ATF ‘Stabilizing Brace’ ruling could potentially impact millions of gun owners and dealers

On January 13, 2023, the ATF rubber stamped a rule which aims to regulate guns equipped with stabilizing braces. For over 10 years, guns under 16 inches with a stabilizing brace were considered to be pistols. However, the ATF has changed its stance and is now referring to those firearms short-barreled rifles, which would require a federal license to own under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

601 Sports general manager Christen Hemphill said that most regular gun owners will be completely oblivious to this new law.

“We’re concerned that if people have these braces and what we’re talking about is an AR pistol with a stabilizing brace on it. The brace was originally designed by an army veteran to help disabled army guys shoot with this attached to their arm and stabilize the pistol a little bit more easily,” said Hemphill.

The ATF ruling kicked-in on January 31st and any funs with “stabilizing braces” or similar attachments must be registered on or before May 31, 2023. Anyone who fails to do this could be facing a felony charge.

“If you have one of these guns, you can either destroy your weapon. You can turn it in to ATF, you can do what’s called a form one which is classifying this gun as an NFA item. ATF is waiving the tax stamp, which normally would cost $200. They’re allowing you to register your weapon without that $200 fee, or you can remove this pistol tube and pistol brace and turn it into an actual pistol with a pistol tube,” said Hemphill.

The ATF went onto say that at least 4 million of these rifles on the market which means the impact will be felt across the country. Hemphill said this ruling will have significant affect on the gun industry.

“We’ve got guns that are in stock that unfortunately, we’ve got to now turn and have already turned into SBRs. So now when we sell those guns that we originally purchased as a pistol, that would be very easy for us to sell to a consumer. We now have to sell that consumer the gun, and in a short bell rifle configuration and they’ve got to buy a tax stamp. It’s tremendously more of a hassle now for a dealer that’s already in possession of these guns versus the consumer that’s already in possession of them,” said Hemphill.




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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