Pistol Brace

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mp15spt2
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Pistol Brace

Post by mp15spt2 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:42 pm

Anyone read this new ATF ruling on shouldering the brace? It's now an NFA item if you shoulder the brace...


"OPEN LETTER ON THE REDESIGN OF “STABILIZING BRACES”

The Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received inquiries from the public concerning the proper use
of devices recently marketed as “stabilizing braces.” These devices are described as “a shooter’s
aid that is designed to improve the single-handed shooting performance of buffer tube equipped
pistols.” The device claims to enhance accuracy and reduce felt recoil when using an AR-style
pistol.

These items are intended to improve accuracy by using the operator’s forearm to provide stable
support for the AR-type pistol. ATF has previously determined that attaching the brace to a
firearm does not alter the classification of the firearm or subject the firearm to National Firearms
Act (NFA) control. However, this classification is based upon the use of the device as designed.
When the device is redesigned for use as a shoulder stock on a handgun with a rifled barrel under
16 inches in length, the firearm is properly classified as a firearm under the NFA.

The NFA, 26 USCS § 5845, defines “firearm,” in relevant part, as “a shotgun having a barrel or
barrels of less than 18 inches in length” and “a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16
inches in length.” That section defines both “rifle” and “shotgun” as “a weapon designed or
redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder….” (Emphasis added).

Pursuant to the plain language of the statute, ATF and its predecessor agency have long held that
a pistol with a barrel less than 16 inches in length and an attached shoulder stock is a NFA
“firearm.” For example, in Revenue Ruling 61-45, Luger and Mauser pistols “having a barrel of
less than 16 inches in length with an attachable shoulder stock affixed” were each classified as a
“short barrel rifle…within the purview of the National Firearms Act.”

In classifying the originally submitted design, ATF considered the objective design of the item as
well as the stated purpose of the item. In submitting this device for classification, the designer
noted that

The intent of the buffer tube forearm brace is to facilitate one handed firing of the
AR15 pistol for those with limited strength or mobility due to a handicap. It also
performs the function of sufficiently padding the buffer tube in order to reduce
bruising to the forearm while firing with one hand. Sliding and securing the brace
onto ones forearm and latching the Velcro straps, distributes the weight of the
weapon evenly and assures a snug fit. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to
dangerously "muscle" this large pistol during the one handed aiming process, and
recoil is dispersed significantly, resulting in more accurate shooting without
compromising safety or comfort.

In the classification letter of November 26, 2012, ATF noted that a “shooter would insert his or
her forearm into the device while gripping the pistol's handgrip-then tighten the Velcro straps for
additional support and retention. Thus configured, the device provides the shooter with
additional support of a firearm while it is still held and operated with one hand.” When strapped
to the wrist and used as designed, it is clear the device does not allow the firearm to be fired from
the shoulder. Therefore, ATF concluded that, pursuant to the information provided, “the device
-2-

is not designed or intended to fire a weapon from the shoulder.” In making the classification
ATF determined that the objective design characteristics of the stabilizing brace supported the
stated intent.

ATF hereby confirms that if used as designed—to assist shooters in stabilizing a handgun while
shooting with a single hand—the device is not considered a shoulder stock and therefore may be
attached to a handgun without making a NFA firearm. However, ATF has received numerous
inquiries regarding alternate uses for this device, including use as a shoulder stock. Because the
NFA defines both rifle and shotgun to include any “weapon designed or redesigned, made or
remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” any person who redesigns a stabilizing
brace for use as a shoulder stock makes a NFA firearm when attached to a pistol with a rifled
barrel under 16 inches in length or a handgun with a smooth bore under 18 inches in length.

The GCA does not define the term “redesign” and therefore ATF applies the common meaning.
“Redesign” is defined as “to alter the appearance or function of.” See e.g. Webster’s II New
College Dictionary, Third Ed. (2005). This is not a novel interpretation. For example ATF has
previously advised that an individual possesses a destructive device when possessing anti-
personnel ammunition with an otherwise unregulated 37/38mm flare launcher. See ATF Ruling
95-3. Further, ATF has advised that even use of an unregulated flare and flare launcher as a
weapon results in the making of a NFA weapon. Similarly, ATF has advised that, although
otherwise unregulated, the use of certain nail guns as weapons may result in classification as an
“any other weapon.”

The pistol stabilizing brace was neither “designed” nor approved to be used as a shoulder stock,
and therefore use as a shoulder stock constitutes a “redesign” of the device because a possessor
has changed the very function of the item. Any individual letters stating otherwise are contrary
to the plain language of the NFA, misapply Federal law, and are hereby revoked.

Any person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol
(having a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a smooth bore firearm with a barrel under 18
inches in length) must first file an ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable tax because the resulting
firearm will be subject to all provisions of the NFA.

If you have any questions about the issues addressed in this letter, you may contact the Firearms
and Ammunition Technology Division at [email protected] or by phone at (304) 616-4300.


Max M. Kingery
Acting Chief
Firearms Technology Criminal Branch
Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division

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ThreeHundredBlackout
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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by ThreeHundredBlackout » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:47 am

mp15spt2 wrote:Anyone read this new ATF ruling on shouldering the brace? It's now an NFA item if you shoulder the brace...


