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The last letter from the ATF didn’t change their opinion on the pistol arm brace, but this one definitely and clearly has. People have been saying that the ATF is about to do a 180 degree about face on the idea that using a pistol arm brace as a stock is perfectly legal, and it appears that the day has come. Released at about 3:45 PM central time, the latest missive is an open letter from the acting ATF chief (instead of an individual letter) that states exactly what we most feared: that using a pistol arm brace as a stock “redesigns” the firearm and “makes” it a NFA device. Make the jump for the full letter . . .


The Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received inquiries from the public concerning the proper use of devices recently marketed as “stabilizing braces.” These devices are described as “a shooter’s aid that is designed to improve the single-handed shooting performance of buffer tube equipped pistols.” The device claims to enhance accuracy and reduce felt recoil when using an AR-style pistol.

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 NFA, 26 USCS § 5845, defines “firearm,” in relevant part, as “a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length” and “a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.” That section defines both “rifle” and “shotgun” as “a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder….” (Emphasis added).

Pursuant to the plain language of the statute, ATF and its predecessor agency have long held that a pistol with a barrel less than 16 inches in length and an attached shoulder stock is a NFA “firearm.” For example, in Revenue Ruling 61-45, Luger and Mauser pistols “having a barrel of less than 16 inches in length with an attachable shoulder stock affixed” were each classified as a “short barrel rifle…within the purview of the National Firearms Act.”

In classifying the originally submitted design, ATF considered the objective design of the item as well as the stated purpose of the item. In submitting this device for classification, the designer noted that

The intent of the buffer tube forearm brace is to facilitate one handed firing of the AR15 pistol for those with limited strength or mobility due to a handicap. It also performs the function of sufficiently padding the buffer tube in order to reduce bruising to the forearm while firing with one hand. Sliding and securing the brace onto ones forearm and latching the Velcro straps, distributes the weight of the weapon evenly and assures a snug fit. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to dangerously “muscle” this large pistol during the one handed aiming process, and recoil is dispersed significantly, resulting in more accurate shooting without compromising safety or comfort.

In the classification letter of November 26, 2012, ATF noted that a “shooter would insert his or her forearm into the device while gripping the pistol’s handgrip-then tighten the Velcro straps for additional support and retention. Thus configured, the device provides the shooter with additional support of a firearm while it is still held and operated with one hand.” When strapped to the wrist and used as designed, it is clear the device does not allow the firearm to be fired from the shoulder. Therefore, ATF concluded that, pursuant to the information provided, “the device is not designed or intended to fire a weapon from the shoulder.” In making the classification ATF determined that the objective design characteristics of the stabilizing brace supported the stated intent.

ATF hereby confirms that if used as designed—to assist shooters in stabilizing a handgun while shooting with a single hand—the device is not considered a shoulder stock and therefore may be attached to a handgun without making a NFA firearm. However, ATF has received numerous inquiries regarding alternate uses for this device, including use as a shoulder stock. Because the NFA defines both rifle and shotgun to include any “weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” any person who redesigns a stabilizing brace for use as a shoulder stock makes a NFA firearm when attached to a pistol with a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length or a handgun with a smooth bore under 18 inches in length.

The GCA does not define the term “redesign” and therefore ATF applies the common meaning. “Redesign” is defined as “to alter the appearance or function of.” See e.g. Webster’s II New College Dictionary, Third Ed. (2005). This is not a novel interpretation. For example ATF has previously advised that an individual possesses a destructive device when possessing anti-personnel ammunition with an otherwise unregulated 37/38mm flare launcher. See ATF Ruling 95-3. Further, ATF has advised that even use of an unregulated flare and flare launcher as a weapon results in the making of a NFA weapon. Similarly, ATF has advised that, although otherwise unregulated, the use of certain nail guns as weapons may result in classification as an “any other weapon.”

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.

If you have any questions about the issues addressed in this letter, you may contact the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division at [email protected] or by phone at (304) 616-4300.

Max M. Kingery

Acting Chief

Firearms Technology Criminal Branch

Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division

There’s no ambiguity this time: using a pistol arm brace the “wrong” way makes the gun an NFA weapon, according to the letter.

I’ve talked to contacts at both SB Tactical (who make the brace) and SIG SAUER (who distribute it), and neither have looked at the letter long enough to make heads or tails of the decision.

What strikes me as odd is how broad this decision appears to be. If you use a bumpfire stock, does that make your gun a machine gun? If you use an AR pistol with just a paddede buffer tube and it gently touches your shoulder, is that now a NFA device? There are a ton of questions that need to be answered, and at this point all we can do is sit back and wait for the lawyers to hash this whole thing out.

There is one glimmer of hope though: the ATF has been forced to change its opinions before. There was a time when the ATF briefly stated that Neilsen devices for pistols and attachment devices for rifle cans constituted “silencer parts” and needed an individual Form 4 and serialization. But they were later forced to reverse that decision thanks to some people within the industry speaking up and pointing out the error of their ways. It’s possible that the same thing can happen here.

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    • Notice what they said about using a flare gun as an emergency weapon? AS in, you are on your boat and a bunch of piratical thugs attacks? Oh, and if you are building something with a nail gun, don’t try to defend yourself with it .:

      “Further, ATF has advised that even use of an unregulated flare and flare launcher as a weapon results in the making of a NFA weapon. Similarly, ATF has advised that, although otherwise regulated, the use of certain nail guns as weapons may result in classification as an “any other weapon.”.

      Bottom line: The ATF can nail you whatever you do, if they want. (yes, pun intended)

      So if you buy a forearm brace for your handgun, STFU when you show it to your friends.

      • Basically: “You can defend yourself, but we would need to lock you up if you used makeshift weapons to increase your odds of survival.”

        Shysters. The ATF Should just kill themselves. We already have courts and police, we don’t need these clowns.

    • The braces aren’t going anywhere. There will be no compliance to another letter that changes at whim. BATFE doesn’t have the manpower, means, or the will to enforce this un-Constitutional drivel. And they don’t have the authority.

      • They don’t need to enforce it against everyone. They just need to enforce it against one or two guys. Would you risk shouldering it in public knowing that one of those guys could be you?

    • So oo , let me get this straight ,,,,, you cannot go after real criminal’s even after you sell Drug Cartels that take them into anther country and you know it ……… so you make criminals out of law abiding citizens ???? That bought a LEGAL aftermarket product ,,,,hummm ???

    • Hardly. Late ’16 and just bought one AND will use it any way I see fit at the time. Giving the Government an extra $200 doesn’t change the form or use of anything either and the process definitely “infringes”, just in case we want to banty words about.

      Kiss my ass BATF.

  1. If you have any questions about the issues addressed in this letter, you may contact the Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division at [email protected] or by phone at (304) 616-4300.

    Max M. Kingery
    Acting Chief
    Firearms Technology Criminal Branch
    Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division

    Issued 3:45 p.m. CST – That’s 4:45 p.m. EST – Just enough time to get that letter released, and run like hell to your parking space and face downtown DC traffic.

    Well played, BATF&E, well played…!

      • Thanks for the clarification.

        The message remains the same: Check time, grab coat, grab keys, feed fax, push send, lock office door, RLH…

    • He’ll enjoy a three-day weekend to let everyone simmer down before his phone starts ringing Tuesday morning. 🙂

  2. The only thing that surprised was seeing a brace for a gun I haven’t heard of. What is an “Ace”? Is it some kind of AK clone?

    • Sitting in my car and almost raised my hand. Snort.
      And thanks to the jackwagons posting vids on youtube.

