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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was reminded about these today. Don't want to get into a debate about what should and shouldn't be. I don't like or agree with it any more than (most of) you do, but for now it's the rules and we've got to follow them until we can change them. If we don't it's just going to make us look worse when arguing our side, unfortunately for the othert side breaking the rules makes them appear better. I'm also hoping/expecting that the supreme court is going to put them into place on this one.

Apparently the final rule was signed recently making braced AR pistols into illegal SBRs without a tax stamp. From the little I read there is a 120 day grace period from the time it gets officially submitted to the fedral registrar to get them registered. Registered has to mean getting the paperwork submitted, because there is no way they will get all of those forms processed in 120 days. History has proven that it is highly improbable, if not impossible.

I haven't read into it very much, but I know some/most of y'all follow this stuff a lot more than I do. I've heard a few rumors to go with it:

  1. Free registration of existing braced AR pistols
    • Seems logical since the're changing the rules on us.
    • Being logical is why I also suspect it isn't true
  2. Photo documentation accompanying form submission
    • Makes sense, this isn't intended to be free SBRs for anyone with a pistol or rifle, just existing AR pistols w/ brace
    • How you going to stop someone with the right combo of legal components from assmebling one in this config for free stamp
  3. Once registered it must stay in that configuration
    • Don't believe this one
    • Stupid enough to be true

I guess first question is, any news on when it will be officially submitted? Followed by, when and how does one go about registering for this free tax stamp? And, can I register it to a trust?

As someone that owns a registered SBR and silencers, if I also owns a couple of pistols that have never had a brace installed as well as a couple of braces that have never been used, is there any good reason not to put them together and submit for stamps?

I've already got a registered SBR, as well as one supressor in my name and 4 more in my trust. I'm not worried about being put on the AFT's target list because I'm already there. As a federal employee that has to maintain a security clearance, I keep my nose clean and avoid doing anything that would cause them to want to target me anyway. If they decided to start confiscating... fuck it all. If that happens, I'm going to have a lot more to worry about than the AFT or my job and there are going to be a lot of federal employees in my area targeted.

My SBR started life as a pistol, but not including it I have two pistols that are actually built now. One pistol is a 10.5" .223 built on a PSA lower and running a Vltor A5 pistol buffer system (like most of my rifles). The other is a 10.5" .223 barrel with a CMMG .22 lr conversion kit on an ATI Omni upper and lower and no buffer tube at all. I also have the two unused braces that I ended up with through PSA build kit purchases because it was a cheaper way to get a upper reciever and/or LPK. I've also got a bare Anderson reciever and "I think" a third pistol tube that I could build as a pistol for photo op purposes. I've been tempted recently by the darkside (300 BO) just for shits and grins, but it wouldn't replace the 6.8s.

There are concerns about having to follow NFA rules. Namely having paperwork at all time when in that configuration, can't loan to friends/family in NFA configuration, and must notify AFT before transporting out of state in NFA config. I don't see it an an issue. Carrying the paperwork isn't a problem. There are veryfew people that I will oan any firearm to, I can count them on one hand and they are all included in my gun trust, which one or two of these might end up in if they get SBRed. If I were headed out of state it wouldn't be with an AR SBR. I'd be carrying a regular pistol or a shotgun. If I were taking an AR it would most likely be a hunting trip and I'd be taking the 6.8 rifle or a bolt gun. If any of the SBRs needed to leave the state or be transferred to another person (aka sold) they'd either be taken out of NFA configuration or I'd know well before hand and could submit the paperwork.

With that last paragraph in mind, the third rumor is the one causing me grief. If that rumor is true then the whole thing is screwed up. One of the big draws of the AR is its modularity, the ability to swap parts and pieces. Also the whole pistol >rifle >pistol vs "once a rifle, always a rifle" thing. Following that rule it could only ever be the caliber it was registered as, could only ever wear the stock it was registered with, and could never be returned to a pistol configuration. That destroys the entire argument of the last paragraph.

I find it difficult to believe. That rule does not hold true for any other AR pistol (or other pistol) converted into a SBR. It's not true of any other AR or firearm in general. Yet I can see the powers that be making that some special caveot for firearms that are registered under this rule change. If I register as an SBR and can't play around with barrel lengths, stock configurations and calibers... Well, it certainly wouldn't be worth it just to keep the braces or get a free stamp. That would have to make this one of the shittiest rules ever and a much bigger overreach than it appears at face value, which is already pretty damned huge.
 

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I don't have any braces I thought this day would come, just too good to be true.

