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BREAKING: ATF Says NO to Vertical Grips on AR Pistols! – The Legal Brief

Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show
where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of
the gun world. I’m your host Adam Kraut and today we’re talking
about ATF booting stabilizing braces out of the overall length measurement of a firearm. At the end of June, ATF sent an unsolicited letter to an individual who previously had inquired
about the proper way to measure to overall length of a pistol equipped with a stabilizing
brace. That inquiry was over a year ago via email
to which ATF had already responded. Ok, so before we go any further, what ATF
is saying is that the stabilizing brace is not integral to determining whether a firearm
is a pistol or not. As an example, prior to the invention of the
stabilizing brace, AR pistols were equipped with smooth receiver extensions or buffer
tubes. Adding a brace to one would not change its
classification from pistol to something else. Compare that to a stock, where adding a stock
to an AR pistol would convert it into a rifle, and depending on the barrel length, possibly
making it a short barrel rifle. Because the stabilizing brace is an accessory
and not relevant to its classification, ATF is taking the position that when measuring
the overall length of a firearm, the stabilizing brace is not to be included. If you’re dealing with a gun that has a
solid receiver extension or buffer tube, the brace should be removed and the overall length
should be measured from the end of the receiver extension or buffer tube to the muzzle or
the end of the muzzle device if permanently attached. If the firearm has a stabilizing brace that
folds, it must be measured in the folded position. As ATF states in its letter “[m]akers also
create an artificial overall length measurement by attaching a folding stabilizing brace. Such a measurement would be problematic because
the firearm could avoid classification as an ‘AOW,’ yet retain the conceivability and
remain fully functional. Measuring a folding (or telescoping) stabilizing
brace would therefore undermine the comprehensive statutory and regulatory design of the GCA
and NFA. The measurement of a folding or collapsible
stabilizing brace in the overall length of a firearm creates an artificial overall length
that would permit a maker to avoid classification as an NFA ‘firearm’ without a viable design
purpose or legal justification.” I know some of you are asking, but Adam, why does this matter? You just said that the brace has nothing to
do with the classification of my pistol being a pistol. And if you’re thinking that, you are right,
but, if you’re one of the people who has put a vertical foregrip on their pistol and
included the stabilizing brace in the overall length measurement to exceed 26 inches, you’re
about to be in for a bad time. Side note, questions about putting a vertical
foregrip on AR pistols are one of the top questions that we get here at TGC. For this to make sense, we need to take a
trip down memory lane to talk about the definition of Any Other Weapons or AOWs which are controlled
by the National Firearms Act or NFA. In the part pertinent to our discussion, the
term AOW is defined to mean “any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person
from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive. Such term shall not include a pistol or a
revolver having a rifled bore.” So an AOW can be a weapon that is capable
of being concealed on a person and from which a shot can be discharged through the energy
of an explosive. The term AOW specifically excludes a pistol
with a rifled bore. We also need to take a quick peek at the definition
of pistol, which is found in the regulations of the NFA. It is defined to mean “a weapon originally
designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held
in one hand.” ATF has stated that there is a presumption
that a firearm 26 inches or less is “capable of being concealed on a person.” That is not to say that an overall length
greater than 26 inches is a guarantee it fall outside of that category, especially if there
is evidence introduce the firearm was concealed on a person. ATF has also stated that by installing a vertical
fore grip on a handgun, the handgun is no longer designed to be held and fired by the
use of a single hand. Starting to see the problem? Essentially, if a person has a pistol where
they measured the overall length, including the stabilizing brace, to ensure it was more
than 26 inches and then added a vertical fore grip, ATF is now contending that they may
have manufactured an AOW. If the overall length of the firearm, without
the brace, is 26 inches or less, it would be an AOW according to ATF. If, the overall length without the brace was
more than 26 inches, it would be classified as a “firearm”, which would be lawful to possess
without having to go through the NFA process. Again, that last part is predicated on it
not being concealed on a person. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost for people
who wish to put something on the front end of their pistol that has an overall length
of 26 inches or less. For example, ATF determined that the gripstop
was not a vertical fore grip. As such, adding it to handgun does not result
in making an NFA firearm, unlike adding a vertical fore grip. So what’s the bottom line? If you have a pistol and you are not adding
a vertical fore grip, this changes nothing for you. To properly measure your pistol, you start
from the muzzle and measure to the end of the receiver extension or buffer tube. If the firearm is equipped with a folding
mechanism, it must be folded before you start to measure. Not surprisingly, if you put a vertical foregrip
on a pistol which measures 26 inches or less, you have made an AOW which requires an approved
NFA Form 1 to lawfully make. If you attached an angled foregrip, like the
gripstop, to one of those, it does not become an AOW. Firearms measuring over 26 inches with a vertical
foregrip are generally not considered AOWs either. Hopefully this puts a lot of your questions
to rest. That’s it for this episode, if you have learned
anything from this show, help us out and hit that like button, and share it with your friends. Don’t forget to get subscribed and if you
enjoyed the video, consider supporting us via the links down in the video description. And as always, thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “BREAKING: ATF Says NO to Vertical Grips on AR Pistols! – The Legal Brief

