EXCLUSIVE: Of the 40 Million Pistol Braces In Circulation, Here’s How Many Have Been Registered Under Biden’s New Rule

Pistol Brace
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Only 125,000 ATF Form 1’s Have Been Submitted!

At the Orchid Industry Firearm’s Conference held this month in Atlanta, Georgia, Marvin Richardson, the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), provided critical updates on the upcoming deadline for pistol brace ruling compliance. 

Attendees were informed that as of the end of April, only 125,000 ATF Form 1’s have been submitted, with the deadline set for May 31, 2023, to receive a free tax stamp and comply with the ruling.

Remember, ATF estimates that there are 3-7 million braces in circulation! At the low end (3 million braces), that means only 4% of pistol brace owners have complied with the new rule thus far.

But also remember that many believe the ATF estimate is conservative — including the Congressional Research Service (CRS). See, the CRS’s “unofficial” guess puts the range between 10 to 40 million pistol braces in civilian hands!

Again, take the low end (10 million braces), that would mean only about 1 percent of pistol brace owners have submitted the required paperwork to be in good legal standing. Unless things radically change in the ensuing days, millions of Americans could become felons literally overnight for simply owning an innocuous piece of plastic.

Richardson, who is second-in-command at ATF, revealed that the current average processing time for Form 1’s is 48 days. That’s pretty impressive, considering it’s a government bureaucracy.

However, it makes one wonder if the agency could handle 2.9 million submissions by that May 31st deadline.

Wait Time for Suppressors Largely UnAffected!

Silencer Central, a prominent suppressor manufacturer and distributor, who attended the event told GunsAmerica via email that it has not experienced any negative impact on demand or approval times due to the pistol brace Form 1 submissions.

The staff hired by ATF to process the Form 1’s appears to be a separate group of employees, as the agency promised at Shot Show 2023. 

Silencer Central has seen a rapid increase in daily approvals over the past few weeks, now receiving over 750 approvals daily with an average approval time of around 280 days.

If you’re in the market for a suppressor, have no fears. ATF can still handle your request. Visit Silencer Central to learn more about how to get a can ASAP.

The Pistol Brace Rule

The pistol brace ruling, signed by Attorney General Merrick Garland on January 13, 2023, as ATF final rule 2021R-08F, modifies the definition of “rifle” and outlines factors to be considered when evaluating firearms equipped with purported “stabilizing braces.” 

This rule aims to determine if such weapons would be classified as a “rifle” or “short-barreled rifle” under the Gun Control Act of 1968 or subject to regulation under the National Firearms Act.

ATF has claimed that this rule does not affect stabilizing braces specifically designed and intended for use by individuals with disabilities. However, in the same breath it says that a firearm with a stabilizing brace is classified as a short-barreled rifle, it must be registered no later than May 31, 2023.

With the deadline fast approaching, the agency is urging firearm owners to take the necessary steps to comply with the new rule, either by registering their weapons, modifying the barrel length, altering or disposing of the “stabilizing brace,” or turning in the firearm to the local ATF office.

NRA Backed Lawsuit

This update comes amidst a significant NRA-backed lawsuit involving half of the states in the nation. The plaintiffs filed the suit in North Dakota. It’s known as Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc. v. Merrick Garland. 

The lawsuit claims that the ATF greatly overstepped its boundaries by reclassifying braced pistols under the National Firearms Act (NFA). Some key points highlighted by the lawsuit include (via America’s 1st Freedom):

  • The ATF has repeatedly said braced pistols are not NFA firearms.
  • The ATF knew the move was a bad idea, but pushed forward with the new rule under President Joe Biden’s guidance.
  • The ruling affects millions more people than the ATF and Justice Department say it does.
  • In reclassifying braced pistols as SBRs, the ATF failed to heed the statutory text by which it is bound.
  • The rule is also unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare ATF’s new rule unlawful and set it aside, along with preliminarily and permanently enjoining the ATF from enforcing the rule.

