Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,890 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,235 Posts
It's nice when the inmates are no longer running the aslyum.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,422 Posts
Referring to the following quote taken from the referenced letter,

“Similarly, an item that functions as a stock if attached to a handgun in a manner that serves the objective purpose of allowing the firearm to be fired from the shoulder may result in “making” a short-barreled rifle, even if the attachment is not permanent. See, Revenue Ruling 61-45. The fact that the item may allow, or even be intended by its manufacturer for other lawful purposes, does not affect the NFA analysis.”

I don't see any change in the ATF's position at all. They explain that permanent or temporary attachment is irrelevant, as is the manufacturer's intended purpose for the device. It also seems pretty clear that using the brace as a stock remains illegal in the ATF's eyes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41,378 Posts
Referring to the following quote taken from the referenced letter,

“Similarly, an item that functions as a stock if attached to a handgun in a manner that serves the objective purpose of allowing the firearm to be fired from the shoulder may result in “making” a short-barreled rifle, even if the attachment is not permanent. See, Revenue Ruling 61-45. The fact that the item may allow, or even be intended by its manufacturer for other lawful purposes, does not affect the NFA analysis.”

I don't see any change in the ATF's position at all. They explain that permanent or temporary attachment is irrelevant, as is the manufacturer's intended purpose for the device. It also seems pretty clear that using the brace as a stock remains illegal in the ATF's eyes.
I agree. Not Philly lawyer, but sounds like it's still illegal to me until they "revoke" their previous opinion. That just sounds like a lot of legal tap dancing to avoid outright stating an opinion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: msgt/ret and Tangle

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,614 Posts
In any case, it remains that shooting a <16" barrel from the shoulder is far more deadly than firing the same gun from the hip. That's why I shoot guns to make them "less deadly". It's for the kids. :rolleyes:

Can you shoot the arm brace from your chest?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
19,639 Posts
In any case, it remains that shooting a <16" barrel from the shoulder is far more deadly than firing the same gun from the hip. That's why I shoot guns to make them "less deadly". It's for the kids. :rolleyes:

Can you shoot the arm brace from your chest?
Sure you CAN, but who would want to?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,077 Posts
Is it true? I can't open any of the links posted for some reason. Man if it is, I'll just about die. I wrote it off and got a different rifle. ARG.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,957 Posts
Is it true? I can't open any of the links posted for some reason. Man if it is, I'll just about die. I wrote it off and got a different rifle. ARG.
Just for you.

OPEN LETTER ON THE REDESIGN OF “STABILIZING BRACES”
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
-2-
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 antipersonnel
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
 
  • Like
Reactions: drift

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,422 Posts
This seems to make it pretty clear,

“Similarly, an item that functions as a stock if attached to a handgun in a manner that serves the objective purpose of allowing the firearm to be fired from the shoulder may result in “making” a short-barreled rifle, even if the attachment is not permanent. See, Revenue Ruling 61-45. The fact that the item may allow, or even be intended by its manufacturer for other lawful purposes, does not affect the NFA analysis.”

Notice the legality does not depend on modification of a manufactured part, but rather the use of the part in an unlawful way. For many years it has been illegal, and clearly understood that if you add anything to a pistol to allow it to be fired from the shoulder like a rifle, it is illegal. Calling something an arm brace won't get around the long standing law.

If the arm brace were allowed, then what about the German luger holster/shoulder stock? Here we could claim the "device" was manufactured as a holster rather than a pistol stock. That seems it would satisfy that "objective purpose" as stated in the letter, but it remains illegal to attach a "holster" to a German luger so that it could be shouldered and shot like a rifle. The very same concept applies to the arm brace.

If the ATF allowed anything to be attached to a pistol that allows it to be shouldered and shot like a rifle, then there would no longer be any such thing as a short barreled rifle - just pistols with devices to allow you to shoulder and shoot the pistol like a rifle. Not going to happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,767 Posts
This seems to make it pretty clear,

“Similarly, an item that functions as a stock if attached to a handgun in a manner that serves the objective purpose of allowing the firearm to be fired from the shoulder may result in “making” a short-barreled rifle, even if the attachment is not permanent. See, Revenue Ruling 61-45. The fact that the item may allow, or even be intended by its manufacturer for other lawful purposes, does not affect the NFA analysis.”

Notice the legality does not depend on modification of a manufactured part, but rather the use of the part in an unlawful way. For many years it has been illegal, and clearly understood that if you add anything to a pistol to allow it to be fired from the shoulder like a rifle, it is illegal. Calling something an arm brace won't get around the long standing law.

If the arm brace were allowed, then what about the German luger holster/shoulder stock? Here we could claim the "device" was manufactured as a holster rather than a pistol stock. That seems it would satisfy that "objective purpose" as stated in the letter, but it remains illegal to attach a "holster" to a German luger so that it could be shouldered and shot like a rifle. The very same concept applies to the arm brace.

