No More Shouldered SIG Braces

Goodbye, dear friend. Even though you make my AR pistol much easier to control, and harder to conceal, I can't put you to my shoulder anymore.

Goodbye, dear friend. Even though you make my AR pistol much easier to control, and harder to conceal, I can’t put you to my shoulder anymore.

If you haven’t heard it already, the BATFE has issued another letter opining on the use of SIG braces. For those of you just crawling out of caves, the SIG brace is the handy stabilizing device that was meant to be strapped to your forearm to help you stabilize an AR pistol, or something equally unstable. They work. And they are versatile. Many of us have been using these devices as improvised shoulder stocks. And why not? The ATF had implied that we could, in several opinion letters.

But not anymore. They released a new letter Friday, January 16. And the most ironic part? SHOT Show! Guess what everyone plans to release at SHOT show this year? You guessed it: big, awkward pistols–pistols that were suddenly marketable because you could add an arm brace to the back end and shoulder it like you would a rifle. So now what? What happens to all of these guns?

The whole letter is pasted in below, but here’s the important part:

“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.”

The real questions still remain. Lawyers need to pick apart the letter. Cases need to be tried so precedents can be established. Or, we could just do away with the NFA and the BATFE.

I for one think the decision is bogus. I think restrictions on SBRs, SBSs, silencers, etc. are all bogus. Suppressors make guns much more user friendly, and safer for those around who have to listen to gun shots. And a stock makes a short gun (a rifle or a pistol) much easier to control. The BATFE isn’t making the guns illegal, just the things that make them safer and easier to control. And who is going to pay attention to these laws? Us. The law abiding citizenry that now has to obey like a bunch of damn sheep. Who is going to break the laws? The idiots who habitually break laws. The recidivists the criminal justice system funnels through our revolving door prisons. The rest of us just have to shut up and obey. Shut up. Obey.


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….”

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 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 anti- personnel 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 or by phone at (304) 616-4300.

Max M. Kingery
Acting Chief
Firearms Technology Criminal Branch Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division

So. There you have it. Check out the video below. What are your thoughts? Is Jacob a criminal?

{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Edster November 19, 2016, 12:08 am

    Well…Sig SB15 nirvana has ended for me, today. At the local (public) range in September 2016, the salty old rangemaster told me that shouldering my P516 was technically illegal. However, he said nobody would harass me. Just today, tho…I was told…NO MORE. So, I put the “pistol” away and shot my other firearms. Oh well…there goes 90% of the fun of owning it. Should I sell it, register it…or just not take it to the range, anymore? Maybe, a Tavor bullpup would be legal for a while??

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  • Paul Davidson April 5, 2015, 10:23 am

    Great article. Thanks for the info, this is really a helpful post. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out an ATF form 1, I found a blank form in this link This site PDFfiller also has several related forms that you might find useful.

  • Ghost January 27, 2015, 5:59 pm

    The ruling tyrannical class and their kneepadding servants can’t enforce this, ATF clowns can’t write law, your diktats mean jack. Nothing changes, they don’t have the means, manpower, or will to handle non-compliance.

  • StackShotBilly January 20, 2015, 4:58 pm

    I’m a fan of black powder revolvers & I know they are not regulated by the BATF- I love that I can have them shipped directly to my house- & I have shoulder stocks (made of walnut, brass & steel no less)for my Italian Colt 1851 Navy & 1860 Army replicas. By this line of reasoning, if I buy cartridge conversion cylinders & use them in conjunction with the stocks are my sixguns now SBRs? Am I a felon for doing so? Do I need to pay for tax stamps?- $200 tax stamp on a $200 gun? How f-ing ridiculous is that? Perhaps I should inquire with the BATF- If they have time to trample the Bill of Rights maybe they can answer this ridiculous question.

  • Robert E Naess January 20, 2015, 1:49 pm

    Welcome to the Wonderland world of NFA. At least you are still allowed to keep the brace and to use it either in compliance or non-compliance with the current interpretation, so it is your choice. Ever heard the term “constructive possession”? It is a useful tool under NFA regulations for prosecution. Simple example is possession of M16 fire control parts, bolt, etc while in possession of an AR15 semi. You can be charged with possession of an unregistered MG if push comes to shove, even if you never installed the parts, which will not work anyway. So, there is no “constructive possession” for having a brace and a pistol, yet. You can have both and still be legal, and not prosecuted for the potential misuse of the brace.
    NFA is full of absurd definitions and regulations concerning all weapons under the laws of NFA’34. For the time being, owning and using a brace is still completely legal. I have been involved with NFA for ovr forty years and work full time with NFA cotrolled defices.

