Here is the latest letter from the ATF that we received at 4:36 PM EST today regarding the SB-15 and Stabilizing braces. It seems to deal with “intent” but also introduces a new concept of “redesign” in an attempt to bolster the concept that use of a firearm can change the classification of it.

Our recommendation remains the same, for a $200 tax stamp why take the legal and financial risk.

The Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received inquiries from the public concerning the proper use of devices recently marketed as “stabilizing braces.” These devices are described as “a shooter’s aid that is designed to improve the single-handed shooting performance of buffer tube equipped pistols.” The device claims to enhance accuracy and reduce felt recoil when using an AR-style pistol.

These items are intended to improve accuracy by using the operator’s forearm to provide stable support for the AR-type pistol. ATF has previously determined that attaching the brace to a firearm does not alter the classification of the firearm or subject the firearm to National Firearms Act (NFA) control. However, this classification is based upon the use of the device as designed. When the device is redesigned for use as a shoulder stock on a handgun with a rifled barrel under 16 inches in length, the firearm is properly classified as a firearm under the NFA.

The NFA, 26 USCS § 5845, defines “firearm,” in relevant part, as “a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length” and “a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.” That section defines both “rifle” and “shotgun” as “a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder….” (Emphasis added).

Pursuant to the plain language of the statute, ATF and its predecessor agency have long held that a pistol with a barrel less than 16 inches in length and an attached shoulder stock is a NFA “firearm.” For example, inRevenue Ruling 61-45, Luger and Mauser pistols “having a barrel of less than 16 inches in length with an attachable shoulder stock affixed” were each classified as a “short barrel rifle…within the purview of the National Firearms Act.”
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Thumbnail image for sig_arm_brace_sb15.jpgWe are all familiar with the inconsistency of the ATF. The ATF has changed their position on the Sib Brace (SB-15) with a pistol. While the ATF, still states that it is legal to use the SB-15 as intended (strapped to your wrist), they have reversed their position on using the SB-15 when shouldered.

You may remember that earlier this year, ATF stated that since the SB-15 is not intended to be fired from the shoulder, the misuse of an individual would not change the classification of the firearm. See the March ATF SB-15 letter

We believe that this is the correct decision and interpretation. The problem is that someone else recently asked the same question and got a very different answer. ATF has now stated that the misuse of the SB-15 (being fired from the shoulder) does create an SBR and make the pistol subject to the NFA.

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In 90 days, it will be legal to hunt with Suppressors in Ohio. On Friday, December 19th Gov. John Kasich signed a massive overhaul of Ohio’s Gun Law including removing the restriction for hunting with a suppressor (sometimes called a silencer). This follows the recent legalization of hunting with Suppressors in Florida. A vast majority of states now permits hunting with suppressors.

Also signed was legislation to require CLEOs to sign Form 4s and Form 1s.

The “shall certify” provision which requires a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) to sign off on an application to transfer an item regulated by the National Firearms Act, once the application procedure and requirements are met. This provision eliminates personal bias towards NFA-related items, requiring CLEOs to sign off and process the application in the same way they do a concealed handgun license.

While many feel shall certify legislation is a good thing, the risk is that people will purchase items as an individual and not use a Gun Trust from a Gun Trust Lawyer®. There are many advantages to purchasing NFA firearms using a Gun Trust, including the ability to protect innocent spouses and others from charges of constructive possession or illegal transfers under the NFA. There are many advantages to using a Gun Trust over individual ownership. For a list of these advantages, request our free report on what is a Gun Trust and Why you should have one by completing the form on this page for more information.

North Carolina NFA Trust and Gun Trust Update:

In Dec 2014, a Gun Trust transfer of a Machine Gun was rejected by the ATF when it stated “In Accordance with NC General Statute 14-409. Please remember that your Form 4 must state a reason other than for scientific and/or experimentation or “in accordance with 14-409″ to comply with The January 11, 2013 email from Dana Pickles. We are in the process of verifying this and will update this blog if anything changes.

A recent email from Dana Pickles at the US Dept. Of Justice Bureau of ATF NFA Branch stated the following changes for North Carolina
Effective January 11 2013 the ATF is handling North Carolina transfers as follows:

Machine Gun transfers from a dealer to a dealer on a Form 3 no longer require a North Carolina Sheriff permission letter to possess the Machine Gun (MG)

From a Dealer to a Gun Trust using a Form 4.
If the Form 4 states that the MG is being “acquired for scientific research and/or experimentation” or “in accordance with 14-409″, then you will still need North Carolina Sheriff permission letter to possess Machine Gun.

But, If the reason on your Form 4 states a reason OTHER than “in accordance with 14-409″ or “for scientific and/or experimental use” then the North Carolina Machine Gun Letter or permission from the Sheriff is not required.

This means you should not state “in accordance with 14-409″ or “for scientific and/or experimental use” on a Machine Gun transfer in the state of North Carolina
All other NFA transfers on a Form 4 – no longer require the reason to state “In accordance with 14-288.8″ to approve the transfer.

