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In other words when it is used as designed (as an arm brace) it is fine. I don't see any vagueness in that statement. Please tell me where it say that it is "fine to shoot from the shoulder".
Please show me a letter or ruling or anything from ATF that ever said it was ok to shoulder a pistol brace.
The classification of a firearm has always been determined by the physical attributes of the weapon itself. Any firearm is clearly and objectively in one of the legal definitions and the ATF is on record as stating that a brace does not meet the definition of a stock (as above). What the ATF has tried to do since then is make the definition of a firearm change based solely on how it is held. That is unprecedented and, in my opinion and reading of the laws quoted above, not actually supported by the language of the law.

To reiterate, by my reading of legal definitions above, how a firearm is actually used by the operator is irrelevant to the classification. The legal considerations are "designed, made, AND intended" use. If you didn't design it and make it, your intended or actual use just don't matter, according to the law (the use of "and" means that all 3 conditions must be met).

And while my comment about using two hands on a pistol converts it to an AOW is absurd, it's the exact same logic the ATF is trying to apply to the brace: your use doesn't match the definition, therefore you changed it's classification. Putting a secondary vfg on a pistol makes it an AOW because the intended use is objectively inherent in the firearm, but the classification is made based on the physical characteristics of the firearm, not how the operator actually uses it.

For folks who bought a factory gun with brace I think they are on pretty solid foundation given the above. For someone who did a custom build with a brace I think the ATF would at least have a fighting chance to argue that you "designed and made" the weapon. Also working against the agency is the fact that this is a 10 year old decision and none of their letters / opinions carry the weight of law, so when this finally does go to court they'll have to argue that their 2012 letter was wrong.

Regardless, the courts and voters will sort it out. More than anything, I'm just saddened to see a government administration and bureaucracy so hostile to it's citizens and constitution. And the NFA is garbage to begin with.
 

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I guess we will have to just disagree. ATF has always been pretty consistent on the subject as far as I can see. If you built it with the intent to shoot it from your shoulder or bought it with the intent to shoot it from your shoulder it is still the intent to use it as a short barreled rifle and not a pistol. By your logic, I should be able to buy a smith and wesson 686 and go out in the shop and build a stock for it and it would not change the classification any when in fact you are re-designing it to be used as an SBR. Just because it is an AR platform doesn't mean the rules get to be different.
I said it before and will say it again and I firmly believe this to be true: at least 90% of people who bought or built a pistol with a brace fully intended to shoot it from their shoulder and did it with the sole intent of bypassing the $200 stamp. I will agree that most of the NFA is unconstitutional as is many of the ATF rules but the only way to change any of it is through the Congress. We all have representatives in the House and the Senate who are supposed to be there to "represent" us. We need to, at the very least get SBR and suppressor laws completely removed from the NFA. Neither of them make any sense anymore. Suppressors never did.
 
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A lot of good points have been made here . The ATF did actually try to avoid this by saying if you occasionally or accidentally shoulder the AR pistol it’s no biggy unless that’s the intended use of the brace . That has been well documented . Some people have taken advantage of that “ leniency “ and flaunted it publicly which thanks to the internet blogs has been well documented . If we go with the belief that possibly 90% of peoples reasons for wanting a brace is to bypass the tax is reason enough to outlaw them where does it stop ? Let’s say the ATF decides a certain percentage of people want suppressors so they can break the law and not get caught . What if the ATF decides a percentage of the people want larger than 5 shot magazines so they can shoot More innocent people ? What I’m saying is ,is it right to go after the people who are doing it correctly because some are not ? Isn’t that how most anti gun laws work ? If people are publicly making a show out of breaking the law go after them not everyone else . I have heard some say 90% of people who want suppressors to hunt are poachers and night hunters , I have heard the same about crossbow hunting . Should we outlaw both of them or just charge the ones who do break the law ?


