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New Twist in the SIG Brace Debate


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If they are going to say use determines status then I will drop some full auto parts in my guns, so long as I only fire in semi auto I should be fine right?

 

Hell, any SBR would be cool without stamp,  as long as you put stock on hip or chest instead of shoulder, eh?

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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Hell, any SBR would be cool without stamp,  as long as you put stock on hip or chest instead of shoulder, eh?

 

- OS

Exactly what I was just thinking... What happens if I "brace" the sig brace between my arm and torso? It is not "shouldering" but is still not being used as designed. Did I just break the law? If I shoot my carbine in the same manner did I just break the law since I didn't shoulder it?

 

Lots of minefields for the ATF to fall in but I sure don't want to be the one determining case law...

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I think I will be the guy to invent a little right angle periscope thingy to mount on my aimpoints. Then, I can trap the gun between my arm and torso and still use my red dot.

 

Even better would be to invent a projectable (is that a word?) holograph that would put a virtual red dot in front of my face while I hold the rifle down low.

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I just think ATF is not going to be able to get around the fact that what makes an SBR an SBR is the the inclusion of a stock with the short barrel or short OAL, and that a stock is what is required for a firearm to be "designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder".

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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Once it is classified as a stock I will put my single point sling back on. I can get a decent cheek weld on it. Not as good as a regular stock but still good enough to shoot very accurately at what I would call normal self defense distances.

 

In the meantime if I ever have to use that 5.56 pistol in defense of my life I guess I will deal with the fallout at that time.

 

Mark

 

Would this not make the buffer tube a stock in the same way as shouldering the sig brace? Then they would have to make all buffer tubes illegal.

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Would this not make the buffer tube a stock in the same way as shouldering the sig brace? Then they would have to make all buffer tubes illegal.

that was the question I was going to pose as well.  Really broad wording. How about buffer tube cheek-weld?

Edited by R_Bert
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I'd guess that ATF wishes it had simply called these things stocks in the first place, even though they'd get whatever flak from handicapped factions.

 

Of course, they could have at least required that a "brace" be of some design that nobody in his right mind would choose to try and shoulder in the first place.

 

- OS

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Just found this...
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/01/foghorn/breaking-ca-man-charged-owning-sbr-pistol-brace-equipped-ar-15/

 

Late this morning (like, midnight ish) three men participated in an armed home invasion in California. One of the men was using an AR-15 pistol equipped with a pistol arm brace. The men were caught and arrested, but instead of simply being charged with the usual weapons related felonies the California police decided to tack on the charge of “possession of a short barreled rifle.” This is a state statute and not a Federal one being charged, but it still doesn’t bode well for others . . .

 

From a local source:

According to Turlock police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis, three suspects, one armed with an AR-15, entered the home and forcefully took several items from a resident.

Justin Singh and Adari allegedly took the victim’s purse and other personal items while Austin Singh waited by the door with the AR-15, said Lewis. The suspects then fled in a white SUV.

[…]

Authorities located the assault rifle, with the laser sight on, in the vehicle, according to Ceres SWAT. A large quantity of marijuana was also located.

[…]

Justin and Austin Singh were both arrested for robbery, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a short-barrelled rifle, and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Justin Singh was also arrested for violation of his probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Adari was arrested for robbery and possession of an assault weapon.

So, before we get ahead of ourselves, the California statute is MUCH more broad in its definition of a “short barreled rifle” than the Federal law that the ATF just recently clarified:

As used in Sections 16530 and 16640, Sections 17720 to 17730, inclusive, Section 17740, Article 1 (commencing with Section 27500) of Chapter 4 of Division 6 of Title 4, and Article 1 (commencing with Section 33210) of Chapter 8 of Division 10 of Title 4, “short-barreled rifle” means any of the following:
(a) A rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(b ) A rifle with an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(c) Any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if that weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(d) Any device that may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge which, when so restored, is a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive.
(e) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a device into a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.

While the statute is more broad than the Federal version, it still takes some wiggling to fit the arm brace equipped AR-15 into one of these categories. In fact, the felons in question have a pretty good chance that the judge can and will throw out the charge, like they did when the ATF tried to make their claim that a vertical foregrip constituted an AOW and the court threw out the charge (U.S. v. Davis, Crim No. 8:93-106 (D.S.C. 1993) ).

We will keep an eye on the situation, stay tuned.

Edited by whitewolf001
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If they must do this kind of thing, they should just tack on that it's only unlawful ".... in the commission of a felony"  as a catchall so that the law abiding citizens can just drive on and not have to worry about if what they're doing is breaking the law this week.

Edited by Refleks
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Just found this...
http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/01/foghorn/breaking-ca-man-charged-owning-sbr-pistol-brace-equipped-ar-15/

 

Late this morning (like, midnight ish) three men participated in an armed home invasion in California. One of the men was using an AR-15 pistol equipped with a pistol arm brace. The men were caught and arrested, but instead of simply being charged with the usual weapons related felonies the California police decided to tack on the charge of “possession of a short barreled rifle.” This is a state statute and not a Federal one being charged, but it still doesn’t bode well for others . . .

..

