The ATF Goes Bananas on Pistol Braces

Updated: January 16, 2023

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In case you have been under a rock for the past few days, the ATF dropped their 293-page final rule on pistol stabilizing braces.

The good news is that they dropped the whole ludicrous proposed “Form 4999” point system brought up in last year’s proposed rule. The bad news is they just went ahead and said basically all braces, if they are fitted to a pistol, are short-barreled rifles, which can bring 10 years in federal prison if not registered correctly.

The options for the estimated 4-40 million braced pistol owners as outlined by the ATF include destroying the firearm, registering it on an e-Form 1 during a 120-day window with a waived $200 tax stamp, removing (and destroying) the brace itself, turning the firearm over to your local agent, or turning the pistol into a rifle with a 16+ inch barrel.

Expect lots of lawsuits on this one once it hits the federal register.

To illustrate the silliness of the whole thing, Ian McCollum over at Forgotten Weapons, weighs in on how the pistol brace issue intercepts the SBR regulations of the 1934 National Firearms Act, boiling it down to the regs on SBRs fundamentally being “a nonsense law that is left over from an attempt at legislation that didn’t actually happen.”

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