SIG SAUER are the guys who make the now infamous pistol arm brace for AR-15 pistols that looks remarkably like a stock. And works kinda like a stock. A really, really crappy stock. Anyway, there has been much chatter on the internet about whether the ATF will get their knickers in a twist about people misusing the arm brace and subsequently change their minds on the legality of the whole thing. Thankfully, the ATF has just released a letter clarifying their position and confirming what we’ve been saying this whole time: the arm brace is here to stay. Thanks to SIG SAUER for sending it along, read it after the break . . .
Dear Sgt. Bradley:
This is in response to your communication dated January 24, 2014, to the Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Your e-mail was forwarded to the ATF Firearms technology Branch (FTB), Martinsburg, West Virginia, for reply. In your note, you ask about firing an AR-15 type pistol from the shoulder; specifically, if doing so would cause the pistol to be reclassified as a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR).
For the following reasons, we have determined that firing a pistol from the shoulder would not cause the pistol to be reclassified as an SBR:
FTB classifies weapons based on their physical design characteristics. While the usage/functionality of the weapon does influence the intended design, it is not the sole criteria for determining the classification of a weapon. Generally speaking, we do not classify weapons based on how an individual uses a weapon.
FTB has previously determined (see FTB #99146) that the firing of a weapon from a particular position, such as placing the receiver extention of an AR-15 type pistol on the user’s shoulder, does not change the classification of a weapon. Further, certain firearm accessories such as the SIG stability brace have not been classified by the FTB as shoulder stocks and, therefore, using the brace improperly does not constitute a design change. Using an accessory improperly would not change the classification of a weapon under Federal law. However, the FTB cannot recommend using a weapon (or weapon accessory) in a manner not intended by the manufacturer.
We thank you for your inquiry and trust the foregoing has been responsive.