SB15- AR-15 Pistol Forearm Stabilizing Brace close-up (courtesy Alex Bsoco)
The original pistol stabilizing brace design (courtesy SB Tactical)
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From the Second Amendment Foundation . . .

The Second Amendment Foundation today accused the Biden administration of “once again trying to trample the rights of gun owners” by allowing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to adopt a “final rule” on arm braces for modern semiautomatic pistols.

While the definition of a rifle in federal law should be clear, noted attorney Chad Flores, who is representing SAF in a federal lawsuit filed two years ago that was stayed by the court in anticipation of this new rule, it is clear the Biden administration’s new definition of a rifle ignores tradition. SAF sued ATF and the U.S. Attorney General in 2021 in a case known as SAF et. al. v. BATFE, et. al.

SAF is joined in that case by Rainier Arms, LLC and two private citizens, Samuel Walley and William Green. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.

According to Flores’ analysis of the 291-page Final Rule, the definition of a “rifle” now turns on a bewildering six-factor test. This new definition can be controlled not by the firearm’s objective characteristics, but instead by what ATF agents in D.C. think of a manufacturer’s marketing materials or the firearm’s “likely use.”  The new rule itself is forced to admit its dramatic result: Under this new definitional regime, “a majority of the existing firearms equipped with a ‘stabilizing brace’ are likely to be classified as ‘rifles.’” 

“The Biden administration’s new rifle definition overrides the true wish of Congress, to upend the reasonable expectations of stabilizing brace users and makers nationwide,” Flores said.

SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb noted the foundation’s 2021 lawsuit raised critical points about what has now been adopted by ATF.

“When we started this process,” Gottlieb said, “we anticipated where the agency’s efforts would lead. With our co-plaintiffs, we will continue to challenge this new arm brace rule.”

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Indeed, those that were previously relying on the now defunct ATF 4999, now have to rely on that six factor test.

    Since BATF no longer states that any brace in particular has a rear surface area sufficient for shouldering, and gives no actual total for unacceptable surface area, it is impossible for the end user to determine compliance.

    The other factors, since BATF refuses to define with any clarity, and further refuses to state whether just one facto is enough to determine non-compliance, or a combination thereof, or perhaps whether it would take ALL of them to determine the firearm to be a rifle, end users are left with the complete inability to judge compliance.

    This leave the only potential solution being to send the firearm to BATF for determination, or perhaps attempting to register it as a short barreled rifle under amnesty, thus admitting a crime, and perhaps ending up with a firearm classified as an NFA weapon that should under no objective circumstance be classified as such.

    • The ignorance behind this abomination amounts to having a cow over hatchets because they are not axes.

      These stinking democRats just cannot give up on concocting ways to relive being Jim Crow Gun Control democRats. Like a busy body nanny democRats savor dictating what people who passed a NCIC can posses, etc. They get their jollies looking down on others and telling others how to live, etc. That short stock? You cannot have that. That barrel that is 1.5″ shorter? You cannot have that. Now you slaves best shut up about those guns and get back to picking cotton.

    • That’s the idea. Make the definitions so vague and interminable that there is more than sufficient FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) that it is too risky to try.

  2. is it a rifle or a pistol if i put a velcro strap around the end of my butt stock and use one hand to fire the ‘what ever it is now’ ?

  3. My advice to anyone owning an AR Pistol or other potentially banned former legal weapon to simply not comply with this regulation. No one should be made a criminal for something that was formerly legal for no significant reason whatsoever. This is simply a gun grab and nothing more. Let them try to collect millions of firearms and if they come to your home without a valid warrant invoke your State’s castle domain or make my day law and protect your property according to those guidelines. There are more of you than them and they should know that every time they violate their oath to the Constitution, they are going to pay a heavy price. This Government has been nothing but abusive of American Citizens and should be treated as the enemy.

    • If they try to go door to door like the Gestapo they will meet resistance, like that gun owner who yelled at them through the door about Ruby Ridge and Waco.

      • They don’t have to go “door to door”. In California, “assault rifles” have to be registered and a reg fee paid yearly. If you don’t do this there’s big penalties involving jail time. I’m guessing at least a million Californians ignored the law – BUT – every time you take your weapon to the range it’s possible some Barney Fife minion of the law could ask to see your registration. Every time a cop comes into your living room for whatever reason and sees your AR broken down on your cleaning bench he could theoretically arrest you. They turned millions into “criminals” in California
        and as Rand pointed out – it’s easier to control people who violated the law than people who haven’t.

  4. Six Factor Test:

    1. Biden wants to act unconstitutionally and hates gun owners and hates manufacturer’s marketing materials and all fire arms “likely use” is what ever Biden says it is and wants to impose tyranny on the American people.

    2. See # 1

    3. See # 1

    4. See # 1

    5. See # 1

    6. Did Jim eat the last donut with sprinkles?

  5. Instead of platitudes, we need actions, legal ones.

    Please financially-support the entities taking this fight to mat for all of us…

  6. Here’s the thing tho: Nobody except (censored so I don’t get moderated) in CA care. Buy a pistol brace cuz you have to if you get a complete or lower with it, then find your fucken balls and replace it with a normal stock… not that it matters. If you can’t shoot with a pistol brace then you can’t shoot. The argument for disabilities is there, and a cool concept, but nobody does that shit for anything other than satire. If I had one arm I’d still fuck with a normal setup, just learn how to John Wick 😉

    But seriously, who actually cares? Anyone? Anyone?

    Say it with me: I will not comply.

    Now with that said: Go get em! Cuz fuck this stupid ATF bullshit. All of it. Barrel length, classification, hearing protection they deem as dangerous, the fees and registration, etc etc. So either lobby up the big bucks or just shrug it off and ignore it like the rest of us. Nobody is coming for your “illegal” “SBR”.

    All it takes is one boat accident anyways…

  7. When did the ATF or any other 3-letter agency get rule-making authority?

    Congress is the only branch of government with legislative power. They are prohibited by the constitution from delegating that authority to any other entity or branch.

    The ATF does not have the authority to define firearms, braces, or any other things.

    • Ah, there’s an entire area of administrative law that is voluminous and complex. But start reading up on Chevron deference and the major questions doctrine. Developments in these areas may get you closer to where you want to go.

      • The Chevron deference does not apply to criminal laws only administrative ones. It should not come into play here since jail time is involved.

  8. I really admire that part about how the item was marketed to be used. because I’m legally liable for a companies marketing department. By that standard cars speeding in commercials make the end user liable for their f150 now being an off highway/ race car.

  9. A Brace makes a pistol larger, and, therefore, more difficult to conceal.
    What wrong with that ??? Seems like a Braced Gun is a Safer Gun.

  10. Mutineer’s Dilemma: Once you’ve seized power by unlawful means, how do you get the other sailors to obey your orders?
    I expect the ATF/FBI to stage another Ruby Ridge/Waco, sometime in the next few months, to impress upon the proles how serious noncompliance will be. Watch your back and be careful who your friends are, folks.

  11. I will not comply. I will not register any “Arm” I own. I will adapt and overcome the obstacles put in my way.

    From over a year ago.

    “The Cheek Pistol: Let’s Get Weird” video 8 min long

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