Vice President: Second Amendment Says You Can Limit Who Owns a Gun

Vice President Joe Biden sat down for an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger on Monday to continue the Obama administration’s anti-gun publicity tour promoting the president’s latest unconstitutional executive orders regulating firearms.

Said Biden, “People who are criminals shouldn’t have guns. People who are schizophrenic and have mental illnesses shouldn’t have guns.”

But that’s not what the Second Amendment says.

It says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The exchange began when Borger asked Biden: “So does Bernie Sanders has to change position on gun manufacturers in order to have your support and you out there campaigning for him, should he be the nominee?”

Sanders, from gun-friendly Vermont, has been taking flak for not signing onto the Democrat gun control agenda during Obama’s publicity tour. Hillary Clinton has been pounding poor Bernie on the issue as she has little else to outflank his progressivism.

Biden replied to Borger’s question, “No, [what] Bernie Sanders has to do is say the Second Amendment says which he has of late, the Second Amendment says you can limit who can own a gun. That people who are criminals shouldn’t have guns. People who are schizophrenic and have mental illnesses shouldn’t have guns and he has said that.”

And in a little smack to Hillary and Obama, Biden said he is “okay” with Sanders’ position on the Second Amendment.

Borger did not correct Biden’s reading of the Second Amendment.

Local News Reporter Accurately Explains The Second Amendment

An Atlanta news anchor nails it when explaining what the actual purpose of the Second Amendment is and why the Founding Fathers thought it was so important.

Ben Swann, host of CBS 46’s show “Reality Check,” explained on Monday that the right to bear arms isn’t just about hunting or personal protection; it’s about preventing the government turning on its own people.


Swann started off the segment by quoting the text of the Second Amendment:

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

He explained that much of the modern debate over the intent of the Second Amendment centers around whether or not private citizens should be allowed to own guns. At the time the Constitution was drafted, private gun ownership was considered to be an indisputable right by the Founding Fathers and their fellow countrymen.

“This may be a very foreign concept, but the first fight over the Second Amendment wasn’t over whether the population should be armed. All the framers agreed with that,” Swann said. “The fight was between Federalists and Anti-Federalists over whether we would have a standing army.”

An army is necessary to protect its citizens, but both Federalists and Anti-Federalists were worried that if a government were to become militarized, nothing would keep it from growing too strong and eventually becoming tyrannical.

“The Federalists wanted the Second Amendment because they believed a strong federal government would be able to control a standing army,” he said. “The Anti-Federalists wanted it because it would mean every able-bodied man in America would be armed in the event that the federal government or America’s own standing army turned on its own people.”

Thus, the Second Amendment has provisions for both a well-regulated militia, which consisted of pretty much every male with a pulse, and the right for private citizens to bear arms, which appeased both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

“It was written by men who ultimately believed that governments and armies would turn on their own people,” Swann said. “The Second Amendment was written to guarantee that would never happen.”

You can read a transcript of the full segment here.


For The Third Time D.C. Gun Laws Are Struck Down

In a 2-1 ruling, a federal appeals court struck down parts of a gun control law in Washington, D.C. as unconstitutional.

The three-member U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the city cannot stop gun owners from registering more than one pistol per month, nor can it require gun owners to re-register a gun every three years. The court also squashed requirements that gun owners make a gun available for inspection and pass a test about firearms laws.

Overall, the court upheld six gun laws, including one that requires gun owners to register long guns, and struck down four others.

The ruling was brought in a lawsuit by Dick Heller, the same man who challenged the District’s 32-year-old handgun ban in 2008 and won, allowing handgun possession for self-defense in the home.

Judge Douglas Ginsburg (an appointee of President Reagan) wrote for the appeals court majority, and was joined in his opinion by President Obama appointee Patricia Millet.

Judge Karen LeGraft Henderson, named to the court by President George H. W. Bush, dissented in part.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said she was not surprised by the decision because, “Our gun laws have been under attack for many years. We obviously disagree,” with the court’s decision.

The District of Columbia is known for having some of the most oppressive people control laws in the country.

Trump: “The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear, The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.”

Republican presidential candidate and front-runner Donald Trump released on Friday his policy paper detailing his views on gun rights, saying he supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms and that “our personal protection is ultimately up to us.”

“That’s why I’m a gun owner, Mr. Trump wrote “That’s why I have a concealed carry permit, and that’s why tens of millions of Americans have concealed carry permits as well. It’s just common sense.”

