You may or may not have heard the news yet, but the ATF has finalized its updated firearm stabilizing brace or pistol brace rules. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland signed the final rule 2021R-08F (Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces) this past Friday, January 13th, 2023 (01-13-23).


So what exactly are the new rule changes and how will they affect Oklahoma gun owners? 2021R-08F basically makes any firearm with a barrel length of under 16" regardless of the caliber that has a pistol brace on it an SBR (Short Barreled Rifle). The rule changes the definition and supposedly clarifies what a rifle is.

Once the rule has been published in the Federal Register any firearm that includes a pistol brace that is considered a rifle by the updated NFA language contained in 2021R-08F is expected to be registered as an NFA (National Firearms Act) item within 120 days. The normal $200.00 "tax stamp" NFS fees will be waived.

Hit play on the video below for an update on the ATF's pistol brace rule change

There are other options for gun owners when it comes to firearms that have stabilizing braces. If you don't want to register it as an SBR with the NFA you can remove the short barrel and put a 16" or longer barrel on the firearm. You can also permanently remove the brace, dispose of it or alter it where it can't be reattached.


Your other options, if you want to call them that, are turning the weapon over to the ATF or destroying it. Neither are options most gun owners would choose. These are the options given by the ATF you'll face once the final rule has been published in the Federal Register. Once this happens you can expect all the lawsuits.

After all pistol braces or stabilizing braces have been legal for years, even the DOJ and ATF in the past have stated that it's an accessory and does not change the firearm into an SBR. Click here to read the letter. This all sounds very familiar, we've been through this before with bump stocks and other firearm accessories.

Watch the video below to learn more about the NFA (National Firearms Act) & SBRs

To get the basics of the updated rules and definitions read the quotes below taken directly from the ATF's official website. It somewhat clarifies 2021R-08F and the changes it will make to the rules regarding rifles and the use of stabilizing braces. The actual final rule is 293 pages long, you can review it by clicking here.


"The rule’s amended definition of “rifle” clarifies that the term “designed, redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder” includes a weapon that is equipped with an accessory, component, or other rearward attachment (e.g., a “stabilizing brace”) that provides surface area that allows the weapon to be fired from the shoulder, provided other factors, as listed in the definition, indicate the weapon is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder."

"This rule does not affect “stabilizing braces” that are objectively designed and intended as a “stabilizing brace” for use by individuals with disabilities, and not for shouldering the weapon as a rifle. Such stabilizing braces are designed to conform to the arm and not as a buttstock. However, if the firearm with the “stabilizing brace” is a short-barreled rifle, it needs to be registered within 120-days from the date of publication in the Federal Register."

Hit play on the video below for more information on the new ATF pistol brace rules

In my honest, humble, non-bias opinion, this has absolutely nothing to do with safety and everything to do with tax revenue. Well, that and the creation of an illegal gun registry. By changing the definition of a rifle and including additional language to the existing rule they can now reclassify any firearm which uses a stabilizing brace as an SBR that needs to be registered as an NFA item or it's illegal, under the threat of fines and prison.

So what are the penalties if you're caught with an unregistered SBR? You could be fined up to $10,000 and face up to 10 years in Federal prison. That's weird, I didn't know a rule could be enforced by fines and prison sentences. Normally that's reserved for laws. The ATF is a part of the DOJ which is under the Executive Branch, not the Legislative Branch. Meaning they have NO AUTHORITY to create laws. Yet here we are...

It will be very interesting to see what the courts do. After all, both the DOJ and ATF have overstepped their boundaries and are operating outside their legal and Constitutional capacity. And like always the new rule changes, all 293 pages worth, are written in a way that they can be easily misinterpreted and are as deliberately ambiguous as possible. Until the courts make a decision on all of this we're stuck with it. So if you own a firearm with a brace you might want to review the new rules by clicking here and make sure you're confident and knowledgeable with all the nothing speak. Your freedom and your dog's life depend on it!  

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