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Can you legally shoulder Sig Arm Brace? – 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 a topic near and dear to my heart arm braces, specifically the Sig Arm
Brace, a product of my friends over at SB Tactical. The Sig Arm Brace hit the market with force
back in 2013. AR pistols were rising in popularity and life
was good. The Sig Arm Brace was designed by Alex Bosco
for his friend Rick Cicero who was wounded overseas and lost both and arm and a leg. The loss of his arm made it difficult for
Rick to shoot guns, particularly AR pistols and Alex got to thinking. The Sig Arm Brace was the result of hours
of thought and testing. Designed to strap around the user’s wrist
in order to stabilize the gun, the brace allowed people like Rick enjoy shooting again. However, Rick and others in the similar situation
were not the only ones to benefit from the braces invention. After people caught wind of the brace, it
became a popular accessory to install on an AR pistol. While the letter that accompanied the brace
stated “We find that the device is not designed or intended to fire a weapon from the shoulder.”,
a slew of future determination letters would change that. In March of 2014, Sergeant Joe Bradley wrote
the ATF to inquire whether firing an AR pistol from his shoulder would change the classification
of the firearm. ATF replied that “FTB classifies weapons
based on their design characteristics. While usage/functionality of the weapon does
influence the intended design, it is not the sole criterion for determining the classification
of the weapon. Generally speaking, we do not classify weapons
based on how an individual uses a weapon.” They went on to say that the Sig brace was
not classified as a shoulder stock by ATF and therefore using the brace in another manner
does not classify a design change. In short, ATF said it was ok to shoulder the
Sig brace. November of 2014 is where ATF’s position
began to shift. Remember the Black Aces Tactical firearm magazine
fed thing. Well, in the determination they received from
ATF as to the classification of the firearm, it stated that “Should an individual utilize
the SigTac SB15 pistol stabilizing brace on the submitted sample as a shoulder stock to
fire the weapon from the shoulder, this firearm would then be classified as a “short-barreled
shotgun…because the subject brace has then been made or remade, designed or redesigned
from its originally intended purpose.” Wait what? That is a complete 180 from what they told
Sergeant Bradley a few months before. Then in December 2014, ATF issued a determination
letter in relation to a new product on the market, the Shockwave blade stabilizer brace. In the letter ATF states that attaching the
Stabilizer does not turn the pistol into a “firearm” as defined by NFA, but then
says “provided the Blade AR Pistol Stabilizer is used as originally designed and NOT as
a shoulder stock.” I think something is happening here… Then another letter surfaces in relation to
the Thordsen Customs Buffer tube cover. The letter says “FTISB (and that’s the
Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch, don’t worry it gets at least one more name
change) finds that the submitted saddle devices are not designed to support the AR-type pistol
in the shoulder of the shooter during firing but, rather, to rest against the shooter’s
cheek.” So far so good right? Then ATF drops this “as long as the saddle
device as evaluated and installed to an AR-type pistol, is not designed or redesigned and
intended to contact the shoulder and is not used as a shoulder stock, it’s possession
and use would not be prohibited.” I’ve also tossed another letter in the description
where someone else asked “Will it be lawful, without a Form 1, to build an AR Pistol of
any such caliber with a SIG brace, a Noveske flash suppressor, and a MagPul Angled Forward
Grip, from a lower receiver marked as ‘OTHER’?” Which brings us to the Shot Show 2015 open
letter. FATD begins the letter by explaining that
“stabilizing braces” are described as a “shooter’s aid that is designed to improve
the single-handed shooting performance of buffer tube equipped pistols.” The letter continues that the items are intended
to improve accuracy by using the operator’s forearm to provide a stable support for the
AR-type pistol. Attachment of such a brace DOES NOT alter
the classification of the firearm OR subject the firearm to the NFA. However, according to ATF, that classification
is predicated on whether a user is actually using the device as it was designed. FATD then notes that “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 NFA.” “ATF has received numerous inquiries regarding
alternate uses for the device, including using it as a shoulder stock.” FATD then states that because NFA defines
both rifle and shotgun to “include any ‘weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and
intended to be fired from the shoulder,’ and person who redesigns a stabilizing brace
for use as a shoulder stock makes a NFA firearm when attached to a pistol with a rifled barrel