Mr. Trump continued “The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear, The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.”

Mr. Trump argued for tougher enforcement of current gun laws and criticized the Obama administration for failing to rein in violent crime in cities like Baltimore and Chicago.

“Drug dealers and gang members are given a slap on the wrist and turned loose on the street. This needs to stop,” Mr. Trump wrote.

He also called for an overhaul of the nation’s broken mental health system, arguing “law-abiding gun owners get blamed by anti-gun politicians, gun control groups and the media for the acts of deranged madmen.”

Donald Trump addressed the issue of assault weapons stating, “What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans,” he said, calling gun and magazine bans a “total failure.”

Mr. Trump also advocated for a national right-to-carry bills saying permits should be valid in all 50 states.

“A driver’s license works in every state, so its common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state,” he said.

Regarding the military Mr. Trump also called for allowing service men to carry firearms on bases and at recruiting centers, saying such bans were “ridiculous.”

“We train our military how to safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless. To make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves.”

Furthermore, he said the nation’s mental health system has allowed people who should not have guns to obtain them.

“We need to expand treatment programs, because most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help… But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. This is just common sense.”

“And why does this matter to law-abiding gun owners? Once again, because they get blamed by anti-gun politicians, gun control groups and the media for the acts of deranged madmen,” he said.


Not Funny: Sen.Chuck Schumer and Amy Schumer call for more restrictions on civil liberties.

Comedian Amy Schumer had alligator tears for two women who were shot to death during a screening of her movie, “Trainwreck,” and asked lawmakers Monday to support a people control bill sponsored by her second cousin, gun grabber U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

“I’ve thought about these victims each day since the tragedy,” she said at a news conference at the senator’s office in New York.

“People say, ‘Well, you’re never going to be able to stop crazy people from doing crazy things,’ but they’re wrong. There is a way to stop them,” she said.

Yes with the end of gun free zones, but that’s not what she proposed.

The legislation would create financial rewards for states that submit detailed information on its citizens to the federal database used to block sales to people with criminal records or a history of serious mental illness.

Movie theater gunman John Russell Houser shot 11 people in a gun free zone during a screening of the film last month in Lafayette, Louisiana.

He bought the gun in Alabama last year following the government’s failure to discover that he had a history of psychiatric problems and had been the subject of domestic violence complaints. A Georgia judge ordered Houser detained for a mental evaluation in 2008 after relatives claimed he was dangerous.

Chuck Schumer stressed that his bill would punishes states that fail to submit records about its citizens to the federal government’s database.

Amy Schumer now and advocate for restricting civil liberties, said she expected backlash for speaking out against the Second Amendment, but she didn’t care.

“I’ll handle it the way I’ve handled it the last 10 years,” she said. “I’ve had death threats and a lot of hate directed toward me. But I want to be proud of the way I’m living and what I stand for.”

Lieutenant Commander Tim White confirms he opened fire on Mohammad Abdulazeez with personal weapon during Chattanooga attack

On July 30 the Times Free Press reported that Tim White the commanding officer at the Navy Operational Support Center returned fire with his personal weapon when his facility was attacked by the terrorist know as Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

Abdulazeez attacked the U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center on July 16 with a handgun and an assault rifle. Abdulazeez killed four Marines and a Navy specialist in the bold daytime attack.

Commander White’s wife, Franicia White told Stripes she was proud of her husband for fighting back. Franicia said, “He values human life enough to protect his sailors and others. I am honored to be his wife and stand by him 100 percent.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold held a press conference in which he did not identify White by name, but said, “A service member inside the building saw Abdulazeez approaching and fired at him.” An unnamed Marine allegedly opened fire on Abdulazeez with a “sidearm” as well, but there is no confirmation on whether he found his target either.

Many politicians after the terrorist attack immediately called for a change in policy to allow more service members to be armed. Within two days, six states either ordered their National Guard recruiting personnel to be armed or ordered those in recruitment relocated to armories or similar facilities.

The Associated Press reported, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter directed the military branches to review security policies, including adding armed personnel in the wake of the Chattanooga attacks, “The tragic shooting on July 16 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, illustrates the continuing threat to DOD personnel in the U.S. homeland posed by homegrown violent extremists,” Carter wrote in a memo released by the Pentagon.

