Friday, January 13, 2023

ATF Announces Final Rule on Pistols Equipped With a Stabilizing Arm Brace

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE or ATF) announced the Stabilizing Pistol Brace Final Rule published in the Federal Register. 

The rule asserts that when manufacturers, dealers and individuals attach a stabilizing arm brace to a pistol, it falls under the definition of a short-barreled rifle and must comply with the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA). 

ATF’s rulemaking was recently called into question by a federal appellate court. 

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF - the firearms industry trade organization) is carefully reviewing the final rule which goes into effect immediately upon publication in the Federal Register. The rule allows for a 120-day period for manufacturers, dealers and individuals to register tax-free any existing NFA short-barreled rifles covered by the rule or take other measures to avoid being a felon. 

To comply with new regulations, manufacturers, dealers, and individuals must either (1) register tax-free any existing NFA short-barreled rifles covered by the rule, (2) remove the stabilizing brace to return the firearm to a pistol, (3) attach a 16" or longer rifled barrel to the firearm, or (4) turn in to ATF or destroy the firearm. Nothing in this rule bans stabilizing braces or the use of stabilizing braces on pistols

This will clearly be a topic of much discussion at the 2023 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show® at the end of January. For more information visit

From the January 13, 2023, Government Relations Update.

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