In my opinion registering a braced pistol is not worth it since it is treated like a SBR once done (travel requirements, cannot change the configuration, etc). If it is going to be treated like a SBR I want a real stock. But that's just my opinion.

If I did have a braced pistol what to do with it depends on how it was made. If i built it (build from a stripped lower) I would remove it replace the tube with a pistol tube (if nessary) and destroy the brace with picture of before and after destruction. If it was built by a manufacturer (came as a braced pistol) I would sell it immediately. Just thinking from a paper trail perspective and how they could track down these braced pistols after the grace period.
 

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I guess one could go through all of that, or leave it in the closet until this "rule" goes the way of the bump stock rule.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In my opinion registering a braced pistol is not worth it since it is treated like a SBR once done (travel requirements, cannot change the configuration, etc). If it is going to be treated like a SBR I want a real stock. But that's just my opinion.
That's part of what I don't get. With an SBR you CAN change the configuration. Nothing about SBRing either locks in a caliber or other part of the configuration. You do have travel requirements and stuff in NFA configruation, but you can change the configuration so that it does not fall under NFA. Yes, its still registered, but the rules don't apply unless its in the SBR configuration, or constructive intent exists. By constructive intent I mean you can't have your 16" rifle at the range and a lone 12" upper in the range bag and claim that wou don't have an SBR.

I hear rumors saying that registering a braced pistol as an SBR under this grace period is different, but I don't understand why or how it can be.

All of my pistols, except the one currently SBRed, have pistol tubes. IMO if it isn't a pistol tube, it isn't a pistol. When/if the SBRed pistol gets returned to pistol configuration it will include a pistol tube.

None of mine were bought with a brace. All but one of my ARs were bought as a stripped reciever and that one was a 20" barreled rifle. I don't see what they think they're going to track anyway. Maybe some AR pistols like the Honey Badger where all of that model were built from the factory with a pistol brace, but I think that would be the exception rather than the rule. I imagine that for the vast majority they were either shipped from the factory as pistols without a brace and it was added later, or that there is no identifying information in any paperwork identifying one sold with a brace from one sold without.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess one could go through all of that, or leave it in the closet until this "rule" goes the way of the bump stock rule.
Except that I might actually want to take advantage of this opportunity to register two or three pistols as SBRs without the $200 a piece tax stamp. Honestly I don't use the pistols nearly as much as I thought I would because they simply aren't as fun, easy, or comfortable to shoot. Having stocks on them would be a lot more fun to use.

I don't want to argue this from a paranoid (or not so paranoid) position of "you're gonna be on a list" or "they're gonna take them all". I don't have a problem being registered, I've already got 6 items on the NFA list and I go through so many background checks oustide of ATF/NFA that every list I'm on probably had gun owner checked by my name. If they start forcefully confiscating they're going to get all of them anyway. All but a couple of my firearms have 4473s on file somewhere. By that point they've thrown the 2A out the window and are going to use them as a registry whether its legal/constitutional or not.

I'm just trying to figure out the pros and cons of registering them under this grace period. If the pros win I'm going to slap some braces on some pistols and start doing paperwork. If the cons win I'll be putting them "in the bin". Since I don't see the SBR portion of the NFA going away, some of them would likely end up registererd in a few years anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Tom Grieve is a pretty good firearms lawyer:

I watched it. It's useless for what I'm asking. If it were worth watching I probably would have posted in your thread about it. He spends 10 minutes talking about the "bump stock ban" case and how he thinks/hopes it'll apply to this "pistol brace ban". He spends no time going over what the final rule means for people that own them.

Edit: I jumped the gun. I assumed that this was the same video I say in another thread. It isn't. Same dude, same picture, same backgrount and graphics, but different title and twice as long. I owe bedlamite an apology. This one is much better for my purposes. I'll make a new reply. The part below is still true though.

I don't care what may or may not happen in court, though I am rooting for it to go the way of the bump stock case. I care about what it means for people that own them and how it can possibly be used to our advantage. You know things like a free tax stamp that can be used to legally install a shoulder stock and an actual VFG on our "braced pistols".
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I have a thread about it? news to me.
You don't have to be that way.
/bye
Sorry, @Nativeman30 has a thread about it, I saw the same link in that thread today and assumed that it was the same poster. My applogies.

Still useless for my questions. If it had been worth watching for me I probably would have posted in that thread. EDIT: and it looked like the same video at first glance, looking again I guess it isn't. I've been awake since 6am yesterday, my bad. I'll try watching it and see if I can make sense of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@bedlamite I'm eating my hat now. That video was much better than the one in the other thread. The links contained in the youtube page comments were also helpful for most of what I was wondering about. I appologize for getting snappy/snarky (or what ever it would be called) earlier.