  1. The real question is…. Why the fuck does it matter? Non of these regulations make any difference. No ones going around say: "thank god I was shot by a 16inch barrel instead of a 15inch barrel with a tax stamp!" it doesn't stop the criminals. It hurts business and gun owners for no reason. This is why the ATF & FDA need to be overhauled.

  2. @theguncollective Say you own something like a Kel Tec CMR 30 that does have a 16"+ barrel so it's classified as a rifle, but with the stock folded/collapsed it has an overall length of 22.5" (IE less than 26"), you can still put a vertical foregrip on it because the 16"+ barrel exempts it from ever being classified as a pistol regardless of OAL and therefore being classified as an AOW…correct?

  3. I'm just glad the ATF didn't burn down a building full children while making this classification. Everytime they do something I hold my breath.

  4. The people in charge of the ATF are simply an extended arm of those that only want to discourage the purchasing of AR-15’s. Their rules only impact law abiding citizens that do target shooting at ranges or store it in their homes for self defense. No criminal would give a shit about 26 inches or concealment because they are CRIMINALS. We just had several mass shootings where an actual pistol was used to commit the acts, but we got rules for rifles based on fucking inches? There is no real difference between a 16 inch rifle and one that is 14.5 and below. They are both semi-auto and have effective ranges beyond 200 yds. Concealment doesn’t much matter when you can conceal a semi-auto pistol with extended mags (or even standard mags) and inflict high casualties.These rules are simply a joke and it makes the ATF look really petty and is led by a bunch of trolls.

  5. So if under 26” I can get away with an angled or grip stop and more than 26 I can attach a vertical or stubby correct?

  6. At about 6:09 you show a diagram and mention you measure from the muzzle end and the diagram shows measuring from the end of the muzzle brake. Unless the brake is pinned/welded you can't include that in the measurement. It should be measured from the end of the barrel itself.

  7. So by my understanding of the recent ATF letter. Is that a stock mossberg shockwace is legal. But putting a SB tactical brace on it makes it illegal. since the brace and tube arent integral to the function of the firearm they arent to be included into the overall measurement of the firearm. How fuckd up is it that a letter can arbitrarily make a law abiding citizens felons. ATF is just making gun grabbing loopholes since their liberal puppets arent making any progress..

  8. Please stop dumbing up the place. We haven't been able to have vertical grips on pistol for a very very long time. This is NOT new.

  9. So if you remove the birds head grip on a Mossberg Shockwave and replace it with a pistol grip (now under 26”), it’s an NFA item! Even with a pistol brace?

  10. The ATF never said braces could be counted for OAL… Never. Ever. NOT ONCE.

    They did say "stocks could be extended to count overall length"… But a brace, is not a stock.

    This is a matter of a large group of people assuming wrong, and now being butt hurt because the ATF made it clear.

