ATF Clarifies Ruling on Pistol Stabilizing Braces

SIG SAUER, Inc. announced news of a welcomed clarification from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on pistol stabilizing braces (PSB). The ATF’s refined position is that placing a PSB against the shoulder does not, in and of itself, necessarily alter the classification from pistol to short-barreled rifle (SBR).

In a letter dated March 21, 2017, ATF reexamines its earlier position, which stated that shouldering a PSB-equipped firearm could constitute the making of an unregistered short-barreled rifle under the National Firearms Act (NFA). ATF now states:

“With respect to stabilizing braces, ATF has concluded that attaching the brace to a handgun as a forearm brace does not ‘make’ a short-barreled firearm because … it is not intended to be and cannot comfortably be fired from the shoulder.” The letter continues: “Therefore, an NFA firearm has not necessarily been made when the device is not re-configured for use as a shoulder stock — even if the attached firearm happens to be fired from the shoulder.”

The following passage from the letter acknowledges the confusion surrounding the January 2015 “Open Letter on the Redesign of ‘Stabilizing Braces’”, and clarifies that ATF does not consider shouldering a PSB-equipped firearm, in and of itself, to render it an SBR.

“To the extent the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold that incidental, sporadic, or situational ‘use’ of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute a ‘redesign,’ such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with ATF’s interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced.”

Click here to read to read the ATF letter in its entirety.

SIG SAUER is pleased that ATF has clarified its prior position. To view the SIG SAUER selection of pistol braces and pistol-brace equipped firearms, go to sigsauer.com/store.