ATF…The Alphabet Agency That Needs to Relearn Plain English

by | March 8, 2015

Over the past few weeks the internet has been on fire with articles, comments, petitions and information relating to ATF’s removal of SS109/M855’s (commonly known as “green tip”) exemption from being classified as armor piercing ammunition. This information came to light in ATF’s proposed framework to determine whether a projectile is “primarily intended for sporting purposes” in order to gain an exemption from being classified as armor piercing under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(17)(C).

While the removal of the green tip exemption has dominated conversations, individuals seem to be missing the broader implications of the proposed framework, which might be exactly what ATF was trying to do. Now, I’m not proposing that ATF is trying to be insidious, but given their track record with Operation Fast and Furious and about 87 other things, I wouldn’t necessarily put it past them.

At this point, if you are reading this and have not submitted a comment, I encourage you to do so. The information for how to submit one will be at the bottom of this post.


As the title of this article suggests, it would seem that ATF doesn’t understand the statutory language in Section 921(a)(17). Posters have lamented over and over that the SS109/M855 projectile and/or ammunition does not fit the statutory criteria set out in Section 921(a)(17)(B).

(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—

(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

The proposed framework for analyzing whether a projectile should be granted a “primarily intended for sporting purposes” exemption has two tests.

Category I: .22 Caliber Projectiles
A .22 caliber projectile that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition under 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(B) will be considered to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile weighs 40 grains or less AND is loaded into a rimfire cartridge.


Category II: All Other Caliber Projectiles
Except as provided in Category I (.22 caliber rimfire), projectiles that otherwise would be classified as armor piercing ammunition will be presumed to be “primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes” under section 921(a)(17)(C) if the projectile is loaded into a cartridge for which the only handgun that is readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade is a single shot handgun. ATF nevertheless retains the discretion to deny any application for a “sporting purposes” exemption if substantial evidence exists that the ammunition is not primarily intended for such purposes.
The term “single shot handgun” means a break-open or bolt action handgun that can accept only a single cartridge manually, and does not accept or use a magazine or other ammunition feeding device. The term does not include a pocket pistol or derringer-type firearm.

It would seem that ATF is proposing, if the projectile is by definition armor piercing, designed for .22 caliber, weighs more than 40 grains AND is loaded into a centerfire cartridge, the projectile will not be granted an exemption. Even more troublesome, is that ANY projectile, which by definition would be armor piercing, that is not .22 caliber, will not be granted an exemption unless it is loaded into a cartridge for which the only handgun that is readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade is a single shot handgun.

These two categories fall short of providing for the exemptions that the firearms community needs. As the EPA and states crack down on lead in projectiles for “environmental reasons”, manufactures and individuals are forced to look at other materials. Brass, an inexpensive metal and good material for hunting projectiles, is one of the enumerated metals in Section 921(a)(17)(B). The implications of this proposed framework being enacted are far reaching.

In the proposed framework, ATF states an exemption was granted in 1986 to SS109/M855 “green tip” ammunition. ATF quotes language in this exemption which was granted, yet did not provide the public with a copy to reference. ATF cites the determination saying

‘…it is well documented’ that the respective ammunition ‘has been recognized as being suitable for target shooting with rifles due to its accuracy.’

ATF then proclaims that when assembled into a complete cartridge, the projectiles were exempt, but ATF did not exempt the projectiles before the cartridges were assembled. The framework continues stating that in applying the proposed framework, the green tip ammunition does not fit into the exemption any longer as it may be used in a handgun other than a single-shot handgun.

There has been much discussion about this “letter” but no one has been able to produce a copy, until now. After a lot of searching and leads given to me by some friends in the industry I was able to obtain a copy of the original determination letter that ATF issued granting the exemption to SS109/M855.

M855-SS109 Determination Letter_Page_2 (2) M855-SS109 Determination Letter_Page_2 (1)

M855-SS109 Determination Letter

In the letter, ATF reviews the definition of armor piercing, which at the time was

The term armor piercing ammunition means a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium. Such term does not include … a projectile which the Secretary finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes…

ATF goes on to say

Examination of the SS109 (M855 Ball) ammunition indicates that the projectile is constructed using a full metal jacket and projectile cores constructed of a steel penetrator located forward of a lead core. Based on its construction, the SS109/ M855 projectile meets the above definition of armor piercing ammunition.

