Thursday, April 03, 2014

ATF Verifies Green Light for Sig Arm Brace

From Gear Scout:
Sig Sauer just shared a letter sent to a police department from the ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch concerning the use of arm braces that referenced Sig’s own SB15 pistol stabilizing brace for AR pistols specifically. 
The ATF’s letter says that they’ve determined that firing a pistol from the shoulder would not cause the pistol to be reclassified as an SBR. The letter, signed by the Chief of the ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch, Earl Griffith, states, “the firing of a weapon from a particular position, such as placing the receiver extension of an AR-15 type pistol on the user’s shoulder, does not change the classification of a weapon.”
Gear Scout has a copy of the letter. Key point here, "...the firing of a weapon from a particular position, such as placing the receiver extension of an AR-15 type pistol on the user’s shoulder, does not change the classification of a weapon.” How you use the AR-style pistol does not (and by my reading cannot) change the classification of the firearm as a pistol and not an SBR.

The reason I bring this up is that on a private email list this very question came up recently, to wit, if you shoulder the buffer tube of a pistol does it change the classification of the firearm. In fact, an AR manufacturer had stated that they had been informed (verbally) by ATF that using a pistol off the shoulder changed the classification. This letter clearly negates that claim. At least for right now, the the letter states that the physical characteristics define whether a firearm is a rifle, pistol or short-barreled rifle, not how the firearm is used:
FTB classifies weapons based on their physical design characteristics. While the usage/functionality of the weapon does influence the intended design, it is not the sole criteria for determining the classification of a weapon. Generally speaking, we do not classify weapons based on how an individual uses a weapon.


Vince Warde said...

Wow, actual common sense from ATF. However, I certainly would not be surprised if, in the near future, ATF reevaluates AR15 pistols and decides that the receiver extension itself constitutes a buttstock no matter how it is used. I hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not.

kmitch200 said...

That's what they say today.
Tomorrow it could be a 180.
Having it in writing is good...until they say it isn't.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed by this ruling, it gives a lot of us a chance to own a defacto SBR with the hassle of the transfer tax.

Whipster said...

It's still an absurd distinction... The whole SBR/pistol/rifle category madness should be struck down.

Anonymous said...

This is a boon for a variety of reasons.

FYI, take the ends of the brace, fold them inward and tighten the strap, you now have a very solid brace with the same footprint as a standard m4 stock

Establish length of pull, then pull the brace back another two inches and spray tube with either cheap hairspray or thin bead of gorilla glue push forward and rotate 360 degrees, now you have what is essence a “sully” stock.

Option 2, take an ak/556 variant , add buffer tube, brace and ace hinge. Now you have a very compact pistol in a rifle caliber.

Now as to why. A pistol falls under your CCH or CHL and DOES NOT fall under most wildlife codes concerning loaded rifles in vehicles.

The brace when folded as described allows for much easier cheek weld than a buffer tube alone

You can cross state lines with notifying ATF as you would with an SBR.

Its more than just the $200 and the year wait, though having one in you stable while waiting on the form1 is a bonus.

I have a couple of SBRs and I still have a SIG Piston pistol for the ease of use.