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Old April 24, 2017, 10:20 PM   #1
dogtown tom
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Owners of the "arm brace" will enjoy reading this....

B Tactical claims to have received an ATF letter reversing ATF's stance on "shouldering" the arm brace.

https://www.sb-tactical.com/blog/sb-...lizing-braces/
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Old April 24, 2017, 10:36 PM   #2
CalmerThanYou
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Cool.....could common sense actually prevail?
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Old April 24, 2017, 11:45 PM   #3
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So will ATF release all of those jailed on felony "shouldering" charges?
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Old April 24, 2017, 11:58 PM   #4
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I don't remember anyone arrested for it, much less imprisoned. I think it was pretty much a non issue for ATFE, especially now with the change of "upper management".
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Old April 25, 2017, 01:13 AM   #5
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Very vague.
Mine will stay where it is for now: On a malformed Amazon rifle buffer tube of a "childless father" lower, that's currently attached to an experimental upper that's likely to only end up replacing the missing (sold) dedicated golf ball launcher upper. (Bubba accidentally drilled too deep when removing a gas block set screw, and I "plugged" the extra hole in the barrel by installing a gas block backwards. )
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Old April 25, 2017, 06:13 AM   #6
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"not necessarily", "incidental, sporadic or situational"

I work for the gooberment, and know better than to trust em. Especially when if the full context of the question asked/answer given is not available.
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Old April 25, 2017, 07:25 AM   #7
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"not necessarily", "incidental, sporadic or situational"

I work for the gooberment, and know better than to trust em. Especially when if the full context of the question asked/answer given is not available.



Maybe this statement means they won't beat you up for "shouldering" UNLESS they just feel like it.
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Old April 25, 2017, 08:49 AM   #8
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Zeke spaketh:
Quote:
"not necessarily", "incidental, sporadic or situational"

I work for the gooberment, and know better than to trust em. Especially when if the full context of the question asked/answer given is not available.
Notice how the sentiment changed sometime around Jan 20 of this year toward a 'more common sense' definition?
While I welcome the 'common sense' in a government pronouncement, I'm also (as a former bureaucrat) astute enough to realize this is a pendulum: Maybe it's going to continue to move in the 'right direction', but it also could could retrace back further into the 'wrong' direction than we saw a few years ago.
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Old April 25, 2017, 11:58 AM   #9
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The goobernent's mood swings like Tarzan.
I won't shoulder a pistol even if the ATF chief says it's ok. I mainly use a brace to help it get along with the rifles in the safe and it helps balance the firearm a little bit.

Maybe they'll disband all these government law enforcement agencies. Why do we need more than one anyway?
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Old April 25, 2017, 12:31 PM   #10
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http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...r-sb-tactical/

Am not a fan of the NFA rules. However, would not interpret the letter as using a brace as a stock now "legal". Only thing that appeared to change was a clarification of using a brace as a stock as a "redesign" into a NFA regulated firearm.
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Old April 26, 2017, 02:34 PM   #11
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Mmmmmm..........I dont know..........something sounds........fishy. Who wants to guinea pig this first?
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Old April 26, 2017, 03:53 PM   #12
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There's still too many "ifs and buts" in their statements, left themselves room to go back the other way at any time.

Still happy I paid for the form 1s for my SBRs.
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Old April 26, 2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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If you haven't redesigned it, you have not made an NFA firearm.
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Old April 26, 2017, 06:50 PM   #14
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Yes, so putting a vertical fore-grip on an AR15 pistol should be OK as well (takes no more effort or re-design than putting a "blade" on a buffer tube)... but under the current rules it's not OK.

Their positions on those two items are too contradictory to trust this is the final word, for me.
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Old April 26, 2017, 08:02 PM   #15
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If you put a vertical front grip on an AR15 pistol, you HAVE redesigned it.
It's not hard to understand.
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Old April 26, 2017, 09:09 PM   #16
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Goobermental guidances and directives are fancy way of saying we made the crap up. Test it, and hire a lawyer to get back to plain English of the actual law or allow a judge to interpret.
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Old April 27, 2017, 09:18 AM   #17
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This is only an "OPINION" letter. It can change at a moment's notice and past "opinions" hold no weight. I wouldn't suggest trotting down to the local range where all the cops go to loaf and "shoulder the brace" just to see what happens.
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Old April 27, 2017, 10:27 AM   #18
CalmerThanYou
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Most LEO I run into at the rage or gun shop are very cool, and many enjoy marksmanship practice and firearms as much as the rest of us.

Prior to the new letter and even now I am more wary of the know it all, nosy range lizard, who paces around like some Cub Scout den leader. I always keep a low profile and intend to keep it that way regardless of the latest opinion letter.
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Old April 27, 2017, 11:14 AM   #19
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over-priced item?