Wait, did ATF just say that the projectile is constructed of two cores, one being a steel penetrator and the other being lead? It sure sounds that way. But referring back to the statute their reading doesn’t quite comport with the statutory definition.

As I’ve been contending all along, ATF never had the authority to grant an exemption to SS109/M855 as it never met the statutory criteria to be armor piercing!

Let’s examine the statutory definition of armor piercing by breaking it down and applying it to SS109/M855. First, the statute regulates a projectile or projectile core. So far, it’s applicable.

Second, the statute requires that the projectile or projectile core may be used in a handgun. Again, applicable as there were handguns during the mid 80’s which could fire a .223/5.56 cartridge.

Third, the statute requires the projectile or projectile core be constructed entirely from one or a combination of a list of enumerated materials, steel being one of them. And this is where ATF failed to understand plain English.

SS109 Cross Section from's Ammo Oracle

The steel penetrator found in SS109/M855 is not the core. Since ATF developed an affinity for utilizing dictionaries in order to define terms, I think it is only proper I do the same. defines “core” as a noun meaning “the central, innermost, or most essential part of anything.”

As the makeup of SS109/M855 has been examined by numerous posters online, it is hardly fair to characterize the steel penetrator, which weighs a scant 10 grains, the core. Especially when compared to the lead portion of the projectile which weighs 32 grains. The remaining 20 grains come from the copper jacket, which given its relative position, could not conceivably be argued to be the core.

Photo from TexasRifleman1985 via

It would seem readily apparent that ATF had no authority to grant an exemption to SS109/M855 ammunition as it was never armor piercing by definition.

Want to get involved? There is still time. Submit your comment by March 16, 2015. You can do so in one of three ways:

ATF website: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Fax: (202) 648-9741.

Mail: Denise Brown, Mailstop 6N-602, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226: ATTN: AP Ammo Comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Brown, Enforcement Programs and Services, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-7070.

Why background checks don’t work

Psychologists and social scientists have long understood that people are inclined to stick to a belief even when they are presented with clear evidence that their belief is incorrect. In short, people are obstinate. Recent research has shown that this is not just a psychological issue, but also has a physiological basis. Our brains are actually wired for this behavior, and it accounts for a great deal of the strife and conflict we see in politics, religion and our regular daily lives.

I have written several times about the issue of mandatory background checks for firearm purchasers. There’s no question that the idea of checking a gun buyer’s background to make sure they are not a criminal or crazy person seems reasonable and rational, and just common sense, but there’s a problem: Background checks don’t work. At least they don’t work the way people think they do. Unfortunately, a good percentage of the population can’t get past their initial conclusion that background checks make sense. That’s why I want to ask you to make a conscious effort to suspend your own presumptions and beliefs for a moment and try to maintain an open mind as you read this column.

Not only is common sense not that common, it often doesn’t make much sense. Along with the obvious, there are almost always peripheral issues that come into play on any given subject. What we see on the surface is usually only a small portion of the picture. Ulterior motives, mitigating factors and the law of unintended consequences are always in play.

A great example of this is the “child-proof” caps on medicine bottles. The government started requiring these devices in the early 1970s. Common sense tells us all that making it more difficult for a child to get into dangerous medicine bottles will reduce accidental poisonings and save children’s lives. But in the years after introduction of safety caps and resistant packaging, poisonings not only continued, they increased. A major factor identified was what researchers called the “lulling effect.” Parents were apparently lulled into a false sense of security by the child-resistant packaging, and, therefore, they took fewer common sense safety precautions in how they stored and controlled dangerous products. Major public education campaigns had to be launched to teach people to do what their parents and grandparents did – store dangerous things out of sight and reach of small children – even when child-resistant packaging is used.

One is left to wonder how many lives, and hundreds of millions of dollars, could have been saved if the focus had been on education from the beginning, rather than blindly embracing a government-mandated engineering solution.

In the case of mandatory background checks on gun purchasers, first, keep in mind that it is already illegal for a “prohibited person,” someone who has been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors, or “adjudicated mentally incompetent,” to purchase or possess a firearm. Most of those people know they are prohibited, and, therefore, those who want to obtain guns get them through illegal means – theft, straw purchases or from the same guy who sells them their drugs. In 2010, only 13 people were successfully prosecuted for lying on a gun purchase form.