If the ATF allowed anything to be attached to a pistol that allows it to be shouldered and shot like a rifle, then there would no longer be any such thing as a short barreled rifle - just pistols with devices to allow you to shoulder and shoot the pistol like a rifle. Not going to happen.
Unless I am missing something I have to agree with you. I don't see where their position has changed. Maybe someone could hi light or bold the text which shows the change in position?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,422 Posts
I want to add something, certainly not as the final word on anything, but simply to shed some light on something that a big deal has been made of.

I just watched a video where a guy goes through the entire ATF process to rule on the use of a arm brace and the use of it to shoulder fire a pistol. He talks about the ATF reference to "redesign" and there has been much clamor about the use of this word. In principle, the ATF was saying that using an arm brace to shoulder a pistol constituted a "redesign". So this guy gives us the definition of redesign from the dictionary, which I quote here:

redesign: to revise in appearance, function, or content

Notice that word in bold - function. By that definition, as stated in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, if you were to use a screwdriver as a pry bar, that is a redesign by functional use of the screwdriver, according to the definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

The guy goes on to state, as his opinion, that a pistol must be built with the intention of being fired from the shoulder in order for it to come under the SBR restrictions. He gives the example that if the manufacturer builds an AR pistol with a arm brace and intends for it to be used as an arm brace and then someone buys it and shoulders the pistol using the arm brace, it would not be illegal. BS!

He goes on to justify this opinion with what he thinks is an improper use of the term redesign. He asks, "When was the firearm redesigned?" It was redesigned by function (Merriam-Webster) the instant that arm brace hit the shoulder. The function of the arm brace changed from an arm brace to a shoulder stock. And, it is indeed being used by intent by the shooter for firing a pistol braced from the shoulder which would obviously be using the arm brace as a shoulder stock. To emphasize, when shouldered, the arm brace functions as a stock and is being used as a shoulder stock by intent by the user in a manner it was not intended to be used as.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,380 Posts
Each of the three opinion letters has been written by a different person, in a different position within the bureau. A pistol is already defined as being designed to be held with one hand, yet holding it with two hands does not make it an AOW. How does holding it with it up against your shoulder make it an SBR? What other item has ever changed classification based on how it was used? If I stab someone with a screwdriver, is it still a screwdriver, or is it a dagger? The arm brace should be no different. I doubt they are willing to classify it as a golf club because I used the brace to hit a golf ball.

Im also curious to know how a law enforcement agency can supposedly just make something legal/illegal as they please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
617 Posts
To me it seems clear there has been no change. Good ol batf. This RE:redesign letter is pointless and causing a fuss all over the internet. Everybody is getting excited over nothing...at least how I am reading it. Hopefully someone can prove me wrong.

My question is, if it's just an "opinion"...how much weight will it hold in the courtroom? Is an "opinion" enough to put you behind bars?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Thanks brother. Well, I'm still reading it as a no-go. We need a lawyer.
Ianthin posted the original letter from 2015. Here is the text of the linked document referenced in this thread
Re: Reversal of ATF Open Letter on the Redesign of "Stabilizing Braces"

Dear Mr. Barnes:
am writing in response to your letter dated January 5, 2017, to Thomas Brandon, the Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on behalf of your client SB Tactical, LLC. Your letter requests that ATF reconsider its position articulated in ATF's "Open Letter on the Redesign of 'Stabilizing Braces ''' issued on January 16, 2015 (hereafter, the "Open Letter"). The Open Letter made it clear that stabilizing braces are perfectly legal accessories for large handguns or pistols. However, when employed as a shoulder stock with a firearm with a barrel less than 16 inches in length, the result would be making an unregistered NFA firearm. Your letter challenges the legal correctness of this latter conclusion and asks that ATF disavow it. Since receiving your letter we have re-examined the conclusions contained in the Open Letter. Although we stand by those conclusions, we agree that the Open Letter may have generated some confusion concerning the analytical framework by which those conclusions were reached. Thank you for the opportunity to clarify our analysis.

Background
As you are aware, the NFA, 26 USC § 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...." 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 an NFA "firearm."

In 2012, ATF determined that a specific arm-stabilizing brace—marketed as "a shooter's aid" to assist in shooting large buffer tube equipped pistols—was not a shoulder stock and therefore could be attached to a firearm without that act constituting the making of an NFA firearm. Following this determination, the firearms industry and members of the public sought clarification on whether the stabilizing brace may lawfully be used as a shoulder stock. To respond to these inquiries, ATF published the January 2015 Open Letter. In that letter ATF confirmed its previous determination that the use of stabilizing braces, as designed, would not create a short-barreled rifle when attached to a firearm. ATF also advised, however, that because the stabilizing brace was not designed as a shoulder stock, "use" of the device as a shoulder stock would constitute a "redesign" of the firearm to which it was attached, resulting in the classification of that firearm as a short-barreled rifle.

