Will President Trump Let ATF Continue To Rule By Unchecked Diktat With Honey Badger ‘Reclassification’?

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 4 months ago

What I read in this Ammoland article struck me as plausible prior to reading the article as I thought about this.

Sources also tell AmmoLand News that Associate Deputy Director Marvin Richardson, another career bureaucrat, has an ax-to-grind against pistol braces and belives they violate the NFA but doesn’t think that they have the political capital to make a move against the millions of accessories under a Trump presidency. Those inside ATF with knowledge of the situation told AmmoLand News that higher-ups at the ATF believe that they will have the political capital and cover to go after braces under an anti-gun Biden administration.

The same unnamed sources feel that the ATF agency heads are preparing for a Biden victory. They have inferred from conversations with ATF leaders that they are actively working to defeat Trump, and this move was to designed to disenfranchise gun owners just ahead of the election. Although the heads did not say this directly, three independent sources who work closely with the agency heads have verified this interference to be the unspoken truth within the highest halls of the ATF.

It’s possible that the ATF is actively trying to undermine Trump with the gun rights crowd (that has effectively already been accomplished with the bump stock ban and support for red flag laws).  This would be icing on the cake.

On the one hand, this administration is getting hit in all quarters.  On the other hand, it’s Trump’s job to appoint good people who understand tricks like this, and we’ve already seen his lack of good judgment in the people he appoints with whom he surrounds himself (e.g., Sessions, Comey, McCabe, Barr, McMaster, Kelly, much of his white house staff, etc.).

David Codrea has more on the history of the recent kerfuffle over the “Honey Badger.”

Instead of contacting DOJ, GOA asks members to “contact President Trump and let him know that you are counting on him to put a stop to this new ATF overreach and order them to reinstate the Honey Badger Pistol’s status as a pistol equipped with a brace. Then, contact your member of Congress and insist that they cosponsor H.R. 5289, The Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act.

I understand the sentiment, but I’m not sanguine about its chances of success.  David continues.

That GOA asks members to contact Trump instead of the DOJ is an effort to remind the president that his continued lip service about “our beautiful Second Amendment” followed by his deliberate indifference and even support for outright infringements serves only to demoralize gun owners, which in turn serves the purposes of ban-whatever-he-can Joe Biden. But the fact is, rumblings on this brace nonsense started over a year ago, and the buck for it stops squarely at the president’s desk. We know he’s not a “gun guy,” but he needs to listen to those who are, and I’m not talking about prop marriages of political convenience or do-nothing “advisory boards” designed to pander to the gun vote, but a genuine “cabinet” of serious advocates who will actually have his ear and who he will subordinate his presumptions for and listen to.

“I’m going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people. We want top of the line professionals,” Trump famously pledged in his first campaign. We’re certainly not seeing it at ATF, where the bureaucrats have either taken it on themselves to act like their inconsistent rulings are immutable law subject to no oversight.

“Unbeknownst to the general public, ATF has ordained in private determination letters that it considers ‘any firearm with a length of pull over 13-1/2 inches to be designed to be fired from the shoulder,’ thereby making it a short-barreled rifle,” the Gaetz letter observed. “However, ATF has also privately proclaimed that even firearms under this length of pull can be classified as a short-barreled rifle, if ATF identifies other (and often unspecified) applicable ‘indicators.’”

“Even more troubling are reports that these non-public standards are being used to criminally prosecute unsuspecting gun owners. Given ATF’s refusal to explain these standards, it is impossible for the public to comply with ATF’s ever-changing body of secret law,” Gaetz continued.

I think it’s generally safe to carry your pistol brace firearm to most ranges today (this does not constitute legal advice).  Depending upon the outcome of the election, this may change.  Furthermore, if Trump doesn’t hold the ATF in check, it may change anyway.

Some half a million bump stocks had been sold before the diktat to declare firearms using them to be machine guns.  Many millions more firearms sporting a pistol brace have been sold.

This is a clever strategy to undermine Trump and make gun owners smart where it really hurts.  Remove half a million votes from Trump in the upcoming election (because they were declared felons overnight) and that could swing the election given that his margin of victory was smaller than that in the last election (in spite of his electoral victory).