      • Thanks to the jackwagons? Thanks for what, exercising their rights? It was completely legal, so don’t go blaming people on our side for bringing these on their channel. Why don’t you thank the unelected politician that decided he/she didn’t like it, so it has to go away.

        • Let’s go one better, to the elected politicians, who write crappy, vague legislation, replete with words like “reasonable”, then essentially delegate (unconstitutionally, in my personal opinion) substantial lawmaking authority to the executive branch via regulation-writing powers where the actual implementation of legislation happens?

          Or if we really want to get all root cause about it, let’s blame generations of stupid American voters, not unlike the current crop who voted for the politicians who foisted Obamacare on us, for foisting endless unconstitutional firearms infringements on us.

      • Yeah you are so correct in your assessment. This is all the fault of armed Americans that don’t think they should pay tyrannical agencies to use their weapons as intended by the laws of physics. This has nothing to do with the agency that should be disbanded and tried for treason from the top down. You are so right because I cannot think of a better time then now to start this shit again. Don’t you think our kings men understand this will drive us apart? Do you think an egancy with such a nefarious end game wouldn’t have understood that if we as a gun community never unite they can pick us off one by one. It’s alright you go ahead and get your boot licker ready. Me, I’m going to keep on keeping on. You know if your already a felon for touching a piece of plastic to your shoulder then why not get fun with it? Anybody else ready to go buy some oil filters and shoestrings?

        • That ‘tyrannical agency’ gave SIG brace owners an out two years ago basically stating that you can’t incorrectly fire a firearm. HOWEVER, instead of walking away with a win several short-sighted members of the gun community asked loaded questions of the ATF to specifically provoke this letter. This isn’t tyranny, this was specifically asked for by owners of AR and other pistols patterned after rifles. They got what they asked for, and ruined it for the rest of us, congratulations!!

        • Tim, maybe some of those people weren’t just being dicks, but had legitimate questions, and rather than risk ten years in Federal pound-you-in-the-ass prison, sought clarification from the unaccountable bureaucrats whose capricious whims dictate what we’re “allowed” to do with our own property…

        • Tim, it’s not giving us a break. The NFA laws are silly to begin with. We shouldn’t feel like we’re “getting away” with something for being able to shoulder fire a short-barreled AR with a pistol brace. We should be able to fire any gun with any length of barrel and any combination of stock or other attachments without any fear of hall-monitor-types throwing us into the legal system.

  3. So the ATF realized that people could get what they wanted while still complying with the law (there is no such thing as a loophole in law), and is changing the law through bureaucratic fiat. Nice.

    • How can they fight this? Even going by past ruling it was intent. So the firearms lawyers are taking ATF to court how? The product can still be used and sold as an arm brace…. They will just have to add sticker stating do not shoulder!

  4. Use = redesign? Hahahahahahahah! What cards those dumbazz ATF boys are! They sure have a great sense of humor.

    • Problem is, do you want to be the test case? Granted, you’re a lawyer yourself so you could probably save some money doing some of the work yourself, but for the rest of us schmoes, we’d be looking at some steep legal bills to fight this with the possible outcome being a long stay at club fed and loss of gun rights forever. No thanks.

      • The first innocent guy who gets pinched will be the test case. I expect to see that in, maybe, the year 2097.

        • Yeah, the ATF can say what they want, but after this mess, no US District Attorney would touch this. The legal argument at best is dubious. I can’t even imagine a jury being told “well, the ATF said yes, my client bought it, and then they said no because he didn’t use it like they wanted him to after they changed their minds. . .” Good luck.

    • It is all too common for regulators to completely redefine words to meet their needs.

      On a side note, since I’m steering my car with my feet, I just completely redesigned my car. I should submit my designs to the maker and I’ll get a big fat check for helping people without arms drive.

  5. Similarly, ATF has advised that, although otherwise unregulated, the use of certain nail guns as weapons may result in classification as an “any other weapon.”

    That logic scares me… what’s next?

    Similarly, ATF has advised that, although otherwise unregulated, the use of certain baseball bats as weapons may result in classification as an “any other weapon.”

    Similarly, ATF has advised that, although otherwise unregulated, the use of certain butcher knives as weapons may result in classification as an “any other weapon.”

    Similarly, ATF has advised that, although otherwise unregulated, the use of certain tire irons as weapons may result in classification as an “any other weapon.”

    Similarly, ATF has advised that, although otherwise unregulated, the use of certain sling shots as weapons may result in classification as an “any other weapon.”

    • Fortunately their stupidity can only apply to firearms, which is limited to devices that launch projectiles using explosions, burning materials, or compressed air.
      They can only expand to things like a potato guns or Jamie Hyneman’s “pop gun” (a compressed air soda can launcher) and chicken cannon.

      • I don’t think so. Their stupidity can extend to any damn thing they like, and they will be spending your money defending their position while you are spending your money suing them. Meanwhile, if you refuse to comply, they will shoot your wife in the face while she is holding an infant. Do NOT, under any circumstances, treat the ATF as though they obeyed the law or cared about your rights. They have power, including the power to kill you without fear of punishment. And they intend to keep that power.

    • I hear what you’re saying, but you should probably look up the specific case where the ATF ruled certain nail guns were AOWs. It may very well refer to a model of a nail gun that by its operation would classify it as a firearm. For example, there are nail guns designed to drive nails into concrete that use a special .22 blank as propellant. These are not regulated I don’t think by the ATF, but I could easily see something larger that uses a larger blank cartridge falling afoul of the ATF.

  6. The addition of non-functioning buffer tubes to add the brace to pistols that did not originally have them seems to have poked the proverbial bear too much. I was looking forward to CZ Evo 3 with brace too… d’oh!

    • I’m still getting a Scorpion EVO 3. I’m just going to have to spend an extra $200 and wait an extra five weeks, before it becomes usable.

  7. Reason I hate the ATF #5,679

    So we went from being slightly confused about the Sig brace, to potentially opening the flood gates for things that no one was questioning before. Sweeeeeet.

    Is this why your not supposed to poke the bear?

  8. How does “use” constitute a “redesign”? Redesign by definition requires some sort of physical change. The legal definition of pistol says that it must be designed to be fired from one hand. Does anyone actually do that outside of injury/offhand training? Does the “use” of a Glock 17 with two hands constitute it as a SBR?

    • It is a conundrum considering the ATF has long-since held that shouldering the buffer tube of an AR pistol is perfectly legal, as is holding a “pistol” with two hands despite “pistol” being defined as a firearm made for firing with one hand. I suppose they can claim that the buffer tube on an AR pistol serves a completely necessary, functional role to the operation of the firearm whereas an SB brace does no such thing. It’s an add-on designed for one specific purpose.

    • My question is if this arm brace “redesign” has been used in any criminal activity, or is the ATF just butthurt that people aren’t paying them to own this?

      • The job of the bureaucrat isn’t to prevent or solve crimes. It’s to make new criminals by creatively reinterpreting existing laws.

        • This, so much this!

          So to tack on a little bit, a quote from Ayn Rand:
          “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

      • Since the libs working for obama want to confer US Constitutional rights to everyone in every country lets send the ATF agents to ISIS held territory in Iraq so they can tell the terrorists that they can’t full auto AKMs/

    • Actually redesign by definition doesn’t require a physical change. Redesign is a change in appearance, function or content.

  9. However, ATF has received numerous inquiries regarding alternate uses for this device…
    Some dumbasses kept poking the bear.

