Senate Democrats blocked a joint resolution that attempted to prevent a Biden administration rule that increases regulations on firearms with stabilizing braces, reports Roll Call. The 49-50 party-line vote Thursday halted the Republican measure that had passed the House and faced a veto from President Biden if it had passed the Senate. Brace-equipped firearms have been used in mass shootings. Democrats say the regulation is necessary to prevent more deaths and to help protect the public. Republicans say the regulation violates Second Amendment rights and would expose gun owners to criminal liability. The rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives (ATF) requires gun owners to register pistols with stabilizing braces that turn them into short-barreled rifles. Other options for gun owners include surrendering the firearm or taking the stabilizing brace off of the firearm.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana showed a pistol brace on the Senate floor Thursday while arguing against the rule and said the device was created to help people who are disabled. “A regulatory agency like the ATF does not have the power under our Constitution to decide major questions like banning pistol braces unless Congress says it’s OK,” Kennedy said. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York supported the joint resolution. He said the pistol brace accessory modifies an AK-style pistol so it functions like a short-barreled rifle. Assailants in mass shootings have been aided by a pistol brace, he said. “Today's Republican push to ease access to deadly pistol braces is an insult to countless families who have lost loved ones because of these enhanced weapons,” Schumer said.