under 16 inches in length or a handgun with a smooth bore under 18 inches in length.” So that means at this point, ATF is saying
that if you shoulder an AR pistol with a stabilizing brace, you’ve made a short barrel rifle. The letter notes that the Gun Control Act
does not define the term “redesign” and therefore ATF applies
the common meaning. Utilizing Webster’s II New College Dictionary
which defines “redesign” as “to alter the appearance or function of.” Ok, so enough letters, let’s see what the
hell happened over at ATF and what koolaid they were drinking. Back to the legal definitions in order for
us to make sense of some things. These definitions are going to be found in
both the Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act as their regulations. As always, links to all of the source material
is in the description below. The GCA defines the term firearm in 18 USC
921(a)(7). “The term “rifle” means a weapon designed
or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed
or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire only a single
projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.” The definition found in the regulations at
27 CFR 478.11 almost mirrors the definition in the law. The difference is inconsequential for this
discussion. The NFA defines the term firearm in 26 USC
5845(c). “A weapon designed or redesigned, made or
remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made
or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single
projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger, and shall include
any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge.” The definition found in the regulations at
27 CFR 479.11 mirrors the definition exactly. So we see that both under the GCA and the
NFA in order for something to be a rifle, it has to be designed or redesigned, made
or remade and intended to be fired from the shoulder. This is where I think ATF got things wrong. More on that in a minute, a few more boring
definitions to get through. The NFA defines the term firearm in Section
5845(a) as, among other things, a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches
in length and a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length
of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length. The regulations again mirror that definition
and are found in 27 CFR 497.11. Let’s not forget the term make! “Make.—The term “make”, and the various
derivatives of such word, shall include manufacturing (other than by one qualified to engage in
such a business under this chapter), putting together, altering, any combination of these,
or otherwise producing a firearm.” So what’s the big deal here? To start, it is my opinion that following
the way the law is written, if you built an AR pistol with a brace and intended to fire
it from the shoulder the entire time, you’ve manufactured a short barrel rifle subject
to the laws and regulations of the NFA. Sorry, I don’t care what you call it, if
you intended to fire it from the shoulder, you made a rifle. If it had a barrel length of less than 16
inches, bam SBR, NFA applies, we’re done here. However, this is where I think ATF got it
wrong. The way the law is written, it is my opinion,
that if you were to buy an already assembled pistol with a brace installed or be handed
one at the range and you were to shoulder it, you did not commit a violation of the
law. At what point did you make or remake, design
or redesign anything? I don’t believe you would have, provided
you didn’t modify the brace or firearm in anyway. That said, ATF clearly disagrees with my sentiment. Further I don’t see how taking the common
definition of redesign would apply when you haven’t done anything to modify the product. Simply misusing something isn’t commonly
understood to be redesigning anything. If I were to use a flat head screwdriver to
pry something open did I just redesign it? I’d think not but what do I know? So what’s the bottom line here? Can you shoulder a pistol with a brace attached? Well, I’m not going to outright say you
can, but the law seems to support the argument that unless you built the firearm with the
intent to shoulder it, or modified an already existing firearm, ATF’s position is rather
contrived. If you built an AR pistol with a brace with
the intent to shoulder it, it seems rather clear you’ve created a firearm subject to
regulation under the NFA, regardless of whether ATF classifies the brace as a shoulder stock
or not. The crux, I think, is the intent portion of
the definition. But a Court may or may not agree with me. Hopefully that clears up some of the confusion
about the brace. If you guys liked this episode, you know what
to do, hit that like button. Have a question you want answered on this
show, drop those down in the comments below. Don’t forget to like The Gun Collective
on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Full 30, Snap Chat and wherever else you can catch
us on social media. And as always thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “Can you legally shoulder Sig Arm Brace? – The Legal Brief!

