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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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I don't mind ATF coming up with a list of objectively-observable criteria to used to evaluate whether something is a pistol arm brace or a shoulder stock (used to make an SBR).

We could nitpick some of the details for example why does ATF assume that pistol shouldn't have optics? A non-magnifying red dot optic is perfect for a pistol when accuracy is paramount, and you would assume that anybody who is using an arm stabilization brace on their pistol really is concerned about accuracy!

Low power variable scopes with traditional eye relief in the 2 to 3 inch range are different; they would show an intent to shoulder the weapon and put your nose right up at the back of the receiver to use the optic.

The OAL of the weapon should not be a hard determining fact, with 26 inches being a cut off. A fairly lightweight pistol that exceeds 26 inches with its buffer tube and or arm brace on the backend might only have a 9-inch barrel on the front end, and it could still be a lightweight AR-platform pistol that is easily wielded one-handed.

Length, and weight, should be factors to be considered, not dispositive in and of themselves. The length at which points should start being added to the completed weapon system (just like the weight at which points should start being added) should be determined through experimentation, by giving a bunch of weapons of different sizes and weights to a group of adult men to let them handle them and see how they feel and let these guys come up with numbers where they think for the unit has crossed the line into the "this is so heavy it needs to be shouldered" category.
 

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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But, the worst thing about this proposal (just like the bump stock ban) is it has no grandfather clause-- your items will become contraband and must be destroyed or disassembled or you become a felon.

This is just wrong; innocent gun owners who bought such arm braces for their pistols years ago should not be expected to keep up month by month with latest developments in gun laws and ATF rulings. I say THE ONLT FAIR AND JUST WAY TO IMPLEMENT THIS is to rule that whatever was legal at the time they bought it they should be able to keep forever with no penalty. No registration, even.

ATF could ban the further sale transfer or distribution of such stocks, and I think they could mandate that any person grandfathered in who wants to transfer such a stock or stock equipped weapon would have to first register it under the NFA, but they should have a provision for doing this tax-free.
 

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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28,250 Posts
Reminder:

In the early 1980's when ATF re-classified several open-bolt semi automatic pistols that were inherently easy to convert into machine guns, ATF made the ruling apply prospectively only, not retrospectively. All current owners of those guns were covered by a grandfather clause and the guns themselves were fully transferable (though not as machine guns, not after 1986.)

Reminder:

When ATF re-classified the Street Sweeper, the Striker-12, and the USAS-12 semi automatic combat shotguns as "destructive devices" in the early 1990s those of us who owned them were given a window of opportunity to register them without paying a $200 tax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register today. See the OP for link.
 

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Man of Myth and Legend
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14,491 Posts
Might want to click and send comments.

Nemo

Nemo,​
The ATF has officially published its pistol-brace executive action that could turn MILLIONS of law-abiding gun owners into FELONS.​
The rule would make almost all guns equipped with popular pistol braces illegal, requiring gun owners to destroy, register, or surrender their lawfully-acquired firearms accessories.​
Make no mistake: this is an outright BAN by unelected bureaucrats at the ATF.
Now that the ATF is accepting public comments, I need your help bombarding them with as many letters as possible to STOP this rule before the radical anti-gunner, David Chipman, becomes Director of the ATF.​
I want to assure you that your letter to the ATF can make a difference.​
Just last December, Gun Owners of America mobilized tens of thousands of patriots like you to BOMBARD the ATF with letters urging them to withdraw their pistol-brace proposal.​
Our efforts paid off. The ATF surrendered at the sight of thousands and thousands of furious gun owners in their inbox -- and their proposal was withdrawn.​
But now that a new anti-gun regime has taken control of America, the ATF feels empowered to revive its war on pistol braces and essentially ban an extremely popular gun accessory.​
Gun owners across America must UNITE by the hundreds of thousands to stop the ATF from shredding our God-given rights.​
In Liberty,​
Erich Pratt
Senior Vice President
Gun Own​
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Sounds like "we know it when we see it" with lots of use of the words "objective" and "objectively" to pretend that it is not subjective.
They pretty much come out and say that. This is the last paragraph in section 3.
Even if a weapon accrues less than 4 points in each section, attempts by a manufacturer or maker to circumvent Federal law by attaching purported “stabilizing braces” in lieu of shoulder stocks may result in classification of those weapons as “rifles” and “short-barreled rifles.” While some manufacturers have recognized that there is a market advantage in designing and selling “short-barreled rifles” as “pistols” to customers seeking to avoid tax and registration requirements, “stabilizing braces” are not a method by which the Federal statutes may be circumvented. Therefore, efforts to advertise, sell, or otherwise distribute “short-barreled rifles” as such will result in a classification as a “rifle” regardless of the points accrued on the ATF Worksheet 4999 because there is no longer any question that the intent is for the weapon to be fired from the shoulder.
 
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