Call to Action: Submit Your Comment on ATF’s New Arm Brace Rule Today!

Pistol braces are designed to allow users to shoot large-format pistols one-handed.

President Biden likes to call the “gun violence” problem in the United States a “national embarrassment.” But you know what’s really a national embarrassment? The ATF’s handling of the “arm brace” issue.

Gun owners feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football. The ATF has issued multiple “rulings” only to reverse course a few years later. In the latest back and forth, the agency declared in October that arm braces transform a large-format pistol into a short-barreled rifle only to rescind that ruling and promise further clarification.

When they released that “clarification,” the document was so vague and unclear the agency was forced to rescind that document and wait until the Biden administration took over.

Now they’ve officially proposed their “final” rule, and let me tell you—it’s just as embarrassing as everything else the ATF has cooked up, and gun owners need to make their voices heard.

Why the Rule is a Threat to All Gun Owners

Arm braces were designed to allow disabled veterans to fire large-format pistols one-handed. Usually, these braces are designed for AR-platform pistols (barrel shorter than 16”), and they’re attached to the buffer tube that normally accepts a collapsible stock.

Thanks to the ATF’s incompetence up to this point, millions of law-abiding gun owners purchased these arm braces with the belief that they do not magically transform an AR-pistol into a short-barreled rifle (SBR). SBRs are heavily regulated under the National Firearms Act, and possessing an unregistered SBR is a federal felony.

Under the ATF’s new proposed rule, however, many of these arm braces will be considered gun stocks, and attaching them to an AR-pistol could land an unsuspecting gun owner in federal prison. As a group of 140 lawmakers told the ATF in a letter dated June 14, the rule would turn millions of law-abiding citizens into felons overnight.

“The proposed guidance is alarming and jeopardizes the rights of law-abiding gun owners and disabled combat veterans across the country,” write the members of Congress.  

“Should this guidance go into effect, a disabled combat veteran who has chosen the best stabilizing brace for their disability is now a felon unless they turn in or destroy the firearm, destroy the brace, or pay a $200 tax,” they continue. “Furthermore, it could make millions of law-abiding citizens felons overnight.” 

The ATF provided an insanely unhelpful worksheet to determine whether a product is a “stock” or a “brace.” Many braces currently on the market would likely be considered stocks when paired with most AR-pistols, but the ATF gave itself an out even if a firearm somehow managed to meet all the criteria. The new rule states that the ATF “reserves the right to preclude classification as a pistol with a ‘stabilizing brace’ for any firearm that achieves an apparent qualifying score but is an attempt to make a ‘short-barreled rifle’ and circumvent the GCA or NFA.”

In other words, when it comes to arm braces, the ATF will do whatever it damn well pleases—and gun owners can take a hike.

Why Our Comments Could Make a Difference

The ATF brass doesn’t care about gun owners or the Second Amendment. That much is obvious. But they’re required by law to consider all valid comments when proposing a new rule, so it’s critical we flood the agency with respectful, effective comments voicing our opposition.

Here’s one reason to comment: good comments can help litigators fight the rule even after it’s been adopted. According to Harvard Law School, comments are crucial for future litigation: “Your comments help create the administrative record that a federal agency or decision-maker has to consider when finalizing a rule or regulation,” the law school points out.

In addition, if government agencies like the ATF fail to adequately consider public comments, a judge may invalidate the rule at a later date. In other words, if they move forward with the rule, they have to show that they’ve adequately addressed the concerns of the public. With each thoughtful, well-articulated comment advancing a new argument against the rule, that becomes more difficult.

Best Practices for Commenting

First thing’s fist. No profanity. As tempting as it may be, profanity is one of the only things that will get your comment immediately disqualified, and the ATF is looking for any reason to discount as many comments as they can.

Your comment doesn’t have to be long, but it must forward a logical argument as to why the ATF is wrong to implement this new rule for arm braces. As the Firearm Policy Coalition points out, “The more unique comments and different arguments the ATF receives, the more they will have to read and respond to (this is good)!”

Here are a few examples.

EFFECTIVE: “As an executive branch agency, the ATF should not be creating new laws, which is effectively what this rule does. I strongly oppose this rule’s new categorization of ‘arm brace.’ Such decisions should be left to the people’s representatives in Congress.”

EFFECTIVE: “This rule makes it almost impossible to know whether the ATF would consider a product an ‘arm brace’ or a ‘stock.’ For example, under the first criteria, users are supposed to determine whether a brace/stock is ‘based on a known shoulder stock design.’ It’s unreasonable to expect gun owners to know that, but it’s a critical part of determining the legality of a product under this new rule.”

