Please watch the video @Dred posted above before paying the tax and seeking a stamp. Remember that unlike the typical situation where you seek permission to buy or build and SBR, you are applying for an existing firearm in your possession – a firearm that violates the new rule and but for ATF discretion means you can be charged with a felony punishable by a 10-year sentence and $250,000 fine. And the application you signed and submitted contains your name, fingerprints, address and a photo of the “illegal” firearm. ATF says it will not take enforcement action while your application is pending. But what if the application is denied? At that point, you own an illegal firearm and have given ATF everything it needs to proceed immediately with an enforcement action.
Even if we engage in the absurd fantasy that ATF will actually consider applications in good faith, you must consider the 88-day rule. Once ATF actually begins a background check, an 88-day clock begins ticking. If not completed within that time period, the background check is ended and the application is automatically denied.
Look at the current time required to obtain a stamp. Now imagine that even a small percentage of the roughly 40 million or so SBRs are submitted. ATF clearly lacks the personnel to process those applications and it is possible, indeed likely, that many background checks will not be timely completed and the applications therefore rejected making thousands of applicants instant felons. ATF personnel were asked what would happen in that scenario since the applicant then would be in possession of an illegal firearm even if they ultimately could and would have passed the background check that ATF failed to timely complete. The spokesperson said that the ATF response would be to pursue an enforcement action.
Congress doesn’t have to… ATF falls under the Executive branch through the Dept. of Justice… Congress funds them but doesn’t “run” them. The very worst part is that ATF put out a letter years ago that affirmed attaching braces did not make a firearm an SBR - however, over the years since the open letter in 2012, they have gone back and forth within their own agency.