Nullification Via Congressional Review Act?

In addition, House Republicans are hoping to nullify Biden’s new rule via a resolution.

Reps. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., and Richard Hudson, R-N.C., are leading the effort in the House of Representatives to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, as Fox News Reported last March. 

“Congress must swiftly move to block the ATF’s unconstitutional pistol brace rule, as this misguided measure turns millions of law-abiding gun owners, including many disabled veterans, into criminals for merely possessing legal firearms with stabilizing braces,” Clyde told Fox News Digital.

However, the resolution would need to clear both chambers with enough votes to override a (probable) Biden veto.  Which is, unfortunately, unlikely. 


Firearm owners, industry professionals, and pro-gun lawmakers alike are watching the developments surrounding the pistol brace ruling, as its impact on gun ownership and the Second Amendment is nothing short of gigantic.

As always, stay tuned for updates. This fight is far from over!

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

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  • Ame Rican Patriot May 12, 2023, 12:13 pm




  • John Wayne Gacey Manson May 9, 2023, 7:44 pm

    I’ve never wanted to be a felon more than now, in Bidenmerica 2023. Felons are the heroes of modern society. Felons get all the breaks. Felons get cashless bond and college grants. Felons get 15 minutes of fame on social media. Felons are instantly canonized as saints if some mortal fate befalls them.

  • Kane May 8, 2023, 2:13 pm

    Dettelbach did NOT even know what PETN is, a very common military high explosive used for generations. He is a lefty lawyer who will targett the law abiding citizens and change laws to make the political opposition to the left criminals. A career DOJ who never worked in the field but that is no guarantee of a good choice since Chipman was a dangerous official also. The fake POTUS appoints nothing but dangerous, evil clowns.

    If groups of White men were committing violent crimes at a small fraction of the rate of gangs of Black males then the full force of the Federal would hit America harder than an ICBM. That’s Black privilege folks. Hey, keep targetting the Catholic Church and the Oath Keepers while the feds, Hollywood and the teacher’s Unions destroy the fabric of the US.

  • James Gregg May 8, 2023, 2:04 pm

    I don’t believe the ATF will search for brace owners. But if the owner is involved in a gun issue with the braced pistol, the police could arrest them for being unregistered.

  • Cal May 5, 2023, 6:16 pm

    Corruptocrats, politicians and bureaucrats, in DC and State government and agencies, already know too much about Americans, both individually and collectively. THEY are, almost all of them, “domestic enemies” of We The People. “Resistance to Tyranny is obedience to God.”

  • Dojun Syntar May 5, 2023, 3:23 pm

    In conversations with several dealer in my area on this terrorizing plastic threat, you don’t even get a actual stamp on the paper work.
    Has anybody did this and got a stamp on their paper work?
    No one seems to know…

  • Mike May 5, 2023, 12:44 pm

    Director Dettlebach apparently testified in his recent hearing that all it takes to avoid any penalty is to remove the brace and keep it separated from the pistol. This is a contradiction to the published rule which states the brace must be destroyed or made not able to be reattached. I’m shocked that the ATF would give contradictory information.
    I’m surprised the numbers are so low but I applied on the first day and it took the ATF 9 weeks to Disapprove my application for a Daniel Defense PDW. I had selected the model as DDM4 PDW from the ATF drop down menu but the markings on the receiver only say DDM4 so the form 1 was rejected. Mind you the Manufacturer selected from the drop down menu as Daniel Defense doesn’t match the address on the receiver and that apparently is okay. The caliber markings on the receiver say multi, which is not an option from the drop down menu and that is apparently okay. The ATF’s review and acceptance of the eform 1 submittals seems to be arbitrary and capricious so I’m sure others have had problems with approvals as well. With their slow turn around time for review of the eform 1 and their apparent rejection criteria, it would not surprise me if the ATF ends up with a lot of information on rejected gun owners who are in violation of the new rule. Not really a good place to end up if you are a lawful gun owner who is just trying to stay legal by complying with very questionable administrative overreach.