  • Chris M Robertson January 20, 2015, 12:03 pm

    This supposed new ATF opinion was written in 2013 as evidenced by researching the original document on the ATF site. Lots of folks here getting excited about a two year old opinion that has no current power of law since it is not a law. Timing of release of this opinion may be suspicious but it is not new.

  • Howard Croy January 20, 2015, 12:20 am

    So query me this wise man….
    If I manage to pick up my stock Glock 17 and place some part of the grip against my shoulder and pull the trigger….
    (We will assume that I don’t rupture my eardrum, shoot off my mustache or drop the gun and have to commit hare-kari on the firing line)
    Have I committed a felony by re-designing the pistols grip and making it into an illegal SBR?

    • Eric Holder lol January 20, 2015, 9:01 am

      Yes, you have “redesigned” the pistol by placing the weapon against your shoulder. According to ATF you must use a firearm as it was designed to be used ie: Sig Brace must be used attached to forearm as designed and submitted to ATF. My daughter who is 16 said the same thing. Clearly ATF was aware and had been asked about using the Sig Brace and shouldering it because there was a letter that they wrote that basically said shouldering the Sig Brace does NOT change what it is. If you use a zebra as a horse it is still a zebra. ATF is now in the business of regulating behavior NOT the actual item in question. Next will be a definition of semi auto trigger use. Here it is ” a semi auto pistol or rifle should be fired at a rate of 1 round per depression every 5 seconds”. ATF has determined that firing a semi auto firearm faster than this is a “redesign” and constitutes the attempted manufacture and use of a machine gun as defined in the new GCA of 2015 signed by executive order of King Obama.

      • Eye Catcher January 20, 2015, 12:50 pm

        “Next will be a definition of semi auto trigger use. Here it is ” a semi auto pistol or rifle should be fired at a rate of 1 round per depression every 5 seconds”. ATF has determined that firing a semi auto firearm faster than this is a “redesign” and constitutes the attempted manufacture and use of a machine gun as defined in the new GCA of 2015 signed by executive order of King Obama”.
        If that’s true “Eric” , why are the “bump fire” stocks and “bump triggers” legal?

        • Eric Holder lol January 20, 2015, 3:00 pm

          Because today is Tuesday and ATF is quite arbitrary. ATF is suppose to regulate inanimate objects correct? Certainly you could argue that any firearm not used for it’s correct “designed purpose” should then warrant the involvement and Federal Prosecution by the DOJ when a crime is committed against a person however that does not occur. ATF was not manipulated or tricked when the design for the Sig Brace was submitted to them. The reason people kept making inquiry was because the sheepie law abiding gun owners are so anal about being target by our terroristic government. Do not take my characterization as negative. If anyone wants to suggest that those drones at ATF had no idea that people might shoulder the brace even after they were asked 6 million times if it was okay to do so then stop saying it was because too many people asked. ATF was even asked if an individual had an AR15 Pistol and placed the protruding buffer tube up to their shoulder would that be okay/legal? ATF responded that it was fine because it did NOT alter the weapon. Based on the totality of circumstances, it appears ATF is a screwed up organization (breaking news) and from the beginning should not have approved the Sig Brace simply because it is too close in design to a rifle stock. They made a mistake so……………..grandfather in what is out there and go forward. As for shouldering pistols with buffer tubes (quite short for my taste) or shouldering a Smith and Wesson revolver, ATF is stepping way over it’s jurisdiction telling an individual how he is to aim, hold or discharge a firearm that in and of itself is a legally owned object. I do not own a Sig Brace. I am not against anyone owning one. Wrong is wrong even when it is our government. I must say I do prefer to see ATF with Machine guns rather then a pack of matches………….I mean at least you might be able to surrender if they have guns. Probably just kill your wife and son. If they show up with matches you are really in trouble because the cowards will burn you out. Think LAPD is following the ATF lead. Probably joint training.

          • Will Drider January 21, 2015, 1:49 am

            “Grandfather in” has been overcome by events. Any old timers remember the Akins Accelerator? Installed in a Ruger 1022 made it rock and roll! It HAD a ATF Approval letter that was revoked two years later. ATF also forced a court ordered recall trying to get every device back. Bankrupted the inventor and MFG. THEY SUED THE GOV BASED ON ATF ORIG LETTER and loss of hundreds of thousand dollars. Finally setteled just a few years ago. ATF WON.

          • eyecatcher January 22, 2015, 1:44 pm

            Ok , that has nothing to do with my question.

