Leaks Show Multiple Companies Targeted Over Pistol Braces & History of ATF Hostility


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U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- In 2019, According to sources at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATF), the former Department Assistant Director of Enforcement Programs and Services, Curtis W Gilbert, discussed pistol braces at multiple meetings with other ATF employees. In his opinion, pistol braces, specifically the SB Tactical SBA4, are stocks.

He hinted that the ATF would take regulatory action against the devices designed to help disabled people use firearms.

The current Department Assistant Director of Enforcement Programs and Services Andrew Graham has also expressed hostility to pistol braces in internal ATF meetings with staff members. AmmoLand News sources believe that the ATF didn’t move on the pistol braces earlier because the agency didn’t think they had the political capital to regulate braces.

The ATF’s law enforcement side sent a cease and desist letter to Q, LLC, with the presidential election closing in next month. The agency targeted Q’s Honey Badger AR pistol equipped with a brace and a barrel less than 16 inches in length. The agency told Q that they believed that the AR pistol was a short-barreled rifle and violated the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Many believe that the ATF used its enforcement side of the Bureau because the Department of Justice blocked the agency’s industry side from making a move on the legality of pistol braces.

Q, LLC is the only company to go public that the ATF sent it a cease and desist letter over a firearm with a pistol brace. Multiple sources have confirmed that the ATF has served additional companies with similar cease and desist letters. The ATF believes that certain manufactures have pushed past the legal boundaries of what is considered a pistol brace.

While AmmoLand News was able to verify that the ATF has recently sent out letters to other manufacturers it has not obtained the names of the targeted companies. It is not clear if these companies have received their cease and desist letters or if they will get the same 60-day stay as Q, LLC. The ATF suspended the Honey Badger’s cease and desist letter for 60 days.

It seems ATF heads in Washington DC, do not like the increased public attention on the agency’s erratic actions on the pistol braces in question. When asked ATF agents and employees are not permitted to comment or answer questions on pistol braces’ legality.

The Whitehouse and the Department of Justice are well aware of the public outrage over the ATF’s arbitrary decision on the devices. Gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and the Firearms Policy Coalition have put immense pressure on the federal government to reign in what they see as the rogue agency.

Curtis W Gilbert is now the Assistant Director for The Office of Public Government Affairs. AmmoLand News has several FOIA requests with the ATF over pistol braces. Any companies that received a cease and desist letter from the ATF is asked to contact AmmoLand to speak on or off the record.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.


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I see that this post is old. I still feel compelled to comment. Ever since President Trump banned bump stocks using regulations from the department of justice, I’ve been saying all over the gun blogs that the next Democratic president will ban braces and binary triggers. Let’s face facts, these are NFA workarounds. Pistol braces are clearly short barrel rifles, and binary trigger‘s are clearly automatic weapons. I know they don’t fit the exact definition, but as a thinking person that is plainly what they are. Very clever workarounds of the NFA requirements for SBR’s and Full Auto. The hysterical… Read more »


“He hinted that the ATF would take regulatory action against the devices designed to help disabled people use firearms.” The underlined portion of the previous sentance is one of the funnitest things I’ve heard regarding the “brace” issue. You probably can’t find many pictures of a “brace” being used as “…designed to help disabled people use firearms.” but you sure can find LOTS of evidence of these “appliances” to assist disabled people use firearms being abused and “shouldered” in a lame attempt to circumvent the current NFA short barrel rifle statutes. One of the best examples of this are in… Read more »


laws that are contrary to the second amendment should be circumvented. I see no wording in the amendment about “keep and bear arms, but only if they’re long and have shoulder stocks” the crux of the matter is, they’re currently legal no matter what your opinion of them is. and suddenly making them illegal turns a lot of your fellow gun owners into instant felons. do you really think if you feed people who use these braces to the crocodiles, they’ll be full by the time they get to you? the crocodiles are never full, and whatever it is you… Read more »


This is exactly I figured the ATF was going to do, approve the pistols with a brace, once many are sold declare them illegal.


