ATF Brace ‘Factors’ Feign ‘Understanding’ Backed Up by Future Threat

SB Tactical SBPDW and SBM4 Braces IMG SB Tactical gallery
SB Tactical SBPDW and SBM4 Braces IMG SB Tactical gallery

U.S.A. – -( “ATF recognizes that before issuance of this notice, there was a misunderstanding by some that a pistol assembled with any item purported to be a stabilizing brace still would be considered a ‘pistol’ regardless of other characteristics,” the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms admits in its “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces’” rulemaking proposal, posted and accepting comments now at “The objective factors discussed here make clear that while some stabilizing braces may lawfully be used on pistols without bringing the firearm within the purview of the NFA, that is not necessarily the case for every ‘pistol’ because some firearms are configured or have characteristics such that they meet the statutory definition of ‘rifle or shotgun’ (hereafter, ‘affected stabilizer-equipped firearms’).”

That any misunderstanding exists is solely on the Bureau.

The contradictory on again/off again back-and-forth over what is or is not considered whatever they want to call it is pretty much their M.O. One day you’re the satisfied owner of the lawfully-obtained property; the next, government diktat transmutes it into a forbidden liability, with life-destroying felony implications for anyone innocently caught up in a capricious bureaucratic net cast by people who either can’t make up their minds or have their minds made up for them by hidden, politically-motivated string pullers.

“ATF understands that most individuals who acquired affected stabilizer-equipped firearms did so in good-faith reliance on representations, made by those selling the stabilizing braces or the firearms, that those firearms were not subject to the NFA,” ATF continues, pointing fingers at and blaming those who rely on its arbitrary rule interpreters to tell them how to navigate through the government’s bureaucratic minefield.

“I can tell you ATF has documented the fact they have not processed industry submissions and are NOT providing guidance to be compliant to the NFA and GCA, but are however more than willing to threaten to prosecute when something is not compliant,”  friend, colleague, and firearms designed Len Savage observed when ATF was still crafting these rules in secret. “They are in effect saying ‘We won’t tell you what’s legal, but we will be more than happy to bust you.’”

They’re saying they won’t – provided they’re convinced that you intend to be obedient.

“Consequently, following issuance of this notice, ATF and DOJ plan to implement a separate process by which current possessors of affected stabilizer-equipped firearms may choose to register such firearms to be compliant with the NFA,” ATF announces. “As part of that process, ATF plans to expedite processing of these applications, and ATF has been informed that the Attorney General plans retroactively to exempt such firearms from the collection of NFA taxes if they were made or acquired, prior to the publication of this notice, in good faith.”

Show them your intentions are submissive and they won’t bring the guns out – yet.

“This separate process may include the following options: registering the firearm in compliance with the NFA … permanently removing the stabilizing brace from the firearm and disposing of it, replacing the barrel of the firearm (16” or greater for a rifle, or 18” or greater for a shotgun), surrendering the firearm to ATF, or destroying the firearm,” ATF recites from its terms of surrender. “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 firearms [sic].”

Thanks, guys! That’s mighty considerate of you, especially since you’ve made it more than clear that failure to ask “How high?” when you order “Jump!” will be considered “bad faith,” and bring with it all the attendant enforcement and punishment consequences.

We sure are a far cry from “shall not be infringed,” are we not?

What we’re seeing is an emboldened ATF leadership ramping up those infringements in what looks for all the world like Acting Director Regina Lombardo auditioning for a permanent spot with the Harris administration (and yeah, that was intentional).  Between the braces, colluding with Team Biden and the Polymer80 raid, breaking claims of another company raided over Form 1 suppressor build parts, they are signaling that they are ready, willing, and eager to do whatever it takes to facilitate the Democrat citizen disarmament agenda.

True, we see efforts like the one being led by Gun Owners of America asking Donald Trump to fire Lombardo. I wish them well and I have signed their petition myself, but I’m not holding my breath – on top of having his hands full with “stop the steal,” Trump hasn’t exactly shown himself to be truly understanding of the Second Amendment, especially with the “bump stock” rule his administration imposed. Nor has he been receptive to petitions that point out simple truths and ask him to do easy things. That and we don’t know what his advisors are telling him about how such a move will play in the press for him, and what kind of pile-on he could then expect from outspoken “moderate” Republicans looking to virtue signal for the media.

For the record, I hope he proves me dead wrong.

I encourage every gun owner advocate to comment before the January 4 cutoff. No, I don’t think it will do any good at changing anyone’s minds—they’re telling us what they’re going to do and this is just a formality. Feel free to argue logic and law and technology if you’re capable and so inclined, but my message to them will be a lot simpler:

I will not complyI will not disarm.

If there is not massive noncompliance with the rule that comes out of this, they’ll only be encouraged when the time comes to order the surrender of our semiautomatics.

I can only tell you what I have done in the past when confronted with similar demands.

