ATF Request For Comment Closes January 4th

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives released their official request for comment on “objective factors for classifying weapons with stabilizing braces” on Friday, December 18th. When I last checked, they had received over 4,500 comments on that day alone.

I submitted my own comment on Saturday. Rather than addressing every aspect of their so-called objective factors (which aren’t), I only spoke to weight, caliber, and some accessories as well as to the length of the comment period. It is essential for future litigation that comments address what is specified in the Request for Comment. Moreover, as I understand it, if something is not brought up in the comments, it cannot be brought up later in a suit seeking an injunction.

Please notice that BATFE has signaled their intent to bring most, if not all, brace-equipped pistols under the NFA. In their “generosity”, they will waive the $200 tax. What is not said is that they will have just added upwards of 3 million pistols as to a Federal firearm registry.

Here is the official notice as sent out by BATFE in an email this weekend.

ATF is publishing the objective factors it considers when evaluating firearms with an attached stabilizing brace to determine whether they are considered firearms under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and/or the Gun Control Act. 

ATF publishes this notice to inform and invite comment from the industry and public on the proposed guidance prior to issuing a final document.  Upon issuance of final guidance, ATF will provide additional information to aid persons and companies in complying with federal laws and regulations. 

This notice also outlines ATF’s enforcement priorities regarding persons who, prior to publication of this notice, made or acquired, in good faith, firearms equipped with a stabilized brace.

Finally, this notice previews ATF’s and the Department of Justice’s plan to subsequently implement a separate process for current possessors of stabilizer-equipped firearms to choose to register such firearms in compliance with the NFA, including an expedited application process and the retroactive exemption of such firearms from the collection of NFA taxes.

Read the general notice

Submit a Comment by January 4

You may submit comments, identified by docket number ATF 2020R-10, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Ave. NE, Mail Stop 6N-518, Washington, DC 20226; ATTN: ATF 2020R-10
  • Fax: (202) 648-9741

All comments must reference this document’s docket number (ATF 2020R-10), be legible, and include the commenter’s complete first and last name and full mailing address. ATF will not consider, or respond to, comments that do not meet these requirements or comments containing excessive profanity.

Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or before January 4, 2021. All properly completed comments received will be posted without change to the Federal eRulemaking portal, www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. 

Submit a formal comment


4 thoughts on “ATF Request For Comment Closes January 4th”

  1. I know nothing about them so am not the right person to comment, but can’t an owner just remove the brace and then it doesn’t fall under the new rule?

    Not saying it’s good policy or a good rule, just asking.

    1. If it was made an NFA item, mere possession of the pistol brace minus registration would make it what is called “constructive possession”. You have it and could put it on the pistol thus the pistol becomes an unregistered NFA SBR.

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