 

Well, not exactly the test case I had in mind. :)

 

After all, states can have all kinds of more restrictive legislation than federal. Hell, a few states don't even allow SBR at all, so you can't even have one with federal tax stamp.

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
  • Like 1
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Well, not exactly the test case I had in mind. :)

After all, states can have all kinds of more restrictive legislation than federal. Hell, a few states don't even allow SBR at all, so you can't even have one with federal tax stamp.

- OS

My exact thoughts were, "well that was quick".

Sent from the future using a flux capacitor.
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My exact thoughts were, "well that was quick".

 

Methinks it is likely just ironic coincidence.

 

I'm wondering if ATF even wants to go there by prosecuting anyone. Last time that sort of thing happened led to the Thompson decision by SCOTUS, where ATF lost significant leeway for prosecution.

 

I'm still thinking ATF will be content to just continue its tradition of intimidation via the FUD route.

 

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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They could also opine that a "pistol" may not contact anything other than the hand(s) while firing after all that is how the definition reads. Imagine the stir up that would cause if you could no longer shoulder a bare buffer tube and that you MUST shoot it using a SINGLE hand as the definition states.

 

Wonder what the odds are that the first person who gets caught is from a state that has the Freedom Firearms Act in place. And if so I wonder if the state would defend the person from the feds. I doubt it as most states passed it as nothing more than a way to get votes.

 

 

This is less oriented towards preventing gun crime, and more aimed towards making sure they don't miss out on tax revenue.

 

If a crazy criminal has decided to disobey the law by murdering people, I'm pretty certain they're not going to care about the lesser crime of misusing their sig brace in the process according to how the ATF happens to feel about it this week.  But hammer some dumb kid at the range who doesn't know any better since they don't sit on their ass and research this all day, and are not lawyers, and suddenly they've caught a criminal and that's a win for the system, just another indication the system works, praise the flag.

 

If they absolutely just must spend all day being extremely wishy washy and ensuring there is enough vagueness that they can basically change their minds on a whim about trivial, barely enforceable things instead of, you know, going out and stopping bad people, then they should just tack on that it's only unlawful ".... in the commission of a felony"  so that there isn't so much confusion.

 

If they wanted more revenue all they would have to do is figure out a way to do quicker approvals. I have talked to a lot of people about NFA stuff and the vast majority do not get into it because of the wait times, not cost. Most people, including me, hate tying up cash for the amount of time it takes to get approved. Even the month it takes to get an eFile approved is way too long. If nothing else do a frequent flyer program that after your initial wait you are issued a unique ID number that allows you to do an instant purchase with only an instant NICS background. The NFA program could easily make a profit for the government if run correctly. I mean the system hasn't really changed since its inception in 1934. You still fill out some paperwork, pay $200 and wait for the approval .

 

Personally the NFA, in its entirety, should be done away with. All you should have to do is the same background check you do right now then walk out with your SBR, SBS, silencer, AOW or machine gun. If something needs to be regulated then regulate the person and not the item. If it were MY country anyone can own anything and the ONLY people who would be "regulated" are those who have proven to be violent. I don't care if you are a felon 100X over, if the crimes are not violent in nature you should be allowed to own anything you want but if you have a violent misdemeanor you loose your immediate right to own a firearm. But even if you have lost your right to own a firearm you have a means to restore those rights. It will not be easy or quick but it will be possible.

  • Like 2
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This is so poorly written and legally ambiguous that it is worthless. Now, when and if it is challenged the courts may allow them to rewrite the language using their guidance like they did with Obamacare.
I'm just still amazed that after all this time, the ATF couldn't write a better thought out argument.
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This is so poorly written and legally ambiguous that it is worthless. Now, when and if it is challenged the courts may allow them to rewrite the language using their guidance like they did with Obamacare.
I'm just still amazed that after all this time, the ATF couldn't write a better thought out argument.

 

This guy Kingery may turn out to be a real pariah for them. I wonder if he is favorite of Todd Jones,  Obama's hand picked director from the outside,

 

- OS

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Soooooo, anyone looking at ditching their braces? Not for selling purposes, just curious in all honesty.

 

Well, I do have a Sig 556r that I bought with an and Arm Brace. and I put one on a PAPM85. So I guess I could worry about it or just wait and see what happens. 

 

The M85 wouldn't be too bad as a straightforward pistol, but that 556R is one heavy sob as a pistol form.

 

So, I guess my answer would be no for now.

  • Like 1
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I just got this in Email from the BATFE:

 

 

 

OPEN LETTER ON THE REDESIGN OF “STABILIZING BRACES”

 

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….” (Emphasis added).

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, inRevenue 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 fire_tech@atf.gov or by phone at (304) 616-4300.

 

 

Max M. Kingery

Acting Chief

Firearms Technology Criminal Branch

Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division

 

 

*This letter can also be found on http://www.atf.gov/content/Firearms/firearms-industry under the "News" tab. 

 

 

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The guy that was charged with possession of an SBR, won't be the test case. He was charged under a California state statute not a federal statute. Therefore whatever the judge rules will only relate to the California law. It seems like they were tying to throw the book at this guy and it is likely the charge will be thrown out and they will only pursue the other charges.

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