    I hate the ATF… FUCK the ATF… But there is no reversal here. They have always said a brace is an accessory. Just as a threaded muzzle device is…

    …and they also have not ruled against vertical hand grips… The firearm just has to be at legal length.

  11. Please remind me once again exactly how any of this complicated legislation is supposed to save lives and make anyone of us "safer" in any way whatsoever………….. as it was originally argued?

  12. If I don't tell anyone what I have, how is the Government going to know what I have is illegal or not? They can't know, thus, no problem. Everyone else can keep wringing their hands and worrying about someone knocking on their door. Not me.

  13. I don’t get how they allow other grips but not the vertical

    The other grips are also stabilizing the firearm

    1 just looks like a dildo
    They can sit on them 😂

    They banned it because of how it looks?


    (time sensitive)

    im going to a range event in a couple weeks.

    i have a folding Zhukov stock on my AK (rifle).

    seen mid-page on this website ( )

    my question about this new OAL-VFG law is:

    i know that i measure my OAL with the stock folded.

    but do i measure the most rear-ward position as

    the back of my actual receiver

    or the back of the latching mechanism attached to the receiver

  15. So, If i build or buy an AR pistol upper and attach it to my AR lower from my rifle is it still considered a pistol if I remove the butt stock? Or do I have to buy another lower intended to be use as a pistol?

  16. The ATF can keep dreaming up stupidity all day and regulations to accompany said stupidity, but at the end of the day, technology will always defeat and circumvent bureaucracy. Back to the circular firing squad.

  17. Just a suggestion, but perhaps you shouldn't wear a shirt with a pentagram when promoting a constitutional right provided by a country which is so intergral with trusting in God. Kinda makes you look like an idiot, despite any truth you speak.

  18. Seriously, How does ATF rules really relate to law? One day they could say any handgun over 1 inch barrel length is a AOW, The next day it's two inches. The saying you give them a inch and they take a mile really comes into play. Are these rules just made to bust people that are criminals and they have nothing else on them or is just to keep regular people just questioning if they are in some sort of legal limbo if they add a piece of plastic to a firearm?

  19. wait a sec… lemme get this straight… putting a vertical foregrip on a glock 17 is considered making an aow? seriously?

  20. Ok. I know someone is going to talk smack because I'm sure it was mentioned and I'm just not getting it. Can you put a folding adapter on an ar pistol with the brace?. The pistol is not operational while in the folding position. Well they say it's not supposed to be.

  21. Problem I have with measuring with the folding system folded, is the AR systems aren't designed to operate until extended. So it's in a stored and inoperable setup.

  22. Every single person in the world including all law-enforcement agencies fire their pistols using two hands They are literally trained in law-enforcement to do so. are you now saying that those are no longer pistols?

  23. Clearly ATF regs are made by lawyers with no real clue about functionality…..bang bang bullets come out either way….freaking paper pushing tyrants

  24. So nothing changed then. They basically clarified that you can't include the brace in your measurement, which everyone should have known already just like your muzzle device if not pinned and welded doesn't count for OAL. This wasn't them changing their mind, as some on here are saying.

  25. Wait, so if you make something like a 7.5 inch barreled AR with a PDW brace and an angled foregrip, it's legal?

  26. 2nd Amendment says!

    I dont give a shit! Right to bear arms! What part of that do you idiots not understand!?

    My dick is 22 inches!

  27. So a “firearm” isn’t a rifle or a pistol? So can I keep my loaded “firearm” in a vehicle in Pennsylvania with a ccw?

  28. So I measured from the end of buffer tube to the threads of the barrel and it’s 26” exactly. Can I add a vertical foregrip?

  29. Just because a pistol is originally designed to be fired from one hand does not mean it must be fired from one hand. That's just common sense.

  30. When I'm at the range blasting away, can I wave Old Glory with one hand and Blast at the same time,Are both hand on old Glory,Are that against ATF regulation

  31. So for clarification here. I could be over thinking this or just not picking up what y'all are putting down. But Why does it matter if an AR pistol is less than 26in when it's a pistol. Pretty much Every pistol in the entire world is under 12. I can go buy a Glock with a 4in barrel so why is an AR pistol different?