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A lot of good points have been made here . The ATF did actually try to avoid this by saying if you occasionally or accidentally shoulder the AR pistol it’s no biggy unless that’s the intended use of the brace . That has been well documented . Some people have taken advantage of that “ leniency “ and flaunted it publicly which thanks to the internet blogs has been well documented . If we go with the belief that possibly 90% of peoples reasons for wanting a brace is to bypass the tax is reason enough to outlaw them where does it stop ? Let’s say the ATF decides a certain percentage of people want suppressors so they can break the law and not get caught . What if the ATF decides a percentage of the people want larger than 5 shot magazines so they can shoot More innocent people ? What I’m saying is ,is it right to go after the people who are doing it correctly because some are not ? Isn’t that how most anti gun laws work ? If people are publicly making a show out of breaking the law go after them not everyone else . I have heard some say 90% of people who want suppressors to hunt are poachers and night hunters , I have heard the same about crossbow hunting . Should we outlaw both of them or just charge the ones who do break the law ?


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All I am saying is that people brought this on themselves by being idiots and flaunting their abuse publicly. Like you said, ATF tried to let is slide but people refused to let them. It is not a case of ATF deciding anything based on percentages. That was my opinion and I am sure most would agree with it. If people had not so flagrantly flaunted their abuse of the law, ATF would likely have continued to ignore it but when it is flaunted in their face there is only so much they can let slide.
 

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By your logic, I should be able to buy a smith and wesson 686 and go out in the shop and build a stock for it and it would not change the classification any when in fact you are re-designing it to be used as an SBR.
No, that is not my logic at all. Putting a stock on a pistol makes it an SBR and that is very clear and objective. What I'm saying is that the ATF said that a brace is not a stock, and therefore putting it on a pistol does not change the classification. That is literally what they said.

I'm also saying that the ATF is trying to set a new precedent that the classification of an item can change based solely on how it is operated. That just opens up a whole can of worms that we should not accept from a regulatory agency. That requires a change to the way the law is written.

Of course, this is all a distraction from the fact that the NFA is stupid in the first place and we should really be focusing on that.
 

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No, that is not my logic at all. Putting a stock on a pistol makes it an SBR and that is very clear and objective. What I'm saying is that the ATF said that a brace is not a stock, and therefore putting it on a pistol does not change the classification. That is literally what they said.

I'm also saying that the ATF is trying to set a new precedent that the classification of an item can change based solely on how it is operated. That just opens up a whole can of worms that we should not accept from a regulatory agency. That requires a change to the way the law is written.

Of course, this is all a distraction from the fact that the NFA is stupid in the first place and we should really be focusing on that.
They said in their opinion it was not a stock if it was not intended to be a stock . The problem is their opinion can change and has and will continue to do so as a result of public opinion , action of gun owners and political pressure . I think we all agree ATF nor anyone else’s opinion should be taken as law but that’s how it works . The FBI has a lot of options lately too. The bottom line is we need leadership that removes We The People from under the thumb of opinionated dictators and gives the power back to our representatives .


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No, that is not my logic at all. Putting a stock on a pistol makes it an SBR and that is very clear and objective. What I'm saying is that the ATF said that a brace is not a stock, and therefore putting it on a pistol does not change the classification. That is literally what they said.

I'm also saying that the ATF is trying to set a new precedent that the classification of an item can change based solely on how it is operated. That just opens up a whole can of worms that we should not accept from a regulatory agency. That requires a change to the way the law is written.

Of course, this is all a distraction from the fact that the NFA is stupid in the first place and we should really be focusing on that.
But it is a handgun by design right? What is the difference in that and an AR pistol? The problem is that ATF said pistol braces were fine as long as they were used as designed, meaning as an arm brace. When you use them as a stock they are essentially a stock regardless of how they look. I could put an adapter on my 686 that wrapped around my forearm and it would be fine but if I put that same adapter on it and used it against my shoulder then you tell me. Is it a stock or a brace?
 

