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Old December 11, 2022, 07:03 PM   #1
kymasabe
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ATF and pistol braces ?

I ordered an SBA3 brace today and was a heartbeat away from ordering a barrel, when I ran into an article about ATF ruling on December 28th about the legality of braces?
It's been a long time since I've built an AR pistol and wasn't aware of possible changes in the law.
Can someone tell me which way the topic is leaning? Should I wait before ordering a barrel I may not be able to use?
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Old December 11, 2022, 07:14 PM   #2
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This will get interesting, ATF has changed their minds so many times I'm sure the Law Suits will start in earnest!
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Old December 11, 2022, 07:57 PM   #3
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Proposed rule published months ago

https://www.federalregister.gov/docu...s#open-comment

Final rule being released on December 28, 2022.
Goes into effect next year. It seems the intent is to eliminate AR pistols, redefining
them as short barreled rifle, forcing those who wish to keep them to register them under the NFA.
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Old December 11, 2022, 10:05 PM   #4
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This has been under discussion here:
https://thefiringline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=41

jcj54 is correct -- it's never a good idea to bet on what the BATFE will do, but most expectations are that braced AR-pattern pistols will become short-barreled rifles and require a tax stamp. In some states, this will make them into prohibited "assault weapons."

I would certainly not order a barrel until the new rule has been released, studied, and understood.
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Old December 11, 2022, 10:07 PM   #5
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t's never a god idea to bet on what the BATFE will do, but most expectations are that braced AR-pattern pistols will become short-barreled rifles and require a tax stamp.
Does anyone know if there is any allowance for people removing the braces and using them without the braces?
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Old December 11, 2022, 10:57 PM   #6
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Heres the form that accompanies the new rule. Its like doing taxes. 4 or more points means its an sbr. Its about far more than the brace. Good luck. https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regula...worksheet-4999
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Old December 11, 2022, 11:11 PM   #7
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There will be NO AR pattern pistols made illegal, regardless of how the ruling works out. It is entirely possible that some shoulder stocks that were being sold as "braces" will lose their status as "braces" and will be explicitly defined to be what everyone already knew they were.

NO ONE will be forced to register their AR pattern pistols as NFA items, no matter how the ruling works out. It is entirely possible that some owners may have to remove the shoulder stocks they installed on their pistols and dispose of them in some prescribed manner and within a given timeframe.

At this time, there does not appear to be any intent or push to regulate true arm braces or pistols equipped with them.
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Old December 11, 2022, 11:48 PM   #8
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There are a number of AR-type firearms currently being sold as "Other" -- they are not classified as either rifles or pistols. I think those are what the new regulations are going to affect.
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Old December 12, 2022, 12:31 AM   #9
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How does that work?

The NFA "Other" category specifically excludes pistols with rifled barrels, does it not?
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Old December 12, 2022, 01:40 AM   #10
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I absolutey hate the mess these laws are and the confusion they create.

I THINK (and I could be wrong) that the "Other" classification is for receivers that have not yet been finished into firearms. This allows the buyer to make it either a rifle or a pistol as they choose.

IF the gun is sold as a rifle ATF does not allow it to be made into a pistol other than as an NFA item.

If it is sold as a pistol, the ATF doesn't seem to care much if you turn it into a rifle, (with a rifle length barrel AND a buttstock) If you put a rifle length barrel on it without a buttstock, they don't like that and consider it an NFA item.

I believe that, if the ruling changes braces into buttstocks for legal classification, then those pistols become "short barrel rifles" and would require NFA registration to be legally owned.

The solution is simple and obvious, remove the brace (which is now a stock) and your pistol is still a pistol and not an NFA item.

We won't know what the ruling actually is, until it is released at the end of this month, but I wouldn't expect anything good for the owners of braced pistols.

Be sure and thank all those UTube (etc) morons for putting this issue squarely in the ATF's sights....
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Old December 12, 2022, 04:02 AM   #11
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There will be NO AR pattern pistols made illegal, regardless of how the ruling works out. It is entirely possible that some shoulder stocks that were being sold as "braces" will lose their status as "braces" and will be explicitly defined to be what everyone already knew they were.