Your letter asserts that ATF's analysis of "use" is untenable because the mere use of an otherwise lawfully possessed item for a purpose for which it was not designed does not constitute "redesign" as defined in the NFA. You support this argument with analogies involving items that are not firearms (i.e., misuse of a screwdriver or hammer), and by distinguishing a prior ATF ruling, ATF Ruling 95-2, on which the Open Letter relies in its analysis of use. The unstated, but logical, result of your argument is that stabilizing braces, although designed, intended and marketed for use only to shoot from the arm, could be attached to a firearm and used as a shoulder stock without falling within the purview of the NFA. Under certain circumstances, such an absolute result is simply not consistent with the letter and intent of the NFA, as we illustrate in the next paragraph.

An accessory that can be attached to a firearm in any one of several configurations must be evaluated to determine whether attaching it in each of those configurations constitutes "making" an NFA firearm under both objective and subjective analyses. With respect to stabilizing braces, ATF has concluded that attaching the brace to a handgun as a forearm brace does not "make" a short-barreled rifle because in the configuration as submitted to and approved by FATD, it is not intended to be and cannot comfortably be fired from the shoulder. If, however, the shooter/possessor takes affirmative steps to configure the device for use as a shoulder-stock—for example, configuring the brace so as to permanently affix it to the end of a buffer tube, (thereby creating a length that has no other purpose than to facilitate its use as a stock), removing the arm-strap, or otherwise undermining its ability to be used as a brace – and then in fact shoots the firearm from the shoulder using the accessory as a shoulder stock, that person has objectively "redesigned" the firearm for purposes of the NFA. This conclusion is not based upon the mere fact that the firearm was fired from the shoulder at some point. Therefore, an NFA firearm has not necessarily been made when the device is not re-configured for use as a shoulder stock – even if the attached firearm happens to be fired from the shoulder.

To the extent the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold that incidental, sporadic, or situational "use" of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute "redesign," such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with ATF's interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced.
In that regard, we also note that the "making" of an NFA firearm pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 5821 includes the altering of an existing firearm such that, after the alteration, the firearm meets one of the enumerated descriptions in 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a), whether or not that alteration is permanent. So, for example, one "makes" a short-barreled shotgun subject to the NFA by replacing a 20 inch barrel with a 16 inch barrel, even though that configuration may not be permanent. Nothing in the NFA requires that the "making" be irreversible. Similarly, an item that functions as a stock if attached to a handgun in a manner that serves the objective purpose of allowing the firearm to be fired from the shoulder may result in "making" a short-barreled rifle, even if the attachment is not permanent. See, Revenue Ruling 61-45. The fact that the item may allow, or even be intended by its manufacturer for other lawful purposes, does not affect the NFA analysis.

Again, to the extent the Open Letter was confusing, we appreciate the opportunity to clarify our position. Thank you for your inquiry regarding this matter.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,422 Posts
Each of the three opinion letters has been written by a different person, in a different position within the bureau. A pistol is already defined as being designed to be held with one hand, yet holding it with two hands does not make it an AOW. How does holding it with it up against your shoulder make it an SBR? What other item has ever changed classification based on how it was used? If I stab someone with a screwdriver, is it still a screwdriver, or is it a dagger? The arm brace should be no different. I doubt they are willing to classify it as a golf club because I used the brace to hit a golf ball.

Im also curious to know how a law enforcement agency can supposedly just make something legal/illegal as they please.
There are already legal examples of a non-weapon being changed by functional use of the device. For example, you can legally carry a ball bat in your car, but if you use that ball bat to strike someone, under the law it changes into a weapon, the typical "assault with a deadly weapon". The ball bat is the same, it has not been modified, it was designed and manufactured for non-weapon purposes and yet by long standing law, when an object is used to injure someone, it can become, by law, a deadly weapon. The same is true of a screwdriver. In the eyes of the law how something is used determines what it is - just like the ball bat. Likewise and arm brace used as an arm brace is legal, using it as an shoulder stock is not. In both of these cases, legality is determined by how it is used, not how it was intended to be used by design.

I realize we don't like the NFA/ATF restrictions; I personally think they are outdated and serve no purpose and never did serve any purpose, but trying to come up with work-arounds so we can shoulder fire a pistol will fail.

I understand the effort - that is to find some loop-hole definition that will circumvent the ATF's ruling and allow ANY device to be used to shoulder fire a pistol. I say ANY, because once A device has been proven legal, what device could then be illegal? Suddenly all stocks would be re-named braces making them legal to use on pistols because they are no longer stocks.
 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top