On June 13th, 2023, the House of Representatives passed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to block the Biden Pistol Brace Rule. The final vote was 219-210, with two Democrats joining the Republicans in the effort.
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) June 13, 2023
H.J. Res 44 now heads to the Senate for a vote. Due to the nature of this particular resolution, it is not subject to filibuster and, therefore, could likely pass the Senate in a very timely manner.
Of course, many of you smart readers know that once the resolution passes through the Senate, it lands on the President’s desk.
You might be saying to yourself: “Joe Biden will never sign that.” And you’d be correct.
In fact, the President has already made an official statement about his plan to veto the resolution if it reaches the resolute desk.
So why is this a win for gun rights? Because an act of Congress makes it clear that Biden’s pistol brace rule is government by executive fiat.
To create the Pistol Brace Rule, Biden used his “regulatory authority,” aka an executive order, directing the ATF to ban pistol braces. The ATF then made a rule that classified pistol braced firearms as SBRs or Short Barrel Rifles, subjecting them to taxation and registration via the NFA.
The rule took effect June 1st, and it is estimated that up to 40 million pistols are outlawed by the change.
Keep in mind ATF is a federal agency. It’s part of the Department of Justice and, therefore, part of the executive branch. The executive branch does not have the power to make law.
But the Biden administration feels that the separation of powers are just barriers to taking away your 2nd Amendment right. So, they’ve ignored the rule of law and used administrative rulemaking to pass “regulations,” subverting the system and effectively creating new laws for ATF to enforce.
If Congress puts the resolution on the President’s desk and he vetoes it, it’s evident that the executive branch needs to be checked and balanced. It then falls to the courts.
That’s a good thing for firearms activists. Federal courts have granted preliminary injunctions to the lawsuits focused on the pistol brace rule, like our case GOA & Texas v. ATF. This act of Congress completely disproves ATF’s argument that they’re simply enforcing the will of Congress by regulating pistol brace equipped firearms, using the almost 100-year-old 1934 National Firearms Act as proof.
This resolution sends a strong message to the courts that ATF is wrongfully assuming Congress’s intent.
Courts would have no choice but to refute ATF’s argument and strike down the pistol brace rule permanently.
Aidan Johnston, GOA’s Director of Federal Affairs, had this to say:
We applaud the House for doing their part to block this rule and to send a message to the Administration and Courts that the ATF went well beyond its statutory authority with this rule.
Many of these representatives deserve praise, but especially Congressman Clyde for championing the issue, and the House Democrats who joined their Republican colleagues in voting to block this rogue administration from making their constituents felons.
Now we turn our attention to the Senate, where a discharge petition has already been filed and this resolution can be fast-tracked to the floor without the ability for anti-gunners to filibuster. We urge Senate Democrats to join Republicans in blocking this rule, and we will do everything in our power to ensure this resolution passes as soon as possible.
But the fight is not over yet. While the resolution only needs a simple majority of 51 votes, many weak Republican Senators will be pressured not to vote yes. We’re calling on all gun owners, especially those in Maine, Arizona, Montana, West Viriginia, Alaska, and other states with potential key votes to make their voices heard by letting their Senators know to vote to overturn the pistol brace rule.
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