EFFECTIVE: “I’m a law-abiding gun owner, but this new rule will make it impossible for me to know whether any given firearm or product is legal. I don’t want to go to jail just because a product that was legal is suddenly declared illegal based on an arbitrary decision by ATF leadership. The agency said just last year that these products do not turn an AR-pistol into an SBR. I strongly oppose this new rule.”

NOT EFFECTIVE: “The ATF is a Commie apparatus doing the bidding of an illegitimate president, the baby-eating Joe Biden! F— you!”

Some great recommendations by @fromtheguncounter.

How You Can Comment Right Now

There are a few different ways to comment, but if you’re reading this on a phone or computer (which you are), then you should comment via the online portal. This minimizes the chances that the ATF will be able to throw out your comment, and it ensures you’ll get your comment in before the August 19 deadline.

  1. Visit the comment page here.
  2. Click the blue “comment” button.
  3. Type your comment into the box.
  4. Say whether you’re an individual or organization, or want to make a comment anonymously.
  5. Enter the required information.
  6. Click submit.

As of June 16, over 59,000 people have submitted comments, and I haven’t been able to find a single one voicing support.

Click here to leave a comment.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Nick September 5, 2021, 8:02 pm

    Below is what I wrote to the ATF in case anyone wants a few additional points added to his/her comments:

    I am confused by the proposed actions that your agency wants to take against stabilizing braces. There are millions of said braces owned by countless citizens and yet so few crimes are being committed with guns that have stabilizing braces affixed to them. But of course, I do not have to tell your agency that because your agency has access to the same statistics I do. Therefore, one can only conclude that stabilizing braces are not the threat that your agency attempts to make them to be. Given that, I am sure it is easy for your agency to understand my confusion. Your agency is trying to solve a problem by not addressing the problem because stabilizing braces are clearly not a problem. That does not seem like a good way to solve a problem and does not seem rational in the least. Stabilizing braces are not even on the radar when it comes to the violence in society and yet somehow your agency is attempting to make them into something they are not and attempting to demonize them. The proposal to enact such restrictions on stabilizing braces, braces that are now and always have been 100% fine to be owned and used without any restrictions, is an over-reach and an infringement. And having citizens who own such tools be subject to such restrictions after the fact (after having bought them and used them legally all of these years, harming no one and not being a threat to society whatsoever), is just not right. How your agency can in good conscience do that to law abiding citizens, is something I cannot comprehend. It would be like changing the speed limit from 55 mph to 40 mph and then charging people with speeding who drove 55 mph prior to the change in the speed limit to 40 mph. And then to add insult to injury: Your agency would make said citizens pay a $200 NFA tax for each brace they own and go through the NFA red tape that will undoubtedly take months and months and months, which means their braces would be paper weights in the meantime. Therefore, said citizens would have the choice to pay that tax or destroy their braces (which cost lots of money as you well know) or commit a crime by not reporting they own them. Many of those citizens would not be able to afford that tax. That means poor people would be targeted. And given how so many minorities are not as well off financially: That means your agency would be targeting minorities. By today’s standards, that would be considered racist. To be clear, I am not accusing your agency of being racist. I am not one to throw around that term lightly, because it does a disservice to instances when racism is truly occurring. Having said that: There will be many that go that route and accuse your agency of racism. I believe your agency is made up of many good men and women who have common sense. If that is the case (and I hope that it is): Why is it then that your agency is making no sense when it comes to any of this and attempting to harm so many people? Is your agency getting pressure from those that want to take the rights of citizens away and your agency is caving to those pressures? Is it a money grab? What is it, because it is not a means to make society safer. for these restrictions will certainly not do that.

  • Joe August 30, 2021, 9:00 pm

    I have done my part and made my comment. With that being said,reguardless of how the outcome goes i will keep mine, use it as intended and enjoy it. If the atf wants it they are more than welcome to attempt to take it. I have gotten into the habit to have at least 1000 rounds loaded when at the range just in case I’m forced into a confrontation.

  • Rusty August 30, 2021, 7:54 am

    Couple of thoughts:

    1. Why wasn’t there this much uproar when the ATF banned BumpStocks??

    The time to stop the sliding down the slippery slope is when your first foot is on shaky ground, not when your whole body is sliding, and you are desperately clawing away to stop your fall.

    I was warning the TRUMPSTOCK ban would set a precedent that would enable more severe executive actions, but was laughed outa the chat rooms…

    2. What is the NRAs official stance? Will they be “disappointed “ on our behalf, again? Seems like a lot of dues go to these folks, for them to only be “DISAPPOINTED!!”

