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ATF Brace Ruling

 

You have likely learned about the ATF brace ruling and are wondering – now what??? We have put together the below guide based on ATF resources to explain your options – fortunately, you have until May 31, 2023 to take action. There are also a few ways Black Wing can help outlined below!

Option 1 – Replacing Barrel

This will be the easiest and most straight-forward option, simply replace the barrel (or the whole upper) on your pistol with a 16” or longer barrel. This is not an option for all pistols but is an easy route for AR platform guns. If you do go this route, you can either leave the brace on your gun or substitute with a stock.

Barrel replacement – we have a host of 16” 5.56/.223 barrels in stock or we can order what you need. Whether you have the barrel or need one, our gunsmiths can swap the barrel for you – this starts at $65 (standard AR platform). Note, you may also need to replace gas tubes and other parts depending on setup. Additionally, you may want to replace your rail with a longer option to protect your gas tube.

Upper replacement – this is even faster, replace your entire built upper receiver with one that has a 16” barrel or longer. We have complete uppers in stock for 5.56/223 (starting at $430) and can order other calibers. It may also be wise to dispose/sell the old upper unless you have a registered SBR lower (so it doesn’t appear that you have constructive intent to build an illegal short barreled rifle (“SBR”) – see below for more info) – we are currently giving credit for uppers traded in.

Option 2 – Removing the Brace

This option is the simplest – you must remove both the brace and any non-operational parts that the brace attaches to. If the brace is mounted to a folding arm or a buffer tube that is not needed for a gun to function.

 The language states:

“Permanently remove and dispose of, or alter, the “stabilizing brace” such that it cannot be reattached”

Removing the brace (and any non-operational mounting) typically requires some basic gunsmithing. If you need assistance, text or email our gunsmithing department to coordinate a time as this must be done on-the-spot. Pricing will vary depending on work needed.

If you have an AR-15 pistol, it is as simple as pulling the brace off the buffer tube. The ATF has confirmed that you are legally allowed to leave the 6-position rifle buffer tube on the gun, however you need to be careful of constructive possession (see below for full details).

Option 3 – Forfeit Firearm to ATF

This is an option, but don’t do it! We can help! Worst case you can forfeit the firearm to us – we will make it legal, take the gun onto our books (providing you proof), sell the gun, then donate a portion of proceeds to organizations fighting against ATF rulings like these.

Option 4 – Destroy Firearm

This is an option, but again, don’t do it! If you want to get rid of the gun, bring the firearm to us – we will make it legal, take the gun onto our books (providing you proof), sell the gun, then donate a portion of proceeds to organizations fighting against ATF rulings like these. If you do choose to destroy, make sure to follow ATF guidelines.

Option 5 – Register as a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR)

This option requires the most work but will allow you to keep your gun exactly as it is! The ATF is waiving the tax stamp if you submit the paperwork to “manufacture” the gun into a SBR yourself by May 31, 2023. The ATF is also not requiring any further engraving on the firearm (previously required) as long as the gun is not a Privately Made Firearm.

You can complete this process yourself by submitting a Form 1 via the ATF website (https://eforms-form1.atf.gov/login). To do this, you will need completed fingerprint cards (electronic or paper). Silencershop is working on getting a form 1 assistance package up and running which will include the fingerprint cards – check their website for information.

Once the form is submitted, you are able to keep the brace on the gun until the form is approved as long as you have proof the form was submitted. The ATF has not provided an estimated turnaround time for approvals. Once the form is approved, you can either keep the brace on the gun, or replace it with a stock.

Note – if you plan to manufacturer/register your SBR under a trust, the ATF requires you to also submit proof that the pistol was owned by the trust prior to ruling date. This would typically be in the form of a “Schedule A Inventory” at the back of a trust document. Not all trusts have this document or allow for you to have non-NFA items in the trust. Contact whoever designed the trust for more information. Otherwise, you must either register under an individual’s name or pay the $200 stamp to register under the trust’s name (engraving may be required for the latter).

Option 6 – Sell the Gun

While it is not legal to sell braced guns after 1/30/2023, we can help! Text us a picture of your gun (740-363-7555) and tell us you want to sell it. We will review what is needed to make the gun legal and make you an offer. If you accept, you will bring in the gun, we will make it legal on-the-spot, then we will purchase the gun and provide you with a receipt as well as store credit or a check. Note that you (and we) are not able to legally transfer possession of a pistol braced gun after 1/30/2023 – the gun must be made legal before transferring

Constructive Intent

This is an important consideration if you do not plan to register your gun. You do not want to be in possession of items in such a way that it appears you can readily make the firearm into an illegal SBR. The ATF outlined a scenario in a recent webinar:

Joe owns one gun – an AR-15 pistol. To comply with the ruling Joe removes the pistol brace from his gun and puts it in his drawer. He leaves the rifle buffer tube on the gun. Joe is in possession of the parts to build an SBR and the ATF could argue he is in constructive possession of an illegal SBR.

However they stated that if Joe had other rifles and rifle parts, they would likely not look at it the same way. The short of it is that you don’t want to have extra parts that would make your gun into a SBR (ie shorter than 16” upper or a pistol brace) if you don’t have other guns those parts would be legal on (registered SBR lower for the former, AR rifle for the latter).

 

For more info from the ATF visit this page – https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/factoring-criteria-firearms-attached-stabilizing-braces

Frustrated that you have to do all this work to keep something that was legal to begin with? So are we. Here is what you can do:

That is all we have for now. Note that the above is not legal advice, it is just our understanding of ATF provided info. Read all ATF rulings, regulations, and notices before doing any of the above. We are not liable for advice given.

Updated 01/31/2023

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Products found in our online store inventory are for ordering and not necessarily always available at Black Wing. Pricing is valid for online ordering only. Our in store discounts are not available online. Should you order items from our online inventory, you will be contacted once your items are received and ready for transfer. Most orders take 7-10 business days to arrive at Black Wing.

PLEASE READ: Suppressors

Products found in our online store inventory are for ordering and not necessarily always available at Black Wing. Pricing is valid for online ordering only. Our in store discounts are not available online. Should you order items from our online SilencerShop inventory, you will be contacted within 48 hours with information on how to proceed with the paperwork. Most orders take 3-4 business weeks to arrive at Black Wing, however paperwork can be started and submitted immediately. All NFA rules apply.