The second thing to keep in mind is that most people who legally buy guns already own guns. It is estimated that between 80 and 100 million people in the U.S. own something like 300 million guns, and millions more are sold every year. Estimates suggest that better than 80 percent of all guns sold in this country every year are purchased by persons who already own at least one gun. That means that fewer than 20 percent of background checks have any potential to “keep guns away” from someone who doesn’t already have one, and better than 80 percent are just a waste of time and money.

The third thing that is important to know is that the people and organizations pushing background checks are the same people and organizations that have pushed for complete bans on certain types of guns and “ammunition feeding devices,” pushed for registration of all guns and gun owners, and pushed for all manner of restrictions, limitations and controls over guns and gun owners. Their agenda hasn’t changed.

Also remember that background checks are not a free service; they cost money – a lot of money. At this point, the U.S. has spent, and is spending, billions of dollars to build, maintain and operate the federal firearm purchase background check system. And of course, the vast majority of that money is spent verifying that someone like me, who already owns a number of guns, is not prohibited from buying another one.

Finally, consider the civil rights aspect of this issue. The right to keep and bear arms is one of the few rights originally enumerated and attached to the U.S. Constitution. This was done long before the right to vote was even considered a universal right. Yet many of the same people who tell us that even requiring identification to vote is a violation of civil rights. But these same people insist that paying a fee, filling out an extensive questionnaire, presenting picture ID and having a criminal records check before being allowed to exercise the enumerated right to arms is just “common sense” and definitely not a violation of civil rights.

Background checks, like all gun-control laws, focus on the law-abiding while mostly ignoring criminals. The idea that it makes sense to expand these wasteful and ineffective money sponges to include private transactions between law-abiding citizens is ridiculous and an affront to liberty. The real objective is not reducing crime and violence, but rather to add impediments to legal gun ownership to discourage it and make it more costly, troublesome and legally risky. Anyone with an open mind and the capacity for rational thought should be able to clearly see that.

Posted By Jeff Knox on March 5, 2015 on WND

ATF: You can have it but you can’t use it “That way” What?

The Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received inquiries from the public concerning the proper use of devices recently marketed as “stabilizing braces.”

These devices are described as “a shooter’s aid that is designed to improve the single-handed shooting performance of buffer tube equipped pistols.” The device claims to enhance accuracy and reduce felt recoil when using an AR-style pistol.

These items are intended to improve accuracy by using the operator’s forearm to provide stable support for the AR-type pistol. ATF has previously determined that attaching the brace to a firearm does not alter the classification of the firearm or subject the firearm to National Firearms Act (NFA) control.

However, this classification is based upon the use of the device as designed. When the device is redesigned for use as a shoulder stock on a handgun with a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length, the firearm is properly classified as a firearm under the NFA.

The NFA, 26 USCS § 5845, defines “firearm,” in relevant part, as “a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length” and “a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.” That section defines both “rifle” and “shotgun” as “a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder….” (Emphasis added).

Pursuant to the plain language of the statute, ATF and its predecessor agency have long held that a pistol with a barrel less than 16 inches in length and an attached shoulder stock is a NFA “firearm.” For example, in Revenue Ruling 61-45 (Note: unofficial excerpt of ruling found here), Luger and Mauser pistols “having a barrel of less than 16 inches in length with an attachable shoulder stock affixed” were each classified as a “short barrel rifle…within the purview of the National Firearms Act.”

In classifying the originally submitted design, ATF considered the objective design of the item as well as the stated purpose of the item. In submitting this device for classification, the designer noted that
The intent of the buffer tube forearm brace is to facilitate one handed firing of the AR15 pistol for those with limited strength or mobility due to a handicap. It also performs the function of sufficiently padding the buffer tube in order to reduce bruising to the forearm while firing with one hand. Sliding and securing the brace onto ones forearm and latching the Velcro straps, distributes the weight of the weapon evenly and assures a snug fit. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to dangerously “muscle” this large pistol during the one handed aiming process, and recoil is dispersed significantly, resulting in more accurate shooting without compromising safety or comfort.

In the classification letter of November 26, 2012, ATF noted that a “shooter would insert his or her forearm into the device while gripping the pistol’s handgrip-then tighten the Velcro straps for additional support and retention. Thus configured, the device provides the shooter with additional support of a firearm while it is still held and operated with one hand.” When strapped to the wrist and used as designed, it is clear the device does not allow the firearm to be fired from the shoulder. Therefore, ATF concluded that, pursuant to the information provided, “the device is not designed or intended to fire a weapon from the shoulder.” In making the classification ATF determined that the objective design characteristics of the stabilizing brace supported the stated intent.

