SB Tactical FS1913 Brace on Black Collar Arms Pork Sword Pistol
Jeremy S. for TTAG: Black Collar Arms Pork Sword Pistol with SB Tactical FS1913A Brace
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From the NRA-ILA

Today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) published the final Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule for public inspection in the federal register.

As we reported earlier this month, the rule would subject essentially all firearms with attached stabilizing braces to the registration and taxation requirements of the National Firearms Act (NFA). Owners now have 120 days to bring their firearms under compliance with the new rule.

Since 2012, when Biden was serving as then-President Barack Obama’s vice president, ATF has recognized that stabilizing braces serve a legitimate function, and the inclusion of a stabilizing brace on a pistol or other firearm does not automatically subject that firearm to the provisions of the National Firearms Act. That’s because stabilizing braces were first designed and intended to help disabled veterans fire large format pistols.

SB15- AR-15 Pistol Forearm Stabilizing Brace close-up (courtesy Alex Bsoco)
The original pistol stabilizing brace design (courtesy SB Tactical)

With the finalization of this rule, the Biden Administration is reversing over a decade of agency guidance and rulings that the firearms industry and law-abiding American gun owners have relied on when designing or acquiring firearms.

NRA has repeatedly pushed back on administration attempts to classify firearms with attached braces under the NFA. When the most recent rule was proposed, NRA submitted comments, which you can find here.

Since the rule was first posted on ATF’s website on January 13, ATF has already been required to “clarify” several issues with the rule.

SB Tactical FS1913 Pistol Stabilizing Brace
Travis Pike for TTAG

First, at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show, ATF confirmed that braces that are removed from firearms do not necessarily have to be destroyed or altered in a way that prevents them from being reattached to a firearm. While the rule claims that destruction or alteration is required for owners who choose the option of simply removing the brace from their firearm, that requirement would be contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Co.

Under Thompson/Center, possession of a firearm and parts that can only be assembled into an NFA “firearm” constitutes possession of an NFA firearm. But, if the parts can be assembled into multiple lawful configurations, then the parts are not considered an NFA firearm (unless an unlawful configuration is actually assembled).

This should mean that a person who possesses an AR-15 pistol with a stabilizing brace and also possesses a 16-inch barreled upper receiver and/or a registered NFA lower should be able to keep the brace without destroying it or altering it. But, a person who only possesses a pistol with a stabilizing brace may have to dispose of or alter the brace to avoid creating an NFA firearm (in ATF’s view).

sb tactical pistol brace
Courtesy SB Tactical

Second, in the final rule posted to ATF’s website, the agency appeared to claim that imported pistols with stabilizing braces would need to be destroyed or surrendered because they were unlawfully assembled in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(r), which generally prohibits the assembly of “non-sporting” rifles or shotguns without sufficient domestically manufactured parts.

Last week, ATF updated the final rule’s Frequently Asked Questions page to include the following answer to the question of whether section 922(r) applies to firearm impacted by the rule.

No. Section 922(r), in relevant part, makes it unlawful to assemble from imported parts a semiautomatic rifle that is otherwise not importable. The implementing regulations of the GCA at 27 CFR 478.39 provides that a person may not assemble a semiautomatic rifle using more than 10 of the imported parts listed in the relevant paragraphs of the regulation. As discussed in section IV.B.8.e of the final rule, the criminal violation under section 922(r) is for the “assembly” of the semiautomatic rifle; therefore, no modification of such firearm would cure the 922(r) violation because the “assembly” has already occurred. Accordingly, a person with an imported pistol that was subsequently equipped with a “stabilizing brace” will have the same options as anyone else under the final rule. Should that person choose to register the firearm, no further modification of the firearm with domestic parts is required.

While this answer seems to directly contradict the agency’s response to comments in the final rule, it is certainly positive news for owners of imported pistols with attached stabilizing braces.

The fact that ATF already needed to “clarify” aspects of the rule before it had been officially published in the federal register further underscores the arbitrary and confusing nature of the rule.