      • Russ January 20, 2015, 1:09 pm

        Holy shit! Jerry Miculek will become a criminal.

  • Ed Green January 19, 2015, 9:50 pm

    Boy that was the most maturely written article I have read in a long time. A picture of a juvenile orangutang in the middle of the BTAFE letter? Wow.

  • Mahatma Muhjesbude January 19, 2015, 8:22 pm

    Look people, what are we wasting valuable time and brain power analyzing a spawn agency of a fascist regime. “We, the People” just re-captured he legislative branch of our government. If we really have all the American Patriot balls we say we have, why don’t we now just instruct our newly hired employees to draft new laws to repeal ALL Un-Constitutional agenda laws including the 1934 NFA and the pro mass disarmament GCA of 1968. And be done with all this bullshit. And then we won’t need the BATF and we can ‘kill two birds with one round’ and save some of our tax dollars, as well.

  • Jtento January 19, 2015, 5:14 pm

    STOP! To many interpretive variations on what the ATF letter actually says. If I understand correctly, I can keep and fire my (Sig, DPMS, etc.) AR pistol. I can also keep and use my Sig SB15 Brace on my forearm. However, if I do not fasten the sig brace to my forearm and instead raise the brace to my shoulder I instantly transform my AR pistol to an SBR. Just to be clear is this what ATF is trying to communicate?

    Comment on ATF’s faulty reasoning:
    Design is a noun typically requiring a written plan, rendering or drawing of some sort. Its about what something looks like, it’s measurements, materials used in the device or process. I would bet that when the Sig designers conceived of the brace that their intent was a device for controlling recoil and making the pistol easier to shoot accurately, Not as an adornment for the forearm.
    “Redesign” has nothing to do with this issue. Raising the device to your shoulder is not a redesign……a repurposing perhaps. An example; a baseball bat is used to, well…..hit baseballs. If however I use a baseball bat to break the front window of Eric Holders car or dispatch a rattlesnake, have I redesigned the bat? Of course not. To redesign anything you must have substantively changed it’s appearance or configuration. Like the front end of a new model year pick-up truck. To contend that placing an unchanged Sig SB15 against your shoulder, instead of your forearm, constitutes a redesign of a product borders on illiteracy and is demonstrative of at least one logical fallacy.

  • Eric Holder lol January 19, 2015, 4:43 pm

    I love you guys and gals. I worked as a young man for a boss who said “work faster”, then said “slow down” we don’t want any bikes coming back. It was a bicycle shop. People do not like change and they do not like mixed and confusing messages. ATF says one thing today and another tomorrow, depending on which way the wind is blowing. They are absolutely FEARED. Read the comments here about being imprisoned. I won’t say the name Randy Weaver. People and posts here show REAL FEAR clearly. Not about intentionally harming someone but about how a firearm is held when shooting at a piece of paper. I actually see a pattern between ATF and generally Police in the United States. Terrorism.
    ATF expects that sheepie firearms owners will spend ALL their waking hours to see what new daily changes have been made to items they have already legally purchased. Items that have already been clarified by ATF. I do have to congratulate ATF and US Law Enforcement because they collectively have excellent control over the sheepie firearms owners who do follow every movement that they make and live in constant FEAR of US Government wrath. Maybe we should just STOP and step back and look at our behavior and fears and see how we are being controlled, manipulated and jerked around on a daily basis by our own Government who is suppose to work for us BUT, WE the people are really in fear of. Consider the term Terrorism. I believe it fits just as well as the Sig Arm brace fits your arm or your shoulder. I am ex Law Enforcement and the writing is on the wall. You interpret it.

  • hangingdog January 19, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Here’s my take on the braces as with anything else that’s supposedly illegal – “it’s only illegal if you get caught”.
    Bump-fire’s will be next, but I don’t care. Mine’s here to stay. I’ll let my kids worry about what to do with them when I’m gone.

  • TangoCharlie January 19, 2015, 4:01 pm

    The intent of this second letter is obvious. It is laden with enough double talk and legal-speak that it can make prosecution of any individual preferential on the part of BATFE. If you are someone of interest to the Federal machine, the wording will be construed ( or misconstrued) to cover whatever sins they deem you guilty of. “In a use other than that designed or intended for” is a mighty broad brush.

  • ej harb January 19, 2015, 3:52 pm

    how about starting a movement to eliminate the short barrel rifle law since we want short barrel rifles.
    I know we cant eliminate the nfa/gca in one bite but we can eat small pieces and turn them into the feces they deserve to be.