    • Yep. Right there is why this keeps coming up. If idiots had just left well enough alone we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

      • If either of you actually believe this then you haven’t been paying attention to our beloved ATF’s history.

    • Actually, the dumb-asses were being smart or had someone smart instructing them to protect themselves. Opinion letters, whether from the IRS or the ATF or any Federal agency, only protect those to whom the letter is written. Generally they are seen as an indication of the position that the agency is taking on that matter; however, there is nothing to stop that agency from issuing a letter to one person saying one thing and prosecuting another for the same thing. Therefore, to be safe, legally, everyone should have been trying to get one.

    • Uhh, guys, hate to point this out, but not poking the bear is how CA, NYC and DC came to be. Leaving well enough alone will get you to places you DO not ever, ever, ever never want to be. Any civil rights that you want to keep, you have to fight for. Not poking the bear will get you England style gun control.

      Either line up and bend over, or kick the bear in the testicles. Either way, it will get ugly before its over.

      • This poking the bear analogy doesn’t tell the true story.
        I see this as more of we are peeling off the wallpaper to find the rot that lies beneath.
        This is the “most transparent administration in history” after all.

    • No. You should always poke the bear. Stop being so conciliatory towards your masters. Leave that “go along to get along” stuff for women.

    • While it was stupid to ask, the ATF is the at-fault party. They have a lot of power and very little accountability. They are mostly an agency of statist bureaucratic sh!theads who have no issues raiding legitimate businesses and making arbitrary decisions.

  10. I’ll wager that the addition of the brace is what constitutes “redesign”. They’ll tolerate this redesigned firearm being used one way, but not any other. Sheesh…

    • Dude did you read the letter? “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.”

      • Yeah, I saw what they’re saying in *this* letter. I’m talking about what they’ll say they meant in the next one when they realize that Merriam-Webster won’t redefine “design” and “use” for them.

      • And the exact same thing is true of pistol buffer tubes, I refuse the assertion that simply moving ones joints til a brace or tube touches your shoulder constitutes a redesign. The lagic used in this letter means that holding the receiver of an AK pistol to ones shoulder makes it a rifle, same for every pistol ever built that dose not have a slide/bolt protruding past the receiver. Using a wrench to pound a nail into wood dose not redesign the wrench.

        • I agree. The argument is stupid. I would not accept it if the ATF said using a wrench to drive a nail turns it into a hammer. However, if the Federal government passed a law saying that driving nails with a wrench was illegal, then… I mean… you have to fight the law but the law’s the law, right? If the ATF says shouldering an SB15 brace is illegal then it is. At least, then they have the authority to charge you with a crime and it’ll be up to you to get a judge to throw it out as total BS because the ATF’s argument doesn’t hold water. That’s not a road I can afford to go down. I hope some 2A rights orgs challenge this and other NFA regs and sue, and I will donate what I can to the cause. But, for the time being, if the ATF says shouldering a Sig brace is illegal, regardless of its ridiculous reasoning, then you won’t find me screwing around with shouldering it.

  11. The ATF painted itself in quite the corner now. This will make for a great lawsuit, but it will take some time. So now the use of a part of the weapon determines whether or not it’s an SBR? You have a pistol until you shoulder it? With this kind of logic, it would also mean that shouldering the buffer tube of a pistol makes it an SBR. Here’s to hoping that the ATF just signed its slow demise.

    • Slow demise? What is anyone going to do with a Federal agency? Just disband it? The Feds don’t “do” disband. No, my friend, the Permanent Bureaucracy only expands. It contracteth not.

      And so our once-great country is doomed to a Brezhnevian twilight until USG collapses of its own weight or is replaced by men of greater mettle.

      • The precedent has to be set sometime. Continue to keep records of all these stupid “reinterpretations” of a stupid law, so that given the chance anyone at all can demonstrate to Congress in 15 minutes exactly how stupid these laws are, and how stupid and arrogant (and criminal) ATF is in “enforcing” them. ATF needs to go, it has accomplished absolutely nothing positive in 80 years. How many trillions is that?

        • Among all Federal law enforcement agencies, the ATF is the only one that I have no respect for. I am afraid of them, in the same way I am afraid of terrorists, because they can harm me, but I don’t respect them. They SHOULD stick to catching arms smugglers and people misusing explosives, but no, they go after otherwise law-abiding citizens who broke a technicality of the law, but harmed no one in the process. That is tyranny.

    • It’s even funnier than that. Because pistols (the “real” kind, like Glocks) are defined as firearms “designed to be used with one hand”, following the ATF logic here would imply that using two hands to hold any pistol would render it a non-pistol. At which point, since it’s under 26″ long, it becomes an AOW, with all that entails (tax stamp etc).

      I’m drafting the letter to ATF to clarify. If you see an ATF decision saying that handguns cannot be shot in Weaver or isosceles stance, you know where to send your thanks. 😉

  12. Well, it’s not much stupider than the rest of the NFA regulations…but not quite as stupid as the two other rulings he references to justify this particular idiocy.

  13. Hopefully this will give us the standing and momentum in either court or in Congress to repeal or amend the NFA.

  14. While I figured this would happen eventually , you know with those bureaucratic power hounds at the BATFE and all (luckily I havent bought everything for my pistol build), I still cant help but want to tell the dumb SOB that sent that original letter “THANKS A LOT DUMBASS!” This is what poking the bear looks like, at least next time “we” poke the bear, lets use a spear and repeal the NFA all together.

    • Well, that’s just silly, IMO. Most people were only trying to cover their own @$$, and now people like you are hostile that they wanted clarification. The truth is that most people wanted the sig brace as it was NOT considered a stock.

      Before just knee-jerk reacting to this letter, it needs to be seen how this will sort out in court, not on the www. Court is where law is established, and case law is what is used for much of the cases. Until we have some case law, it’s a crap shoot. But please don’t feel hostile because you haven’t had time to get a sig brace on your pistol, that’s pretty childish…on the same level as the SBR crowd gloating over all this, that’s wrong as well.

      • I probably wouldnt be that upset but for the fact that I have a brand new FDE SB15 brace sitting all of 5 feet from me, which contains a letter from the ATF stating it is not a stock. As of yesterday that letter is null and void, but Ive only had the brace since about new years.

        I figure this thread is probably dead, but either way, I like you am curious to see how this goes over in court and not on the www.

    • So are they going to change the classification of the Mares Leg firearm?
      Govt. Beauracrats are IDIOTS.

  15. Can someone with a lot of expendable currencly please shoulder an AR15 pistol in front of a BATFE agent and take this to court? I’m tired of them releasing “letters” and acting like it is “law”.

    • They get away with it because they have enough thugs with heavy weaponry to do you in, for a “crime” where no one was harmed in any way. That is an example of tyranny.

    • It wasn’t the “No Taxation” that caused our forefathers to start shooting the British. It was the “without representation”…

      Congress makes laws. Congress is composed of representatives elected by the people. As long as they do not send any laws to the POTUS that violate the constitution, everyone should be happy. Otherwise, they should start hanging from lamp posts…

      “Governing Agencies” create “Regulations” that carry the force of law. They have ZERO elected officials… Our founding fathers would have been shooting government agents in the face a long time ago…. And this year, they would be shooting government agents in the face with short barreled full auto suppressed rifles made in their garages, because fuck you, that’s why…

      *Note: I am not a founding father, and as such I would never condone violence against any government employee under any circumstances… Even though there is a legal precedent for it…. *

      • The governing agencies in question “create laws” only insofar as Congress-delegated authority permits them to. E.g. if the Congress writes a vague law, and that law establishes a regulatory agency to enforce itself, and says that the agency can decide how to enforce that law – well guess what, it can. Ultimately the power still stems from Congress, not from those bureaucrats.

