ATF Rescinds Stabilizing Brace Notice

SB tactical, accept no substitute

The ATF has suddenly and unexpectedly backed off on its efforts to force owners of pistol braces to register their firearms equipped with them under the NFA.

“Upon further consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, ATF is withdrawing, pending further DOJ review, the notice and request for comments entitled, “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’,” that was published on December 18, 2020,” said ATF Associate Deputy Director Marvin G Richardson in a statement on Wednesday.

“The withdrawal of the guidance does not change any law, regulation, or other legally binding requirement,” added Richardson.

Since its initial announcement on Dec. 18, more than 48,000 comments were submitted to the federal registry, the vast majority of which were, presumably, from concerned brace owners and 2A advocates.

Undoubtedly, those comments were critical of the ATF’s purported guidance on regulating braces because an honest reading of it indicated that it was, at the very least, confusing and contradictory.

SEE ALSO: ATF Guidance Letter for Stabilizing Braces Says Each Firearm Considered on ‘Case by Case Basis’

Along with pressure from the public, congressional lawmakers also weighed in to oppose the move. In a letter published on Dec. 22, more than 80 representatives signed on to say the decision was “alarming” and that it “jeopardizes law-abiding gun owners across the country.”

Looking ahead, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, has said that it will continue to work with ATF to clarify the matter.

“NSSF has long requested the ATF to publish objective criteria by which firearm manufacturers can readily produce firearms equipped with arm braces in compliance with the law. To date, the criteria is subjective and open to interpretation on a case-by-case basis. The guidance proposed by the ATF last week did little, unfortunately, to clear the ambiguity that exists with subjective criteria,” NSSF said in a statement.

“NSSF is committed to working with the ATF, on behalf of firearm manufacturers, to establish objective criteria for stabilizing brace-equipped firearms. The firearm industry trade association will continue to monitor and provide updates on any further developments,” NSSF continued.

Bottom line, pistol brace owners can breathe a sigh of relief — at least for now.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Thomas December 30, 2020, 9:55 pm

    I always thought atf was a revenue department of the gov just like the irs the more taxes they collect the happier they are .

  • Thomas Mercer December 28, 2020, 12:32 am

    After reading all the comments I think it’s funny how half the people on this site think Trump is a Dictator and Biden was a land slide winner. The other half think the whole thing was fake and an illegitimate president is about to take power here very soon. In the past gun ownership sites were safely right, now the are 50/50…

  • Shanz December 26, 2020, 6:39 pm

    Crazy how many leftist trolls on GOA now. Sad. However freedom of speech so I don’t want them silenced just noticing tons more left wing propaganda crap. Dems and Rhinos and swamp dwellers love that we are seeing power shifting again from free peoples back to an entrenched iron fisted gov. Stand your ground fellow patriots. This cold civil war might heat up really quick. Our enemies are within and outside our borders. It will be a murky messy ambiguous conflict but I fear it is inevitable. Our Framers gave us the tools we need to succeed if we just unite instead of fight each other. Otherwise USA will become USSA. My home state of California where one party rules everything forever Is what you will get.

  • Zupglick December 25, 2020, 6:35 pm

    So why didn’t BATF talk with DOJ to begin with?

  • Nunya December 25, 2020, 3:47 pm

    I started to submit my comment but decided against it due to the “registration “ process. The way I see it is, this was just a way for the batfe to get an idea of how many citizens own these types of arms, or at least get an idea, geographically speaking, of possible resistance areas. Either way we can be sure this was a way for them to test the waters. Maybe it’s time for true patriots to elect reps whom share our 2A views as well as our constitutional republic views. Stay vigilant, stay calm, and stay informed.

  • mrpski December 25, 2020, 11:12 am

    I was one of those 48K+ comment submitters and my comments pretty much covered what the other 48K said. My comment included advice to the ATF that they should just admit they screwed up and drop the whole thing. I knew they would never ever admit to anything-shucks, they cannot even say what they are trying to say! Still, they dropped it & that is good enough for me.

  • Walter December 25, 2020, 11:01 am

    You guys are being needlessly negative. The 2 ChiCom agents Biden and Harris will never set foot inside the White House. Both are going to Gitmo.

    • Kane December 25, 2020, 3:03 pm

      You mean the “Gitmo” that Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama shut down years ago?

    • Max December 25, 2020, 4:33 pm

      I hope you are right, but the deep state is large and it’s an uphill battle for Trump.

  • Lloyd December 25, 2020, 10:33 am

    Does anyone know where BATF received it’s assumed authority?

    • Rattlerjake December 26, 2020, 1:24 am

      They have no authority, neither do any of the other alphabet agencies. The government cannot give itself authority that is not provided for in the Constitution. The Supreme Court already established that we the people have the right to ignore NOT-LAWS! ( The problem is that the majority of the general population refuses to get involved and stop this tyranny.

  • Dennis December 25, 2020, 9:58 am

    This move is worrisome. What is really going on? Did the ATF realize that their proposal was gun registration which is illegal under CURRENT law.

    Yes, the new illegal administration will be coming for your guns one way or another – either confiscation or tax you to compliance.

    • William Butler December 25, 2020, 10:27 am

      This is an action taking place with the current 2020 Republican administration.
      By the way, over 50 court cases have revealed the legitimacy of the next administration, and the atempt by the current administration to overthrow the the will of the people in a landslide. The coup by the current administration has failed.
      And, if the coup, if it would have succeeded, would have resulted in the dictator taking your guns away. All dictators do.

