Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a new rule that would address stabilizing braces and other items related to NFA weapons. The final rule is a staggering 300 pages long and does not take effect until it is submitted to the Federal Register, so for now all we can do is speculate about what it contains. One thing we do know for sure, however, is that it allows individuals, retailers and manufacturers 120 days to register tax-free any NFA short-barreled rifles covered by the rule—or face other options such as removing the stabilizing brace or surrendering their weapons to ATF. In this blog post, let’s explore what this new rule means for consumers and gun owners alike.
What Is Covered Under This Rule?
The new DOJ rule applies to any “firearm with an attached stabilizing brace that has been altered from its original design by either (1) removing the stabilizing brace (2) register tax-free any existing NFA short-barreled rifles covered by the rule (3) or surrendering covered short-barreled rifles to ATF. It should be noted that while this rule does not explicitly ban stabilizing braces or their use on pistols, it does mean those firearms will be treated like short-barreled rifles under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and thus subject to additional restrictions and regulations.
What Are My Options?
This rule sucks! This new ruling is giving individuals 120 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to comply with one of three options: registering their firearm tax-free according to NFA rules; removing their stabilizing brace and returning their weapon back to its original pistol configuration; or surrendering covered short-barreled rifles to ATF. All three options have pros and cons which should be carefully weighed before making a decision on how best to proceed with one’s firearm situation. For example, if you choose option one then you will be required to register with a tax stamp; conversely, if you choose option two then you may experience some loss in accuracy but won't have to pay anything out of pocket while still being able to keep your gun after complying with requirements regarding pistol ownership. Ultimately, each person must decide which option works best for them based on their individual circumstances and needs.
In summary, understanding what this new DOJ rule means for stabilizing braces and other NFA weapons can seem overwhelming at first glance due primarily because there are so many details involved in fully comprehending what is being asked of those who own these types of firearms. On January 31, the ATF will be holding a meeting with us breaking down the language into simpler terms we are able to see more clearly what our options are when it comes time for us make an informed decision on how best comply with all applicable laws before they go into effect after submission in The Federal Register later this year. Ultimately, only you can decide which option works best for your unique set up and needs so please take some time over the next few weeks contemplating your ultimate course of action before submitting anything anywhere just yet! Good luck!