Internal ATF documents obtained by Gun Owners of America show that the agency, once again, is asserting powers not given it by Congress.
This time, the agency appears to be gearing up to force out-of-business federal firearms licensees (“FFL”) to turn over their remaining firearms in inventory to other dealers — even though federal law explicitly allows former dealers to transfer these firearms to their own personal collection. ATF has even threatened prosecution of former dealers who do not comply with ATF’s unlawful requirement.
For years, ATF operated within the rules Congress established. When an FFL ceases business operations, any firearms remaining in inventory may be transferred either to another dealer or to the licensee’s own personal collection. Either way, the disposition for each and every firearm must be recorded in the dealer’s “acquisition and disposition” (A&D) book. The A&D book, along with other records, must then be transferred either to the ATF out-of-business center, or to a successor licensee who takes over the business.
In 2019, according to multiple sources including those at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATF), the former Department Assistant Director of Enforcement Programs and Services, Curtis W Gilbert, discussed pistol braces at multiple meetings with other ATF employees.
In his opinion, pistol braces, specifically the SB Tactical SBA4, are stocks. He hinted that the ATF would take regulatory action against the devices designed to help disabled people use firearms.
The current Department Assistant Director of Enforcement Programs and Services Andrew Graham has also expressed hostility to pistol braces in internal ATF meetings with staff members. The same sources believe that the ATF didn’t move on the pistol braces earlier because the agency didn’t think they had the political capital to regulate braces.