"OPEN LETTER ON THE REDESIGN OF “STABILIZING BRACES”

The Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received inquiries from the public concerning the proper use
of devices recently marketed as “stabilizing braces.” These devices are described as “a shooter’s
aid that is designed to improve the single-handed shooting performance of buffer tube equipped
pistols.” The device claims to enhance accuracy and reduce felt recoil when using an AR-style
pistol.

These items are intended to improve accuracy by using the operator’s forearm to provide stable
support for the AR-type pistol. ATF has previously determined that attaching the brace to a
firearm does not alter the classification of the firearm or subject the firearm to National Firearms
Act (NFA) control. However, this classification is based upon the use of the device as designed.
When the device is redesigned for use as a shoulder stock on a handgun with a rifled barrel under
16 inches in length, the firearm is properly classified as a firearm under the NFA.

The NFA, 26 USCS § 5845, defines “firearm,” in relevant part, as “a shotgun having a barrel or
barrels of less than 18 inches in length” and “a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16
inches in length.” That section defines both “rifle” and “shotgun” as “a weapon designed or
redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder….” (Emphasis added).

Pursuant to the plain language of the statute, ATF and its predecessor agency have long held that
a pistol with a barrel less than 16 inches in length and an attached shoulder stock is a NFA
“firearm.” For example, in Revenue Ruling 61-45, Luger and Mauser pistols “having a barrel of
less than 16 inches in length with an attachable shoulder stock affixed” were each classified as a
“short barrel rifle…within the purview of the National Firearms Act.”

In classifying the originally submitted design, ATF considered the objective design of the item as
well as the stated purpose of the item. In submitting this device for classification, the designer
noted that

The intent of the buffer tube forearm brace is to facilitate one handed firing of the
AR15 pistol for those with limited strength or mobility due to a handicap. It also
performs the function of sufficiently padding the buffer tube in order to reduce
bruising to the forearm while firing with one hand. Sliding and securing the brace
onto ones forearm and latching the Velcro straps, distributes the weight of the
weapon evenly and assures a snug fit. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to
dangerously "muscle" this large pistol during the one handed aiming process, and
recoil is dispersed significantly, resulting in more accurate shooting without
compromising safety or comfort.

In the classification letter of November 26, 2012, ATF noted that a “shooter would insert his or
her forearm into the device while gripping the pistol's handgrip-then tighten the Velcro straps for
additional support and retention. Thus configured, the device provides the shooter with
additional support of a firearm while it is still held and operated with one hand.” When strapped
to the wrist and used as designed, it is clear the device does not allow the firearm to be fired from
the shoulder. Therefore, ATF concluded that, pursuant to the information provided, “the device
-2-

is not designed or intended to fire a weapon from the shoulder.” In making the classification
ATF determined that the objective design characteristics of the stabilizing brace supported the
stated intent.

ATF hereby confirms that if used as designed—to assist shooters in stabilizing a handgun while
shooting with a single hand—the device is not considered a shoulder stock and therefore may be
attached to a handgun without making a NFA firearm. However, ATF has received numerous
inquiries regarding alternate uses for this device, including use as a shoulder stock. Because the
NFA defines both rifle and shotgun to include any “weapon designed or redesigned, made or
remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” any person who redesigns a stabilizing
brace for use as a shoulder stock makes a NFA firearm when attached to a pistol with a rifled
barrel under 16 inches in length or a handgun with a smooth bore under 18 inches in length.

The GCA does not define the term “redesign” and therefore ATF applies the common meaning.
“Redesign” is defined as “to alter the appearance or function of.” See e.g. Webster’s II New
College Dictionary, Third Ed. (2005). This is not a novel interpretation. For example ATF has
previously advised that an individual possesses a destructive device when possessing anti-
personnel ammunition with an otherwise unregulated 37/38mm flare launcher. See ATF Ruling
95-3. Further, ATF has advised that even use of an unregulated flare and flare launcher as a
weapon results in the making of a NFA weapon. Similarly, ATF has advised that, although
otherwise unregulated, the use of certain nail guns as weapons may result in classification as an
“any other weapon.”

The pistol stabilizing brace was neither “designed” nor approved to be used as a shoulder stock,
and therefore use as a shoulder stock constitutes a “redesign” of the device because a possessor
has changed the very function of the item. Any individual letters stating otherwise are contrary
to the plain language of the NFA, misapply Federal law, and are hereby revoked.

Any person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol
(having a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a smooth bore firearm with a barrel under 18
inches in length) must first file an ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable tax because the resulting
firearm will be subject to all provisions of the NFA.

If you have any questions about the issues addressed in this letter, you may contact the Firearms
and Ammunition Technology Division at [email protected] or by phone at (304) 616-4300.


Max M. Kingery
Acting Chief
Firearms Technology Criminal Branch
Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division

It depends on how you intend to use your brace when you build it.............but if ever in a bad predicament it would be wise to exercise your right to remain silent and not self incriminate.......and get a good lawyer to take care of it for you.