    • A Rann January 20, 2015, 11:38 am

      Exactly. It’s time to legislate away provisions of this silly 1934 law. Bills need to be written and passed to remove short barreled (as defined by NFA 1934) rifles and shotguns from the restrictions of the NFA. It’s a law… it can be changed.

  • SSgt_Mas January 19, 2015, 3:35 pm

    We can all thank our fellow gun owners who bombarded the ATF tech branch with stupid request after request on this topic, AFTER it was already settled. Had people just shut the hell up, this policy would not have faced any scrutiny until perhaps after obummer’s term was over. No such luck now- and you can thank every idiot who continued asking tech branch this same exact question, until they finally figured it out and said NO.

    • dlh January 19, 2015, 4:38 pm

      Bingo…….why keep asking the same freakin question over and over when we already had a yes answer in our favor? Moronic… It was like repeatedly asking the atf, “Are you guys really this naive?”

      • BobaFett January 20, 2015, 1:06 pm

        That was precisely the problem. Another thing that pissed me off was people posting all kinds of videos to YouTube where they were proudly using it as a shoulder stock and declaring how doing so was “fighting the power.” It served no purpose other than to rub the ATF’s nose in it. They were practically BEGGING for the ATF to come down with this new “opinion.” It did absolutely no good.

        However, the old conundrum still remains: If a tree falls in the middle of the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  • Ringo Lapua January 19, 2015, 12:48 pm

    It’s time for the NRA and WE THE PEOPLE to DEMAND that our REPUBLICAN controlled Congress totally redefines the jurisdiction of the ATF. The ATF should ONLY regulate MILITARY AUTOMATIC weapons and Explosives. Semi Auto, Suppressors etc should be off limits to the ATF.

    • Edster November 26, 2016, 12:26 pm

      Until you recognize and fight the true source of all this (zionism), you should just stick you head back into the sand and stop ranting.

  • Shoggin January 19, 2015, 11:56 am

    Ammo-up is exactly right. This isn’t a ‘new law’. No debate, no quorum, no voting necessary. The BATFE is simply re-defining the EXISTING law to close the loop-hole we love so much. As a result they are just expanding the definition of SBR.
    My issue is the shady way they are doing it. By making up the definition of “use” = “re-designing”. That opens up a huge amount of grey area. Laws HAVE to be black and white. That is their PURPOSE.
    Be good gun owners, and follow the rules. Don’t give them ammo to do worse.
    Fight them the right way. I know, I know, it’s, complicated, frustrating , and seems daunting. GET OFF THE COUCH!!!!

  • Jason M. January 19, 2015, 11:23 am

    Admittedly, I bought a SIG brace about 6 months ago to specifically utilize it as a pseudo- “shouldering” device for an AR pistol I planned to build, but never did. The brace still sits in its box now, with original ATF letter.

    The verbiage in the article makes it fairly clear how the ATF has a real leg to stand on with its current “laws” and how it relates to the original intent letter to the ATF by the SIG brace designer. The ATF was approached with the expressed intent of the brace to be used as affixed to the forearm with the supplied strapping system for supporting the pistol–not using it as a shouldering device.

    I oppose the NFA and the existence of ATF wholeheartedly, but as it is right now, they exist and defying either, or both, can land you three squares a day in federal prison. Unconstitutional, yes, but protection of the Constitution is not their goal.

    The REAL argument that needs to be raised here is whether or not:

    1. Addition of the Sig brace remanufactures a pistol into a rifle, and,
    2. Is the method of handling a pistol when firing capable of being regulated?

    If the answer is “no” to either question, the ATF can pound sand.

    I’m not selling my Sig brace just yet.

    • DaveGinOly January 19, 2015, 2:34 pm

      If you put a weapon light on the rail of a handgun’s dust cover, and then fire the handgun while gripping the light, have you “redesigned” the light into a grip, and are you now in violation of the law for doing so? Sounds preposterous to me.

  • Ammo-up January 19, 2015, 10:15 am

    Keep in mind, the law with respect to this issue is presumptively on the side of the ATF. Unless you challenge this in court and prevail, if you act contrary to this ATF determination you would be considered as acting contrary to the law. Per the fourth paragraph from the end (the one that starts, “The GCA does not…) the ATF is saying their view in this letter is not without precedent. They have already taken the position on other devices that if you use a particular device in a manner other than that for which it was designed you have effectively “redesigned” the device. Whether or not you agree, whether or not this reasoning makes senses, again, the law is on the side of the ATF. Unless and until you challenge this in court and prevail, if you violate this new pronouncement you are violating the law. So, have an opinion. But if you go to the range and shoot your pistol with the arm stabilizer AS A RIFLE (i.e. holding it to your shoulder) you have broken the law and no amount of grousing will change that. And if the ATF comes knocking on your door you will be in a heap of trouble and stand to lose all of your gun rights. No amount of bravado is worth losing your gun rights. If you disagree, go to court. Until you legally change the law don’t flaunt it or you will end up with a lot more than a Constitutional rash over chafing at this letter. Don’t be stupid.

