun Saturday afternoon.
Initially, when questioned, the ATF issued a letter determining that shouldering a pistol no more turned it into an SBR than strapping a dildo to a hedgehog turned him into Ron Jeremy. Then later on in 2014, they probably decided they could make themselves more relevant if there were more people breaking their regulations, so they decided that in fact shouldering a pistol did magically turn it into an SBR, which seems nuts (reference above crude porn simile).
Fast-forward to 2017 and some goddamn freedom fighters got together and pestered the ATF enough to make them reconsider their idiocy, and the bureau issued a reversal. For those who don’t give a shit to try and parse bureaucratic bumfuckery, that whole letter basically says that a brace is a brace and not a stock, and if you don’t fuck with your brace to make it more comfortable or practical to fire from the shoulder, then you haven’t made a SBR, no matter how you shoot the damn thing. At the risk of bringing to light some shit that might further get the ATF pissing in their britches, I have to wonder out loud if something like the splitfix qualifies. I would argue that it doesn’t, since it’s primary purpose should be to aid in keeping the shape of the brace opening, thereby preventing undue wear on the brace and making it more effective when strapped to the forearm*.
But now, in what I view to be a prime example of governmental overreach and treachery, the ATF has once again decided that braces are stocks and pistols are rifles. It’s my personal belief as a red-blooded American who understand the English language and has read through such documents as the “Constitution of the United States of America,” and the appended document commonly referred to as “The Bill of Rights,” that we can solve all this hassle by just repealing the National Firearms Act and moving on with our lives. When I read a statement that says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” and then look at a law whose express purpose is to infringe on my right to keep and bear arms, I have to wonder how it even became law in the first place.
So, in summary: Fuck the ATF and their arbitrary limitations on firearms; Fuck the National Firearms Act and its arbitrary limitations on firearms; and Fuck anyone who thinks that going against God-given rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is an American agenda.
For more, you can always just throw something into your favorite search engine (I use Duck Duck Go because information security is what I do for a living and Google can suck my nuts) or you can listen to Colion Noir talk about it, because he’s a badass.
Stay ready. Stay safe. Stay free.