Didn’t Heller set precedent that devices in common use cannot be banned? Would love to learn that allowing pseudo SBRs was a plot against the NFA. Braces are in common use, braces are SBRs, thus SBRs cannot be banned – power to tax is power to destroy, thus NFA is a ban rather than a tax.

Even if NFA was a tax, failure to pay $200 taxes does not bear such draconian punishment for any other taxes. Penalties are excessive and not compatible with 8th amendment.


The BATFE has long had a record of changing the rules, changing test data, and falsifying test data to make gun owners liable for jail sentences. And it has proceeded to jail some of them ! They are responsible only to themselves and make or change the rules as they go along. They have a history of baiting innocent civilians to do their dirty work and have, with the help of the complicit FBI, actually murdered innocent people on the SUPPOSITION of a law being broken. They have no function that can’t be done by divisions of other agencies who… Read more »


Gilbert – an un-elected bureaucrat – is pretty blatant in “his opinion” and gives no rational explanation for his stance. THAT is what is wrong with the whole organization. We are at the whim of such people.


ATF is worthless and a disgrace to any and all legitimate law enforcement agencies.

uncle dudley

Simple servants at the ATF are not elected officials and they shouldn’t be allowed to set any policy, are these Biden/Harris supporters trying to impose their beliefs on law abiding Americans.
They need to stop with the B.S.


From what I have read, the Bureaucratic ATF / BATF / ATFE was set up ILLEGALLY. CONGRESS IS the only body in OUR government that can establish or make a LAW. In the instance of the “atf” bureaucracy, a “leading member” of the “irs” created the Bureaucracy of the “atf”. Thus, this Bureaucratic office should not exist. It should be dismantled in its entirety.


Congress passed laws making is legal to tax alcohol and tobacco. Come 1934 the congress added firearms. They could not ban firearms, but they could tax them. ATF was the revenuers of the prohibition eta


Laddy – you are of course correct. CONgress is the only arm of the government that can make laws. However, the ‘agencies’ – which may or may not be ‘legal’ – do not write laws, they write ‘regulations’ which become codified via the Federal Register and then have the force of laws. That practice needs to change as We The People have no say so over them or their actions.

moe mensale

“In the instance of the “atf” bureaucracy, a “leading member” of the “irs” created the Bureaucracy of the “atf”.”

So according to your thinking, a “leading member” of any existing federal agency can just create another federal agency at whim? If you believe that’s how federal agencies are created, you’re a moron. How did that ever get by Congress without being noticed? The level of stupidity expressed on this site by some people is just mind boggling.


“Repeal and replace” or “defund and abolish” both, Plan Parenthood and the ATF.


Just do it.
Shame on every Gun Owner who votes Democrat.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cruiser

Abolish the NFA. That establishes where I stand on SBRs. Q and the others are selling SBRs. They should be allowed to sell real SBRs and not screw around with phony pistol braces. The Honey Badger really pushed the envelope and all you shooters that have AR pistols know it. Look how silly the SBS laws are being carried with the Shockwave and Tac 14 shotguns. Those are “sawed off shotguns”. Now we need the ATF to allow shoulder stocks on them to make them serious firearms. Not some silly pistol brace. ATF is going to reclassify all of the… Read more »


@Dubi – Have you ever shot using a pistol brace? It is by no means a fully adjustable precision e stock, but cheek welding a brace works as well for me as most adjustable shoulder braces. Of course I would never “shoulder” a brace, it I said after all a pistol in all regards including legally. When a court defers to “chevron” rules, will they not consider all agencies opinions when the law has not changed? I have hard copy of ATF ruling showing legality of shouldering a brace. As far as I’m concerned, the law hasn’t changed and I… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Finnky
moe mensale

“They should be allowed to sell real SBRs and not screw around with phony pistol braces.”

Q and several other manufacturers sell both real SBRs as well as braced pistols. Check your facts before posting.

“Look how silly the SBS laws are being carried with the Shockwave and Tac 14 shotguns. Those are “sawed off shotguns”.”

Wrong. They are not SBSs. They aren’t even shotguns because they don’t fit the legal definition of a shotgun. Words have meanings. Again, check your facts before posting.


@moe – Most of what you said may be true, but has no bearing on the statement you are attempting to refute. SBR regulations, along with the rest of NFA, is ridiculous regardless of imaginative legal work around people come up with.