If i were to put a brace on a pistol i would intend to use it as designed, but if i later used it as a propping device to stand it up in a corner or to hang it from a tree or rest it on my shoulder while i hunt and dont want to hold the grip or if i just so happen to shoot it near my cheek and it gets close to my shoulder........hey it's America.........and i have redesigned nothing and my intent has never changed from the start.

They change their mind every 2 sec.

Plus.......you dont need their "approval" to shoot your glock from your shoulder.......or wait does that constitute a redesign and illegal sbr ?, its not easy to prove intent on a brace unless you 1 open your mouth or 2 phisically alter the brace and truely redesign it.

I am not a lawyer..........but to my knowledge nobody has been prosecuted for shouldering a brace........not even the big gun tubers...

sellersm
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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by sellersm » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:53 am

New? It's the "open letter" from 2015... Been reversed I don't know how many times, with ATF giving approval to various manufacturers.

Unless I'm missing something?

mp15spt2
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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by mp15spt2 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:23 am

sellersm wrote:New? It's the "open letter" from 2015... Been reversed I don't know how many times, with ATF giving approval to various manufacturers.

Unless I'm missing something?
i guess not new, but i remember reading somewhere that shouldering the brace was "OK" with BATF.....guess not now.

Not to be funny, but let say i have a midget arm and i use the brace as attended, when i slip the brace on my midget arm in and the end of the brace rest on my shoulder, is that a NFA violation?

FarmDad
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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by FarmDad » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:48 am

ATF has muddied the waters with various letters over the years trying to complicate a pretty simple concept .

If you build a pistol with the intent of shouldering it all the time to try and duck the NFA SBR process you commit a crime .

If you modify a pistol brace to make it more suitable to shoulder you commit a crime .

There is a reported industry letter out there that says the brace must be less than 13.5 inches in the length of pull from the trigger or it becomes a stock .

If you build a pistol with the intent of using it as a pistol and the brace " inadvertently or occasionally " touches the shoulder while you are shooting you have not committed any crime .

I will leave any strict compliance or nudge nudge wink wink stuff to the individual pistol owner and their situation.

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der Teufel
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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by der Teufel » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:10 pm

I think the letter posted in the original message above is outdated.

Sig Sauer posted an update almost two years ago —
ATF Clarifies Ruling on Pistol Stabilizing Braces
Published Date: 04/25/2017
SIG SAUER, Inc. announced news of a welcomed clarification from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on pistol stabilizing braces (PSB). The ATF’s refined position is that placing a PSB against the shoulder does not, in and of itself, necessarily alter the classification from pistol to short-barreled rifle (SBR).

In a letter dated March 21, 2017, ATF reexamines its earlier position, which stated that shouldering a PSB-equipped firearm could constitute the making of an unregistered short-barreled rifle under the National Firearms Act (NFA). ATF now states:

“With respect to stabilizing braces, ATF has concluded that attaching the brace to a handgun as a forearm brace does not ‘make’ a short-barreled firearm because … it is not intended to be and cannot comfortably be fired from the shoulder.” The letter continues: “Therefore, an NFA firearm has not necessarily been made when the device is not re-configured for use as a shoulder stock — even if the attached firearm happens to be fired from the shoulder.”

The following passage from the letter acknowledges the confusion surrounding the January 2015 “Open Letter on the Redesign of ‘Stabilizing Braces’”, and clarifies that ATF does not consider shouldering a PSB-equipped firearm, in and of itself, to render it an SBR.

“To the extent the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold that incidental, sporadic, or situational ‘use’ of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute a ‘redesign,’ such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with ATF’s interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced.”
Here's a link to the actual letter from ATF: https://www.sigsauer.com/wp-content/upl ... 1-2017.pdf
"A man with a gun is a citizen. A man without a gun is a subject." — John R. Lott

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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by Boolit_Head » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:55 pm

All this waffling back and forth has shot any credibility they ever had.

Mike7.62
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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by Mike7.62 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:03 pm

They don't need credibility to arrest you, should they discover you using it as such, only their interpretation of the law. It will cost you your life savings and more to break even-meaning to stay out of the Federal Pen.
Last edited by Mike7.62 on Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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John A.
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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by John A. » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:11 pm

A shoulder fired weapon is a rifle.

Unless it's not.

The LP-08 Luger Artillery stock which attaches to a handgun is not a stock.

It has always been exempted.

Image

Why is it not a short barrel rifle? Damn if I know.

For no more reason than the atf said so I guess.

Just like the atf says a lot of things.

Any time that you have an unelected agency interpreting and enforcing laws and making their own rules and regulations, this kind of thing is going to happen.

They say the alphabet agencies don't make law, but just take 2 minutes to do some fast internet searches for instances where they make up regulations and therefore have the rule of law and the full weight of the government behind it.
When those totally ignorant of firearms make laws, you end up with totally ignorant firearm laws.

Mike7.62
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Re: Pistol Brace

Post by Mike7.62 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:15 pm

Yeah they do. All of them. Congress gives them the broad strokes and they make the rules, giving us the "short strokes" so to speak. Light bulbs, toilets, showerheads, gas mileage blah, blah, blah.

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