A bigger up front question is if the ATF "Open Letter" stands, it grants the agency sweeping powers to "ban by redefinition." For example, AR pistols with buffer tubes have certainly be legally defined as "handguns' for decades. A pistol with a buffer tube — a necessary part of the firearm — can be shouldered, exactly the same as a pistol fitted with a stabilizing brace. The same "logic," and I use the word in its loosest possible connotation, can be applied to the buffer tube itself, which was neither "designed nor approved" for use as a shoulder stock. The classic Mare's Leg lever action rifle can be shouldered, albeit awkwardly (which is the case with most of these options).
The point is that the whole concept of short-barreled rifles and short-barreled shotguns no longer make sense — if they ever did. I think we as an industry, and as a culture, need to call on the lawmakers who support us to address yet another lame situation where legal gun owners can get caught up on a technicality and face federal felony charges.
This from my friend Iain Harrison at RECOIL MAGAZINE:
"...the missive sent to FFL holders from Max Kingery at ATF Tech Branch was an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions and assholes. If the ATF were confident that what they were peddling would hold up in a court of law, they would have issued a ruling, rather than opinion. Then they would have published it on their website for all to see. As yet, they haven’t."
This from Prince Law Offices, which has been on top of the stabilizing brace issue from the beginning:
"ATF claims that it applies common meaning when using the term “redesign”. I don’t know of a single person who would think that “redesign” entails the misuse of an object. If anything, I would venture to say it would require the individual to modify an existing object. If I were to use a screw driver to pry open an object did I just redesign it? Is using a pencil to drum on the table redesigning it into a drum stick?"By all means, read the whole articles!