        So the real problem here is Congress not doing its job. ATF is not even the worst example of them trying to cover their incompetency, try DEA instead! The law that established regulatory regime for narcotics in the USA had a list of what is considered such, but it also says that DEA can unilaterally add and remove things from that list. In other words, the Congress delegated the power to instantly make pretty much any arbitrary substance illegal to an unelected organization with zero oversight.

        So DEA are jerks, but the real assholes are the people who gave them the keys.

        Oh, and while we’re at it, who exactly did it? Why, a Republican president (Nixon) and a Democratic Congress.

    • In case my last comment gets moderated away:

      It wasn’t the “No Taxation” that caused our founding fathers to rebel, it was the “without representation”

      Who in the ATF has been elected to represent ANYBODY? And yet they create “regulations” which carry the force of law…

  16. So being in possession of a Sig brace and having a set of functioning arms is “constructive intent”?

      • That’s actually a very good question, if you have no disability and own one of these braces, is it now constructive intent?

        I don’t know if the admins will see this or not, but if TTAG was willing, I would donate the first $250 to hire a law firm to sue the ATF over this. I bet if every reader donated what he or she could we could take this to court soon, and win eventually.

        • By all accounts the brace DOES make an AR or AK pistol a lot more comfortable to fire when used as designed.

    • No, because even with this letter, they recognize that it’s okay so long as it’s used as intended. So the default assumption for mere possession is that you are / plan to use it as such. Similar to how having a 10″ upper and a lower with a stock together is constructive possession of SBR, but as soon as you throw a 16″ upper and a pistol lower into the mix it’s suddenly okay because all parts can go together in legal combinations (some say that even just having a 16″ upper OR a pistol lower is okay, but that is a bit murky).

  17. “These items are intended to improve accuracy by using the operator’s forearm to provide stable support for the AR-type pistol”

    This letter doesn’t apply to me because I’m not an operator

  18. Not that I am at all in favor of the SBR BS but really….this should be no surprise. You can’t just find a way around a law and expect them not to react.

    • The sensible reaction, however, is issuing an open letter that SBRs are no longer subject to ATF approval, y’all have fun. Hey, we don’t know crap about suppressors, either, police yourself.

    • There is no “way around a law” The law says “X” is illegal… If you do something that isn’t “X” then you are not breaking the law… Words have meanings…

    • The problem is that the law really is poorly written, and very much down to interpretation. Now with this new creative change of mind, there’s a whole can of worms that is open… e.g. rifles are defined as “designed to be fired from a shoulder” – so does firing a rifle from the hip “redesigns” it to not be a rifle then? Worse yet, pistols are defined as “fired with one hand” – so does using isosceles stance “redesign” them to not be pistols? If so, they would be qualified as AOW, and that requires a tax stamp…

    • The only person who had an answer was the person to whom the letter was written. Everyone else was still on their own.

  19. Well, by doing so, they just essentially devalued my property.

    I’m sure I can lay an eminent domain claim. MAybe I’ll just claim it on my taxes.

    • How does this devalue your property? It was never anything special, just an AR type pistol. It’s still and AR type pistol.

      Now I’m one of about 3 people who have a legal AR SBR w/stamp in Cook County. If that became illegal, then I would have a serious case for devaluation.

  20. So glad i went the official SBR route last year. Got approved in just 3 months and change. Not having to worry or constantly look over your shoulder is worth every penny of that $200 stamp.

      • His luck will be better than trying to take a AR pistol with a sig brace across state lines to shoot from his shoulder especially if he put a 16″+ barrel on his SBR. The value of his SBR will remain about the same or go up while people who went the sig brace route have no market to sell to now and is not grandfathered in for the purpose they bought it for. Some of them which spent $130 on the brace and $70 on a adjustable buffer tube. This is how I came to my decision to go the SBR route after considering the brace route. If I am spending the same amount of money might as well do it right.

        • Let’s get right to it.

          The ATF didn’t like folks getting around their little tax and roundabout federal registration scheme.
          It has nothing to do with anything else.

    • While that ain’t bad on time, and bully! for you on getting yours, I’m now into my 7th month of waiting on a form 4.My $200 was probably the same as yours, and yet somehow…..

  21. Bullshit. A handgun is designed to be fired with one hand. Using two hands does not make it a rifle. Holding a rifle with one hand does not redesign it into a pistol A bipod is legal to use on a pistol. Holding a pistol’s bipod like a vertical grip does not turn it into an illegal weapon. I see a big lawsuit here.

    • Somebody with deep pockets like Sig could earn a lot of loyal customers by fighting this in the courtroom.

    • Now now now……..

      NOW holding a bipod of a pistol is considered “redesigning” it by altering the “function” via a completely non-novel dictionary definition, don’tchyaknow…..

    • That is really the crux of the legal argument to be made here.

      While I am tempted to cry ” poked bear”, and in the short term it created a lot yt videos displaying criminals, months after taping them….in the long term this could be another solid avenue to overturn the current state of nfa.

      We shall see.

  22. Pretty much why I didn’t get one…

    I’ll just stick with the standard rifle configuration and forgo dealing with the bipolar folks at the BATF.

  23. So if I use my mounted bayonet to cut an apple, my ar-15 would then become a sword or a chefs knife?

  24. This is such a broad re-definition it could conceivably apply to simply shouldering a non-Brace (bare tube) AR pistol as well.

    • This is the ATF we’re talking about. Just owning a brace and a shoulder could subject you to their wrath at this point.

      • If they want to f>ck with you they don’t even need that, they can just make shit up. If you are breathing, you might shoulder your compact Glock, we’re arresting you for possibly, someday, possessing an unregistered SBR! So there!

  25. Their legal argument is BS, and I’ll explain why (the best my non-lawyer self can).

    “When the device is redesigned for use as a shoulder stock”
    “any person who redesigns a stabilizing brace for use as a shoulder stock”
    Here he clearly states that the device must be “redesigned” to change the classification of firearm. Twice.

    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.”
    Here he claims that the way the item is used changes its function. However the actual function of the device is not changed at all. The arm brace still has a strap and can still be used to stabilize the forearm. If one were to personally modify the arm brace by taking off the strap or cutting rear serrations into the back of the brace, then he would have a legitimate argument. But an unmodified brace’s function cannot be changed without modifying the device.

    His argument about flare guns is also BS. Using anything as a weapon (to hurt someone) is illegal (except in self defense). If a criminal shoots a flare gun at someone, he isn’t suddenly in possession of a grenade launcher.

    • Agreed.
      This letters purpose is solely to introduce FUD.
      Continue as normal.
      You can assume that the Sig lawyers are already being paid.

      • Why would Sig’s lawyers get involved? They sell pistols with a brace as designed. How the end user shoots that pistol has nothing to do with Sig.

        • Having an ATF letter confirming that it’s a-ok to use the brace in whatever way was a huge appeal of SB-15. Now that it is just a piece of paper, you can be sure that sales will plummet. People might still buy them, but nowhere near as many.

        • @int19h: Time will tell if sales drop and by how much. It may slow down and then pick up once this news dies down and no one is prosecuted Federally for an illegal SBR. However, the braces will still be bought because it still valid for a pistol. The brace is a small part of Sig’s total sales overall and the company has no real incentive to send their lawyers into the fray.