Fortunately for law-abiding gun owners, federal courts have recently proven more willing to invalidate agency actions that go beyond congressionally enacted statutes. Earlier this month, one of ATF’s most recent major rules was struck down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The agency’s stabilizing brace rule should meet the same end for the same reasons.


This post originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission. 

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      • agreed… because no, I’m not changing a thing.

        Very tired of the Administrative State Two Step bullshite and the ‘ accomodations that the collaborationists seek with them.
        What is needed is 1) for the courts to hear the lawsuits and 2) as close to 100% noncompliance and outright disobedience to them.
        Because compromise has only made things worse since 1934.

        • This. Our government loved the power the Nazi’s had, so they adopted it and employed them.

      • If this Gun Control rot is allowed to stand that uncut BCG in your AR-15 will ventually classify it as a machine gun. At first it was a machine gun with a full auto BCG and then it was not. Your rights depend on the menopausal mood swings among a few people at the top and that Jim Crow Gun Control nazi level sick sht needs to end.

      • The ATF Stabilizing Brace Rule Has Been Published…Now What?

        Ignore it. Keep moving on with your life. Do what you want, and ignore federal firearms laws. Make machine guns, SBRs, pistol braced firearms, and oil filter silencers. Shoot them in the back pasture, and tell no one you have them. Enjoy these hobbies, and possibly other illegal ones, despite their legality, while hurting no one. When you get old, smile and remember about all the enjoying times, then tell your kids where you buried them.

        • people who live in isolated locations probably do this all the time….and probably have for some time….you basically need a two–tiered collection….stuff they know about…stuff they don’t….and don’t keep it all in one place…

    • “get a longer barrel.”

      Just try and find a legal 16-inch .300 BLK barrel nowadays for a decent price…

  1. In practice this should all be completely unenforceable.
    As long as you don’t run your mouth about being less than compliant and Fudd jerk-offs aren’t running around playing jackboot wannabe demanding to see everyones papers there’s no way for anyone to know anything unless you’re already in some sort of trouble for committing a real crime.

    My whole life I’ve never seen an SBR or SBS that glows orange or shouts “I’m illegal!!” if not registered with the AFT. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

    • One of my LEO friends was pretty upset not too long ago. He told me a pair of plainclothes AFT agents were visiting one of our local ranges posing as everyday Fudds, striking up seemingly normal conversations with people. You know…the “hey, that looks cool…what is that?” kind of simple questions we all ask of each other. They arrested one of my buddy’s friends for possession of an unregistered NFA “something” that person had brought to the range many times before, and that nobody had ever cared about or thought to question.

      • Why you shouldn’t participate in those “hey, that’s cool” conversations.

        I’m at the range to shoot. If I wanted to make small talk with randos I’d be…. well, nowhere because I don’t make small talk with randos. Not one thing I’m doing is anyone’s business.

        • This. I shared a story here a while ago about someone approaching my cleared firearms on the bench as they were policing brass down range and then asking a bunch of questions later on. I have seen the guy there before, but it’s like “dude, I’m here alone because this is the few moments of ‘me’ time I get.” If I wanted to have a conversation about my gear I’d post on reddit (which is stupid). But now days, if you have a suppressed anything there will always be someone with questions and they will make sure to tell you about how many times they have thought about doing it too. It’s like a BMW driver. How do you know they drive a BMW? Because they will tell you.

      • the trouble with ATF is they constantly have to justify their existence…so they act like snakes and consistently go after the low-hanging fruit…when they start going house-to-house in Chicago I may alter my opinion of them

  2. Free advice, do nothing. BATFE has violated so many laws and statutes this thing is going nowhere. To top it off, they have zero authority to offer an amnesty as Congress prohibits them in the budget for doing so, even though the GCA authorizes them to have amnesties from time to time.

  3. There will be many ranges where proof of NFA compliance will be required, especially if they also sell guns on the premises. You aren’t required to show them anything, but they aren’t required to allow you to shoot your ‘illegal’ SBR at their range either.

    • I’ve heard of such NRA ranges, but I’ve never seen one, and I’ve been to ranges from CA, across the West to OK, even as far as WI.

      Never seen a single posted sign stating an affiliation with the NRA, nor any requirements. Perhaps that’s something that’s disappearing?

