Biden DOJ Proposes Placing Certain AR-Pistols Under National Firearms Act

US President Joe Biden speaks on Covid-19 response and vaccinations in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House, in Washington, DC, on June 2, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a proposed rule Monday that will designate certain AR-pistols as “short barreled rifles” and place them under the purview of the National Firearms Act of 1934.

DOJ also put forward a model red flag law for states to follow in crafting their own legislation.

The DOJ’s proposed AR-pistol rule and red flag law model are put being put forward in compliance with President Joe Biden’s April 8, 2021, executive directive for such gun controls to be issued.

On April 8, 2021, Breitbart News reported that Biden put forward a number of executive gun controls, one of which was new regulations for AR-pistols and another was directive for the DOJ to put forward a red flag law model that states could follow.

Regarding AR-pistols, Biden said, “We want to treat pistols, modified with stabilizing braces, with the seriousness they deserve.” He suggested having a stabilizing brace on a pistol “makes that pistol a hell of lot more accurate” and “more lethal.”

Biden also addressed red flag laws: “We know red flag laws can stop mass shooters before they can act out their violent plans.” He then directed the Justice Department to publish model red flag legislation for states to adopt.

His push for red flag laws came only weeks after a Boulder, Colorado, attacker shot and killed 10 people despite that state’s red flag law.

On June 7, 2021, the DOJ put forward their proposed rule for AR-pistols:

The department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would make clear that the statutory restrictions on short-barreled rifles apply to pistols that are equipped with certain stabilizing braces and intended to be fired from the shoulder. The National Firearms Act imposes heightened regulations on short-barreled rifles because they are easily concealable, can cause great damage, and are more likely to be used to commit crimes. But companies now sell accessories that make it easy for people to convert pistols into these more dangerous weapons without going through the statute’s background check and registration requirements. These requirements are important public safety measures because they regulate the transfer of these dangerous weapons and help ensure they do not end up in the wrong hands. The proposed rule would clarify when these attached accessories convert pistols into weapons covered by these heightened regulations.

Should this proposal become an actual regulation, it would mean the purchase of certain AR-pistols with stabilizer braces would require the purchaser to be fingerprinted and photographed, undergo a background check, pay the federal government a $200 tax on the firearm, and register the firearm with the ATF. That process takes nine or ten months to complete.

As for the model red flag law, the DOJ designated the proposal under the moniker of “Extreme Risk Protection Orders.”

The DOJ suggested that their “model legislation and detailed commentary…will make it easier for states to craft ‘extreme risk protection orders’ authorizing courts to temporarily bar people in crisis from accessing firearms.”

The DOJ added:

By allowing family members or law enforcement to intervene and to petition for these orders before warning signs turn into tragedy, “extreme risk protection orders” can save lives. They are also an evidence-based approach to the problem. The model legislation, developed after consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, provides a framework that will help more states enact these sensible laws.

The DOJ did not note that California has a red flag law, yet eight people were killed in a mass shooting in San Jose on May 26, 2021.

They did not point out that Indiana has a red flag law, yet eight people were killed in Indianapolis in an April 15, 2021, mass shooting at a FedEx facility.

The DOJ did not mention that Colorado has a red flag law, yet ten people were shot and killed in Boulder, Colorado, on March 22, 2016.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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