    • Like, if I own this configutation and have a home invasion, Im not going to strap on the brace. Shoulder and fire is the logical choice. And therefore, should I not be able to train for that situation and know how my pistol handles from that position. Should I not be able to sight in my pistol; or can I not even bench it with the brace to zero the rifle? Darn, forgot what I was commenting on. Hope it was related. Lol

    • No, they can’t…they just “feel” those are more dangerous. The law is outmoded and written long before the advent of modern handguns, the choice of most criminals.

    • From wikipedia:

      “Originally, pistols and revolvers were to be regulated as strictly as machine guns; towards that end, cutting down a rifle or shotgun to circumvent the handgun restrictions by making a concealable weapon was taxed as strictly as a machine gun…Conventional pistols and revolvers were ultimately excluded from the Act before passage, but other concealable weapons were not.”

      Handguns were almost covered by the NFA as well. Things could be very different now…

    • Everything in the 1934 NFA were things that congress believed at the time to be “gangster” weapons. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow had a fondness for sawn off shotguns and Browning Automatic Rifles, cut down to be concealed under an over coat. Bonnie Parker, all 5′, 100 lbs of her, was said to have wielded a cut down BAR on full auto “like a Marine”. Hence the ban on sawn off shotguns and short barrel rifles

      John Dillinger liked M1911s in .45acp and .38 Super converted to full auto with the compensator and vertical fore grip from a Thompson sub machine gun attached and fed from a custom made thirty round magazine. Colt liked it so much, they built several production prototypes before the 34 NFA made them commercially nonviable. Ad that’s why you can’t stick a vertical fore grip on a pistol.

      Every rum runner, gangster and bank robber worth his salt carried a submachine gun, usually a Thompson, so full auto and select fire guns got thrown into the NFA,

      Pretty much everything in the NFA was perceived as a “gangster gun”, even if they really weren’t.

      It could have been worse. There was a push for a national handgun ban and long gun registration that never made it out of committee. The support in the public wasn’t there. The voting public could see the “need” to control those bad old gangster guns, but a largely rural US population couldn’t see why you needed to take away their six gun or why they needed to register their deer rifle. The NFA was just supposed to be the beginning. Thankfully, it didn’t go farther than it did. Now we just need to get rid of the damned thing, which will probably take a generation or two more coming up that are pro gun.

    • That has nothing to do with any of it.

      People were building effective SBRs without having to pay the tax and get themselves on a federal list.
      The ATF doesn’t like it when people find ways to go around them. This is about dic-waving. Nothing else.

    • You’re asking the wrong guys. ATF is tasked with enforcing the law, but they didn’t write it, the Congress did.

  26. So are ATF agents now going to arrest everyone on Facebook And YouTube seen shouldering the brace? And give them a 10year sentence for breaking NFA laws? Including Tim from MAC on YouTube?. What a ClusterFck of stupid.

    • Highly, highly doubtful. Still… IF there ever were videos on my YT channel of me shouldering an SB15 for demonstrative purposes back when it was considered legal to do so, those videos would no longer exist. Not that they ever did.

  27. I think it’s about time to just get a Tavor or some other bullpup and be done with it. All of the same advantages of having a SBR without having to deal with idiotic bureaucrats.

    • Yet. Wait until next week, when the ATF will rule that any firearm shorter than an M2 is an SBR and a machine gun regardless of barrel length or trigger function. They have the power to “rule” anything about anything, don’t tell them they don’t or you might be shot. This agency has to go.

      • Absolutely. The walls will keep closing until most firearms are NFA items. I’m holding off on the bullpups for the very reason you’ve stated.

        • The definition of an SBR is clearly set out with a minimum barrel length, and overall length within the NFA. They have less than nothing to go on if they wanna ban bullpups.

      • They cannot rule “anything about anything”. They can change their mind within the boundaries set out by NFA and GCA, and when those boundaries are vague they have a lot of leeway, but the length limits for SBR (and SBS) are very clear and unambiguous.

      • Depends on what round you use. There is little to be gained using 300BLK in a 16″ barrel when it was designed to fully burn all of its powder in 9″.

  28. Again much ado about nothing.

    As a consumer of legal products, that according to the law may be joined together for a legal purpose have absolutely no fear of the ATF in this case. How that product is used can not be interpreted as redesign

    Also if the GCA does not define “redesign”, how exactly can the ATF amend the law without an act of congress?

    • I wouldn’t really call it much ado about nothing. It boils down to revenue and government is all about revenue. I would not want to be the test case in this one. Depending on the court, I easily see this being upheld in favor of the ATF should they decide to ever make an example of someone over this.

    • Because YOU don’t have the money to fight them, and they can put you in a Federal prison to be sodomized. They use fear of torture, basically, to subdue you.

    • “Also if the GCA does not define “redesign”, how exactly can the ATF amend the law without an act of congress?”

      With a gun, that’s how.

    • >> Also if the GCA does not define “redesign”, how exactly can the ATF amend the law without an act of congress?

      When a law doesn’t define a meaning of the word, a regular meaning is implied, as defined by dictionaries etc. If that were not the case, none of the laws would mean anything, since they would have to define every single word that they use.

      Whether ATF did a good job of figuring out the meaning of “redesign” is a different matter. In any case, they did not amend the law. They clarified their interpretation of the law. If they arrest you for the possession of an SBR based on that interpretation, once it gets to court, it will be the judge interpreting the law, and ATF will at most be providing an expert opinion, which said judge can turn down if it clearly makes no sense.

  29. Any lawyers here? Anyone who has bought an armbrace between the announcement that they were legal to shoulder and this ought to sue.

  30. I still contend that they are just trying to insert additional FUD into a previous ruling.
    To me the last paragraph tells the tale.

    Any person who intends to use a handgun stabilizing brace as a shoulder stock on a pistol ….must first file an ATF Form 1….

    Once again if somebody doesn’t intend to use a brace equipped pistol as a shoulder stock and then somehow the brace accidentally slips off their forearm and touches their shoulder then they clearly aren’t using the brace as a shoulder stock because that clearly wasn’t their intent.

    The only change this ruling does is an instruction to turn your cellphone video app to the OFF state.

    • Dear ATF,
      I don’t intend to use my arm brace as a shoulder stock – i intend to use my arm brace as an arm brace that I may accidently shoulder from time to time.

  31. So does that mean using both hands when firing a handgun makes it an AOW? The use of something in a manner other than it was “designed” does not change the intent of the designer after the fact. My Glock was designed to be fired with one hand, making it a handgun by NFA definition. My using two hands to fire it does not change the design intent, and magically turn it unto an AOW. This proves again that BATF regulations and the the NFA are arbitrary and have no logical standing whatsoever.

  32. Maybe the ‘Sig brace revolution’ could have lasted a little while longer if idiots could have stopped barraging the ATF with letters asking if they really, positively meant it when they clearly said misusing the brace did not make it an SBR. Don’t get me wrong, the ATF being the ATF, they would have eventually changed their minds when they realized we were having too much fun. But the constant moronic letters asking them to reiterate only kept it at the front of their minds and hastened its demise.

    • The ATF needs to be barraged with inquiries about everything until they collapse and request that Congress repeal some stupid laws. If they are constantly searching for answers to unanswerable questions, they are not out killing citizens.

    • You mistakenly belief that ATF’s opinion on this somehow makes it less or more legal. That is not the case. It is either legal or it is illegal, and ATF is not the one deciding it, the courts are. ATF is providing their interpretation insofar as their enforcement of that law goes, but neither they are the only agency that can enforce it, nor is their interpretation final should it come to court.