      • The outdoor range I belong to (30 miles south of Omaha) requires NRA membership to join. They say they require proof of NFA paperwork but have only checked it once in all the time I’ve been going.

        • lol FUDDS are so funny.

          Just show them a bumper sticker and then say “What? I thought this was all you guys did anyways”.

      • Tell me. Do you trust the US Government with anything, especially your rights and safety. If the answer is No, hopefully you know what not to do.

    • Oh well short rifle gang. Now yer all from ILLANNOY. Don’t ask,don’t tell and only use yer “brace”as a last resort. BTW when I 1st got interested enough to buy a gat approx 13 years ago all the gat paper magazine’s only showed stockless under 16inch “pistols”. Never planned on getting a sbr as it seemed silly & less powerful than any ordinary 16″ barrel. Don’t give up chit! Apocalypse in 10 9 8 7 6…

      • Less powerful, but more portable than a 16″, kinda like your 16″ is less powerful, but more portable than a 20″ AR.

  4. I know a few people who own a brace. Every one of them. Every one of themn admitted to me that they bought them to circumvent the SBR, ATF thing. Which I always thought was stupid. Unless, you like a stun grenades going of in your face. I don’t. I want a little ballistics from a rifle. Have you seen these things discharged? The muzzle blast is the size of a basketballl. In a mid-day sun. Even my friends that own them don’t like shooting them. If I need a handgun, I have a couple. If I need a rifle I have a couple of those, too. What I don’t need is some kind of half ass compromise

    • Gadsen they sell 556/223 ammo that is better suited to short barrel. Hornady makes some. Also calibers like 300BK have ammo that gets full powder burns in like 9”. I know sig makes some. Carrying proper ammo is something most of us do anyway.
      A proper endpiece makes a large difference as well.
      There are several things to make that experience more pleasing.
      There is a place for them and a place for long barrels.

    • I will agree on the .223, .300, and other calibers. The muzzle blast and noise are just not acceptable to my old ears. Not so much on a 5 inch 9mm in an AR configuration.

      I just don’t get the brace versus free hand argument from the ATF as needing a stamp and being more deadlier or more concealable. A regular 9mm pistol with a 33 round or larger magazine (even multiple magazines) is a lot more concealable than a AR-15 style pistol with the buffer tube and just as deadly.

      • Take the 5inch 9mm barrel up to the 8-14 inch area and compare velocities across a few ammo types. There are better setups for this concept than the AR but popular+available+cheaper= everywhere

      • 9mm with a 30+ mag…and a Glock switch…which seems to be the combo that is turning up more and more lately…ATF has made some busts…but it’s just the tip of the iceberg

    • Sounds like you buddies are using the wrong caliber/shitty ammo/shitty “SBR”. There are tons of ways to get past the excess gases from a shorter barrel.

    • I bought mine for home defense. It isn’t the flame throwing pistol that my friends AR15 5.56 is. The 300 is very capable out of an 11 in barrel. I purchased it because of the Springfield ads and have been more than pleased with it. EFF the ATF! I purchased this legally and they don’t get to make it illegal retroactively.

    • FUDD much? This is the age old first they came for the socialists logic. In this case maybe, first they came for the bumpstocks, then they came for the pistol braces then they came for the …

  5. “Owners now have 120 days to bring their firearms under compliance with the new rule.”

    No, owners now have 120 days to file a Form 1.

    Pretty important difference, and quite an error for an NRAILA article.

    • Let’s not forget how the AFT’s own “88 day rule” puts their statement of 120 days in jeopardy.

      It’s a trap.

      • “Let’s not forget how the AFT’s own “88 day rule” puts their statement of 120 days in jeopardy.”

        ATF declared that the 120 day standard is the allowed time to apply for the free tax stamp, not the allowed time to approve the form-1.

        Found that “88 day automatic denial” as related to 4473, but not form 1. The form-1 requires ATF to contact FBI to run a standard NICS BGC. It is the FBI/NICS 88 day automatic denial that is at issue. There is an appeal process for both NICS and form-1 denials.

