Immediate Action Required For Firearms With Stabilizing Brace

Immediate Action Required For Firearms With Stabilizing Brace

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has moved the goalpost once again by issuing final rule 2021R-O8F, “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces.’” This new rule requires immediate action by May 31, 2023, by gun owners who possess a firearm with a Stabilizing Brace.

Steep Penalties For Otherwise Lawful Gun Owners

This ruling impacts countless lawful gun owners, many of who possess AR-style pistols. Failure to do so by the end of May constitutes unlawful possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or up to $10,000 in fines (26 U.S.C. 5861(d), 5871). In other words, it makes criminals out of lawful gun owners unless they register their firearm with ATF as a short-barreled rifle, remove the brace, or destroy the firearm completely.

This rule was, in theory, established with the intent to prevent gun owners from adding adjustable arm braces to pistols to transform them into short-barreled rifles. In practice, the decision represents another effort by the federal government to punish gun owners for exercising their otherwise lawful 2nd amendment rights.

To comply with the rule, gun owners can either register their firearm with the ATF by May 31st or permanently remove the brace and dispose of it. There is no fee to register your firearm with a stabilizing brace with the ATF.