As for pistol braces, if even a small fraction of owners see Trump doing nothing about the ATF, the deep state has successfully undermined one of his core constituents.


  1. On October 12, 2020 at 7:44 am, Fred said:

    When will you ever learn?

    It’s always some underling or some staffer that is the problem while Trump himself gets away with being a blatant Statist control freak. His executive orders are still in place for covid 19 nonsense but it’s always fauci that is to blame. He supports and encourages Red Flag laws yet it’s always some governors fault. He allowed and even encouraged the fiat banning of a firearm accessory by mere written decree, an act that will never ever be reversed and will happen time and time again until politicians are swinging from lampposts but it’s not his fault somehow. He continues to say one thing, be believed, but do another. Only somebody in a cult would continue to believe something that isn’t true in the face all evidence.

    When will you get it through your thick heads that Trump is part of the Zionist team New World Order?

  2. On October 12, 2020 at 10:42 am, Ned2 said:

    I seriously doubt there’s anything short of an outright gun ban that would deter people from voting for Trump.

  3. On October 12, 2020 at 12:45 pm, June J said:

    “ Mr. Richardson is the recipient of numerous Special Act Awards for outstanding service such as the Treasury Department’s Hostile Action Medal for service during the 1993 Branch Davidian conflict in Waco, Texas”

    Already demonstrated his willingness to murder Americans, including burning women and children. A true “hero” to the left.

  4. On October 12, 2020 at 3:49 pm, Sheepdog said:

    “First we’ll take the guns, then we’ll have due process”

    President Trump, self declared staunch defender of the Second Amendment sitting next to Senatoress Fine-shteen…

    WTF else do you need to know where this is headed?

  5. On October 13, 2020 at 4:10 am, Hudson H Luce said:

    The Bill of Rights is an enumeration of pre-existing rights, and puts the government created by the Constitution of 1787 on notice that it does not have unlimited power, that the limitations set forth in the Bill of Rights apply to any and all acts of that government or its agents. Now, who enforces these restrictions? The government which is intended to be constrained by them? That would require politicians and bureaucrats to enforce a code of honor against themselves, and they’ve shown themselves to be remarkably lacking in that capacity over the years of our history. On top of that, it would introduce a huge conflict of interest, like a fox guarding the chicken coop. No, it falls to the people themselves to enforce those enumerated rights – that’s the clear legislative intent behind the Second and Tenth Amendments.

  6. On October 13, 2020 at 7:56 am, MN Steel said:

    Voting reminds me of catch-and-release fishing.

    Every four years is the big tournament, where the contestants have to use lures with more flashy accoutrement to catch more fish.

    The fish, being fish, are stupid, but remember some pain inflicted when that tasty meal they expected hooked them, and they were hauled into a place they did not want to go.

    They remember that the shiny silver spoon, the daredevil spoon, the southern rubber worm, the Texas worm rig, the stink bait, but still can’t resist the spinner with the gaudy colors and fur tail that makes a lot of noise.

    And they’ll be caught again and again, because they are fish. And fish swallow that which is presented by a skilled fisherman, not by the manufacturer.

  7. On October 13, 2020 at 2:00 pm, TRX said:

    > even support for outright infringements

    Note the “bump stock ban” was entirely the creation of Wayne LaPierre, who got a private meeting with Trump and told him that was what the NRA and American gun owners wanted.

    The NRA was one of his big backers, and he danced with who brung him.

  8. On October 14, 2020 at 8:35 am, The Dark Lord said:

    As for pistol braces, if even a small fraction of owners see Trump doing nothing about the ATF, the deep state has successfully undermined one of his core constituents.

    They aren’t coming for Trump they are coming for us … he’s just in the way …

    So these “undermined” gun owners are going to do what ? not vote because they see some bureaucrat trying to undermine their gun rights ? Really ? that seems like the logical course to take ???

    Wouldn’t logic dictate that they become even more of a Trump voter since he is their only means to restore their rights …???

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You are currently reading "Will President Trump Let ATF Continue To Rule By Unchecked Diktat With Honey Badger ‘Reclassification’?", entry #25887 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) AR-15s,BATFE and was published October 11th, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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