NO ONE will be forced to register their AR pattern pistols as NFA items, no matter how the ruling works out. It is entirely possible that some owners may have to remove the shoulder stocks they installed on their pistols and dispose of them in some prescribed manner and within a given timeframe.

At this time, there does not appear to be any intent or push to regulate true arm braces or pistols equipped with them.
It seems to me it explicitly says they are doing this to help manufacturers and retailers avoid legal encumbrances. In addition to the brace, over-all weight and other accessory attachments have been added to the points system for ruling whether or not the pistol is not otherwise an SBR in drag.

I have some AR style pistols I built years ago and decided to ditch any kind of attachment to the buffer tube--which itself has no holes or attachment points as I thought this situation was inevitable. It's definitely slower and harder to shoot than an AR with a brace; but, with practice, at least for me, is still faster and more accurate at greater range than any handgun or pistol.

A previous ATF interpretation on braces was challenged on the basis of attributing "intent" to a component--it's interesting to see in the language here that "intent" is back and more prolific than ever.
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Old December 12, 2022, 10:03 AM   #12
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I’ve built several AR pistols, although I only have one left, a 300 Blackout. I always used “pistol buffer” tubes, which had no holes or appendages to attach anything to them. I noticed later AR pistols with braces had buffer tubes that weren’t any different than carbine tubes, which I always understood to be wrong. A few guys used rifle tubes because they were a plain tube, except for the threaded hole in the end, but that’s still an attachment point. But as long as BATF keeps moving the goal posts, who knows.
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Old December 12, 2022, 10:36 AM   #13
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Not popular, but no one corrects me when I say not a single person uses it for the intent that was submitted to allow the brace...
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Old December 12, 2022, 11:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wild cat mccane
Not popular, but no one corrects me when I say not a single person uses it for the intent that was submitted to allow the brace...
Maybe people are simply choosing to ignore you. You've made a number of absolute statements on this forum over the years (source of government ammunition manufacture and presence of loaded chamber indicators to name a few) that were shown to be false by others within minutes of you typing them. In keeping with that tradition:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngdAorS3ezc

If your point is actually that the percentage of the people using them as intended is incredibly small, I tend to agree. You can look at SB Tactical products over the years and see that the early designs were braces that could be used a stock, at least a better stock than say a naked buffer tube. Over time those designs have become almost indistinguishable from stocks in a number of cases.

My own concern with this decision is the number of years these products were allowed to be sold, by some estimates tens of millions of them https://www.gunowners.org/time-for-c...0common%20use., and the general lack of awareness of the National Firearm Act of 1934 among the shooting public. I've stated a number of times in the past that this forum is a very select subset of shooters. Many in the public have no idea that the braced pistol they were sold skirts the line of what is or isn't legal. Even among those that are, there is a general misunderstanding of what the future legislation may or may not do, as evidenced here. Further, many don't participate in online forums, watch YouTube videos, etc. Certainly ignorance of the law has been shown, time and time again, to not excuse a person from following the law. However, I think with the percentage of people that are likely unaware of the nature of the product they purchased (I've seen these sold as "fun" items in shops) and the difficulty of making those people aware of the resulting legislation (maybe the ATF will have a program in this regard) that some people will end up shooting themselves in the foot (pun intended) simply by continuing to possess this item, even with a grace period.

The other concern I have is the logistics of registering these items after the fact with an ATF that is likely understaffed for that level of effort. Certainly many that own these now will choose to take off the brace and sell them, likely at a notable loss, but even a small percentage choosing to go forward accounts for a lot of NFA processing. I'm curious what the backlog for that will end up being.
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Old December 12, 2022, 11:32 AM   #15
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Every road test of an AR pistol in Firearms News includes a report on the brace's effectiveness as a brace, and shows pics of the tester shooting the gun one-handed with the brace, so, SOMEOME is using the brace as a brace.
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Old December 12, 2022, 12:30 PM   #16
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I feel totally comfortable on which side I'm falling on for being pedantic.

