American Rifleman - July 2017 - 84

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84

N

ews broke in May that the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives (ATF) has reconsidered and
"clarified" its Jan. 6, 2015, Open Letter on the
use of stabilizing braces as shoulder stocks.
ATF took the position in the letter that
merely affixing the stabilizing brace to a pistol
did not constitute the "making" of a National
Firearms Act (NFA) firearm. Firing the braced
pistol from the shoulder, however, was held
to constitute a "redesign" of the firearm that
brought it under the jurisdiction of the NFA,
with all the additional regulations that classification entails.
The 2015 letter contradicted earlier advice
from the ATF, which previously stated "firing a
pistol from the shoulder would not cause the
pistol to be reclassified as [a short-barreled
rifle]." Nor would using a stability brace
improperly as a shoulder stock "change the
classification of the weapon per federal law."
ATF's latest guidance on the matter was
provided in response to a request by stabilizing brace manufacturer SB Tactical to reconsider the position taken in the Jan. 6, 2015,
Open Letter. It was not issued as an open letter, rather as a direct response to SB Tactical's
outside counsel from ATF's Assistant Director
of Enforcement Programs and Services,
Marvin G. Richardson.
The new letter-dated March 21, 2017-
appears aimed at reconciling ATF's past positions. The letter maintains the position that
"the use of stabilizing braces, as designed,
would not create a short-barreled rifle when
attached to a firearm."
But it then goes on to clarify that "an NFA
firearm has not necessarily been made ...
even if the attached firearm
happens to be fired from the
shoulder."

July 2017

The letter states:
If ... the shooter/possessor takes affirmative steps to configure the devise 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.
Yet the letter goes on to state:
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.
The new letter makes it clear that attaching a stabilizing brace to a pistol expressly to
create an SBR to fire from the shoulder-particularly when it involves alterations that would
undermine the intended use of the brace-
creates an NFA firearm. On the other hand,
the ATF no longer takes the clearly untenable
position that any shouldering of a braced
pistol automatically constitutes the regulated
"making" of an NFA firearm.
This is good news for manufacturers and
the gun-buying public alike, and is a hopeful
sign that commonsense and reason-rather
than Obama-era anti-gun politics-will again
be the watchwords for ATF's enforcement of
federal firearms laws.

american rifleman

Photo courtesy SIG Sauer

LATEST
LEGISLATIVE
NEWS FROM
INSIDE THE NRA
INSTITUTE FOR
LEGISLATIVE
ACTION

ATF Reconsiders Obama-Era
Policy on Stabilizing Braces


http://www.nraila.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2017

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2017 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 6
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 7
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 8
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 9
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 10
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 11
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 12
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 13
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 14
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 15
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 16
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 17
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 18
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 19
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 20
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 21
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 22
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 23
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 24
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 25
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 26
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 27
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 28
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 29
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 30
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 31
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 32
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 33
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 34
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 35
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 36
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 37
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 38
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 39
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 40
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 41
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 42
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 43
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 44
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 45
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 46
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 47
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 48
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL3
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL4
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL5
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL6
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL7
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL8
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL9
American Rifleman - July 2017 - QAL10
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 49
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 50
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 51
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 52
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 53
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 54
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 55
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 56
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 57
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 58
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 59
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 60
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 61
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 62
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 63
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 64
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 65
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 66
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 67
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 68
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 69
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 70
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 71
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 72
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 73
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 74
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 75
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 76
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 77
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 78
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 79
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 80
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 81
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 82
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 83
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 84
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 85
American Rifleman - July 2017 - C1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - C2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - E1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - E2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - MW1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - MW2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - S1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - S2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - SW1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - SW2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - W1
American Rifleman - July 2017 - W2
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 88
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 89
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 90
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 91
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 92
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 93
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 94
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 95
American Rifleman - July 2017 - 96
American Rifleman - July 2017 - Cover4
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