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But it is a handgun by design right? What is the difference in that and an AR pistol? The problem is that ATF said pistol braces were fine as long as they were used as designed, meaning as an arm brace. When you use them as a stock they are essentially a stock regardless of how they look. I could put an adapter on my 686 that wrapped around my forearm and it would be fine but if I put that same adapter on it and used it against my shoulder then you tell me. Is it a stock or a brace?
According to the last ATF opinion letter I read if you occasionally or accidentally shouldered it but that was not it’s intended purpose and you normally used it as a pistol then it’s a pistol . If it was your intention to use it as a rifle then it’s a SBR . It still goes back to the original intent . The proof is in the pudding . If you post videos of you shooting it properly then it would be assumed you intended it to be a pistol if you continually post videos of you shouldering it I would assume that was the original intent . The problem is people kept posting videos of them using it as a rifle and that lead to some of our own and and anti gun people to yell “ they are breaking the law “ . I wonder if the ATF determines you can’t use any forward assist accessories how long before someone posts videos of them using an “ extended “ mag or bipod to hold their weapon and how many of our side will draw attention to it by saying they are breaking the law .


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I'm not looking for internet points here, just trying to clarify my position / logic...

The problem is that ATF said pistol braces were fine as long as they were used as designed, meaning as an arm brace.
I think this is the fundamental underlying premise that we are interpreting differently. The original ATF letter from 2012 said mad no such stipulation. They flatly and plainly said that adding a brace to a firearm "does not convert the weapon to be fired from the shoulder". Those are the ATF's words, not mine.

Here is the whole letter: https://vpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/ATF-Approval-Letter-2012.pdf

They only tried to add the "so long as" a few years later (I think it was the 2015 letter) and that's when they tried to introduce the concept that a weapon could change configuration based solely on how it is used. Again, my position is that that is unprecedented and not supported by the language of the law. I'm fairly certain I'm correct on that, but let me know if there is any case law or legal wording I'm missing that has allowed "use" alone to change the classification of a firearm.

To your first question, I'm in agreement that adding a stock to a pistol changes the configuration. Where we differ, I think, is that my position is that something either is a stock or it is not a stock based on "design, make, and intent", of the item, not based on how the operator / end-user actually uses it. We both agree that a stock is "designed, made, and intended" to be shoulder fired. The ATF accept and acknowledged (in the 2012 letter) that a brace is "designed, made, and intended" to be used to stabilize how a pistol is shot with one hand, therefore it is not a shoulder stock. The fact that an end user operates the weapon in a manner inconsistent with how it was "designed, made, and intended" to be used is irrelevant under the law, and the ATF was actually consistent with this view...until 2015.

To throw someone in jail for a brace, the Feds will have to convince the judge / court that the brace was "designed, made, and intended to be fired from the shoulder". If I'm the defendant, my first exhibit will be the 2012 letter from the ATF showing that subject matter experts in the regulatory agency charged with interpreting these laws found this item to not cross that threshold. To win the case, the prosecutor will have to argue that the ATF letter from 2012 was wrong. That can happen, because the letters don't carry the weight of law.

I guess you accept that putting a brace on an AR pistol and shouldering it satisfies all 3 requirements (design, make, intent)? Perhaps a court will some day agree with you. Would you agree that applies to a factory bought pistol that comes with a brace where the owner/user took no actions to "design" or "make" the firearm?

If the administration wants to make braces illegal, they really should do it through legislation.
 