Despite illogical passions of what an item clearly is, the brace can go away and the shooting sport isn't hurt.

Drawing heat on this one makes almost no sense. Brace selling ads I get in email almost all show a picture of someone using it as an SBR.

Fight the SBR law. But pretending the brace is used as a brace isn't reality. That mentality hurts the shooting sport more.

I would tend to disagree that someone buying an AR15 pistol with a brace isn't in the know of what they are trying to accomplish.
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Old December 12, 2022, 12:40 PM   #17
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Since Covid started I’ve tuned out from the news in order to have a happier day. I wasn’t aware of this pistol brace pending ruling - I don’t have a pistol braced AR but I do have a slick TC Contender w a folding Tailhook brace - I own several Contender barrels and after having the pistol brace I am hoping I can pay $200 to keep the brace.
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Old December 12, 2022, 12:44 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by wild cat mccane
Also, despite illogical passions of what an item clearly is, the brace can go away and the shooting sport isn't hurt.
I'm not really sure to whom this refers. The video I posted is of a disabled person explaining how and why braces help him shoot. I don't think that person thinks of himself as illogical. As for who may or may not be affected, for the people that are using these as intended, they're the ones that are going to be, in my estimation, unfairly impacted. That they're a small part of the overall shooting community doesn't mean that their discomfort doesn't count and the "shooting sport isn't hurt".

Quote:
Originally Posted by wild cat mccane
Fight the SBR law. But pretending the brace is used as a brace isn't reality.
I don't really see anyone on this thread in particular that is pretending.
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Old December 12, 2022, 12:47 PM   #19
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Fair enough. The coming rule shouldn't be a surprise to shooters is all I mean to say.
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Old December 12, 2022, 12:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John KSa
How does that work?

The NFA "Other" category specifically excludes pistols with rifled barrels, does it not?
I think not. I'm sure Stag Arms isn't selling an entire category of AR-15 "Other" firearms with smooth bores.

https://www.stagarms.com/products/stag-15/other.html

That page includes a link to their video about what is an "other." One of my FFL friends knows someone at Stag Arms, and he told me on Saturday that Stag Arms is already gearing up to sue the BATFE over the new rules, even before they've been finalized. My guess would be that's because Stag sells a boatload of these "others" and they don't want to see a profitable product line shut off.

https://youtu.be/FvNnjK-NV8g
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Old December 12, 2022, 01:03 PM   #21
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Not popular, but no one corrects me when I say not a single person uses it for the intent that was submitted to allow the brace...
I wouldn't be so quick to be dismissive of something that potentially falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act--a powerful law that even the government can--and has--been sued for violating. I think a better way to put it is that the intent of the assistive device has been exploited by those who clearly do not have a disability--like people who park in handicap spots who obviously have no handicap.
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Old December 12, 2022, 01:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
I think not. I'm sure Stag Arms isn't selling an entire category of AR-15 "Other" firearms with smooth bores.

https://www.stagarms.com/products/stag-15/other.html
Three of the products on that page list barrel twist rates. I don't think they're smoothbore. In the product video it seems to be the combination of an attached vertical grip, overall length, and the lack of a true stock.

I know Franklin Armory played around with barrels without traditional rifling in the form of the Reformation.
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Old December 12, 2022, 01:10 PM   #23
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JohnKSa How does that work?

The NFA "Other" category specifically excludes pistols with rifled barrels, does it not?
"Other" is a category of firearm on the Form 4473, along with Handgun and Long Gun. (Que 24)

"Other firearm" refers to firearms that do not meet the definition of rifle, shotgun or handgun. It includes non NFA firearms such as frames, receivers, AR lowers and firearms with a pistol grip that expel a shotgun shell. Certain configurations of firearms may be "Other firearms" because they aren't rifles, shotguns or handguns, yet do not meet the definition of any NFA firearm either.

An example is an AR with no shoulder stock and an OAL of more than 26" that also has a second vertical grip. Without that 2nd vertical grip it would be a pistol. If it has a 2nd vertical grip and an OAL of less than 26"?...its an NFA firearm (AOW). Such a firearm cannot have been reconfigured from a firearm that was originally a rifle or shotgun.