    • Jason M. January 19, 2015, 11:25 am

      Exactly. I don’t like it as much as the next guy, but this is the truth as it is right now.

    • DaveGinOly January 19, 2015, 2:20 pm

      Showing “no amount of bravado” will loose all of our gun rights – someone must be willing to stand up and resist, or the ATF will regulate our rights away over time.

      FYI, at a rally a few weeks ago, I violated a new state gun law (in front of witnesses) and went on the record as having done so (in an interview with NPR). Others were doing the same. Some bravado is necessary in order to resist. No bravado, no resistance. No resistance leads to the eventual loss of rights.

  • Fred January 19, 2015, 10:02 am

    First, I am a gun owner and a gun advocate, not an anti-gun nut. Everyone seems to be misquoting this letter. Nowhere in it does it say you cannot shoulder the Sig Brace or that it is illegal to do so. It says if you intend to do so you need to submit ATF Form 1 and pay the applicable fee ($200). That is what it says. Nothing more. If you want a rifle, buy one. If you need to shoulder your pistol to be accurate, you need more range time.

  • John January 19, 2015, 9:57 am

    If I understand correctly, as long as the device is not used from the shoulder it is legal. That seems to mean if someone should happen to put it up to their shoulder they have committed a felony. This kind of thing has already happened a few years ago when, shooting at a range, a person had an accidental multiple discharge. (I believe it was in Wisconsin though not sure) The man went to jail.
    Seems to me (though I am not a lawyer) this kind of ruling could be a form of entrapment.

  • wolfpack-bravo January 19, 2015, 9:54 am

    Gun control is not nor has it ever been about guns. It’s about control.
    The best way for a government to turn its citizens into subjects is to remove the citizens firearms. If we look throughout history we see this to be true. Nazi Germany is a great example.
    They pick away at out rights because we let them.
    When is enough, enough?

    • Eric Holder lol January 19, 2015, 4:54 pm

      Exactly! These issues are NOT about pieces of plastic or metal. They are about Human Behavior and CONTROL.
      As for some posters talking about ATF being asked too many times about it and then changing their mind, gotta call BS! Based on that theory I will call and write them everyday and say I want machine guns and no tax stamp, think they will get tired and say yes?

  • Dan January 19, 2015, 9:41 am


    The original intent of no short barrel rifles or short barrel shotguns was because they had no use to the “militia”. Last time I checked just about every serviceman in the military is carrying a sbr now and police and the military both use short barrel shotguns as well. The law is BS and we shouldn’t have to ask permission, pay uncle sugar, and register our weapons (for future confiscation) to cut a few inches off of our rifle. Unless you’re one of those “who needs one of them thangs to hunt?” crowd, in which case never mind and go back to watching Duck Dynasty.

    • Larry January 19, 2015, 11:21 am

      All your bitching and complaining won’t change a thing, except draw more attention to yourself in the wrong way. You will pay $$ as required, or be in violation of the Law. It’s quite simple. You don’t have to like it. Being an outspoken, bucking-the-system objector, will guarantee your name on more “lists”….than simple gun ownership.

      • E. Holder Jr. January 22, 2015, 9:10 pm

        You are grasping and over thinking. The letter specifically is talking about “stabilizing devices” like the SB-15 and how it can be redesigned as a shoulder stock. The intent of the letter is to stop the pistols that are not AR based or do not need a buffer tube to function from having a “stabilizing device” like the SB-15. You cannot redesign a buffer tube as it was never designed as a “stabilizing device” or approved by BATFE as a “stabilizing device”. It is a buffer tube. There can be nothing done about shouldering an AR pistol’s buffer tube as well as shouldering a 1911 main spring housing. The SB-15 was approved with the intent of using it one handed as provided by the inventor’s description. ATF’s definition for a handgun is a short barreled firearm, with a short stock, designed to be fired with one hand. It does not state you cannot use two hands and it futher does not state that you cannot shoulder a pistol. Finally, it is obvious that the redesign that the letter refers to is the “stabilization brace” that WAS designed to be fired with one hand now being redesigned by shouldering it. Details and specifics matter, not generalizations by one “open-letter”.