That video did answer some of the questions I had:

1) "any news on when it will be officially submitted?"
  • Unclear, but likely sometime in mid March.
2) "when and how does one go about registering for this free tax stamp?"
3) "can I register it to a trust?"
  • Considering that the above link includes instructions for a trust, I assume that is yes.
4) Is the registration free?
  • Yes for firearms meeting criteria and submittetd within the 120 day period.
5) Photo documentation required for submission?
  • Actually looks like no, though it may help. The only line in the instructions that mentions a firearm photo is as an example for optional documentation. Optional = not required

Font Parallel Number Document Screenshot


That leaves:

6) Must stay in as registered configuration after approval?

I heard nothing regarding this in the video and see nothing about it in the instructions. Back when I registered my first pistol as an SBR, it went stright from pistol w/o brace to pistol with stock after approval. I know that back then all rules and expert advice said that it did not have to remain as configured. I was submitting for appoval as configured, but once configured as an SBR I was free to modify it as I please. It did not have to remain .223, it did not have to remain 10.5", it did not have to keep the same buffer or stock assembly. It did not stay the same, it's now a 6.8 with 12.5" barrel and different stock (which is probably going to change again).

If this grace period registration is the same as a normal SBR registration then all is good. I can't figure out of its the same or something special due to the circumstances. Is there an astric placed in the colum for these guns saything that they must stay as registered? Some internet sources say yes, others say nothing about it at all. Is it something that was found in earlier versions of the rule that have since been dropped? That would explain where it started and why it isn't being mentioned in videos like the one above.

Looks like if I'm going to try to do this I need to start preparing. Mostly needing to get fingerprints done and a passport photo. I can probably do the passport photo myself, but I want to get the electronic EFT fingerprints so I have them for future usage. Need to find a place around here I can get that done. If find a place soon, I should have time to get the other trust members onboard incase I do put some of them on the trust. Needed to get them on file anyway, I've been putting off buying more silencers due to the hassle of getting all the paperwork lined up.
 

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I built a pistol for the Missouri Alternative weapons season. If I were to SBR this weapon then it would no longer be a "pistol". I, hopefully, can just remove the brace and leave it as-is and retain it as a pistol and continue using it for it's intended purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I built a pistol for the Missouri Alternative weapons season. If I were to SBR this weapon then it would no longer be a "pistol". I, hopefully, can just remove the brace and leave it as-is and retain it as a pistol and continue using it for it's intended purpose.
I'm assuming that it had a pistol buffer tube now? You can remove and discard the brace, then "leave it as-is and retain it as a pistol and continue using it for it's intended purpose."

However you could also SBR it under existing the existing rules, then remove the brace and hunt with it as a pistol when dersired. Unless Missouri's laws for this are different than Federal Law and AFT rules, after you register as an SBR, once you separate the pistol from it's brace/stock it returns to being a pistol. My question is how, or if, the new rules concerning braces and pistols registered during the grace period will affect it.

I want to believe that they will be treated just like any other SBRed pistol, but I have a hard time believing that they threw out this freebie without a gotcha. Once again, not talking about a paronid coming to get ya, but a sneaky, overlooked, rules change gotcha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went from brace to SBR when they first tried this. Glad I did and dont have to deal with this now.
Well, I'm glad I didn't do it then. That would have been money out my pocket, money they shouldn't be getting in the first place.

I had an SBR before they started talking about this. I have two pistols now that don't have and never had braces. I've got two braces that have never been installed on pistols. The only desire that I have to install them on pistols is to save on tax stamps that would likely happen eventually anyway. If allowed to modify they would only be installed long enough to take pictures and collect the components to convert to stocks.

I'm looking a saving atleast 400 by waiting, possibly 600 if I do all three. Considering that getting the EFT files to register them under my trust is going to cost about half that (50-70 each x 4), it's a savings that I consider more than worth the wait it. Especially when you consider that those saving would cover the transfer of another silencer and I'd already have the EFT files on hand.
 

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I don't understand why so many people were surprised that most "stabilizing braces" would not qualify for the exemption. The wording in the March 2017 letter clearly stated this about the particular brace that was accepted: "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 rifle because in the configuration as submitted to and approved by the FATD, it is not intended to be and cannot comfortably be fired from the shoulder" (emphasis, mine). My reading has always been that any brace that can be comfortably fired from the shoulder would not qualify. It is important to remember that the version of the brace submitted for review had floppy foam cuffs that were too floppy to be a useful butt stock.

