The Biden Pistol Ban 101

The Biden Pistol Ban is a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) rule entitled “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces.’”[i] The rule was published in the Federal Register on January 31st, 2023 and the 120 day “amnesty” period will expire on May 31st, 2023. In effect, President Biden’s rule is an unconstitutional ban on millions of lawfully purchased pistols without the passage of a new law by Congress. While disturbing, it is unsurprising that the Administration refers to the rule as an “Amnesty Registration” for pistols.[ii] The ATF has provided an infographic for gun owners describing their options to comply with this new executive action gun control:

While the rule is effectively a total ban on all pistols equipped with stabilizing braces, ATF notes that gun owners who wonder whether their particular firearm is legal or was banned may mail their pistols—or as ATF might refer to them ‘illegal short-barreled rifles’—to ATF’s Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division for “classification” at the following address:

Chief, FTISB
244 Needy Rd. Suite 1600
Martinsburg, WV 25405

If, by some miracle, ATF determines your pistol is still legal and you provide a “prepaid shipping label,” then ATF will mail it back.

Faced with jailtime of up to ten years and a $250,000 fine, pistol owners who wish to avoid confiscation will now need to submit federal registration paperwork—specifically an ATF Form 1. This includes personal information such as a pistol owner’s name, Social Security Number, address, phone number, email, and fingerprints as well as the make, model, and serial number of their firearm.[iii] This private gun and gun owner information will be recorded in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR), the ATF’s formalized and public gun registry. Compliant gun owners are also required to submit photo documentation that they possess an illegal firearm in violation of federal law in need of registration and amnesty.

According to ATF, the Form 1 takes about four hours to complete.[iv] Therefore, the owners of up to 40,000,000 braced weapons[v] will spend up to 160,000,000 hours registering their firearms pursuant to Biden’s “Amnesty Registration of Pistol Brace Weapons.” ATF reports to have processed 512,315 NFA forms in 2020.[vi] Assuming no further backlog and assuming all affected gun owners comply with gun registration, it would take the ATF over 78 years to process all the pistol registration forms. ATF also estimates that the Biden Pistol Ban will cost the general public up to $4,923,438,115.[vii]

What Must Congress Do?

By directing the ATF to take such actions, the Biden Administration has forced the hand of Congress, which is now faced with two choices: continue to help President Biden ban millions of lawfully purchased pistols and facilitate the ATF’s gun registration scheme or support the Second Amendment rights of the American people and refuse to subsidize this mass infringement.

  1. On behalf of our millions of members and activist supporters, Gun Owners of America demands Congress reverse the ban by passing a Joint Resolution of Disapproval[viii] of President Biden’s unconstitutional ‘Amnesty Registration.’
  2. This short-term solution must be followed swiftly by the passage of the Stop Harassing Owners of Rifles Today (SHORT) Act[ix] to repeal the archaic Assault Weapons Ban-type restrictions in the National Firearm Act of 1934 which the Biden Administration has weaponized.
  3. If the Biden Administration refuses to support the restoration of liberty and the Second Amendment, then the ATF must be defunded so it can no longer infringe on the right to keep and bear arms and unilaterally enact unconstitutional gun bans.

[i] Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. “Factoring Criteria For Firearms With Attached Stabilizing Braces”. 2023.

[ii] Office of Management and Budget. Information Collection Request OMB 1140-0011 Application to Make and Register a Firearm –ATF Form 1 (5320.1) SUPPORTING STATEMENT. A.1..

[iii] Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. “NFA Form 1 Submission Guidance with Q&A”.

[iv] Ibid. A.12..

[v]  “Handguns, Stabilizing Braces, and Related Components”. Congressional Research Service. April 19th, 2021. 2.

[vi] Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. “Data & Statistics”. Last Reviewed August 15th, 2022.

[vii] Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. “Final Regulatory Impact Analysis and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis”. 2023. 66.

[viii] Representative Andrew Clyde is leading the effort to use the Congressional Review Act to block the Biden Pistol Ban in the U.S. House of Representatives.

[ix] Senator Roger Marshall and Representative Andrew Clyde are the lead sponsors of the SHORT Act.