My guess is this has a lot more to do with the proving/prosecuting the concept of "redesign" lying with an action magically transforming the use of the equipment and designation of the classification--rather than a "common sense acceptance" of the design itself.

I wonder if "common sense" will be encompassed by a reduction in prices in what is otherwise a ridiculously over-priced slimmed-down buttstock?
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Old April 28, 2017, 08:36 AM   #20
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I read the actual letter--many people have interpreted it as "SB" specific--mostly SB itself and I think that is complete horse paddies--they cannot make an exception for just one company.

My take-away from the whole mumbo jombo-ese is simply this: if you retain your pistol in a configuration that still functionally retains the purpose of an assitive arm-brace--you're good--whether or not you "incidentally" use the brace on your shoulder. I further interpret the meaning to basically say that if you fix the brace such that it is essentially a longer (they specifically use the words at the end of the buffer tube) fixed stock equivalent to say an a2 rifle stock--then you have fashioned an SBR.

Interesting that this is not expressed in inches--which I assume leaves room for interpretation.

Bottom line for me--as long as my pistol configuration brace actually can be fitted to my arm as intended while shooting, I can shoulder-brace it as well without fear of going to the slammer.

That's just what I think, I'm not a legal expert.
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Old April 28, 2017, 11:54 AM   #21
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The interpretation of it as SB-specific is because it is a letter ruling. The ATF used to be under the Department of the Treasury. Treasury would issue interpretations of tax law. Because tax law is so complicated and fact dependent, these were called "Private Letter Rulings" because they applied only to the specific person who asked. Treasury, of course, would attempt to make uniform rulings; but often there are tiny factual differences that are difficult to distinguish from the outside that cause different outcomes.

Interpetations of the NFA are also private letter rulings and subject to that same distinction. So while you can assume ATF will apply the law uniformly, you are still guessing as to what ATF might see as a significant fact difference.

For example, until just a few years ago, the ATF took the position that the Supreme Court ruling in Thompson Center Fire applied only to that specific firearm.
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Old April 28, 2017, 12:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
The interpretation of it as SB-specific is because it is a letter ruling. The ATF used to be under the Department of the Treasury. Treasury would issue interpretations of tax law. Because tax law is so complicated and fact dependent, these were called "Private Letter Rulings" because they applied only to the specific person who asked. Treasury, of course, would attempt to make uniform rulings; but often there are tiny factual differences that are difficult to distinguish from the outside that cause different outcomes.

Interpetations of the NFA are also private letter rulings and subject to that same distinction. So while you can assume ATF will apply the law uniformly, you are still guessing as to what ATF might see as a significant fact difference.

For example, until just a few years ago, the ATF took the position that the Supreme Court ruling in Thompson Center Fire applied only to that specific firearm.
I agree that it is a letter ruling--but other than the requester being SB--the actual change in terms of law interpretation makes no reference at all to SB specifically, or that their design is different in any way functionally from previous designs and previous letters.

The interpretation may have been in response to SB's particular design(s) submissions--but I see nothing at all in the letter that would indicate that there is something unique to their designs that would not also be applicable to other arm/brace designs. Hence, I see this as a mere clarification of what "redesign" means--not that SB has somehow magically come up with the better widget that meets the intent of the law. Again, I read the over-all message to say that "as long as the design is substantively and primarily an arm-brace, incidental use braced on the shoulder does not constitute a redesign."
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Old April 28, 2017, 03:27 PM   #23
Bartholomew Roberts
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As someone who has read, and even written, a few rulings for regulatory agencies, my take is that ATF would like to limit the obvious utility of arm braces as improvised stocks; but they realize their second letter was indefensible in court based on current law - so they are backing off and attempting to stake out some distinction that might hold up in court. Because what's the point of a ridiculous interpretation you don't dare litigate?

Eventually, they'll catch some meth-dealing white supremacist who beats his kids with an arm brace that has been modified in some way and they'll make him a test case.
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Old April 28, 2017, 03:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
... but they realize their second letter was indefensible in court based on current law - so they are backing off and attempting to stake out some distinction that might hold up in court.
Precisely.

I think the parameters of retain primary functionality of brace while not being used as a "full-length" type of stock comes closer to being rational and defensible in court.

So, my brace will retain it's configuration in such a way that I can readily fit it to my arm and fire effectively if so challenged--but "may" occasionally use the brace on my shoulder. Anyway, I can shoot around 1.5 +/- MOA at 100 with my 300 BO pistol even with just the arm brace on my arm, so this isn't a big deal for me either way.
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Old April 28, 2017, 07:43 PM   #25
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Yeah, it's likely the BATFE realized they would get laughed out of a significant number of courts if they prosecuted someone for "redesigning" a legal firearm​ by holding it differently.
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