Pistol brace

Pistol Braces are Next on the ATFs Attack List

ATF’s Amnesty Period

As many of you are already aware the ATF and the Biden Administration have their sights set on the very popular Pistol Brace Stabilizer. It is estimated that between 20 to 40 million people own a pistol brace.  The Pistol Brace Stabilizer was created to help those with disabilities obtain better accuracy when firing a pistol and until now, the ATF has said they are legal. In fact, ATF issued a letter back in 2014 stating they have determined that the Sig Stability Brace was not a shoulder stock and using it to fire a pistol from the shoulder does not cause the pistol to be reclassified as an Short Barrel Rifle (“SBR”).  An SBR is regulated by the National Firearms Act or NFA and requires a tax stamp. Later in 2014, the ATF changed its mind, opining that if used to fire a pistol from the shoulder, a brace was considered an SBR, but in 2017 they reverted back to their original position. 

Fast forward to June of 2021 and of course ATF has changed their mind again, Shocking!!!! ATF has now come up with a point system to be used in determining whether a pistol with a stabilizing brace is in fact a pistol or an SBR.  As you would expect from the ATF, this new point system heavily favors turning just about every AR or AK pistol into an SBR.  This proposed rule change was originally set to become effective in August 2022 but has been postponed and is now set to be released as a final rule in December 2022. It appears this postponement was not made because ATF is reconsidering their position, but instead was done to get ATF’s eform system prepared for the amount of traffic it is expected to receive once this rule goes into effect.   

So, how is this rule going to affect you? On its face, this rule change would make you along with the 20 to 40 million law abiding citizens who possess a stabilizing brace a felon overnight.  To prevent this from happening you will have to file an ATF Form 1, which is an application to make and register a firearm under the NFA.  Don’t forget you will also have to pay the $200 tax stamp. 

Just last week on the 31st of August, ATF released a supporting statement regarding making changes to ATF Form 1.  What is important to owners of a stabilizing brace is that it appears ATF is going to give those individuals affected by this rule change an “‘Amnesty period’ to register their firearm that has a pistol brace.” Page 2 of the open letter reads:

Due to the upcoming Amnesty Registration of Pistol Brace Weapons, photos of the weapon being registered will be required to prove the weapon does utilize a pistol brace in its configuration and would qualify for an amnesty registration.

Oh, you heard me right, ATF is creating an Amnesty Registration for you, but it involves you not only registering your non-NFA firearm that you legally purchased, but now you also have to send the ATF a picture of it for them to file away.  It also appears that the $200 tax-stamp fee may be waived during this Amnesty Registration period.

Maybe someone at the ATF should read the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency in which the Supreme Court ruled that alphabet agencies do not have the power to do through rule making what Congress has not done.

To learn more about recent ATF enforcement actions click here (FRTs) or click here (Ghost Guns)

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