  • Rick H May 5, 2023, 12:00 pm

    How are the ATF supposed to track the fact that someone bought a brace since most all of them were bought off the shelf. There is no paper trail for a purchase. They would have to literally search each and every home in America.

  • Walleye May 5, 2023, 10:02 am

    Lest we forget, it was Trump who tried to ban bump-stocks. The system is neither left or right, its against you!

    • Kb31416 May 12, 2023, 7:00 am


  • TexDad May 5, 2023, 9:32 am

    So the resolution would likely be vetoed by the very same bad actor of whom it disapproves.

    I’m not sure how that’s okay. A president with principles would see the conflict and abstain. Too bad we don’t have one of those.

  • David May 5, 2023, 8:57 am

    I think this information is crucial:

    18. Can I legally sell my “stabilizing brace” to someone who may be interested in making a short-barreled rifle (SBR)? Even after the tax forbearance period terminates?
    • ATF does not regulate the sale of firearm accessories.

    19. Is the “stabilizing brace,” by itself, an item that requires registration under NFA?
    • No, a “stabilizing brace” is an accessory and ATF does not regulate accessories. However, a firearm equipped with a “stabilizing brace” may be subject to registration if it is an SBR because it is “designed, redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” as described by the amended definition of “rifle” in the Code of Federal Regulations and has a barrel(s) of less than 16 inches or an overall length of less than 26 inches.

  • Richard May 5, 2023, 8:25 am

    Not registering shit.

  • Scott May 5, 2023, 8:15 am

    When CA banned “Assault rifles” registration was about 5%. They created over 250,000 armed criminals overnight. Nationally, this is much bigger. And if issuance isn’t immediate, they are doing background investigation of each. They are needlessly creating a criminal class larger than the armed forces. This is NOT freedom, NOT American.

  • Burnie May 5, 2023, 7:51 am

    I think America has spoken.

  • Greg May 5, 2023, 7:50 am

    Read the last 3 paragraphs of the BATFE ruling on pistol braces! Even they know the ruling in unenforceable!
    Until that process is separately implemented,
    and absent a substantial public safety
    concern, ATF will exercise its enforcement
    discretion not to enforce the registration
    provisions of the NFA against any person who,
    before publication of this notice, in good faith
    acquired, transferred, made, manufactured, or
    possessed an affected stabilizer-equipped
    This document is not an administrative
    determination that any particular weapon
    equipped with a stabilizing arm brace is a
    “firearm” under the NFA. To the extent that the
    ATF Director subsequently issues such a
    determination, the ATF Director, at the
    direction of the Attorney General, plans
    retroactively to exempt such firearms from the
    collection of NFA taxes, provided those
    firearms were made or acquired in good faith
    prior to the publication of this notice. See 26
    U.S.C. 7805.
    The contents of this document do not have
    the force and effect of law and are not meant
    to bind the public in any way. This document
    is intended only to provide clarity to the public
    regarding existing requirements under the law
    or Department policies. This guidance does
    not alter in any way the Department’s authority
    to enforce federal law and is not intended to,
    does not, and may not be relied upon to create
    any rights, substantive or procedural,
    enforceable at law by any party in any matter
    civil or criminal.

  • M16ark May 5, 2023, 6:57 am

    That is 125,000 too many! The aft/fat/atf will attempt to use these to set precedent to try and FORCE the rest of US into submission.

  • graceythecat May 5, 2023, 6:17 am

    it these commie democrat marxist fascist racist lying bunch of pedophiles would enforce the laws and rid our streets of these criminals America wouldn’t need more fire power !!!!!
    remove all democrats from all offices they are woke and broke.

  • XERXES036 May 5, 2023, 3:14 am

    Congratulations they played themselves….

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