  1. What if you design an AR pistol with brace to shoot against your rib cage under the collar bone, which is only near the shoulder, but not at the shoulder? Have you made an SBR then?

  2. ATF changed their mind again. You can shoulder it.
    BUT….. and there is always a BUT. If you attach on of these to the ShockWave Brace, you made a Stock and now you have made a SBR.

  3. Clear as mud. I almost bought an AR pistol with the Blade style arm brace but I talked myself out of it. Just too much grey area with the law, the ATF letters, etc. I'll just stick with a 16" barrel. I don't have the money for a lawyer if some overzealous agent decided it was a stock and not registered as an SBR.

  4. Ok, if I understand you correctly building a gun with a barrel less than 16" it is automatically classified as a pistol. But if I decide to shoulder the pistol then it becomes a short barreled rifle.

  5. If police tell you to drop your weapon, can you with the brace on and why in the hell would you purposely ask atf a dumb ass question like that?

  6. More recent, but no idea if it's current, excerpts below.: ATF Clarifies Ruling on Pistol Stabilizing Braces, Published Date: 04/25/2017 .
    “With respect to stabilizing braces, ATF has concluded that attaching the brace to a handgun as a forearm brace does not ‘make’ a short-barreled firearm because … it is not intended to be and cannot comfortably be fired from the shoulder.” The letter continues: “Therefore, an NFA firearm has not necessarily been made when the device is not re-configured for use as a shoulder stock — even if the attached firearm happens to be fired from the shoulder.”

    “To the extent the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold that incidental, sporadic, or situational ‘use’ of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute a ‘redesign,’ such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with ATF’s interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced.”


  7. Are you familiar with the David Olofson story and understand the NRA did nothing but watch from the sidelines and it was the GOA (Gun Owners of America) that tried to help this man not the NRA. Also understand when David Olofson lone his AR-15 to a friend to take to the gun range it was is working order. However, David Olofson was sentenced to 30 months in a federal prison in Minnesota he was convicted in federal court of transferring a machinegun although it was semi-automatic that had not been modified, yet the ATF claimed, the malfunctioning AR-15 by the definition was a machine gun . On Thursday, January 22, 2009, GOA Lawyers presented oral arguments in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Simply this mans AR-15 malfunctioned two consecutive shots nothing more before it jammed and was arrested and did time for it. One of the worrying problems here is that prior to the malfunction the AR-15 fired 100’s of rounds without a single failure or malfunction, one pull of the trigger one shot, yet David Olofson was found guilty by the definition that it was classified now as a machine gun by the ATF.

  8. I think, now that the situation has changed and this is arguably not an argument anymore, that I would just buy what stock I wanted then not tell anybody.

  9. I have a question, I recently bought PSA AR15 Complete MOE EPT SBA3 Lower it has and adjustable arm brace, before picking it up at the store I was told it was illegal because although it was an arm brace "stock" it was adjustable making it illegal

  10. This all started with the camel getting it's nose under the tent just a tiny, teensy weensy little bit. Now the camel has not only totally entered the tent, it fills every tent in the whole country.

    'Reasonable' gun control. Yeah, right. Disingenuous blastards.

  11. Intent is b s because they cant read your mind on what you really want to do what intended to it but then changed your mind never heard intent on robbing a bank but never did it does that mean your still goin to prison

  12. Those who wish to know more about firearms 🔫 are not bored . Knowing the so-call boring stuff can make you the life of the party especially when talking to Moron Liberals standing around others who are just listening to the conversation . Taking charge of a conversation about Firearms is important to shut up the Liberal . I know this for a fact when I called onto a " Talk Radio Station " and by knowing more than just sound bites the callers that followed were stuttering trying to find some rebuttal but could not . Knowing boring information is a must for those who claim they are " Gun Nuts " but are really just gun carriers 🔫

  13. The latest SB brace uses a standard rifle buffer tube. And is fully adjustable with the push of a lever just like a rifle stock I've already put together a few

  14. the SBR restrictions are stupid and pointless anyway. how changing the length of a rifle makes it more dangerous is beyond me. the only thing that should be class three is fully automatic firearms. SBR's and Suppressors shouldn't be on the same list.

  15. I do not see a problem with attaching a shoulder stock to an AR pistol, even if it does turn it into an NFA weapon (by law). Doing so does not change the way such a weapon will be used. Bump stocks, on the other hand, definitely change the way a weapon can be used, even if they are legal to buy, own, and mount on your semiauto rifle. It all seems so ridiculously stupid to me.

  16. It's not the ATF's position to interpret the law. That's the job of the courts. You're 100% correct. Their interpretation has NO LEGAL STANDING. If I build an AR pistol with a brace (as I am about to do) for the purpose of firing it as a pistol, I have built/created/designed a pistol. If I choose to fire it from my forehead one day without changing anything, I have not redesigned/remade/built it into a head cannon. IT'S STILL A PISTOL AS DESIGNED AND INTENDED. And if I get tired one day from holding this heavy pistol with one hand (I'm an amputee disabled Vet and that's all I have) and I choose to shoulder a few rounds, I still haven't redesigned anything. LAME BATFE! Suck a lemon. If I hold my .38 revolver up to my shoulder I haven't created an SBR, I'm just using a pistol in a manner OTHER THAN THE ONE FOR WHICH IT WAS DESIGNED AND INTENDED. If I put wheels on it do I have to register it as a projectile powered cycle?

