The Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act is introduced to the Ways and Means committee this week and to the House of Representatives as a whole by Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall.
Yes, M.D. Marshall is a physician by trade and wants Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs) deregulated.
“Opponents of the Second Amendment want to use bureaucracy and regulations to obstruct citizens attempting to exercise their God-given right to keep and bear arms. The firearms addressed in this bill are commonly used for hunting, personal defense, and competitive shooting,” said Dr. Marshall. “Since I came to Congress, I have fought tooth and nail to stop attempts that would strip our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. This bill will eliminate regulations designed not to protect Americans, but to deny them their Constitutional rights.”
The full text of the bill is not yet available but from the tone of the introduction it is pretty simple. Get SBRs off the National Firearms Act. It’s a technologically moot distinction. Rifles of certain barrel lengths are not more or less dangerous than other rifles. Especially when they exist as pistols too.
According to statistics from the ATF, some 413,167 SBRs were listed on the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) as of May 2019. In 2014 there were only 137,201 SBRs on the books. This doesn’t even count the popularity of “AR Pistols” that avoid the tax penalty and weight times of the NFA.
Would this mean the end of the ‘Brace’?
AR Pistols inhabit a unique legal niche, not just a physical one or a technical NFA work around. In many locales a ‘pistol’ is required to be the firearm transported for personal protection and so AR type pistols would still have a market, just a shifted one. The rifles, of any length, would just be purchasable in any desired configuration with no one having to parse out the idiocracies of barrel length and overall length just because it has a buttstock. Buttstock+rifled barrel = rifle. Easy.
This would also open up a vast market of original firearms that would no longer have to worry about violating the NFA in their original forms. The X95 that has a native 13″ barrel, just a rifle. M4 and M4A1 clones, just rifles. SCAR with a 14.5″ barrel, just a rifle. Owners and buyers who want certain variants of firearms would no longer be required to get them multistep. Manufacturers would be free to optimize their builds and parts based solely on performance and not on an arbitrary length they must hit with their parts configuration.
Will it pass?
Sadly… probably not. It’s in sitting in an anti-gun seated house at the moment and it stops revenue into the government coffers. How much? About $55.2 Million since 2014. Small change to a government that spends in the trillions but still 8 figures of operating revenue.
But I want it to. I want to support it fully once the text hits and we see all of what it will do towards gutting the NFA back to oblivion.