‘The Very Definition Of Tyranny’: Pistol Brace Creator Blasts Government For ‘Flip-Flopping’ On His Invention

Screenshot via YouTube/House Committee on the Judiciary

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Army veteran Alex Bosco, the inventor of the pistol stabilizing brace, blasted federal regulators for “flip-flopping” on the legality of his invention while testifying Thursday in front of two House subcommittees.

Bosco, who created the detachable add-on in 2012, outlined the extensive regulatory process that culminated in the Trump-era Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) approving the brace. In January, the ATF reversed course, finalizing a rule that classifies pistols with braces attached as “short-barreled rifles,” which must be registered with the federal government. Several lawsuits are currently targeting the rule, and congressional Republicans have introduced legislation to overturn it.

“My original effort to help a friend and injured veteran to safely and accurately participate in pistol-shooting and then build a business has put me and millions of law-abiding Americans on a whiplash-inducing regulatory odyssey that has serious consequences, including imprisonment,” Bosco told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance and the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs.

The ATF repeatedly ruled that the attached pistol stabilizer brace “would not alter the classification of a pistol or other firearm,” Bosco said in his testimony. The Congressional Research Service estimates that between 10 million and 40 million braces are currently in circulation, although the ATF puts the number at three to seven million. (RELATED: The ATF’s Pistol Brace Final Rule Sets The Stage To Classify Legal Gun Owners As Criminals)

“Along the way, and at significant cost, I worked with attorneys, former ATF regulators, and even a former presidentially-appointed ATF director to seek guidance from ATF whenever we made adjustments to the original design of the brace that I had submitted back in 2012,” Bosco continued.

The new ATF rule would destroy Bosco’s business, he said, since it would require brace owners to pay a $200 filing fee with the federal government and be fingerprinted.

Responsible gun owners will be harmed. None of them want to run afoul of the [National Firearms Act] as a result of ATF’s flip flop, but neither do they want to purchase new braces when AFT now says that, in order to use these braces, people must register in a federal database and submit their photographs and fingerprints to the government. The effects of ATF’s rule is to put out of business the industry that ATF itself fostered for ten years and punish consumers who relied on ATF’s prior decisions,” Bosco added.

In Federalist Paper 47, James Madison observed that ‘the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny,'” he continued. “It is in Congress that the legislative authority is vested, and the president must faithfully execute those laws. The president and the ATF don’t get to do both.”