    3. Having pistol reviews with pictures of the reviewer shouldering the weapon is not the best course of action. This is a place where OUR media may have led to our downfall.

    • Kane August 30, 2021, 10:47 am

      The ATF did NOT ban the bump stocks. The ATF determined that the bumpstocks were NOT a violation of any federal law. Trump had no support from the Dems to pass legislation on the bumpstocks and he used an EO. Despite what is claimed on this MB over and over again the NRA did NOT support legislation or an ATF ban on the bumpstock. The NRA only urged Trump to proceed through the DOJ and the AFT as the NRA was concerned with past case law regarding semi-auto and the bumpstocks. The duplicity of the ATF should be clear to anyone who reviews the series of events. The NRA is certainly NOT above reproach but few times are the critics even close to accurate.

      • Rusty August 30, 2021, 4:13 pm

        So, Trump, the most 2A endorsed president in recent memory, BANNED an accessory that the ATF deemed acceptable, and not unlawful on multiple occasions??

        AND, we had bills supporting National Concealed Repricrocity AND removal of suppressors from the NFA introduced in Congress, WITH a 2A friendly majority, but all we ended up with is the TRUMPSTOCK BAN??

        When Obama moved to ban m855 ammo, the kickback was immediate, and fierce from the NRA; which ended that lil executive action charade.

        • Kane August 30, 2021, 10:30 pm

          What is the worth of any determination made by the AYF? I say the ATF sets law abiding gun owners up.

          Trump was playing politics and so was the NRA. Trump also protected the 2A rights of tens of thousands of Social Security beneficiaries who had a representative paye. BHO planted a poison pill in that Administrations policies.

          Go back 50 years or even 100 years and list the best 2A US Presidents in decending order so I can see who finishes above Trump.

  • John Linge August 23, 2021, 1:09 pm

    Has anyone thought of making an arm brace that fits on your arm and not the gun?
    Just a thought! 👍🏼

  • OldGuy August 23, 2021, 10:35 am

    Personally, I feel that the Biden/Harris handling of the exit from Afghanistan is a National Embarrassment.
    Just look at all those smelly guys wearing turbans and pajamas while carrying our rifles and having unfettered access to ammunition, rockets, Blackhawk Helicopters, and God only knows what else our Military left behind. We should attempt Nation Building in Foreign Countries, if we can’t get the job done here at Home. Everyone talks about how women are treated by the Taliban but women still are not drawing equal pay and equal benefits in many of America’s Top Corporations. American politicians are just a bunch of worthless hypocrites.

  • Nicholas August 23, 2021, 9:38 am

    I read these articles and the comments. For what reason other than to become aggravated is beyond me. There is something very, very wrong in the community that believes it knows anything at all about the RKBA. Unlike those who write these articles and comments, I have spent a great deal of time studying the subject in historical and lawful context. I have, myself, written several articles on the subject.
    The first thing anyone should note is that there are 27 words in the 2nd amendment, ALL have a lawful meaning, that tell us to reference the text in the original Constitution, for which this amendment was written. The entire Bill of Rights was written to enforce what is in the original Constitution, not to add or create anything, nor to be ignored with the ridiculous notion that they are some prefatory phrase.
    The Constitution was written by “We the People”, not a fiction of law called government. In this nation, while sovereign powers are delegated to agencies of government, sovereignty itself remains with the people, by whom, and for whom all government exists and acts. If this be the case, there must be a method for the people to enforce their “security”.
    Sure enough, the original Constitution commands that it is the Militia, as stated in the 2nd, that has the authority “to execute the Laws of the Union…” The Militia is, in history and law, a body of men enrolled for service to perform the Duty commanded by the Constitution. It is not a voluntary body where a bunch of people get together and train. It is a legitimate authority, with all the power of the People operating as the State. It is certainly not any of the groups out there calling themselves militias.
    This is not that difficult to understand, but within the 2nd amendment community they absolutely refuse to acknowledge the proper lawful function of the body that would stop and reverse all gun control.
    It is “A well regulated Militia” that secures our liberty, not an individual as the pro-2nd community insists. What is the purpose of the Constitution if neither public officials nor “We the People” are willing to abide by it?

    • Fire goat September 2, 2021, 3:00 pm

      So what does “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms …” mean then?
      Could that possibly be the same people as “we the People”?
      Of course.
      The Militia at that time was friends, Naybor, mountain men, anyone that VOLUNTEERED to fight.

