Photo: Andy Sternberg /

By Duncan Smith

President Trump has been battling swamp creatures for going on four years now.

He’s beaten a great many of them. But it’s Washington, D.C.; there are many more swamp creatures still lurking, and many are buried deep within the more than 430 federal agencies.

That includes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or ATF, for short.

The agency is set to instantly transform between 3 and 4 million Americans into felons with just one policy change.

The Washington Free Beacon has more:

A declaration from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives could leave millions of American gun owners in serious legal jeopardy.

In a letter made public on Tuesday, the agency informed a New Hampshire gun company that its AR-15 pistol model equipped with a specialized brace is actually an illegal short-barreled rifle and anyone who owns one could be subject to up to 10 years in prison or $100,000 in fines. Industry insiders put the number of AR-15 pistols equipped with similar specialized braces at about 3 million.

The decision appears to conflict with several similar determinations made by the ATF dating back to 2012, when the agency told Sig Sauer that the braces, designed to strap to a shooter’s forearm instead of being pressed against their shoulder, could be legally combined with guns that have barrels shorter than the 16-inch federal limit for rifles. The new letter calls into question the basic legality of the devices and leaves gun owners in flux just three weeks before the presidential election.

An ATF spokeswoman said the letter only applies to the New Hampshire gun maker and not all who make such firearms.

But who actually believes that? And why is this letter even coming now, less than four weeks from a crucial national election?

There is some good news.

White House deputy press secretary Brian Morgenstern said the Trump administration is reviewing the ATF’s letter.

“The White House and leadership at the Department of Justice are reviewing this matter to ensure there is no interference with the ability of law-abiding citizens—including lawful firearms manufacturers—to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed liberties,” he told the Free Beacon.

As if the president needs this right now.

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