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Another Week, Another Executive Gun Control Action: BATFE Reverses Prior Position on Pistol "Stabilizing Braces"

Friday, January 16, 2015

Another Week, Another Executive Gun Control Action: BATFE Reverses Prior Position on Pistol "Stabilizing Braces"

Earlier today, BATFE released an Open Letter on the Redesign of “Stabilizing Braces.” This letter articulates BATFE’s official position on the use of pistol stabilizing braces like the Sig Sauer SB15. It concludes that “[a]ny 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.”

According to the letter, BATFE finds that “[b]ecause 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.”  It’s unclear how simply using a device in a certain way without altering it “redesigns” it, but the letter insists that BATFE “applie[d] the common meaning” of “redesign” in order to reach this conclusion. 

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, the letter keeps using the word “redesign.” We do not think it means what BATFE thinks it means.

Moreover, this conclusion is the exact opposite of advice that BATFE provided to individuals in private letters, the reasoning of which BATFE is now clearly abandoning.  The new open letter stipulates that “[a]ny individual letters stating otherwise are contrary to the plain language of the NFA, misapply Federal law, and are hereby revoked.”

As with other recent rulings from BATFE, the letter does not seem to acknowledge (and perhaps its authors don’t understand) the full effect of its conclusion that use of a firearm in a particular way without alteration constitutes a “redesign” of that firearm.  The only thing that is clear from the letter is that BATFE considers shouldering any pistol with a stabilizing brace as making a firearm subject to registration and other requirements under the National Firearms Act.

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Court to Texas College Professors: Your Irrational Fear of Gun Owners Is Not Legally Addressable

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Court to Texas College Professors: Your Irrational Fear of Gun Owners Is Not Legally Addressable

Last Thursday, a federal judge in Austin, Texas, dismissed a lawsuit by several professors who sought to block the University of Texas from implementing a state law that provides for the lawful carrying of concealed ...

California: Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, July 19

Monday, July 17, 2017

California: Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, July 19

On Wednesday, July 19, anti-gun bills SB 464 and SB 497 are scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee at 9AM in State Capitol room 4202.  Assembly Bill 424 remains eligible for third ...

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

Friday, July 14, 2017

CMP Sales of 1911s One Step Closer With House Passage of 2018 NDAA

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. Included in the bill is a provision that would make U.S. Army surplus 1911 .45 ACP ...

The Danger Of A “Not In My Backyard” Mentality On Shooting Ranges

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Danger Of A “Not In My Backyard” Mentality On Shooting Ranges

Muscatine County, Iowa, is home to about 40,000 people, and like too many places around the country, gun owners there have no public range where they can practice or compete safely. That may be changing, ...

Gun Control Groups: Good at Gloating, Bad at Counting on Advancing National Reciprocity Effort

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gun Control Groups: Good at Gloating, Bad at Counting on Advancing National Reciprocity Effort

Apparently, Michael Bloomberg is good at counting money but not so good at counting votes. This week, Breitbart reported that Everytown for Gun Safety, Michael Bloomberg’s gun ban conglomerate, was claiming a “win” for congressional ...

Run, Hide, Perish – Survival Do’s and Don’ts from Across the Pond

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Run, Hide, Perish – Survival Do’s and Don’ts from Across the Pond

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advises persons at risk of harm from an active shooter to “Run, Hide, Fight” (in that order), recommending “fight” – incapacitating or “attempt[ing] to take the active ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

California: DOJ Releases Proposed Regulations Regarding Ammunition Vendor Licensing

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

California: DOJ Releases Proposed Regulations Regarding Ammunition Vendor Licensing

On Friday, July 14th, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“DOJ”) claims to have released its anticipated proposed regulations for the issuance of ammunition vendor licenses.  Under the Administrative Procedure Act, a government ...

Commerce Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson Steers Pro-Gun Spending Bill to House Floor

Friday, July 14, 2017

Commerce Subcommittee Chairman John Culberson Steers Pro-Gun Spending Bill to House Floor

On Thursday, the House Committee on Appropriations approved the Fiscal Year 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill, which funds various federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, for the next year. The bill ...

California: Help Save Cordova Shooting Center

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

California: Help Save Cordova Shooting Center

Tomorrow, July 19, the Cordova Recreation and Park District (CRPD) Board of Directors are scheduled to vote on the future of the Cordova Shooting Center. 

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