OK – Actually workarounds just emphasis how stupid the law is. People want the products enough to find substitutes and substitutes render law meaningless – so law is a waste of time and a legal trap for innocent people doing no harm. Is other words NFA is utter BS.


While I consider both “braced” pistols and bumpstocks to be silly toys I am fully against them being made illegal or controlled because of their construction or function. And, while I would not spend good money to purchase them, people should be able to have them. Of course this is really all about trying to control people and not firearms, so the Gov’t should go after those attempting to do harm to the people wishing to have these items. This will not happen just as it did not happen after Ruby Ridge or Waco. So I will deal with it… Read more »


Good post Roy I agree although I never cared for bumpstocks I’m a Guessile whore with very light 2 stage triggers and I love my pistol braces any infringement is wrong and I say good luck enforcing such ridiculous laws that were okay the last 4 years.


There is a suspicion that Q,LLC ran afoul of ATF because as installed the brace in question resulted in a LOP of 13.5 inches, a typical rifle or shotgun LOP.

Neither the NFA nor ATF needs to exist any longer. I doubt the FBI or any other law enforcement agency can cite statistics that show a danger of either SBRs or bump stocks.


RoyD – “silly toys” eh? You evidently don’t have any musculoskeletal ‘issues’ do you. Some of us do and such “toys” facilitate us in shooting – which we may not be able to do otherwise.
BTW – banning so-called ‘bump stocks’ Does Not Stop someone from ‘bump firing’ since that is a technique, not a device.


Yup. I’ve seen video of shoestrings, rubber bands, and skilled fingers, duplicate or bests any standard grade bump stock.

The whole business is a control trip. Nannies gotta nannie, right?


I think your displeasure is misplaced. So I can’t refer to them as “silly toys” without offending you? My, aren’t you a thin skinned one. Save your wrath for those who would deny you your enabling devices. There, is that better? You know what, 46 years ago I out shot half the USAREUR rifle team using my issued rattle trap M-16 while they used their tuned and tweaked M-16s. Didn’t get “invited” to become part of the “team” because they didn’t care for my “attitude.” Guess what, I still have a sizeable portion of that “attitude.” And, not that it’s… Read more »


Bump stocks are a great way to waste all your spare ammunition. There may be a braggart or three out there who say that means of firing increases their accuracy, but the proof is not to be seen. It’s a toy. The pistol braces perform the function of aligning the barrel with the forearm which makes for a higher degree of accuracy. They are a good and useful thing. I’d like to dee the weenie at the ATF, who called it a stock, fire a couple of magazines using it that way, with his nose, eyes and ears that close… Read more »


– I would totally agree except that my braced 10.5” pistol is more accurate than any AR-rifle I’ve ever shot. Very limited experience, but enough to say it is not a toy for me.
A brace is also easiest way to make a youth sized firearm – even in the hands of an eight year old a firearm is not a toy.
Disband and lock up the ATF.

Last edited 1 year ago by Finnky

They will ban them if Biden cheats his way to a win.


…for certain, and absolutely no guarantees for us if Trump wins.


– Almost more guaranteed if biden takes office. He and Harris will inspire separation. Those of us in free states will hold onto our rights while those in enemy territory will have to fight for theirs.


That is what I meant when I said “…for certain (if Biden wins)”. Mark my words, we are no more than one or two GovCo sponsored mass shooting incidents from Trump declaring war on 2-A, just as he did immediately following the one in Vegas.

To quote the late, great, Robert Ripley,
“Believe It, Or Not”.

Green Mtn. Boy

John,saw your your interview wit Mrssrs. Strange,Bosco and Brittingham,Thank You for what you do to preserve the 2 nd. and getting the word out.

AZ Lefty

Trumps BATF

Green Mtn. Boy

Actually the career people at ATF would tend to be the former pResidents more so than Trump.


Yup. Career lefties hired under Obama’s reign of errors.


Most are leftovers from our previous treasonous president and his current want to be president. All should be removed with the promise of no permanent secure positions.
Ba Bye

Last edited 1 year ago by macdog