ATF hereby confirms that if used as designed —to assist shooters in stabilizing a handgun while shooting with a single hand— the device is not considered a shoulder stock and therefore may be attached to a handgun without making a NFA firearm. However, ATF has received numerous inquiries regarding alternate uses for this device, including use as a shoulder stock. Because the NFA defines both rifle and shotgun to include any “weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” any person who redesigns a stabilizing brace for use as a shoulder stock makes a NFA firearm when attached to a pistol with a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a handgun with a smooth bore under 18 inches in length.

The GCA does not define the term “redesign” and therefore ATF applies the common meaning. “Redesign” is defined as “to alter the appearance or function of.” See e.g. Webster’s II New College Dictionary, Third Ed. (2005). This is not a novel interpretation. For example ATF has previously advised that an individual possesses a destructive device when possessing anti-personnel ammunition with an otherwise unregulated 37/38mm flare launcher. See ATF Ruling 95-3. Further, ATF has advised that even use of an unregulated flare and flare launcher as a weapon results in the making of a NFA weapon. Similarly, ATF has advised that, although otherwise unregulated, the use of certain nail guns as weapons may result in classification as an “any other weapon.”

The pistol stabilizing brace was neither “designed” nor approved to be used as a shoulder stock, and therefore use as a shoulder stock constitutes a “redesign” of the device because a possessor has changed the very function of the item.

Any individual letters stating otherwise are contrary to the plain language of the NFA, misapply Federal law, and are hereby revoked.

Any person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol (having a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a smooth bore firearm with a barrel under 18 inches in length) must first file an ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable tax because the resulting firearm will be subject to all provisions of the NFA.

If you have any questions about the issues addressed in this letter, you may contact the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division at or by phone at (304) 616-4300.

Max M. Kingery
Acting Chief
Firearms Technology Criminal Branch
Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division

*This letter can also be found on under the “News” tab.

Supreme Court Urged to Take Up San Francisco Gun Control Case

ROSEVILLE, CA / January 15, 2015 – No less than 12 state and national civil rights organizations filed a brief in the United States Supreme Court today for a lawsuit challenging a San Francisco gun control ordinance.

According to the plaintiffs’ petition for review, the city’s law “requires all residents who keep handguns in their homes for self-defense to stow them away in a lock box or disable them with a trigger lock whenever they are not physically carrying them on their persons.”

In the amicus (“friend of the court”) brief filed by attorneys Bradley Benbrook and Stephen Duvernay, the gun-rights groups argue that summary reversal of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision “is warranted because [it] is plainly contrary to Heller,” a landmark 2008 ruling that held the Second Amendment protects an individual–rather than a collective–right to keep and bear arms. But the groups also argue that the Supreme Court should hear the case in order to “clarify the standard governing Second Amendment challenges, and to confirm that courts must be guided by text and history rather than judicial interest balancing.”

While some Second Amendment lawsuits have been decided based on the “text, history, and tradition” standard used in Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, a 2010 Supreme Court decision that applied the Second Amendment to states and local governments, many lower courts have since applied weaker standards that lets most gun control laws stand.

“The Ninth Circuit’s lamentable decision in Jackson shows why it is the most overturned circuit court in the nation,” said Firearms Policy Coalition President Brandon Combs. “The Supreme Court should take up this case not only to correct a clear wrong, but to stem the tide of judicial resistance in recognizing the right to keep and bear arms as fundamental Constitutional rights.”

“The Second Amendment doesn’t protect second-class rights, and it’s time for courts to take the enumerated right to keep and bear arms at least as seriously as they do unenumerated rights like abortion.”

Parties to the amicus brief (in order of appearance) are:

  • Firearms Policy Coalition
  • Second Amendment Foundation
  • The Calguns Foundation
  • Firearms Policy Foundation
  • California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees
  • The Madison Society
  • Florida Carry
  • Hawaii Defense Foundation
  • Illinois Carry
  • Maryland Shall Issue
  • Commonwealth Second Amendment
  • Virginia Citizens Defense League
  • West Virginia Citizens Defense League

The brief can be viewed at

Espanola Jackson, et al. v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., was filed in 2009 by lawyers for 6 San Francisco residents, the National Rifle Association, and the San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association.