  32. @theguncollective do you think that the HERA CQR foregrip would be legal on an AR- Pistol less than 26"? I only ask because its not 90 to the bore by definition but i cant find a definitive answer anywhere.

  33. Somehow the ATF thinks everyone has time for them. If they keep it up, eventually people will have time for them. Lots and lots of people and lots and lots of time. In fact every time they keep doing things to make a weapon non-combat effective, that number of people grows.

  34. What about bcm’s stubby grip that’s 89° and not vertical with the barrel of the weapon? I’ve seen lots of people doing that with guns under 26”. Is that a loophole?

  35. ATF: “yeah sb braces are cool to shoulder, no worries, that’s a pistol!”

    Also ATF: You have a fixed stock on the same gun? No longer a pistol. That’s now what we call a short barreled rifle. You owe us $200 for that and it may take a year for us to decide.”

    That’s how fucking ridiculous all of this is. It’s time to get rid of the NFA and the unconstitutional agency, ATF.

  36. This is perhaps just slightly off-topic, but can I take the stock off of my finished 80% lower, put a brace on, and drop a pistol lower on? Is is once a rifle(or pistol) always?


  38. Explain this then, Adam.

    "Overall length is measured from the end of the arm stabilizing brace to the end of the barrel, be sure that the weapon is level, a large framing square can help with this. If the brace folds or telescopes overall length is measured width the brace unfolded or extended."

  39. While we’re talking about “firearms,” “AOWs,” and “pistols,” I have a question. We all know that if you put a shotgun receiver with no grip and a short barrel on a rifle (ala Masterkey), the rifle’s stock counts as a stock for the shotgun and as such, the shotgun is classified as SBS (Short Barreled Shotgun). So what about putting that same shotgun setup on an AR pistol? Should be absolutely legal, correct?
    Not how about mounting a pistol like a Glock 17 under the barrel of an AR Pistol? The Glock grip is not 90° (as is stated in the definition of “vertical grip”), and should still be legal, right?

  40. Why do you Support the ATF and their policy ?
    United States exists in name only and UNITED STATES is a privately owned foreign criminal Corporation in DC. that is owned by the Queen of England.

    Are you one of the People and an American or a Citizen/slave owned by the State?

  41. Ive never put a vertical foregrip on either one of my ar15 pistols, just put a angled grip works really well. Magpul makes awesome angled grips. Apperently not knowing the gun laws to law enforcers isnt an excuse. Better to know the laws then to be caught with your britches around your ankles homies. F the ATF

  42. For those of you telling folks to STOP contacting the BATF: Leftists will figure this out and start contacting them to provoke controversial rulings.

  43. I listened intently to this. My impression: to truly understand what's going on, I will need to have my attorney watch this with me, and advise. At $300/hour.
    Meanwhile, twenty or thirty million Mexican illegals are, right now, in our country, ignoring any law that gets in their way, with impunity.

  44. I didn't watch the video but my question is :
    How does the vertical grip make the pistol any more or less deadly? It's just an inanimate object/convenience item which has no value as to the working or effectiveness of the fire arm.

  45. so wait wait…

    applying the same logic used for the stabilizing brace, it being an accessory not integral to its classification as a pistol, would a vertical foregrip not also be an accessory that is not an integral part of the AR pistol?

    if i were to grab the handguard with my non-firing hand, would that not render the handguard an accessory that changes the design of the pistol, enabling me to fire it with more than one hand?
    if i were to grab the front sight post (bad idea that bitch gets hot) would that not be an accessory that enables me to fire it with more than one hand?

  46. We are talking about a govt agency that likes circumventing their own laws to get weapons into the hands of drug cartels the "fastest and furiously way possible". How do they even have an office to send questions to anymore?

  47. Is this changed now because the atf admits that they have no authority over 3rd parties just the other sides of the government and can’t actually change laws as of the remark they made 5days ago

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