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I think that most braces were made after the 2015 letter so that they could be used as a brace but were designed (wink and nod here) to be used as a stock. I think the designers knew full well that these would be used as stocks because of a letter from ATF that was misinterpreted to say that it was fine to shoulder a brace. Otherwise, we are pretty much in agreement. The point being that ATF puts out a letter saying that a brace is not a stock and then every swinging richard with a youtube channel set out to prove them wrong. Basically they backed the ATF into a corner with their stupidity of posting video after video of them firing it from their shoulder. After so much of this, ATF opinion changed to; wait a minute, maybe it is a stock after all. What else would you expect them to do in this situation? Just ignore it? I have spoken personally to ATF agents who say that in many cases, where an AR style weapon is concerned they try to just look the other way because most/all of the laws pertaining to such matters were written before the AR style weapon was invented and the AR completely changes the game. In other words, they are trying to enforce the law in accordance with the intent of the law as it was written but ARs make it tough for them to figure out how to do that. It would make everyone's life so much easier if there were no SBR laws. After all, they were written because the short barrel made them easier to conceal. That concept has completely disappeared with the AR pistol. It is not possible to put a stamp on an SBR and have it be any less or more concealable than the exact same weapon with a brace installed. If anything, quite often the brace is fatter so even less concealable than the SBR. The solution? Do away with SBR laws.
 

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Based on the results of elections, I'm pretty sure many people don't have any idea why they are doing some of the things they do. In absence of documentation of any kind, we simply don't know why people bought braces or what their intent was.

I'd be ok with getting rid of the SBR, Class III, and suppressor taxes.
 

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If this falls, what is next? Could your rifled barreled shotgun become a destructive device? After all it is over 50 caliber and rifled.

This is why as gun owners we must fight all regulations on our 2nd amendment rights.
I’m sure there are already traditionalists weapons hunters saying it’s just a work around of shotgun only laws and they are nothing but rifles pretending to be shotguns and should be deemed as such .


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If this falls, what is next? Could your rifled barreled shotgun become a destructive device? After all it is over 50 caliber and rifled.

This is why as gun owners we must fight all regulations on our 2nd amendment rights.
I agree completely. What are you doing to fight any of it?
 

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If this falls, what is next? Could your rifled barreled shotgun become a destructive device? After all it is over 50 caliber and rifled.

This is why as gun owners we must fight all regulations on our 2nd amendment rights.
Everything is next, and anyone here that has any misconception of that does now fully understand what we're dealing with here. We're dealing with traitors. And they'll stop at nothing to take all of the power and control from the people.
 

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Everything is next, and anyone here that has any misconception of that does now fully understand what we're dealing with here. We're dealing with traitors. And they'll stop at nothing to take all of the power and control from the people.
Yep, and they have been at it for at least 60 years and have accomplished very little. Nothing new here. In fact it has been coming back our way in the last eight or ten years with several SCOTUS rulings in favor of gun owners. The sky is not falling. Stop freaking out. Vote, call your congress critters, that is about all you can do.
 
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Yep, and they have been at it for at least 60 years and have accomplished very little. Nothing new here. In fact it has been coming back our way in the last eight or ten years with several SCOTUS rulings in favor of gun owners. The sky is not falling. Stop freaking out. Vote, call your congress critters, that is about all you can do.
They came close in ‘94 though . We are always just one new executive order or law away from being outlaws . Trump said he didn’t like suppressors and might look at them next . Until such an executive order was ruled unconstitutional by the court (assuming it would be ) all suppressor owners would be outlaws . We need every state to pass SAPA type legislation like Missouris law and put the pressure on the Feds .


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They came close in ‘94 though . We are always just one new executive order or law away from being outlaws . Trump said he didn’t like suppressors and might look at them next . Until such an executive order was ruled unconstitutional by the court (assuming it would be ) all suppressor owners would be outlaws . We need every state to pass SAPA type legislation like Missouris law and put the pressure on the Feds .


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Has there ever been an EO that overnight made millions of people outlaws?
SAPA laws of various states do absolutely nothing to protect that states citizens from federal prosecution. Several people sitting in federal prison who thought they were protected by their states laws.
 

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Has there ever been an EO that overnight made millions of people outlaws?
SAPA laws of various states do absolutely nothing to protect that states citizens from federal prosecution. Several people sitting in federal prison who thought they were protected by their states laws.
The Trump administrations position that bump stock is a machine gun?

Also, I live in a state that has legalized marijuana. I haven't seen the federal government intervene.

It's weird being old enought to remember when guns were considered normal and drugs were considered bad. Now it's the other way around.
 
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