I understand there will be some of you who won’t want to comment because you “don’t want to be on any lists.” It’s a little late for that, and if you exercise a bit of commonsense restraint and don’t write anything “actionable,” you will be well within your rights.

We’re never going to secure freedom if a critical mass is afraid to even speak out.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

David Codrea

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I don’t own a short barreled AR or a brace but if I did the tyrants at the BATF could kiss my ass . Time to ignore these over reaching bullies . They want to play games with the rules now that comrade Biden cheated his way into office . Ignore any unconstitutional crap they dream up. Joe and the BATF lack legitimacy as neither are actually elected by the American people or follow the constitution. Our founders gave us advice when dealing with clowns like this .


No “I WILL NOT COMPLY…enough said…!”


Time to stop asking permission from the overlords- we have these weapons for a god damn reason! Why do we tolerate a boot on our necks time to fight or die!


“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult.… Read more »


Resist. Disobey. Prepare.


The factors the ATF would use are articulated as possible principles only, not as anything measurable. That puts compliance in the eye of the ATF beholder. To illustrate the problem, dealers are required to keep a “bound book”, properly an “acquisition and disposition” book. Any abbreviation in common use by the USPS is supposed to be acceptable. But I know of a case where an ATF compliance inspector required a dealer to change “Md” to “MD” in twenty-seven entries.


I’m still just flabbergasted that there is still question over what the word infringed means. Please explain it to me “O Mr Wizard at BATF,

Ryben Flynn

Unfortunately if it gets registered as a SBR, you have to ask the ATF for permission to take it across state Lines. As a pistol you don’t. And a SBR is illegal in some States.
And what about all those 80% lowers made into a pistol? No serial number. Now you have to put one on it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ryben Flynn

What was old has become new once again:

 “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry


If Mitch McConnell doesn’t send some of my great grandchildren’s money to a Totalitarian in Pakistan who will use it to further repress women, who will do it?


It seems to me the people at the ATFE appear to know nothing about firearms, but want to regulate them. I see the ATFE as a bunch of Ivy League, communist educated pencil necks, sitting around dreaming up new ways to regulate the public. There are laws already in place, and several government agencies enforcing them. The ATFE was created enforce the laws that are already on the books, not invent new ones. Work on arresting criminals who commit crimes by abusing guns. Leave the people who follow the rules alone. The American people have been pushed around for years… Read more »


The ATF is enforcing the NFA ’34. This isn’t a new law.


“They are never going to be as weak as now. And you are never going to be as strong as now”.

Its time we defund these clown agencies, which provide no real benefit to this country or society. Once Trump is in for his 2nd term should we petition his administration to close up these “bearing false witness” agencies.


David, The ADA could be helpful here, at least politically. One article highlights this: Quote: Many of ATF’s “objective factors” would directly discriminate against individuals based on physical stature and physical abilities, such as the very subjective “so heavy that it is impractical” weight limit. This factor is entirely vague and undefined, and would clearly violate equal protection of the laws under the 14th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. This is a direct attack on disabled Americans who have difficulty controlling a large format pistol due to injury or other disability, such as… Read more »

Ryben Flynn

Stupid. If it soesn’t have a REAL STOCK it’s a PISTOL.
You can’t put a stock of any kind on an AR pistol because the buffer tube is too large in diameter. That was done on purpose.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn

Why the downvote? You know I’m right. An AR stock will not fit on a pistol buffer tube.


Well- IMO- DJT will Be – REELECTED !- More than Enough EVIDENCE NOW to Overturn The ELECTION – And Even If SCOTUS disputes the Case – On Jan 6th – Congress WILL Not Honor the ELCTORAL VOTES- And Pence will Object to accept the Certified tallies – He will Ask for A – SECOND IN MOTION ! Which SEVERAL SENATORS WILL ACCEPT !- Then after a Two Hour Meeting Between The House + Senate – One Vote from Each State will CONFIRM DJT THE PRESIDENT !– On that – Before the End of January he WILL Stop ATF – And… Read more »


I’m not sure if it’s naivety, ignorance, or cognitive dissonance that makes you think Trump will do anything to support and defend the 2A when his entire life, writings, words, and actions have proven otherwise.


Other Republican politicians see the “firearm community” declare their loyalty for anti-2nd Amendment politicians and it emboldens them. They will always compromise because so many Republican voters cheer them on, ignoring all facts, and the politicians conclude “why not support some gun control – I may pick up some votes from white suburban women and the firearm owners will voter for me no matter what.”

Last edited 2 years ago by JSNMGC

Rifle, pistol, shotgun, what difference does it make as long as it is semi auto, it shouldn’t matter to the ATFE. Go investigate ANTIFA and BLM, the real law breakers.


How many people bought these guns so they could use them as a SBR? Very few people use them as a braced pistol. At the local range I have never seen a person fire one of these as a braced pistol. They all use them as rifles. It is pretty obvious that they are being used as SBRs. Take advantage of the fee-less registration.