Sheriffs in the Ozarks say they will not enforce new ATF AR-15 pistol ruling

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 9:14 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -The ATF has come out with its new guidelines on AR pistols with stabilizing braces.

AR pistols with these stabilizing braces will have the same rules and guidelines as a short barrel rifles, meaning that if you own one, you have a few options. All of them must be completed before mid-May, 120 days after the ATF’s original announcement on January 13th.

You can destroy them, turn them in, or register them under the National Firearms Act, which comes with a $200 tax stamp per gun. If you don’t you could pay hefty fines and even face jail time. It has gun owners around the Ozarks worried about the legality of owning one, that is, if you Sheriff’s department chooses to enforce the rule.

Sheriff Brad Delay of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office says when it comes down to it, he will not be enforcing the new rule.

“I tell you, you, obviously, myself, and probably the vast majority of if not all, the sheriffs in the state of Missouri are not going to do anything like that, we’re not going to send the stormtroopers in to make sure that you’re in compliance,” said Sheriff Delay.

He’s not the only one, sheriffs in Greene, Christian, and Ozark counties have all told KY3 they also will not enforce the new rule.

David Pucino with the Gifford’s Law Center says those sheriffs are just not doing their job.

“For a sheriff not to enforce it, that’s just lawlessness, that’s not following the federal law,” said Pucino. “The National Firearms Act was first passed in the 1930′s and was to address some particularly dangerous weapons, specifically, short-barreled rifles. They were heavily used weapons by organized criminal elements. And so they were something that was subjected to heavy regulation by the federal government.”

But Sheriff Delay says laws limiting gun ownership only stand to empower criminal elements.

“Laws are not for good people,” said Delay. “They’re for the criminals.”

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