  33. In other words, if the ATF catches you (or someone rats you out to the ATF) using a Sigbrace as a stock, then they will arrest you, put you in front of a rubber-stamp judge in a kangaroo court and give you ten years in a Federal prison to be abused…more time than some child molesters get. The Feds in general (and the Democrats in particular) hate gun owners more than child molesters.

  34. Logically this is completely ridiculous. Words mean things, and those meanings don’t change at the whim of any bureaucracy.

    First, the NFA defines the legal characteristics of an item, not the end use or the activity of the user.

    Second, the simple act of putting a short-barreled rifle up to your shoulder doesn’t constitute a redesign or have any relation to the original intent behind its construction. Changing the way you use something (changing its function, as the ATF puts it) doesn’t change the nature of the item or the intended use it was designed for.

    Say I decide to use my screwdriver as a small prybar, or maybe even a rather awkward makeshift chisel. Maybe I’m using a chisel to turn screws. Does that mean I’ve “redesigned, remade, or remanufactured” either one of them? No. My screwdriver is still a tool made and intended to drive screws; my chisel is still a wedge-tipped implement made to cut wood.

    Any half-decent lawyer could make the ATF look stupid in court just using the plain language of the law. Their only possible escape route (aside from judicial collusion) is to argue that they had a brain fart when they said the Sig Brace was legal; that, they probably can and will do.

  35. So… wait… gunsplain this to me: We can go to jail for holding a gun “incorrectly”?
    Putting your hands on the wrong piece of plastic is now a crime?

    Hmm, yea, I smell a pile of angry phone calls brewing.

  36. The ATF seems to not only be backpedaling, which can be challenged in court, but now they are attempting to regulate, circumventing the lawful process of establishing laws via policy, the “how” a firearm is mechanically used, with ALL lawful parts.

    The next logical step is for them to make illegal the holding of a magazine on a SMG style weapon in pistol format, because it constitutes a front vertical grip.

    I would like to see the group within the ATF that will be hunting down the violators of this change in their already established ruling.

  37. “There was a time when the ATF briefly stated that Neilsen devices for pistols and attachment devices for rifle cans constituted “silencer parts” and needed an individual Form 4 and serialization. But they were later forced to reverse that decision thanks to some people within the industry speaking up and pointing out the error of their ways.”

    At one time, the ATF classified shoe laces as machine guns. It was recanted later. What instigated that change?

  38. To the people bitching about poking the bear, how long do you realistically believe the ATF would’ve let it slide before releasing the letter anyway?

      • The law is absurd. Describing the ridicule as absurd is assuming that our federal government owns us and can do what it pleases. It may often seem that way but there are several ways to challenge this:

        1. Lawsuit under the APA
        2. Lawsuit against the NFA
        3. Elect a new president whose ATF will issue a new opinion
        4. Petition the new Congress to amend the NFA.
        5. Openly defy the rule and see what they will do about it, if anyone at your range even knows or cares to report you.
        6. Force them to prove the SB touched your shoulder
        7. Create or buy an equally absurd new loophole.

        Resistance is not futile.

  39. Coming soon: NFA forms for pistols utilizing two hands.
    The pot is boiling.

    One piece of good news: at least the criminals and law breakers will avoid shouldering a sig brace.

  40. Yep – gun control advocates want more of this. Laws restricting cosmetics and other nonsense that does nothing but annoy the law abiding gun owner while doing nothing at all to address crime or anything else. Might as well name them “gun owner annoyance act of XXXX.”

  41. Interesting. Mid January and there have been 2 BATFE reversals of previous policy. They didn’t screw this one up as much as the 80% lower re-re-ruling. Is this a new tactic by Barry’s administration on guns?

    • You know it is. He really can’t do anything by Executive Order to us, or he would have done it by now. Instead he’s going after us and making us miserable in those ways that he can. I find it interesting that this comes out right after the loss in the election after the better part of a year for them to make this decision.

    • Thanks to everyone who wrote in to the ATF to “clear” themselves individually instead of just letting sleeping dogs lie. If you think the ATF wasn’t aware of what people were using the stock for you must be dense. But when you bog them down with endless paperwork over a single item the easiest thing to do is to get rid of that item and stop the nonsense they keep getting. Congratulations. Gun owners screwed themselves.

      • More likely it was the people on YouTube or this forum saying look at my new “SBR”! And I didn’t have to pay a tax stamp or get a CLEO signature!

  42. My SCAR 16s is now a pistol using the ATFs “logic”. I folded the stock and I am going to fire it with one hand from now on. It’s all in how I use it and not in how it is configured. Good thing it’s over the correct length so I can use a vertical grip!

  43. “I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them…..”

    Dear ATF, you are annoying as FUUUUU……………. nnnon commit…tal in..tercourse…..
    The swear jar is getting full and I’m getting broke..

  44. If we don’t stop the ATF and NFA completely, eventually pistols fired with both hands will be illegal. That is the end goal for the terrorist organization.

  45. Follow this link to your elected officials’ contact page and feel free to use the following.

    I’m against the unconstitutional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. The BATFE is a classic big government bureaucracy made up of unelected officials with the power to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens.

    The existence of the BATFE and NFA 1934 is in violation of the second amendment to the constitution of the United States. The BATFE routinely creates and updates a myriad of confusing, double-speak, logic-defying regulations based on the unjust and outdated National Firearms Act of 1934. I specifically reference the past several years of BATFE decisions and letters regarding the SIG SAUER SIG BRACE for AR-15 pistols.

    As my duly elected official, I urge you to introduce and support legislation that would disband the BATFE, and repeal the NFA 1934, as well as all unconstitutional gun-control laws and regulations. Thank you for your continued support of gun rights and defense of the constitution.


    Any town USA

  46. Well, color me cynical, but given ATF managements past “moral” decision making on F&F, I’m more inclined to think this was a setup all along, to get a bunch of gun owners into a gray area and criminalize them after, on purpose. Hey, we need an Assault Weapons Ban! DiFi was right! Executive Action! Look, theres a squirrel- never mind ObamaCare, Syria and Iraq in flames from ISIS trained fighters by the US in jordan, and jobs for blacks at 40% lower than 2008… but, I digress.

    Oh, bonus points for letting a gullible young guy start up a successful business, based on first opinion, and shut him down at the same time. Sort of like Operation Chokepoint, in that aspect, too.

  47. How are these illegal, but the bump stocks are still allowed? Granted, each product pertain to different aspects of the law, but they’re similar in the sense that they’re both cutesy little attempts at loop holes which I wouldn’t expect the ATF would find too amusing.

    • The ATF doesn’t have to “like” any loophole. Their problem is that prosecuting the loophole has to be feasible.

      The law restricts how weapons are “designed,” not how they are used. They think think they have legal precedent for use to affect a new design. They might be right. But a judge or court of appeals or the Supreme Court could easily overturn their prior precedent or otherwise conclude that they are not quite the same.

      The letter opens the door to challenge the ATF under the APA as well as challenging the NFA as unconstitutionally vague and overbroad.

      • That’s just it, there isn’t a genuine loophole. So what the ATF likes in that regard would be irrelevant. The problem is that owners are trying to carve out their own loophole with these. That attempt, to circumvent the law, i.e. , evade the law, is what is not looked upon with fondness by the ATF.

        And why would they? They’re in law enforcement and these brace owners are violating the law. Now the regulation has caught up with them, as expected, and likely will with the bump stock crowd, too.