Unlike most states which have changed the laws, In Florida you can hunt with Suppressors starting today.

This morning the following announcement was sent out by Marion Hammer the Executive Director of the SSF and past president of the NRA

DATE: November 21, 2014 TO: USF & NRA Member and Friends FROM: Marion P. Hammer USF Executive Director
NRA Past President
At their meeting in Key Largo, Florida, today, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to remove the ban on using silencers/suppressors on pistols and rifles for hunting deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows.

Using silencers/suppressors on pistols, rifles and shotguns for all other legal hunting was already allowed.

Following the suppressor vote, the Commission also voted to authorize an Executive Order to lift the ban immediately and allow hunting with suppressors to being at once.

Following that vote, Executive Order # EO 14-32 was signed. Using suppressor-equipped rifles, pistols and shotguns are now legal for all hunting in Florida.

I would expect a huge increase in Suppressor sales like we have seen in other states after permitting hunting with suppressors

It is expected that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will repeal the 1957 ban on hunting with a sound suppressor.

This change will remove the prohibition on the use of suppressed firearms for taking (hunting) deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail and crows.

10 states have recently permitted hunting with suppressor and now there are 32 other states besides Florida that permit hunting of game animals with suppressors
If you are looking to purchase a suppressor in Florida, you should do so now because of what we have seen in other states as a direct result of permitting hunting with suppressors. Within the next week to ten days you may not be able to find an unsold suppressor in the state.

If you purchase a suppressor as an individual you must get a CLEO signature and fingerprints. If you use a Gun Trust, all that is required is a NICS check like with any other firearm. As many CLEOs in FL refuse to sign Form 4s, a Gun Trust is a great alternative and gives a lot of flexibility to those wanting to use TItle II firearms.

If you want to post a comment for the FWC staff about suppressors follow this LINK.

In the last few days a letter has surfaced on the Internet reportedly written to a small shotgun maker, which states that shouldering a Sig Sauer SB 15 pistol stabilizing brace could change a firearms classification to a short barrel shotgun.

The letter was written in response to Black Aces Tactical’s request related to a short-barreled shotgun that was designed to incorporate the SB 15 Brace. Black Aces Tactical submitted a sample which they say had an overall length of 27 inches. The sample had a SigTac SB15 arm brace attached as well as a vertical foregrip. The brace is intended to allow a shooter to fire and an AR pistol with one hand using a Velcro strap to attach to the arm.
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Great news! The ASA is reporting that the time to process a Form 4 with a Gun Trust has continued to decrease and looks like the time will continue to decrease. Less than a year ago the average wait time was in excess of 12 months. A few months ago the time was reduced to 6-9 months. The current time is 4-6 months, and if you are processing a trust now, you could see an even shorter time as ATF clears their backlog. ATF is continuing to hire and train more people to process the increasing number of ATF Form 4s and Form 1s.

Even better news is that we may see a new electronic Form 4 announced in January at the Shot Show.

41P UPDATE
ATF has indicated that they are not expecting a final ruling on 41P until May 2015 at the earliest. Those of you in panic mode to submit your Form 4s, you may have some extra time. There are over 9000 comments that were filed during the comment period. To read some fo the comments follow this link http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=ATF-2013-0001

To read the https://www.guntrustlawyer.comment and the other Major comments to 41P see our 41P comment page

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X-Products has announced a new product the Can Cannon. At $399 it sounds like fun. I have ordered one to try out and report back on. Watch for updates.
Their website states:

More fun than anyone should have… The Can Cannon is a patent pending launching device that uses a propriatary gas ported barrel and pressure tube to launch heavy, thin wall objects, without burning a hole in them or directing hot gas directly into them. Currently set up for launching full un-opened 12oz soda cans, when used with standard mil spec blanks it can reach an average distance of 105 yards!

Why would you launch a soda can? Because it’s fun! Plus, it’s an incredibly fast and fun decoy to shoot at. Every demonstration leads to more smiles and laughs than any product we’ve ever introduced. BATFE approved design is not considered a Destructive Device or firearm.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=eevV9mpkUrE

This is another one of those issues where the answer is not can you do but what should you do. Technically, you do not have to have a copy of your Form 1 or Form 4 for anyone other than the Attorney General, the ATF or an agent or investigator upon request.

Some recent case law has stated that a police officer is not an investigator or agent or the ATF and as such has no right to request to see your ATF form. I cannot believe the amount of money and or the risk that the individual took when a copy of the document on your cell phone or in your gun bag would have avoided the issue. In addition, there is nothing to state that a judge in your state or where you are asked for the paperwork would rule the same way.

The NFA requires that a person possessing a firearm registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR) retains proof of registration which must be made available to the Attorney General, specifically an ATF agent or investigator, upon request.

So the answer is you might not need to if you are willing to spend months and thousands of dollars should you be arrested, but the smart move would be to have a copy with you to avoid all the potential problems.

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