    • DaveGinOly January 19, 2015, 2:13 pm

      I have read that the SBR language was supposed to have been removed from the NFA at one point when it had been sent back to a committee for revision, but that it was mistakenly not removed. In other words, Congress didn’t have the intent to classify SBRs as NFA weapons, but they became classified due to a mistake made by the committee in charge of the bill.

  • Jay January 19, 2015, 9:36 am

    Okay..I gotta ask.. Why not just put the pistol’s buffer tube up to your shoulder. Yank off the brace, thus the brace cannot be ‘improperly used’, put some rubberized extension on the rear of the buffer tube for traction. The ruling regarding ‘no illegal way to hold a pistol’ still is stands doesn’t it? The new letter references the brace.. so..dump the brace. Or is there an inherent knowledge that the BATF will also make a move on shouldering pistols? Anything else I’m missing or overlooking?

    • Will Drider January 20, 2015, 11:46 pm

      Anwser: the Sig brace is the subject material of the Letter BUT the restricted/unlawful part only applies if you fire it (use it) from a sholdered stance (brace in contact with shoulder). Using the brace as a stock makes the pistol a restricted SBR. Now forget the brace. Just a AR pistol with bare buffer tube. Shoulder and fire that. By BATFE’s letter that would also be redesigned and the same threatened violations and penalities could logically apply. The Letter implies the BATFE can and will reach into other areas. Please first comment at top for how this will snow ball. Hope this helps. WR

  • Larry January 19, 2015, 8:22 am

    Just look at all the whiners……LOL. There is probably 1 in 1000 people, who actually want to have an AR pistol. The rest of you just like the brace, so you could get an SBR on the cheap. For those of you who are going to stand by the original letters released by the ATF, see what happens…..good luck with that.

    • Ronald Gervais January 19, 2015, 11:14 am

      I am tempted to just say GFY because of your apparent glee at others’ disappointment and move on but I won’t. Clearly it was not only because people “could get an SBR on the cheap.” The SIG brace was close to $200 until recently. SBR tax is also $200 so that’s a wash. Why people bought them was because as a pistol it opened avenues of ownership and possession not available to SBRs. I’ll explain: As a pistol it could be carried in a car on a CCW in states that prohibit loaded rifles in cars. Also there are states that ban SBRs outright for the commoners. If you want to cross a state line with your SBR you also have to file a paper with the ATF. There are also areas where while SBRs are legal the local CLEOs will not sign off which leads to having to set up a trust. More money, more hassle. All just to own a piece of metal arbitrarily defined as too short. Ridiculous. With a pistol you avoided all that mess. I think the biggest takeaway is that if it was such a huge problem there would be blood-soaked streets across our nation. I built my pistol with the *intent* (it’s a mind-crime otherwise) to have a pistol. I added a SIG brace to better stabilize it while shooting. If someone misuses (by shouldering it) it every now and then that does not change the intent as per the “Sgt. Bradley” letter.

      • DaveGinOly January 19, 2015, 2:05 pm

        Concerning “blood-soaked streets” – in all the history of NFA registration of firearms, only two registered firearms have been used to commit crimes. While some may look at this and say this proves registration makes for safer streets, I look at it and see this proves that law-abiding firearms owners, no matter how destructive their firearms may be, do not present a threat to their communities. Also, when the NFA rules were first adopted, there was no “instant background check.” These checks could easily substitute for the ATF background check, the $200 tax could be eliminated, and the community would be none the more endangered (because we already know that, statistically speaking, law-abiding firearms owners present ZERO threat to their communities). The NFA has demonstrated beyond doubt that it doesn’t actually provide a benefit; it merely acts as an obstacle to legitimate firearms ownership.

  • Eric Holder lol January 19, 2015, 7:23 am

    So if redesign is determined by physical use then a person who fires a semi auto rifle “too quickly” could be charged with having a machine gun so……………………fire one round then wait five seconds and then fire a second round.

  • YANKEEBILL January 19, 2015, 7:10 am


  • muleskinner January 19, 2015, 7:08 am

    And just how will the ATF know that you’ve shouldered your AR “Pistol” when you are at the range? Do you think they have spies everywhere that will swoop down with their black helicopters and take you away to never be seen or heard from again? Just refuse to comply with their illegal non law regulation…

    • BobaFett January 20, 2015, 12:20 pm

      Amen. I’m just going to carry on as if that silly letter was never written, and everyone else who owns one of these braces should do the same. In all of this flip-flopping, they’ve effectively tossed their own credibility out the window.

