Update: The BATFE filed its Final Rule on stabilizing braces in the Federal Register on January 31, 2023. Per the ATF.gov website, that means, “Any weapons with ‘stabilizing braces’ or similar attachments that constitute rifles under the NFA must be registered no later than May 31, 2023; or the short barrel removed and a 16-inch or longer rifle barrel attached to the firearm; or permanently remove and dispose of, or alter, the ‘stabilizing brace’ such that it cannot be reattached; or the firearm is turned in to your local ATF office. Or the firearm is destroyed.” See last month’s Downrange column for more details on this stabilizer-brace rule.
- In Florida, House Bill 543 strengthens the right to self defense in the state by recognizing the right of any law-abiding adult who is at least 21 years old and legally eligible to obtain a carry permit, to carry a handgun without first having to obtain government permission. Per the NRA, “This ensures that citizens have their right to self-defense without red tape, delays, or fees. It does not change who is eligible to obtain a carry permit. It also does not affect previously issued permits, and allows citizens who still wish to obtain a permit in order to carry in other states recognizing Florida’s permits, to do so.” If it goes forward to fruition, Florida would become the 26th state to have permit-less carry. It’s only one more than having 25 other states with similar laws, yes, but getting over the hump and being able to say, “And a majority of the states in the union have permit-less carry” is a big deal.
- President Biden has demanded that Congress renew the Assault Weapons Ban, the failed measure he backed in 1994 and that President Bill Clinton signed into law, banning the sale of Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs). That ban expired in 2004, and the semiautomatic rifle has since become the most-popular centerfire rifle in America — with more than 24.4 million in circulation today.
With that many MSRs being in our hands, it should come as no surprise that more than half the country doesn’t want a new ban on AR-15s, according to a recent poll by ABC News/Washington Post. Respondents to that poll released just before President Biden’s State of the Union speech showed that 51 percent surveyed oppose any such ban. That’s a 10-point increase from 2019, when the same question was asked. Just 47 percent of those responding — a 9-point drop — voiced support for banning MSRs, the second-lowest percentage reported since the question was polled starting in 1995.
Again, this is just a bare majority of people who don’t want an AR ban, but it is a majority. That, too, is a big deal. Politicians get skittish when majorities don’t like things they propose.