Uncategorized

Justice Department Announces New Rule to Address Stabilizing Braces, Accessories Used to Convert Pistols into Short-Barreled Rifles

SBA4 Pistol Stabilizing Brace

Today, the Department of Justice announced it has submitted to the Federal Register the “Stabilizing Braces” Final Rule, which makes clear that when manufacturers, dealers, and individuals use stabilizing braces to convert pistols to rifles with a barrel of less than 16 inches, commonly referred to as a short-barreled rifles, they must comply with the laws that regulate those rifles, including the National Firearms Act (NFA). In April 2021, at an event with President Biden, the Attorney General directed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to address the issue of stabilizing braces.

“Keeping our communities safe from gun violence is among the Department’s highest priorities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Almost a century ago, Congress determined that short-barreled rifles must be subject to heightened requirements. Today’s rule makes clear that firearm manufacturers, dealers, and individuals cannot evade these important public safety protections simply by adding accessories to pistols that transform them into short-barreled rifles.”

“This rule enhances public safety and prevents people from circumventing the laws Congress passed almost a century ago. In the days of Al Capone, Congress said back then that short-barreled rifles and sawed-off shotguns should be subjected to greater legal requirements than most other guns. The reason for that is that short-barreled rifles have the greater capability of long guns, yet are easier to conceal, like a pistol,” said ATF Director Steven Dettelbach. “But certain so-called stabilizing braces are designed to just attach to pistols, essentially converting them into short-barreled rifles to be fired from the shoulder. Therefore, they must be treated in the same way under the statute.”

Since the 1930s, the NFA has imposed requirements on short-barreled rifles because they are more easily concealable than long-barreled rifles but have more destructive power than traditional handguns. Beyond background checks and serial numbers, those heightened requirements include taxation and registration requirements that include background checks for all transfers including private transfers. Often, when pistols are converted to rifles by the use of a stabilizing brace covered by the rule, they have barrels less than 16 inches in length and must comply with the same heightened requirements that apply to short-barreled rifles under the NFA.

The rule goes into effect on the date of publication in the Federal Register. The rule allows for a 120-day period for manufacturers, dealers, and individuals to register tax-free any existing NFA short-barreled rifles covered by the rule. Other options including removing the stabilizing brace to return the firearm to a pistol or surrendering covered short-barreled rifles to ATF. Nothing in this rule bans stabilizing braces or the use of stabilizing braces on pistols.

On June 7, 2021, the Department of Justice issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, and during the 90-day open comment period, the ATF received more than 237,000 comments.

The final rule, as submitted to the Federal Register, can be viewed at: https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/factoring-criteria-firearms-attached-stabilizing-braces

To learn more about the rulemaking process, please see: https://www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (17)

  1. Please God save us! The day that our 2nd amendment is stripped from us is the day communism takes complete control. Our government allowed a treasonous candidate to be put in the highest office our country never giving our REAL president a day in court to prove who we the people voted for. So get ready people we are all screwed!!!!

  2. I am a licensed collector. I have C96 Mauser (Broomhandle) pistols in my collection some with Shoulder stock holster/stocks. Under the Curio and Relic list those are exempt from NFA Rules.
    The value of those (monetarily) far exceeds the use and purpose of a “short-barreled ” rifle. Typically one of the C96 Mauser Pistol with the holster/Stock combination is in the thousands of dollars, NOT an aftermarket addition easily available.
    Stay OUT of Illinois, Comrade Commissar Pritzker has just signed an “Assault Weapons” ban with over 170 Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns being banned for sale and purchase in Illinois. Read the text. Registration is required by current owners by January 1 2024 or face Class II Felony charges. This includes registration of any magazines for pistols of more than 15 rounds and registration of rifle magazines of more that 10 rounds with the State Police.
    Remember, Illinois where Taxes are HIGH aand ANYONE living outside of CHICAGO has NO Voice!

  3. How can the ATF who is a regulatory enforcement agency enact ANY
    Law that requires a legislative action ? They, simp
    Y, don’t have the authority or power. This whole thing is a BADLY disguised firearm registration scheme.

  4. they are pushing us to put our second amendment into play~ Because the second amendment was put in place for what they are doing right now .We better WAKE UP AMERICAN OUR GOVERNMENT IS SALEING US OUT TO CHINA THEY OWN JOE BIDEN! TRUMP HAS BEEN RIGHT ABOUT OUR ELECTION & THEY DID IT AGAIN IN THE MIDTERM. THE ONE THAT THEY LET WIN ARE REP.THEN ARE REALLY DEMOCRATS.AS LONG AS THEY CONTROL WHAT IS GOING OR NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPENUNTIL WE MAKE IT HAPPEN.YOU BETTER PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS GOING ON .CAUSE IF YOU DON’TTHE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE WILL BE GONE.WAKE UP AND OPEN YOUR EYES AND QUIT PLAYING DUMB.THEY ARE SAYING I ALREDY SAID THIS AND WON’T POST IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE THE TRUTH POST MY DAMN POST

