This is important read if you are into AR type pistols with Arm Brace.
I have been reading and trying to watch any information on the arm brace rules from ATF.
Here is what I recently read and would like to share and get your thoughts or any updated information you might have.
I personally have several pistols that fall into the rule. And could maybe mean a large cost as well as loss of the arm braces cost.
I’m seeing some places saying the new rule started August 1, 2022. Other that its still in a wait period.
Here is the most recent options I can find. It’s from the Shoot On web site Stay Legal information.
Last summer, the BATFE signaled their intent to eliminate the “stabilizing brace” exemption because they felt legal gun owners were abusing the design intent of the stabilizing brace, using the devices as a “shoulder mount workaround” as opposed to the intended purpose of stabilizing an AR pistol against the support arm. Cries of protest from the shooting community and industry notwithstanding, the BATFE moved forward with their plan to remove the stabilizing brace exemption for AR pistols, effectively classifying former AR pistols with stabilizing braces as NFA short-barrel rifles.
We were alerted to the timeline for this rule implementation with the publication of Introduction to the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions-Fall 2021, which dropped on January 31, 2022. According to BATFE published documentation, the final rule will go into effect in August of this year. So, as of this writing, everyone who wants to continue legal possession of their AR pistol with an arm brace has about four months to submit NFA Form 1, pay the $200 NFA tax stamp, and receive final approval from the BATFE to convert their pistol to a short-barrel rifle.
You may be wondering why, with such a large number of firearm owners being impacted by this rule change (the cost to the individual being, at minimum, the financial loss of their arm brace or $200 for the NFA tax stamp), the BATFE would not at least “grandfather in” all existing AR pistols with stabilizing braces? Well, you can wonder all you like, but it’s not happening. According to the BATFE, “Without this rule, public safety will continue to be threatened by the criminal use of such firearms, which are easily concealable from the public and first responders.”
Since this new regulation will certainly not be rolled back during the span of the current administration, we are left with few options. Here they are per the BATFE:
- Options for Affected Persons
As mentioned, ATF wants to assist affected persons or companies and is providing additional information to aid them in complying with Federal laws and regulations. Below are options for those persons that may be affected upon publication of a final rule.
- Current Unlicensed Possessors
In order to comply with the provisions of the NFA, current unlicensed possessors of a firearm equipped with a “stabilizing brace” and a barrel length of less than 16 inches that would qualify as a “short-barreled rifle” as indicated on the ATF Worksheet 4999 contained in this proposed rule would need to take one of the following actions before the effective date of a final rule.
(1) Permanently remove or alter the “stabilizing brace” such that it cannot be reattached, thus converting the firearm back to its original pistol configuration (as long as it was originally configured without a stock and as a pistol) and thereby removing it from regulation as a “firearm” under the NFA. Exercising this option would mean the pistol would no longer be “equipped with” the stabilizing brace within the meaning of the proposed rule.
(2) Remove the short barrel and attach a 16-inch or longer barrel to the firearm thus removing it from the provisions of the NFA.
(3) Destroy the firearm. ATF will publish information regarding proper destruction on its website, www.atf.gov.
(4) Turn the firearm into your local ATF office.
(5) Complete and submit an Application to Make and Register a Firearm, ATF Form 1 (“Form 1”). As part of the submission, the $200 tax payment is required with the application. Pursuant to 27 CFR 479.102, the name, city, and state of the maker of the firearm must be properly marked on the firearm. All other markings, placed by the original manufacturer, should be adopted. Proof of submission of the Form 1 should be maintained by all possessors. Documentation establishing submission of Form 1 includes, but is not limited to, eForm submission acknowledgement, proof of payment, or copy of Form 1 submission with postmark documentation.
Obviously, options 3 and 4 are non-starters. Option 1 results in the financial loss of the stabilizing brace and reduces practical function of the firearm. Option 2 has merit, but it nullifies the firearm’s mobility and CQB effectiveness — the very reasons many personal defense practitioners acquired an AR-platform pistol in the first place.
For most of us, option 5 is the best option. By submitting Form 1, paying the NFA tax stamp, and receiving BATFE approval, the AR pistol with a stabilizing brace becomes a legal-to-possess NFA short-barrel rifle. Yes, you spent $200 on the tax stamp, but you saved the cost of the arm brace (should you decide to keep it) and can now shoulder the rifle for operation. Better yet, in our opinion, this allows you to install a proper buttstock, providing much-improved function and accuracy potential.
I will continue with more of their great suggestions for what its worth in the future if there is any interest.