  48. Everyone here is so butt hurt about the ATF doing what it was/is intended to do–enforce a (stupid) set of laws.

    The problem is the laws folks, not the ATF.

    And honestly, I doubt there’s a single owner of this “arm brace” who is using it 100% as such. We all know what it is–the ATF was just a little slow on the pick up here.

    • I totally agree the law is the problem, but a funded agency designed to enforce the law really is part of the problem too.

      Agencies have rulemaking authority under the Administrative Procedures Act, and this means that they don’t have to be complete butt holes when they enforce laws. They often choose to be, but it isn’t required.

      What makes the ATF a bunch of pricks is that millions bought these things based on their opinion and now they have either turned us into felons or made us waste several hundred dollars.

  49. OK, then a “pistol” which is a device “designed” to be fired with one hand now becomes a SBR when “used” with two hands.

    You can put the SB on your arm, against your head, against your chest, or on your crotch and it’s legal, but if you dare put it on your shoulder you are now a dangerous felon.

    A vertical grip on a pistol makes it an evil Any Other Weapon.

    This is good news. We can now challenge the National Firearms Act for the monumentally stupid load of Depression Era BS it really is. Aside from that, we can challenge the arm brace decision under the Administrative Procedures Act.

  50. Here’s what I did. Since I use a folding mechanism with my SB, it is specifically “designed” NOT to be shouldered whenever the SB is folded. I unfold the SB when I need to slip my 60% diasbled vet arm through the brace.

    Make a stupid law, get a stupid loophole.
    Close the stupid loophole, get another stupid loophole.

    • So which loophole do you think you’re using? They didn’t say that having an SB is illegal, or even having it attached to a pistol is illegal; only that shouldering it (without a tax stamp) is. Whether you have it folding or not doesn’t change that.

  51. The games they played with the Striker shotguns should have told
    you all you need to know about the BATF will abuse the laws. The
    SBR boot lickers should think twice before they gloat. No reason
    the BATF couldn’t “interpret” those laws either and BATF has no
    problem finding YOU (those “tax” stamps….). Ponder this….no
    Government lasts without LEGITIMACY…this one if fast losing it.
    The BATF can certainly use violence…for a while….

    • Completely agree. The SBR boot-lickers are to me, the same thing as Fudds. What logic do they assign to SBR vs pistol with brace? They think ATF can’t just suddenly change their minds on them too?

  52. And all this time in a democratic republic, that the Congress makes laws…you know, the elected officials…not some appointed suit job collecting a fat paycheck that is accountable to no one.

    The ATF, in my book, are now on the level with IRS agents. They are motivated by money and money alone. They are an enemy of the democracy and I hope someday when we get this country back to it’s roots and make it the free country it once was, that all of these ATF stooges are put to trial for their flagrant violations of the Constitution.

  53. Sure case of poking the bear. If someone didn’t want to break the law they hire counsel to help them interpret the law that exists. Then if law comes knocking you have legal representation and show to law that your intention was to follow the law not commit a crime.

    Continually asking the ATF about the brace was asking for it. It’s like telling the High School principal that the security cameras are missing a 36ft area behind the gym where you and your buddies smoke.

    Standing as one toward unfair practices by govt or industry or education etc. is not poking the bear. Telling them there’s a loop hole in the law that they gave to you is stupid. They aren’t stupid. It was better left alone.

    Other laws like the American Disabilities Act may have influenced their original decision. Perhaps they were avoiding law suits. So weighing odds in this climate, disabilities suit versus bad gun action they seemed to have weighed on the side of let’s prevent bad gun action. All because someone kept poking the bear.

  54. IRS agents only come after you if you’ve done something questionable. If you explain or pay up they go away.

    This paranoia is misplaced. There are real things to be scared of but not agencies that follow very strict rules of engagement.

    Govt employees just do their jobs. They have guidelines and do them. They are people with families.

    Make change by knowing your civics and voting for officials who do the job and serve the people. Elect someone who has your beliefs but doesn’t serve the people then you lose when the next person who doesn’t serve the people gets elected who doesn’t share your beliefs.

    • As an employee of another alphabet soup government agency (not the ATF) I will say you are not wholly correct when it comes to the motivations of those who work in government. Government “employees” very often let their emotions and personal ideology drive their actions. The ATF has a well deserved reputation among the agencies of acting in this manner. The biggest problem is not the field agents either (though quite a few are not gung ho about “civilians” being armed), the problem lies in the current leadership. They are in positions of authority based on the approval of their political masters, a sad but true state of affairs in our country today. Luckily I do not have to deal with the ATF on regular basis, my job requires interaction with state level law enforcement 99% of the time, but friends of mine who work in other agencies that do interact with the ATF sing a different tune than you. If you doubt this then I suggest you remember the IRS fiasco as further evidence of the malicious intent going beyond “just doing their jobs.”

      For those who have the SIG brace now, do not misuse it publicly. The ATF will have no qualms hauling you to court, sadly there is always money in the budget to harass the citizenry.

      • I agree folks in positions do use those positions to express their personal issues, beliefs etc.

        Who wasn’t treated unfairly in school because of the mood of an administrator?

        I think we have the responsibility to not generalize about any agency. I’ve recieved great service and poor service from the same institution.

        We’ve slipped from the ways of our founding fathers. We used to have Statesman who represented the principles we live under. Now we vote for celebrities who promise us what we want very specifically. I voted for Bob because he’s going to pave Main St. That seems okay. Next time Bob is in Congress and sponsors a bill to build the Air Force’s new XYZ plane. Turns out it will be built in his state. Also turns out that it’s a redundant aircraft poorly tested and will exceed all budgets by billions. It’s not the best use of our defense tax dollars. But Bob promised jobs to his peeps.

        • It is not my intent to “generalize” the ATF. Like I said, the problem does not lie with the field agents (for the most part). Where the problem lies is the leadership. In this case the leadership of the ATF is not strong on the rights of the citizen. This has been a growing problem for them and some other agencies. Even the one I work for has some real angst at the senior level when it comes to civilian firearm ownership. For those of us at the lower levels it is frustrating to say the least.

          To the subject at hand, the leadership of the ATF has made it clear they see the “misuse” of the brace as a way for folks to have SBR’s without a permission slip. Considering that the NFA is basically nothing more than a revenue source it is understandable the ATF finally took this position. From my understanding applications for SBR approval has declined since the introduction of the brace from Sig. Add to this the political climate at the higher levels and it was inevitable, in my opinion at least, that this latest interpretation was going to happen.

          Finally, I completely agree that the federal government is out of control and we have strayed far and wide from what the founding fathers originally intended. I believe it was Cicero (early Rome when it was still a republic) who stated that when the populace realizes that they can vote from the public coffers that the republic would fall. We are seeing that today as people continue to vote for politicians that promise more and more benefits. Or as Franklin said, though who would trade liberty for security deserve neither.

          Good day Sir.

  55. The Day After…

    In a 180 degree reversal, BATFE renders the fundamental principle of ‘design intent’, the basis of their entire ridiculous illogic, irrelevant. And in so doing, creates more questions than answers. …

    • Does firing a pistol (defined as designed to be fired with one hand) now make it an SBR?
    • Does firing a rifle with one hand make it a pistol?
    • Does Bump-Firing a rifle make it a Class 3 firearm?
    • Does sticking a pistol up my ass make it an enema?
    • Does the intent to smoke crack out of a shotgun barrel make it drug paraphernalia?
    • Are the people (many on video) who, as per BATFE’s first ‘ruling’ shouldered a Sig Brace, retroactively felons?
    • What about the damages caused to companies who, based on BATFE’s ruling, invested in this technology and were about to bring products to market?
    • Will Sig ever sell another one of these, now that they are essentially ‘felony-makers’?
    • If it so much as brushes up against your shoulder while you are transporting, cleaning or otherwise using it, is that a felony?
    • Will anyone sue over this?

