Newsletter: Senate Balks at Pistol-Brace Ban Repeal

The pistol-brace ban got a somewhat surprising vote of confidence from the Senate this week. In a 50 to 49 vote, the upper house of Congress rejected a resolution to repeal the ban. All Democrats stuck together and voted against repeal.

Given how often more moderate Dems have been willing to buck President Biden on these sorts of resolutions, and that this ban affects literally millions of gun owners, I thought there’d be at least two willing to cross over. The fact that there weren’t is a political loss for gun-rights advocates. And, as I explain in a members’ piece, it hurts the legal fight against the ban too.

Hunter Biden was catapulted back into the news this week when he agreed to a deal with prosecutors that included coping to a federal gun charge related to his past drug use. He’s agreed to forfeit his gun rights, but he managed to avoid prison time.

The Third Circuit dealt a partial setback to those challenging New Jersey’s latest gun-carry restrictions. Most “gun-free” zones are back in force, but the default ban on carrying in publicly-accessible private property remains blocked.

Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman checked out the latest developments in New York and New Jersey’s efforts to implement a microstamping mandate for members too. And I helped fact-check some false claims President Biden has made about guns in recent days over at CNN.

Plus, Biofire founder Kai Kloepfer joins the podcast to answer questions about his “smart gun.” Also, we’ve got a sale going on. We don’t do this often, and there are only a few slots available. So, if you’ve been considering joining, now’s the time!


A gun with a pistol brace at the gun range during SHOT Show 2023
A gun with a pistol brace at the gun range during SHOT Show 2023 / Stephen Gutowski

Senate Rejects Pistol-Brace Ban Repeal in Party-Line Vote
By Stephen Gutowski

The resolution to undo President Joe Biden’s pistol-brace ban won’t make it to his desk.

In a party-line vote, the Senate rejected the attempt to overturn the ATF’s reclassification of the devices on Thursday. The failure comes just a week after the same resolution passed the House of Representatives with minor crossover support from moderate Democrats. None of the Democratic senators or the independents who caucus with them voted for the repeal effort.

The final vote was 50 to 49, with Senator Chris Coons (D., Del.) not voting because his office said he was absent for “precautionary medical tests.”

Click here to read more.

A gun equipped with a pistol brace on sale at a Virginia gun store before the ban went into effect
A gun equipped with a pistol brace on sale at a Virginia gun store before the ban went into effect / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: What the Pistol-Brace Ban Repeal Defeat Means [Member Exclusive]
By Stephen Gutowski

The Senate voted against undoing President Joe Biden’s pistol-brace ban. That probably won’t have a direct practical impact on the ban’s fate, but it will have a political and, potentially, even a legal one.

On Thursday, the Senate voted 50 to 49 against a resolution to repeal the ATF’s brace rule. The vote was entirely along party lines. Not a single Democrat or Republican crossed over in either direction.

Now, it might not seem like a Senate controlled by the party of the President that instituted the policy refusing to undo it isn’t that unexpected. But there are a couple of reasons this move was surprising.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read more. If not, take advantage of our flash sale and buy a membership today!

Handguns on display at the 2023 NRA Annual Meeting
Handguns on display at the 2023 NRA Annual Meeting / Stephen Gutowski

Hunter Biden Cops to Gun Charge, Gets Diversion Program
By Stephen Gutowski

President Joe Biden’s son can no longer own guns.

That’s one of the conditions of the deal he struck with federal prosecutors that was announced on Tuesday. In addition to pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges, Hunter Biden agreed to a diversion program in lieu of felony charges related to his 2018 purchase of a firearm. He will avoid jail time under the deal but will have to stay clean for 24 months and agree to never own guns again, according to The New York Times.

“The second Information charges the defendant with a firearm offense—namely, one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(e)(3) and 924(2)(2) (2018). The defendant has agreed to enter a Pretrial Diversion Agreement with respect to the firearm Information,” a letter filed by the Department of Justice with the US District Court in Delaware reads.

Click here to continue reading.

Podcast: Biofire Founder Kai Kloepfer Answers Questions About His New ‘Smart Gun’
By Stephen Gutowski

This week, we’re joined by the man behind the first “smart gun” that’s going to come to market.

Kai Kloepfer is the founder of Biofire, a company that has been getting a lot of attention since announcing it will ship a 9mm pistol with integrated biometric locks this year. He answered a wide array of different questions on smart guns and the Biofire model in particular.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I discuss Congress taking on the pistol-brace ban. And I talk about the setback I just had in obtaining my DC concealed carry license.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the episode is available on our YouTube Channel. Reload Members get access on Sunday, as always. Everyone else can listen when it goes public on Monday.

Concealed carry holsters on sale at a Virginia gun store in July 2022
Concealed carry holsters on sale at a Virginia gun store in July 2022 / Stephen Gutowski

Federal Appeals Court Stays Ruling Against New Jersey ‘Gun-Free Zones’
By Jake Fogleman

Broad swaths of New Jersey are going back to being off-limits for licensed gun owners to carry a firearm.

That’s thanks to a 2-1 ruling from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals released Tuesday. The court issued a partial emergency stay on a lower-court order blocking most of New Jersey’s recently enacted “sensitive place” restrictions, where legal gun carry is prohibited.

The stay will allow the state to resume enforcing its gun-carry ban in schools, parks, zoos, libraries, museums, restaurants that serve alcohol, casinos, health care facilities, and anywhere within 100 feet of public gatherings. But the court allowed the injunction against the state’s ban on gun carry on private property, vehicles, and movie sets to remain in effect while the appeals process plays out.

Click here to read the full piece.


Handguns for sale at a gun store in April 2023
Handguns for sale at a gun store in April 2023 / Stephen Gutowski

Analysis: New York and New Jersey Go On a Microstamping Snipe Hunt [Member Exclusive]
By Jake Fogleman

New York and New Jersey are attempting to join California on its quixotic project to make microstamping a reality. It’s not going well.

On Thursday, Politico reported that the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is five months behind on its statutory deadline to determine the “technological viability” of microstamping in guns.

“Work on the microstamping regulations and investigation is proceeding and will be completed as soon as possible,” Michael Symons, an AG spokesperson, told the outlet. “Every effort has been made to implement the microstamping law as quickly as possible and much of the work necessary to reach that goal has been completed. This includes reviewing the viability of the technology, which is currently underway.”

That report comes after Gothamist first reported the Empire State was having the same exact issues with its own recently-passed microstamping requirement.

“A New York state law requiring microstamping capability in new pistols is already five months behind schedule, with final results from a required study of the technology not expected until later this year,” the outlet reported.

The state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the agency tasked with certifying the technological viability of microstamping, was supposed to conclude by December of last year. Six months later, the agency is struggling to fulfill its obligation.

If you’re a Reload Member, click here to read more. If not, take advantage of our sale and join today to read the whole piece!

Outside The Reload

Fact check: Biden makes 5 false claims about guns | CNN | By Daniel Dale

Hunter Biden’s Case Highlights Gray Area of U.S. Gun Laws | The Daily Beast | By Jose Pagliery

Maryland Supreme Court Limits Testimony on Bullet-Matching Evidence | Reason | C.J. Ciaramella

How US-made ammunition ends up in Russian rifles | Politico | By Sergey Panov, Sarah Anne Aarup, and Douglas Busvine

Iconic 1911 Pistols Have Finally Been Retired From Marine Corps Service | The Drive | By Joseph Trevithick

That’s it for this week in guns.

If you want to hear expert analysis of these stories and more, make sure you grab a Reload membership to get our exclusive analysis newsletter every Sunday!

I’ll see you all next week.

Stephen Gutowski
The Reload

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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