    • chris January 21, 2015, 1:27 am

      Drones and anti gun liberal idiots just hanging around a range ..

  • Flep Vandergaard January 19, 2015, 7:03 am

    By this logic, if I lay down on my sofa, instead of sitting upright on it, I have redesigned it. That is quite simply the most grabasstic pile of horse puckey trying to pass for smarts that I have ever heard of. BATFE approved the brace, and now that the genie is out of the bottle, they’re trying to shove it back in. Arbitrary and capricious are two words that BATFE should look up in their vaunted dictionary.

  • F. A. Grieger January 19, 2015, 6:35 am

    The Second Amendment; As Ratified by the States and Authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State; explicitly states:
    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
    There is nothing in this statement that is “open to interpretation”. In fact; the exact language must be taken in terms of its explicit meaning. It is clear that “to keep” — means to own. But the words “to bear”; are defined by every single english language dictionary as meaning “to carry”; within this context. In fact; The Merriam Webster dictionary goes further to define the word “bear” in the context of “bear arms”; by explicitly defining this as meaning “to carry”. Furthermore, the Tenth Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    It is clear within the meaning of these two Constitutional Amendments, that the states are therefore prohibited, from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. The words, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, are an explicit instruction to the States who ratified it, that this Constitution PROHIBITS TO THE STATES the power to infringe.

    Arms are defined by every English and legal dictionary as” Armaments, Weapons, and Ammunition. This covers any and every type of firearm.

    As such, every State in the Untied States; which has enacted laws against, owning, keeping, and carrying of arms (of any kind), is in direct violation of the United States Constitution. These States whose most egregious violation of the Constitution include but are not limited to: California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, The City of Chicago, District of Columbia, City of New York, and others.

    In accordance with the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution; every lawful citizen in the United States has the Constitutionally Guaranteed right to not only OWN, but to CARRY their weapon; as this right “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”.

    Of course, no intelligent person would argue; that common sense would dictate that certain citizens (convicted felons, the mentally ill, the criminally insane, etc).; should be prohibited from owning or carrying a firearm, and these laws already exist. The fact that these laws have been poorly enforced; is NOT a valid reason to further prohibit responsible law abiding citizens from being able to exercise their Constitutional Rights if they so choose. It is the feeble enforcement of our already existing laws that should be under attack……not the humble, hard-working, honest, law-abiding citizen who is just trying to work hard, earn a living, and who wants to have the right to own the tools required to protect their property, their lives, and their families from criminals, home-invaders, or a tyrannical government bent on confiscating an individual’s private property as we see being done in Cyprus.

    Those in government who are bent on confiscating our firearms; are the same ilk that confiscate more than half of everything we earn, and are working tirelessly to find ways to confiscate our assets and our property as well. It is their lust for the power to do the latter; which is why they are so zealous about achieving the former. We the People, had best think twice before allowing our clearly corrupt political officials into seducing us once again into trading our individual freedom, for the illusion of security. In the end, we will have neither.

    The RIGHT to KEEP (OWN) and BEAR (CARRY), shall NOT be INFRINGED……it doesn’t get any clearer than that.

    Definitions follow:

    From Merriam-Webster Definition of “TO BEAR”
    transitive verb
    1a : to move while holding up and supporting (something) b : to be equipped or furnished with (something)

    — bear arms
    1: to carry or possess arms
    2: to serve as a soldier

    From The Oxford Dictionary of the English Languge:
    Definition of “to bear”
    verb (past bore /bôr/; past participle borne /bôrn/)[with object]
    1 (of a person) to carry: — “he was bearing a tray of brimming glasses”
    bear arms
    1carry firearms. 2wear or display a coat of arms

  • Jon Leone January 19, 2015, 2:57 am

    This is crazy. How can we be expected to play by the rules when these idiots can’t even police themselves or get thier stories straight and pull their heads out of each others rear end. I have retained copies of all the original letters indicating it is legal to use from the shoulder and will continue to utilize the weapon as I intended from the get go. As far as im concerned im covered.I dare an atf person to attempting to confiscate my weapon. Its time people stop whining about these illegal activities and stand up for what they believe and what the constitution of this country states.nowhere does it state that the constitution is open for interpretation. Take a stand, they can’t throw us all in jail.

