Brace to Shoulder, BATFE no bolder

Are you a fan of redesigning weapons?

Let’s re-phrase that, are you a fan of shouldering a pistol stabilizing brace? (Sig Brace)

According to one open letter from BATFE just post SHOT Show 2015, those two were one in the same. Now, 72 hours before the 2017 NRA Annual Meeting, we can all breathe a sigh of relief: It’s not really considered a redesign, shifting the gun’s weight up the distance of your arm to peer down the sights.

Letter Excerpt:
“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 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.”
Full letter here.

The real surprise is that it took two years for them to determine that.

So go shoulder your arm braces while you can– before they determine that doing so constitutes turning your gun into a rocket launcher.

by Sam Morstan

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May 4th, 2017 by