  • S. Yardley July 26, 2021, 3:15 pm

    I have bought several Name Brand AR15 pistols, which came with the pistol brace installed and marked on the lower as pistol. I filled out the Federal forms paid my sales tax and now someone is going to decide that these firearms are illegal and I have to get rid of them or register it as a SBR even though it is by all definitions a pistol? REALLY? SBR is an acronym for short barrel rifle which it is not.

  • Glenn Snider individual July 23, 2021, 3:12 am

    New socialist government should spend money & time building new prisons for hardened criminals. Not taking guns & 2cnd amendment from legal gun owners used for protection & hunting.

  • Glen July 23, 2021, 1:13 am

    New socialist government should spend money & time building new prisons for hardened criminals. Not taking guns & 2cnd amendment from legal gun owners used for protection & hunting.

  • KMacK July 19, 2021, 2:58 pm

    Well, to a degree we brought this on ourselves. I can recall half a dozen times when contributor put the forearm brace to his shoulder and used it as a stock, so in a way we ourselves are responsible for this new bout of restrictions from BATFE.
    How to keep a forearm brace legal? If it is constructed so it CANNOT be put to the shoulder, that would work—say an extension of the rod past the actual forearm clamp far enough that using the brace from one’s shoulder could result in a broken bone. Alternately, the clamp itself could be so angled th at putting it against the shoulder would point the pistol at either the sky or at the ground. Finally, maybe some “decorative items” on the clamp itself that could cause a lot of pain and maybe some injury if it were used from the shoulder. Whatever we do, it has to be both BATFE and “Contributor” proof.

    • P Hubenette August 23, 2021, 9:18 am

      KMacK, your comment caught my eye. I agree with your initial thought that a handful of AR-15 Pistol Brace proponents have created the hysteria we are currently experiencing. If the AR-15 Pistol Brace was used as designed it would be a non-factor. When the ATF received huge push-back a few years ago, they amended their ruling to say “accidental / unintentional shouldering” of the brace was fine. It only took a few hours before the videos rolled out with people shouldering the brace.

      All this said, I am assuming that you have never shot an AR-15 rifle or pistol. No matter what setup you have on an AR-15 there is little to no recoil when the weapon is fired. Unfortunately, there is no way to re-design the firearm to produce breaking bones when fired. You can fire an AR-15, placing the end of the “Buffer Tube” on your forehead or nose, resulting in zero injury.
      It may be slightly uncomfortable but you can easily shoulder an AR-15 Pistol equipped with a standard “buffer tube”.
      Hypothetically, I have fired an AR-15 Pistol thousands of times with no “Pistol Brace” installed and have never had any issues hitting the “Bullseye” out to 250 yards.
      I have said it before and I will say it again… The AR-15 pistol brace is legit and a non-factor if used as designed.

    • DELCO August 23, 2021, 5:24 pm

      KMACK WHAT? You have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about. Brake bones? Or a feature that would cause the Gun to fire in some other direction? A clamp ? What are you talking about KMACK? Please don’t respond, what you say is irrelevant from now on.

  • GaryGary July 19, 2021, 9:13 am

    As most of us are aware it does seem that most of the firearm violence takes affect in our large cities. Rather than affecting our whole country with hap hazard laws perhaps it’s time to address the lawlessness which permeates our large urban areas ? ! Yet large cities like Chicago which has among the most strict firearm laws in America is leading the way in gun violence ! Problem solving begins by addressing the root cause of the problem. Most of us know what the root problem is yet more restrictive laws are a sick joke !

  • CHUCK HALL July 5, 2021, 7:55 am

    THANK YOU for a quick way to respond to the ATF, it was so easy to do.

  • DEFENDER July 5, 2021, 5:38 am

    “Gun Violence” or “Personal Violence” ?

    1) Hillary used to say:
    “53k people are killed every year by “Gun Violence”
    She did NOT SAY – that 80% of those were Suicides.
    A personal choice(Mercy Killing) – NOT – “Gun Violence”

    2) When a drunk driver kills someone with a car :
    We don’t Ban cars.
    We put the Drunk in jail.

  • Abdullah mujahid June 26, 2021, 11:13 pm

    It’s time to put all of our efforts into the crime not the product. Soon we’ll be in debate over knives,clubs etc. Nothing will cease violence in the world. To waist my taxes on this is a crime. Immigration laws have been made to be weak and schools are a mere shell 🐚of the once brilliant idea of teaching to make responsible children and children into adults. Teaching is dying in this country and our military is soon to feel these deficits

  • Allen Lewis June 26, 2021, 11:10 am

    This twisted and nebulous attempt does not do anything to solve the problem of gun violence .
    It does nothing but make a law abiding citizen a criminal .
    The BATFE is a regulatory body and NOT an elected official government body.
    Go after the gang bangers who are the real criminals when it comes to firearms abuse !!!