  • Will Drider January 18, 2015, 4:21 pm

    Why did the BATFE use a non government source to define “design and redesign”? Obviously because it fit their restrictive threatening agenda. The U.S. Government has this thing called the PATENT OFFICE. They clearly identify what original design is. They ALSO identify what constitutes a design change (redesign) of existing patents. This Office says alternative uses (Property) for a patented item without any changes to the patiented item can not be patented. Specifically: the new property like must not be “inherent” to the existing product or old idea. Based on the GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY on designs, BATFE position on design and redesign which places all its merit on “function” (use) would likely fail when challenged.

    • jeff hoss January 19, 2015, 8:01 am

      Will – You bring up a very good point. Unfortunately, we are seeing the Federal Government (and many States for that matter) take these types of actions on a regular basis. Unconstitutional, who cares, they recognize that they can apply an unconstitutional law, and get away with it for many years before it finally (if ever) makes it to the supreme court. The people of this country need to wake up and realize that we are under attack by a government that is firmly being controlled by The Banking elite. They do not care about America’s interests, they only care about self serving interests, and its self serving to take away anything that could be a threat, such as an armed Militia of the people.
      I dont know what the answer is, although I suspect its going to require us to come together and vote every last incumbent official in congress out of office in one fell swoop, and start over without the built in corruption.

    • DaveGinOly January 19, 2015, 1:30 pm

      The use of a standard dictionary definitions is common when interpreting statute. Unless a word, term, or phrase is defined/re-defined by the statute itself (i.e., it is used as “a word of art” – e.g., “when used in this section, the term XXX means…” or “when not otherwise defined, the term XXX means…” and so on), then standard dictionary definitions apply because the use of the word or term is that which is generally understood by the reader of average intelligence.

  • Will Drider January 18, 2015, 12:01 pm

    The BATFE letter is really going to stir the pot! Per this letter, the broader issue covered is even a bare buffer tube of a AR pistol placed against the sholder makes it a SBR. They have formally defined their definition of ” redesigned”. Which they apply to intent of physical usage. They say a pistol is designed for use by one hand.  A Sig brace is okay when used on one hand. Put it to shoulder then its redesigned to a SBR. The same exact application of this letter can and must apply to a bare buffer tube AR pistol. We clearly see all the cane tips, tennis balls rubber salt water fishing pole butt cushions fall to the same logic standard. Let’s take it to the next level of application.   By these terms if you shoot ANY handgun with two hands you have then used it in a fashion other then designed. Pure sequence logic. So what do we call a handgun fired with two hands? BATFE calls it a NFA AOW: Their letter from March 2006 on adding a verticle fore grip to a handgun says so. It references designed single hand use and by adding the grip it changes this to two hand use and that makes it a AOW.  Rember the new Letter speaks of design verses intent and usage. So if the BATFE can tag you for shouldering what is a pistol (shouldered useage changes it to a SBR) then two handed use of a handgun (use changes it to a AOW) and you could get tagged for that. Obserd, yes. In line with this BATFE Letter: YES!  Other then “use” in a crime, BATFE has never addressed how a otherwise legal item is used. Their examples are moot as there is another material item added to change the firearm/devices status to that of a restricted one.  Don’t the bumpfire type stocks also change “design” and “usage”. We know it does not make it a machine gun as the finger still initiates each round BUT this method and cyclic rate of fire changes the intent/use also: another case of function and use not per design. When will BATFE require bump fire stock firearms to be registered as a NFA destructive device or AOW. Don’t say they can’t because it dosent fit the NFA definition because the BATFE will do it anyway, same as a rifled barreled pistol is excluded from being a AOW if you want to add a verticle fore grip it must be registered as a AOW first.  No Law, No Codes address this, just a BATFE Letter.     BATFE DOES NOT ADD THESE INTIMIDATION LETTERS INTO THE LAWS, REGULATIONS OR CODES! Why? Because there is a reqiured review, comment period that must be done and all those issues must be addressed. So the BATFE CONTINUES TO OPERATE IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON THE “BECAUSE WE SAY SO” THREATS. BATFE puts all these Letters in their Q&A and quick reference guides but never into the Laws, Regs and Codes. I guess if your agency can do illegal gun running operations into Mexico which results in dozens of death AND no one in the agency is even criminally charged: you can just keep doing what ever the hell you want. I just can’t wait for Obama’s Presidential blanket Pardon for Eric Holder.

    • Rusty January 19, 2015, 1:42 pm

      I agree with the points.
      I also think the blanket pardoning is going to be real, for E. Holder, because of his recently announced resignation.
      Thus allowing the time to be tried and convicted before Obama leaves office.

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