To be honest, I suspect that many of the brace manufacturers knew this and were betting on making a bunch of money from the unwary.
 

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I don't understand why so many people were surprised that most "stabilizing braces" would not qualify for the exemption. The wording in the March 2017 letter clearly stated this about the particular brace that was accepted: "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 rifle because in the configuration as submitted to and approved by the FATD, it is not intended to be and cannot comfortably be fired from the shoulder" (emphasis, mine). My reading has always been that any brace that can be comfortably fired from the shoulder would not qualify. It is important to remember that the version of the brace submitted for review had floppy foam cuffs that were too floppy to be a useful butt stock.

To be honest, I suspect that many of the brace manufacturers knew this and were betting on making a bunch of money from the unwary.
Many manufacturers were also lying to the public saying they had an approval letter from ATF. Ask them to produce the letter and they would ignore you or had one send a copy of a letter that was for a different manufacturer. They were all about making money. I knew this was going to happen eventually and have predicted it many times. SBRs have always required a stamp and the majority of people putting braces on their so called pistols had every intention of shooting it from the shoulder and were just trying to work around the $200 tax stamp. Don't get me wrong, I believe the SBR law should be repealed but until it is, either pay the tax or have a 16" barrel and 26" overall as the law says. Render unto Ceasar the things which belongs to Ceasar.
 
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I don't have any braces I thought this day would come, just too good to be true.

In my opinion registering a braced pistol is not worth it since it is treated like a SBR once done (travel requirements, cannot change the configuration, etc). If it is going to be treated like a SBR I want a real stock. But that's just my opinion.

If I did have a braced pistol what to do with it depends on how it was made. If i built it (build from a stripped lower) I would remove it replace the tube with a pistol tube (if nessary) and destroy the brace with picture of before and after destruction. If it was built by a manufacturer (came as a braced pistol) I would sell it immediately. Just thinking from a paper trail perspective and how they could track down these braced pistols after the grace period.
Reading thru atf q&a once registered it is an SBR remove the brace and put a stock on it. As for changing configuration as long as you can revert back to original configuration submitted changing uppers is considered temporary. If you really want to cover yourself after mine was approved I sent a letter stating I also intended to use uppers x y and z and they sent back a signed letter acknowledging receipt.

Sent from my SM-S906U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Reading thru atf q&a once registered it is an SBR remove the brace and put a stock on it. As for changing configuration as long as you can revert back to original configuration submitted changing uppers is considered temporary. If you really want to cover yourself after mine was approved I sent a letter stating I also intended to use uppers x y and z and they sent back a signed letter acknowledging receipt.

Sent from my SM-S906U using Tapatalk
Got a link to that Q&A? I'd like to read (reread?) it myself.
 

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Reading thru atf q&a once registered it is an SBR remove the brace and put a stock on it. As for changing configuration as long as you can revert back to original configuration submitted changing uppers is considered temporary. If you really want to cover yourself after mine was approved I sent a letter stating I also intended to use uppers x y and z and they sent back a signed letter acknowledging receipt.

Sent from my SM-S906U using Tapatalk
What I meant with configuration changes is that it is risky to make the change without "approval" from the NFA Branch. As you stated it would be best to get approval first and I 100% agree, here is a letter generator for this purpose


This is what I was referring too as just with travel rules (approval required before cross state lines) one could argue changing a upper or any config change also requires approval prior to making that change even if temporary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Traveling across state lines is a completely different issue from changing configuration.

I'm not sure why I expected asking here to go any better than any other forum. They all seem to derail and get off focus without ever ironing out the original questions. I'll say it again.

For purposes of this thread, I don't care about whether the new ruling is right or wrong. I think it's wrong along with the whole of the ATF and NFA, but that doesn't matter. It is the current ruling set to go into effect sometime in march, unless the courts smack it down first. That's a subject of debate for another thread.

The rules concerning what you can do with a normal SBR are well established (until the rules change again). We already know what is and is not allowed for modifications and transportation of them. Some of us have different ideas of what that is. Some of us are wrong, but can't/won't be convinced otherwise. Don't care. None of that is in question here.

The remaining question is, are there different rules for braced pistols that get registered under this free tax stamp grace period?

If not, great I can treat it like any other SBR and I'll definitely take advantage of the free stamps. If so we kind of need to know what those differences are to make a decision.
 
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