      • Tim S December 25, 2020, 11:22 am

        I guess you get all your news from the main stream media. Corruption has gotten so deep it reaches the USSC. China, corporations, and billionaires have bought off politicians, courts, prosecutors, and government agency leaders.

        Yes, it sounds like a “conspiracy” because it actually is. Keep believing the lies that have been told to you by both sides of the aisle. Governor Kemp keeps saying Georgia was a clean election. I challenge you to do your research yourself on Ruby Freeman, Shaye Moss, and Lawrence Sloan. These are the three that have the best evidence against them. The others that stayed in the room to continue counting had to be aware as well.

        William Barr was either a coward or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Either way, he failed our country.

      • ShamelessOne December 25, 2020, 2:27 pm

        Coup? WTF are you talking about? A landslide? Check the margins. And whether legitimate or not, the incoming administration is going to make it harder on legal gun owners without having any impact on inner city crime and illegal ownership. Get a clue.

      • Kane December 25, 2020, 3:10 pm

        Of those 50 cases, how many were heard on legal merit?

        • michael smith December 25, 2020, 8:07 pm

          2020 was the year I finally got educated and gave up on politicians. DC and the deep state.

      • Peter Faz December 26, 2020, 11:27 am

        Nice propaganda spew .

  • Eric December 25, 2020, 9:08 am

    What a bunch of silliness. ATF, if you’re listening, this is an example of why gun owners get pretty frustrated with you. Start, stop! Forward, backward!

    Anyway, guess I’m good to go, for now.

  • RSConsulting December 25, 2020, 8:22 am

    “Bottom line, pistol brace owners can breathe a sigh of relief — at least for now.”

    However short-lived.

    This was a “test balloon”, for what the (likely) incoming administration can get away with.

    Remember – absent a “specific statute”, classification of where a particular firearm/accessory falls out in the current regulations, is based SOLELY ON AN OPINION from ATF’s “technical division”. And, despite 2A implications – that opinion ONLY COVERS THE ITEM EXAMINED. So (again, despite 2A) – it was wrong of ALL BRACE MANUFACTURERS to consider that just because a particular SBA Brace was approved (due to an opinion that is always subject to change) NOT ALL BRACES ARE COVERED under that approval.

    The reality is – that anyone who does NOT STRAP THE BRACE TO THEIR ARM WHILE SHOOTING – is using the firearm as an SBR. We all slap each other on the back for “getting away with it” – especially after ATF removed the ridiculous “you have to hold it on your cheek” opinion.

    WE ALL SHOULDER OUR BRACED PISTOLS. If nothing else – let’s at least exercise some honesty here.

    And with the incoming administration’s position on the 2A – we’re looking at an UPHILL BATTLE. Being that opinions do not hold the FORCE OF STATUTE, and absent an actual statute – ATF could change their minds (opinion) at ANY POINT, without ANY JUSTIFICATION – and make all of them illegal (or require registration).

    My MPX & MCX could go back to using a sling to extend and stabilize. Won’t be as much fun to shoot (or as accurate) as the shouldered brace.

    Personally – I consider a pistol as “something I can carry in a holster or otherwise on my person”. I carried my Uzi Pistol in a holster for a day or two awhile back (as ridiculous as that sounds), just for laughs. I don’t see myself carrying my MPX in a holster.

    Again – 2A “anything goes” sentiments aside – I’m also a REALIST.

    At issue here – is the same thing as when “bumpstocks” were outlawed. The “de facto confiscation” of personal property, without compensation. This is the risk of owning something based on an “opinion”, versus STATUTE.

    Most of us likely only have ONE of these types of firearms at risk. They are somewhat of a “novelty item”. I did a pistol upper on my AR, and didn’t really care for it, but I LOVE my MPX (even though I wouldn;t mind putting a 16″ barrel on it and make it into a carbine – though it was still “born a pistol”, and legally will always BE A PISTOL – doom on Sig for not having ANY PARTS available for these guns).

    The road in the future is going to be A LOT ROUGHER under a Harris administration (no joke). And they’ll get around to the braces again – WITHOUT ASKING US WHAT WE THINK.


  • huckleberry muckelroy December 25, 2020, 7:43 am

    My Rep here in TX-02, Dan Crenshaw, takes credit for this. But like the rooster, Danny also takes credit for the Sun coming up this morning. He is an idiot.

  • Kent December 25, 2020, 7:34 am

    This is only a temporary move by the Rogue ATF. They will be back in full force after the inauguration.

  • Dogman197 December 25, 2020, 7:34 am

    Brace or no brace, it will make no difference when Beto comes for your firearms.

    • Zupglick December 25, 2020, 6:40 pm

      Beto hasn’t the guts to show up. He’ll send the jack-booted minions.

    • Pete Faz December 26, 2020, 11:30 am

      “Beto” should leave man work to men

  • Ghost December 25, 2020, 7:30 am

    Don’t think for a minute that the ATF has backed off, this is only temporary move. They will be back with Biden & Harris backing. Remember Waco/Ruby Ridge..

  • michael December 25, 2020, 7:23 am

    “A gun is as good as the man who uses it”. Now let’s move onto Constitutional Carry for US citizens. ATF another bureaucracy no longer needed. If it ever had any usefulness is up for debate.

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