  5. they are pushing us to put our second amendment into play~ Because the second amendment was put in place for what they are doing right now .We better WAKE UP AMERICAN OUR GOVERNMENT IS SALEING US OUT TO CHINA THEY OWN JOE BIDEN! TRUMP HAS BEEN RIGHT ABOUT OUR ELECTION & THEY DID IT AGAIN IN THE MIDTERM. THE ONE THAT THEY LET WIN ARE REP.THEN ARE REALLY DEMOCRATS.AS LONG AS THEY CONTROL WHAT IS GOING OR NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPENUNTIL WE MAKE IT HAPPEN.YOU BETTER PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS GOING ON .CAUSE IF YOU DON’TTHE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE WILL BE GONE.WAKE UP AND OPEN YOUR EYES AND QUIT PLAYING DUMB.THEY ARE SAYING I ALREDY SAID THIS AND WON’T POST IT BECAUSE THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO SEE THE TRUTH

  6. they are pushing us to put our second amendment into play~ Because the second amendment was put in place for what they are doing right now .We better WAKE UP AMERICAN OUR GOVERNMENT IS SALEING US OUT TO CHINA THEY OWN JOE BIDEN! TRUMP HAS BEEN RIGHT ABOUT OUR ELECTION & THEY DID IT AGAIN IN THE MIDTERM. THE ONE THAT THEY LET WIN ARE REP.THEN ARE REALLY DEMOCRATS.AS LONG AS THEY CONTROL WHAT IS GOING OR NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPENUNTIL WE MAKE IT HAPPEN.YOU BETTER PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS GOING ON .CAUSE IF YOU DON’TTHE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE WILL BE GONE.WAKE UP AND OPEN YOUR EYES AND QUIT PLAYING DUMB

  7. Don’t get all rash and throw anything away as this will be shot down like all the other Unconstitutional laws have been by ATF. Look at bump stocks the same will happen here.

  8. All laws that dont go “with” the Constitution, are null and void….Color of Law…. seek UScodes for information!! The test starts with our U.S. Constitution…..Not legislated lies. Not supreme court rulings.
    I kno its an uphill battle folks. The U.S. Constitution was written in simple terms to comprehend!!! NOT the Legal B. S. jargen that they want you to “Under-Stand”, or Stand-Under. We should Only be standing “under” our Creator. Not “understang” our Represenatives-Servants

  9. I quit the NRA. Dumped a five yr membership in two years. If the NRA of my childhood were on it’s game – the Department of Justice would not be able to “make rules” outside of enacted legislation. Rhetorical question: Since when are unelected officials, corrupted by blackmail, bribes and careerism – allowed to make laws that we the people have to follow?

    In the fight against the deadly C19 bioweapon injection, I witnessed the CDC/ACIP committee allow public comment on Regulations.gov *the night before* the two day “lets kill kids” meeting (10/19 & 10/20/2022). Still, 127,000 Americans weighed in… and the CDC only allowed 1,390 comments to remain public on Regulations.gov by 10/21/22. That made me challenge Regulations.gov – who explained that the agencies decide which comments will be shared with the rulemaking bodies and remain on the Regulations.gov website.

    And the more I thought about it – the more I came to the conclusion that this entire circle jerk shouldn’t exist in the first place. By what authority, do un-elected “officials” get to make the laws of the country after the legislative opportunity has long passed?

    From 20,000 feet – if the Executive Branch has become addicted to unlawful governance under perpetual “emergency” authorizations, bogus Executive Orders, and Presidential Decision Directives, etc… and the US Supreme Court (USSC) is lost in the factual sauce due to brain overload and mind control… and our <4% approval rating US Congress is cognitively DOA and silently rocking in their mental corner over what they have done, and how it is going to come back on them… Do we even have a lawful, legitimate, government to obey?

    I'm sorry. I fail to see it. We need our law enforcement on our side. The police and sheriffs' can no longer serve the globalist agenda. They need to strategize how they are going to pull the rug out from under the $2 Trillion dollar security state that was built in the USA after 9/11. They need to team up with their local military and national guard networks to do this. Children are dying and Readiness Exercise 1984 awaits all of us if we fail to stop this nightmare forced transhumanist billionaire takeover. (Go to archive.org and watch "The Globalist Purge" for video footage of all of this).

    We need all 3,000+ county sheriff's offices to join Constitutional Sheriff's & Peace Officer Association (CSPOA.org). This group has made it through the USSC system and WON. They know the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and they train on it. Every law enforcement professional who is sworn to uphold the US Constitution needs to make sure that they have this training… and are willing to stand between the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve… and the democidal globalist financial elite under every circumstance. Without our law enforcement on our side – we die.

  10. The Constitution can NOT be amended by a bureaucrat in any part of government” 1803″ Marbury vs Madison” Any law repugnant to the Constitution is null and void. “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”

  11. This is a total disregard for the disabled. Under the American’s With Disabilities Act they the DOJ has violated the law, not to mention the Second Amendment. The illegal agency the BATFE should be disband for the laws they violate.

  12. Complete unconstitutional BS, stabilizing braces don’t create short barreled rifles and for decades the ATF agreed – more illegal overreach by this regime

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.