The House of Representatives voted Tuesday evening along party lines to overturn a Biden administration regulation that would require gun owners to register pistol braces.
Two Democrats joined with 217 Republicans to vote in favor of Republican Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde’s resolution rolling back the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) pistol brace rule, which is facing multiple federal lawsuits. All but two of the 210 opponents of his resolution were Democrats. The resolution’s passage also means the House will return to business as usual, since 11 Republicans held up floor business to the previous week to ensure it got a vote.
“We all know that registration leads to confiscation, which is why many gun owners simply don’t want to register their firearms. So their other options were to turn in, destroy or dismantle their pistol brace guns, and none of those are good options,” Clyde said ahead of the vote at a press conference that gun control activists repeatedly interrupted.
.@Rep_Clyde now holds presser on his bill to repeal ATF’s pistol brace bill, which will be brought to the floor later today after a contentious week of stalemate between GOP leadership and conservatives https://t.co/fA1Pf1eCfI pic.twitter.com/uVT9GF5Qug
— Mica Soellner (@MicaSoellnerDC) June 13, 2023
Between 10 million and 40 million braces are currently in circulation, according to the Congressional Research Service, although the ATF estimates that between three and seven million are in use. The detachable add-on, invented by a veteran in 2012, allows a user to attach a handgun to his or her arm and shoot with only one hand. The ATF rule classifies pistols with attached braces as “short-barreled rifles,” which must be registered with the federal government.
ATF Director Steven Dettelbach spoke directly with at least one gun control activist as his agency prepared the rule. Everytown for Gun Safety policy director Rob Wilcox testified to the House Judiciary Committee in May. The ATF finalized the rule in January, seven months into Dettelbach’s tenure, and it went into effect on May 31. (RELATED: Red State Gov Refuses To Enforce Feds’ Pistol Brace Rule That ‘Erodes The Second Amendment’)
Clyde introduced his resolution on May 17, before the regulation was set to go into effect. However, he and other House Freedom Caucus members have alleged, GOP leadership sought to kill the resolution as payback for Clyde’s opposition to the rule that put Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling package up for a vote. In response, 11 Republicans voted down a rule that would have allowed the House to vote on a resolution targeting gas stove resolutions.
“He voted his conscience on the debt ceiling bill, and Americans’ Second Amendment rights should never be used as a bargaining chip. I was proud to stand with my colleagues last week to hold the floor and force the House to vote on H.J. Res. 44. I’m glad we were able to come to an agreement and I look forward with leadership in the upcoming days,” Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert said.
“I’ve got a great relationship with leadership. We work together very well,” Clyde added.