New felony: ATF now forcing federal registration of popular short rifles

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Big bore lover
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New felony: ATF now forcing federal registration of popular short rifles

Post by Big bore lover »

I don't know if anyone has seen this and I thought it important to pass it on.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reportedly changed a key gun measuring standard that is reclassifying popular rifles if they have a stabilizing brace.

In an ATF letter obtained by firearms legal expert, attorney Adam Kraut, the ATF is no longer allowing rifle measurements to include some collapsible stocks with “stabilizing braces,” meaning that many popular sporting rifles will now be under their standard length and subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations.

Rifles fitted with a stabilizing brace that once measured more than 26″ overall length (exempting it from NFA regulations) are now not allowed to include the brace in its overall length measurement, meaning if it now falls under 26″ under the new measurement, they are now subject to NFA regulation.

“In contrast to stocks on rifles or shotguns…’stabilizing braces’ are merely accessories and not relevant to the classification of a ‘pistol’ under the statutory definition. That is, a folding stock on a rifle or shotgun is included in overall length measurements because the firearm must be ‘designed or redesigned….and intended to be fired from the shoulder‘ to be so classified. The stock is therefore an essential element in the statutory definition,” the ATF said in the letter obtained by Kraut. ... Kmw_4Xlxjw
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Post by RyanHK21EOwner »

Received the memo about this from the NFATCA ~

I bet 80% of the people out there who own these types of firearms won’t receive the update like we just did...

This could be a major problem down the line especially with the intent view of the LAW as the firearms in question were assembled legally and sold legally as whole guns prior.

This is the problem with Fed Agencies switching around rulings, interpretations and the law on a whim...
The Storm is coming on the Horizon...

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Post by 556pro »

So...... no vert grip no problem? That's my take away.

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Post by Odessaman »

This is not intended to flame Big Bore Lover - it's good to post examples of poor gun journalism so we can discuss them and squelch misinterpretations and misstatements of law before they become panic-breeding gun store urban legends.

I don't know who Laura Widener (the author of the article linked in the OP) is, but she obviously doesn't know sh*t about the subject, and American Military News needs to do a better job of vetting their writers before publishing their work.

Here's a more authoritative and accurate discussion of the ATF opinion, by attorney Adam Kraut, who recently ran for a position on the NRA board of directors: ... ing-brace/

Here's a copy of the actual ATF letter in question: ... dacted.pdf

It appears to me that Ms. Widener did a poor job of plagiarizing Mr. Kraut's comments, and due to her unfamiliarity with the topic, butchered them to the point of implying that pistols equipped with stabilizing braces are now subject to the NFA, and failure to register them with ATF is now a felony - which is not true.

Here's what's important to take from this opinion:
If you have a firearm originally manufactured as a pistol, and it's under 26" long without including a factory installed or aftermarket stabilizer brace in the measurment then don't put a vertical foregrip on it - because it's then considered an AOW, subject to the NFA. Period.
Last edited by Odessaman on Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Villafuego »

It isn't a rifle if it has a "brace" on it......and they are measured differently since a "brace" isn't a stock......

There comes a point where it is actually simpler and cheaper to just pay the 200.00 for a stamp so you don't have to carry around a firearms-legality flow-chart explaining how your >26" braced pistol is not an SBR but a "firearm" and even with a VFG it isn't an AOW.......'s always been a felony to use a brace as a stock if your "intent" is to subvert NFA/SBR registration requirements....just thought I'd throw that in there

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Post by Lastrites »

The safe gray area many AR pistol owners followed was always to measure to the end of receiver extension for OAL, then with that atf raid up north seemed to change that with measuring braces extended or folded if a LAW was attached. Seems we've come full circle back to where most prudent owners would have previously measured and the added new twists of if it folds and the tid bit on the receiver extension cannot have superfluous additonal material, . Shocking... :shock:

There are work arounds for the superfluous addtional material receiver extensions to add length, not so much for the folding devices.

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Post by Big bore lover »

Thanks Odessaman,
I simply wanted to pass on the limited info that was sent to me as it was the first time I had seen it. I greatly appreciate the info you posted. Once again, thanks
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Post by N4KVE »

So does this only affect braces that fold? I’m guessing since AR’s require the buffer tube which does not fold, they would remain unaffected. I’ve always been of the thought that the brace was a loophole, being invented for a shooter with one arm, who can not support a fore grip. Funny, all the AR pistols I sold for Gun Country that came with a brace, none of the buyers were one armed. But the folding brace really stretched the rules, & the sleeping bear again “woke up”. In my opinion, the brace one day will go the way of the bump stock. Just buy a freaking stamp, & do it right. GARY.

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Post by rentprop1 »

ranges are starting to enforce the inadvertent shouldering of the brace, do it once you get a warning, do it twice, pack yo shit and get out.

you ever cheek rested one and looked in the mirror :roll: ....yes thats me laughing AT you at the range :mrgreen:

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Post by Wakko »

There is nothing illegal about shouldering a brace, providing it's still set up AS a brace. Don't take the strap off or make it adjustable. The ATF has ruled on this already.

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