  • Michael June 25, 2021, 4:54 pm

    It is nice to provide a worksheet of how to write a comment to ATF, but it is a waste of time, and it is a waste of time to educate all of us with these updates about an agenda we read about and are asked to comment on as if we are dealing with rational, objective people in power, when we’re not. All your carefully crafted “opinions” go right into their circular filing cabinet, AFTER they added you to their WATCH list for future consideration.

    We are dealing with a moment in history across such a broad spectrum of assault on the U.S. Constitution, which willful and deliberate and without mercy or reverence to anything law abiding. You need to get in their face, take off the gloves and confront the government lap dogs for a Marxist agenda in the same way that parents are finally waking up and dealing with School Board Members for their racists theories about educating White America on our inherited sins that must be cleansed by our children K1 through College.

    ONE THIRD of the Republican Congress is WITHOUT BALLS. They are “moderates” in Trump clothing, and want to continue to be “civil” and call their “colleagues across the isle” their “friend.” These people need to go at the voting booth. So save all the polite placating logical and pragmatic arguments, notes and complaints to the ATF for taking them down through Congressional candidates that know how to play their Liberal, leftist, Marxist game with the same back stabbing “take no prisoners” attitude that they do to the Republicans and all who support them, and the Constitution. Because if you don’t get a new attitude, we all got a lot more to lose than arm braces and guns.

  • Paul June 25, 2021, 2:05 pm

    It is so wrong. We ha ve a WE ARE the 2nd Amendment! Its time we knock out the one in office who are not standing up and doing something about the Marxists takeover of this great nation!

    • Paul June 25, 2021, 2:08 pm

      Sorry knock out does not mean what many think it means I meant to say its time we elect those members of our government who will stand up for the citizenry of this great nation! We have and we are the 2nd Amendment. So tired of hearing those in office say one thing and do another! But then all elections are rigged so soon we will stand up to it

      • Charles July 26, 2021, 6:07 am

        I can tell the difference between an arm brace and shoulder stock. Don’t need any help there. Term Limits!

  • Dan Obrecht June 25, 2021, 9:20 am

    I believe that there will be no reasoning with this communist regime. Their only goal is to take all of our rights away a little at a time, till there will be no more resistance from all of us lowly citizens. Unless we do something to stop them right now!!!!

  • Dusty June 25, 2021, 8:16 am

    I look at any law that Obstructs or tries to obstruct the Second Amendment as treasonous and those people that try to make these laws need to be charged and tried for treason

  • Robert Lane June 25, 2021, 7:47 am

    NO “RULE” OVERRIDES MY SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT, PERIOD! SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED MEANS EXACTLY THAT.

  • Thomas Herrington June 25, 2021, 7:34 am

    I have opposed the new rule. Have you?

  • Frederick Robert Kopke June 25, 2021, 6:50 am

    they know that guns are not the problem. They do not care the want control of the people and do away with free market. taking our guns is just another step. Biden and thr lot need go they won by fake votes. they need be stopped before it to late. The ATF has no place making laws all law officers need go by the constitution they swore to uphold

  • Robbie Seal June 21, 2021, 9:12 am

    Done

    I have seen folks, who claim they will stand against any infringement, say that they won’t comment so they don’t end up on a list. If you are afraid to “end up on a list”, you won’t stand if they start enforcing these rules. Be heard now. If you wait till you have to bury your guns, it’ll be too late.

    • Ronnie June 25, 2021, 4:53 am

      The first problem is if you have to bury your gun this time to use them

  • Lento Wallace Woodruff June 21, 2021, 7:49 am

    Just another attempt by our federal government to chisel away at our 2nd amendment rights by a globalist, one world group bent on the destruction of the United States of America.

    We must stand and make our voices heard. Loud and very clear that we will not stand by any longer and allow or tolerate this erosion of our country. I also do not believe that polite, diplomatic dialogue and throwing money at politicians boasting that they are “Pro-Gun” is the way. It’s obvious to Me, (and a lot of other people) that “Voting” this agenda out has been compromised.

  • Richard Statton June 21, 2021, 7:49 am

    If the ATF the anti gun lobby spent as much time, energy and money eliminating criminals instead of trying to outlaw a piece of plastic we may solve the real problem.

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