        Again, none of this is really the issue. The existence of NFA and GCA are the issue. Attackinng individual infringements of the Second Amendment is a path to death by exhaustion. Every hydra monster has a single body. Destroy the host; attack NFA and GCA.

        Anyone have a reference for the number of times ATF arrested soneone because of a form-1 denial (automatic, or for cause)?

  6. It’s rather simple really, you take the brace off and put a standard buffer tube on that won’t accept a brace. Not that I have any of those super duper dangerous weapons that mow down an entire forest mind you. I would NEVER……. 😉

    Most of the ATFs options are unacceptable in my view. I WOULD NOT register it as a SBR. Doing so renders it no longer a pistol and no longer applicable under my Washington State CPL. Further, registering it as a NFA SBR would require ATF permission to transport it while traveling. I’m NOT filling out a form and waiting for the ATF to say it’s OK to transport my SBR 10 miles east, that’s not going to happen.

    The easiest solution and what I would do if I was to have such an unconscionable scary weapon would be to mount one of these ===> and simply wait until the appropriate court action precludes the ATFs ability to make someones life miserable for a long time just so they can make a highly publicized example out of someone.

    If and when a court of appropriate jurisdiction overrules the ATFs brace mess, then a person could put their brace back on, assuming they retained it somewhere just for that purpose as the ATF wants a person to destroy or dispose of the brace so it couldn’t be reinstalled. THAT is where I have to agree with Montana Actual and I say NO

  7. If rifles with pistol braces are now SBRs based on the rule change, and ATF says millions of them are out there, it kinda seems like the government just admitted SBRs are in common use by regular citizens.

  8. Ignore it…
    State LE doesn’t have to enforce federal laws … (immigration counterfeiters and federal tax laws)…They aren’t trained in federal codes…Only state laws…

  9. Matt, I understand. However, my stash has about 10,000 rounds of .223/5.56 NATO. I’m not interested in stockpiling speciality ammo. Even in a common cartridge. If by “end piece” you mean a muzzle brake? No thank you very much. I hate them. I do have a Mag-Na-Port muzzle brake on a semi-custom stainless 700 in 7mm Mag. It was on the rifle when I bought it. The rifle drives tacks with 150 gr. Swift. I’m afraid to change anything. Besides. a 7mm Magnum doesn’t recoil much anyway. Still, I think about screwing that thing off and screw a thread protector on. And don’t even care about hunting big game anymore. Now, quail. Quail we’ll have to talk about.

    • If I could have shot quail all winter and caught crappie all summer my deceased wife would have never made me go to work.

    • Nice. My own 7mm Mag has a Mag-Na-Port as well, from when the rifle was new many years ago. I tuned it to match a specific mfr/load (using the table supplied by M-N-P), and it sings. Love it.

  10. “Fortunately for law-abiding gun owners”

    “Earlier this month, one of ATF’s most recent major rules was struck down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The agency’s stabilizing brace rule should meet the same end for the same reasons”

    This article seems to be penned by someone only concerned about things from behind a desk.

  11. Montana, my buddies can afford the best there is to buy. No kidding. I can’t, but I scrimped. Then bought the best I could afford. Like to get together at a range? I’ll pay your round trip ticket to Tallahassee. Buy you a seafood dinner on the gulf coast. A nice room. Consider it a vacation. Of course, I hope you like to shoot full auto weapons. Especially H&KS. We got a bunch of those around here. Everyone I know owns at least one. We got some FUDD guns too. But, if you can’t keep two rounds from an H&K MP-5K.(suppressed) on the A zone at 10 yards? Stay home. You may also be handed a G-3, a G-33, any number of AR variants. I’ve posted my PX before. I do not woof shit.

  12. What’s the big deal about putting a stock on a pistol anyway? What all of a sudden it becomes more deadly then a rifle. Stupid.
    An artillery model Luger with a stock and drum mag would be cool.

  13. I had a bump stock but it was never installed. Unfortunately I lost that bump stock in a boating accident. And I also had a stabilizing blade and it was never installed on anything. And unfortunately it was also lost in the Boating accident. And I will never register my weapons with a government.