On the Form 4473, NFA firearms are designated as "Other" because they don't meet the definition of Handgun or Long Gun. All NFA firearms are marked as "Other" category on the Form 4473. (Que 24) and described on Que 4 as a Machine Gun, Destructive Device, Silencer, Short Barreled Rifle, Short Barreled Shotgun or Any Other Weapon. An Any Other Weapon or AOW is not the same as an "Other Firearm". There is no NFA "Other".
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Old December 12, 2022, 01:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JohnKSa View Post
At this time, there does not appear to be any intent or push to regulate true arm braces or pistols equipped with them.
What's a "true arm brace"?

When this all came about I was researching it some and it seemed like almost anything that could be shouldered would qualify as a stock. Basically if you have to ask if it's a "brace" it is not a brace, but a stock. If you think there is no way it would qualify as a stock you might be able to squeeze through the regulations assuming sights and accessories don't push you over the points.
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Old December 12, 2022, 03:15 PM   #25
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I think not. I'm sure Stag Arms isn't selling an entire category of AR-15 "Other" firearms with smooth bores.
Interesting.
Quote:
"Other" is a category of firearm on the Form 4473, along with Handgun and Long Gun. (Que 24)

"Other firearm" refers to firearms that do not meet the definition of rifle, shotgun or handgun. It includes non NFA firearms such as frames, receivers, AR lowers and firearms with a pistol grip that expel a shotgun shell. Certain configurations of firearms may be "Other firearms" because they aren't rifles, shotguns or handguns, yet do not meet the definition of any NFA firearm either.

An example is an AR with no shoulder stock and an OAL of more than 26" that also has a second vertical grip. Without that 2nd vertical grip it would be a pistol. If it has a 2nd vertical grip and an OAL of less than 26"?...its an NFA firearm (AOW). Such a firearm cannot have been reconfigured from a firearm that was originally a rifle or shotgun.

On the Form 4473, NFA firearms are designated as "Other" because they don't meet the definition of Handgun or Long Gun. All NFA firearms are marked as "Other" category on the Form 4473. (Que 24) and described on Que 4 as a Machine Gun, Destructive Device, Silencer, Short Barreled Rifle, Short Barreled Shotgun or Any Other Weapon. An Any Other Weapon or AOW is not the same as an "Other Firearm". There is no NFA "Other".
Excellent explanation, as usual.

So the deal is that an "Other" has to be over 26" but the worksheet disqualifies a brace if it is installed on a gun that's over 26". The disqualification sort of makes sense because an "Other" is specifically made to be fired with two hands (part of why it is not a pistol and why it has the vertical foregrip) while the brace is designed to allow a person who can't use both hands to fire a gun with only one hand. The two things are contradictory so it sorta makes sense that you can't brace an "Other".

It looks like the people who bought an "Other" AR will not be allowed to put a brace on it. They will have to use it as it was designed to be used--with two hands.
Quote:
My guess would be that's because Stag sells a boatload of these "others" and they don't want to see a profitable product line shut off.
The guns can still be sold and those that are already out there will not be illegal after the new law. If they are braced, the brace will need to be removed but the gun will still be legal with a bare buffer tube as long as the overall length exceeds 26".
Quote:
What's a "true arm brace"?
That's what the new rule will define.
Quote:
I wouldn't be so quick to be dismissive of something that potentially falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act--a powerful law that even the government can--and has--been sued for violating.
If they were simply saying that any arm brace doesn't qualify, that would probably get struck down. What is going to happen is a differentiation between arm braces (which will be allowed) and shoulder stocks, which have been illegal on pistols since 1934.

There is one possibility that I see--if a disabled person has bought an "Other" and braced it, they might have standing to successfully challenge the part of the rule that disqualifies braces on "Other" firearms.

The bottom line is that this is formalizing a law that has been around for over 80 years. I don't agree with that law, but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the government is going to push to enforce it and to deal with what are pretty transparent attempts to circumvent it.
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