    But let’s not for a minute pretend BATFE cares about logic or will change their ‘latest’ decision. It’s quite obvious they are completely incompetent and if you ask them the same question 6 times, you will get 6 different answers. They cannot be trusted. They have zero integrity. As much as the folks who kept pestering them with questions irritate me, I will not blame my fellow gun owner and further division amongst our ranks – because that’s what they want. They want to divide us. It’s BATFE’s fault for making a decision, and then doing a complete reversal, only after hundreds of thousands of these were sold based on their initial ruling and companies invested in new products lines accordingly.

    So what now?
    1) Do you sell your Pistol with Sig Brace? If so, who would buy it?
    2) Do you SBR it? (if you can in your state) I know my range won’t want anyone walking on the range with these now, unless you have a stamp to shoulder it. They can’t have such an easy possibility for a felony occurring on their premises, with a mere touch to the shoulder.
    3) Do you throw it in the safe and forget about it? And leave yourself potentially one false accusation of constructive intent away from a possible felony charge?

    If anyone ever thought BATFE had any integrity, I hope they now see the truth. They want their $200 – logic, principle and integrity be damned. Can anyone trust anything they ever say again? It’s quite obvious they are an insane clown posse of bozo’s, with no fundamental logic or basis for any of their ‘decisions of the day’, or even for their own existence… other than to collect $200 and self-sustain their own bureaucracy of bozo-ism. What a joke.

  56. I have said it before and I will say it again…this is according to plan for Sig. The whole plan was to have the ATF flip flop all over itself so when Sig challenged them in court the ATF would look like fools and the NFA laws would seem utterly asinine. This is playing into the hands of Sig and their deep pockets and smart lawyers. Now Sig can tear apart the NFA laws so it can sell all the SB and suppressors it wants.

  57. Come on people. It looks like a rifle stock, we used it like a rifle stock it’s supposed to be an arm brace. And we all knew that if we want an SBR we had to file the paperwork.

    It’s like speeding on a dirt road. U know ur not supposed to., but usually nobodies around so u do it anyway. Buy u have nobody to blame but yourself if u get caught. End of story.

    This happened because people got greedy wanting to sell them for AK’s and too many idiots wanting to humble brag on youtube. We all knew it would happen someday.

    • That’s fine and touching and all… and very sage of you.. but then the ATF should have ruled it was designed as a stock in the first place then, or at least clarified from the start that shouldering it would constitute a felony — or better yet, NOT said that shouldering it would NOT constitute a felony! But that’s not what they did, huh? They said “sure, it’s fine” – and people purchased them, and companies invested in design, manufacturing, inventory, and well known people made videos of themselves shouldering them – only to summarily have it completely reversed. Oh, but they should have known huh? They should never have expected that what they said was their word and that had any integrity at all huh? So what about the rest of their ‘rulings’? Do you trust them to keep their word on anything else now? Seems you are the sage and everyone should have known what you knew, so enlighten us, please

  58. But you are not altering the gun in anyway. The ruling is more like telling me you can smoke this one brand of cigarettes in your nose all day(similar to the brace, akward and uncomfortable) , but when you try to smoke that same brand cigarette with your mouth it’s illegal contraband.
    Let’s just go ahead an make some more crazy ass NFA laws! From now on pistols can only be shot on Tues, and Thurs! Any other day of the week if you shoot them they are considered an NFA item and requires a tax stamp! That is about how much sense this ruling makes. But I’m sure the antis will pick up on this now and freak out because now many people are not just carrying around “Assault Pistols” the BATF said they’re now “Super Deadly Explosive Cosmic Assault Rifles”

  59. It’s actually easy to understand. A short barrel rifle has been deemed illegal because they can be easily concealed. Using your brace as a stock has same effect as using your pistol as a rifle, unless our pistol has an 16″ barrel… The real question should be “Why is a short barrel rifle illegal, and what problem does that supposedly fix?”

  60. According to the ATF, my measuring tape should be classified as a hammer since I use it to pound in nails when I’m too lazy to grab a hammer. Even though I’ve done nothing to alter it, just using it in a different function reclassifies it. Every handgun owner in America should be arrested for using an AOW since handguns are classified as a weapon designed to be shot with one hand. So, by using two hands, you are now changing the function of the handgun to that of a AOW. I can’t wait until someone challenges this in court. The ATF in for a technical nightmare.

  61. I’m not a lawyer, and maybe someone has referenced this in the comments I didn’t read, but if the ATF now considers your SB15 an SBR the second you shoulder it, does this not technically mean that you own what they consider an SBR, but as long as you don’t use it that way it’s not illegal. So can I own a true SBR without registration as long as I don’t shoulder it? I’m bending my brain to follow this “logic” trail. Probably because beuracracy is almost always illogical.

    • No, according to their logic it only becomes an SBR when shouldered, and stops being one as soon as you stop doing that.

  62. Remind me again why the ATF is allowed to pull rules out of their ass instead of just following the laws on the books and / or the Constitution?

  63. If you search the ATF web site for Sig Brace, that “new” letter comes up under NEWS with a link that has a date of Feb. 21, 2013. It was written before the Bradley letter. There is no letterhead or date on the letter itself, unlike all the other letters I can find. Why? When was it really written?

    • If you look closely, the link that comes up in the result is not directly to the letter, but rather to the “firearms industry” news page. I think the date that shows up is the date on which this news page was first created. It makes sense given that the earliest items on the page date to early 2013.

      For the document itself, if you download it and open it in Adobe Reader and go to File -> Properties, you can see some metadata. In particular, it shows creation date of 1/16/2015, and last modification date on the same day.

  64. So you thought that this was some magical world and the batfe just magically decided that they no longer needed your 200 dollars for a tax stamp. Hey Homer run outside its about to rain tasty tasty doughnuts. Did you get the part about the fatd? Oh magical world shall I print a firearm and no one care? Oh wait if I load it with pastry dough and sprinkles I print out a doughnut. mmmmmmmmmmm doughnuts.

  65. did ANYONE actually think that they’d strap that stupid thing to their arm? hey, put one on each side and you can have midget crutches that you can shoot with! according to a local LEO who’s well-versed in these sorts of things, even shouldering the buffer tube is misuse.

  66. WOW. So if I defend myself by swinging the riffle like a bat, have I now changed the design and should reclassify it as a baseball bat ? This is just ludicrous !

  67. When the second ammendment said “shall not be infringed”, and everything else the declaration and the bill of rights said, shouldnt the atF and the nFa be tossed in the crapper. How are we as a free people to “throw off such government” if we arent allowed to have the same exact weaponry or even better. It seems to me if i want an aircraft carrier full of railguns and stealth bombers the last persons permission i should need is an oppressive governments. Just sayin. Much less the right to shoulder a dam arm brace.

  68. These days any Government agency , FBI, DEA, BLM, ATF, FBI, HSC, can come into your house without announcing who they are and get away with murdering every single person in the house for any reason they want. These guys are Nazi SS and you are just JEWS.They dont care as long as they are following orders. Keep your mouth SHUT until SHTF
    (Then you can use your sig-brace any way you want)

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