    Hopefully the House Republicans can use the reconstituted Holman rule from the 19th century. And Laser designate these ATF bureaucrats for Destruction.

  14. The intent of the “stabilizers” is to circumvent the NFA and GCA. Look at a picture of a “brace” when first introduced, and a “brace” now. Obvious the purpose is to have an SBR, while pretending to have an accessory that makes shooting a rifle calibre pistol more accurate, thus safer to use.

    The stabilizer/brace is an open declaration of “will not comply”.

    So, what are the “Pro 2A organizations doing? Raising money. The issue is not stabilizers/braces, but the NFA and GCA. Where are the lawsuits to overturn NFA and GCA?

    Finally, a Congressman introduced a bill to repeal the NFA (not that it will go anywhere, but it is a start):

    • Why, we would NEVER put a brace on an AR pistol to purposely circumvent the laws! I’m not sure where you get your information from or these crazy ideas but nobody I know and CERTAINLY nobody on this website would do such an atrocious thing.
      That would be just…..wrong and I’m appalled.

      • “I’m not sure where you get your information from or these crazy ideas…”

        Lifelong fan, and consistent viewer of “Sesame Street”.

      • just how many of these things turn up at crime scenes?….if it’s a very small number then the justification for this rule is nil…you’d think they would have more important things to do…looks more like the nose of the camel poking under the tent…

  15. Under no circumstances should you comply with this unconstitutional law if you bought one of these legally at the time they were approved by ATF. They are being sued and will lose, as they cannot make laws and they are in violation of the Bruen decision. You have 3 months before you need to act if you are inadvisably planning to do so, so I would advise you to wait and see what happens. If you give into this they will continue to change rules to ultimately disarm you. You cannot reward violation of the 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms uninfringed.

  16. UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!! Article I, Section 8 clearly dictates to government that: “No… ex post facto Law shall be passed.” Government is forbidden from making anyone into a criminal for exercising a constitutional right (Miranda v Arizona, 384 US 436). Owning a pistol brace and having it on a firearm was not illegal prior to the enactment of this “rule”. Therefore, if one possessed a pistol brace on their firearm prior to its enactment, and the ATF cannot prove that you didn’t, they are forbidden from criminalize you for having it. Let the games begin! There are going to be a lot more millionaires in the U.S. because of this unconstitutional “rule”.

    • Again with the “ex post facto”.

      Laws declaring an action illegal going forward from the date of enactment is not “ex post facto”. Think about it. Ever found yourself reacting to something with the phrase, “There ought to be a law!”?

      “Ex post facto” means a law that declares a formerly legal act to have been in violation of a law….before it was a law.

      With pistol braces, one would be guilty/chargeable for possessing a brace, before the ATF (or even Congress) declared braces illegal. In such case, a person who bought and installed a brace, then sold the brace, or braced firearm, prior to the recent ATF declaration, would be considered to have violated the current ruling. Nothing in the recent declaration declares that prior possession, and disposal, violates the current ruling.

  17. So among all the non compliers spouting off, you actually going to not change habits? Whip out that braced gat like it’s 2020? Walk into a local atf branch with your shorty properly slung? Tell the range fudd it’s not registered and you don’t care who knows?

    • This is so true. If this registration scam works, whats to keep them from moving onto regualr AR’s, AK, mini-14, etc. This is a test, only a test.

  18. it’s fun to discuss the merits/faults with SBR or braced pistols. Be even better if we were sitting around a fire sipping whiskey.
    In the end though, doesn’t matter what any of us think, pro or con.

    Because the ATF and the government do not have the authority to rule on our God given rights.

    • “Because the ATF and the government do not have the authority to rule on our God given rights.”

      Sow the wind; reap the whirlwind.

  19. As far as I can see this is not about anything else but BANNING totally unnessessary and in ther wrong hands dangerous pieces of shooting equipment who’s only use if for the childish purpose of immature Dick-Swinging.

    A ‘look at me’ I’m the business kinda thing> Go join the National Guard!

    If it’s not nessessary for the professionals like the Police Forces and the Armed Forces it’s not nessessary- period. Total waste of money.


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