  17. I'm buying a pistol kit. I'm not building it. I don't know enough to do that. I am simpley assembling it. Much like one would do if you disassembled and cleaned a regular pistol. what does build mean?

  18. Giving the finger to the ATF regulations by trying to be “smart” works out well. See new bumpstock ban. Play stupid games – win stupid prizes

  19. Just starting to look into the whole SBR and NFA scene, confusing to say the least..can someone please explain to me how any of this nonsense has an affect on crime? You can have a pistol no problem, you can have a rifle, no problem but a short rifle…oh boy now you are in some crazy land where extra scrutiny and laws are needed.. so lets say some sick prick decides he’s gonna go kill a bunch of innocent people in a busy shopping mall at Christmas time. He decides to use a rifle he has illegally modified, he hides it under his trench coat and goes to the mall and sees the sign on the entrance that says gun free zone..he says damn it!! I was going to kill all these people and I find out not only is my weapon illegal but that I’m not even allowed to take it in there, son of a bitch!! Now what, damn NFA laws.. I know it’s hyperbole but seriously you need to put things into terms like that to see the sheer nonsense of most laws regarding firearms. My opinion is that most gun laws are pointless and make very little if any impact. Other than the prohibition of certain classes of people such as those with violent histories, and even those laws only serve to slow those people down. The idea that 2 inches of overall length of a rifle makes some difference in crime, I just can’t see how and again the laws have no affect other than to stop people who are not a problem. Like I mentioned I believe most gun laws serve no purpose, the big law of not murdering people is what may stop some and of your willing to violate that big one I’m supposed to believe you care if your rifle is too short? Seriously?

  20. Energy of an Explosive? Seems to me, that gunpowder burns [ deflagrate / decompose] rather than ''expoloding''… Hmmmm? Just a thought….. Ed

  21. Seems to me, I remember the RUMORS that surrounded the [67-68] PHOENIX program of replacing the gun powder in cartridges, and substituting C-4 compound EXPLOSIVES to sabatoge Viet-Cong ammunition, causing destructive failure of the V.C. weapons and casulaties of the person / crew attempting to fire said weapons. As I was 8-9 years old had never went to viet nam, it is only a rumor for me…. Ed

  22. I'm amazed the comments are filled with more fat d comments.

    Really I'm disappointed, the internet failed this day.

  23. I can shoulder it, 80's hip fire it, gangsta sideways with some canted sights and pull the trigger with my toe if I want. Fuck the ATF.

  24. 11:10 Yeah, this is the root of the problem. It's not up for debate, but people want to argue about it regardless. The solution to this sort of thing is to adjudicate these people from their positions at gunpoint.

  25. I remember a time where a pistol was a pistol and all this is kind of BS, but thats my opinion, damnit i forgot i’m not american xD p.s. It is kind of stupid to have politicians desciding on firearm laws that knows jack shit about firearms at all!

  26. Just do away with the law against short barrel rifles. Let people own what ever they want. Person shot from a firearm whether it has a 10 inch barrel or 16 inch barrel is still shot. These are old laws that need to be done away with.

  27. How does unintended or incorrect uses equal “remake” “modify” or “altered” the engineering design or purpose of anything ?? The law doesn’t say “prohibited to use or operate in a manner other then its intended use or purpose”. Like the legal notification printed on a label of cold medication and certain chemicals. It states on the label of such Products. What a products intended uses is for and any unintended uses of the product is prohibited by law. So The government should know the difference between building, rebuilding, altering or modifying the intended purpose of a objects engineering function or design so that the engineering function and design are now intended to facilitate a different purpose and uses that doest it its original classification. One Requires a physical alteration to take place that changes an objects intended purpose. The other only requires that something be used in a manner other then what it’s label states is it’s intended purpose is no physical modification required. I guess the folk at the ATF aren’t all up to snuff when it comes to the English and grammar side of things. Or maybe their display of illiteracy is just an act in a attempt to interpret the law to expand its meaning to include what the ATF would like it to say. Doing so allows the ATF to justify what would normally be a questionable application of the law by the ATF.

  28. Hmmmm , if you pistol whip someone to death…. Did you kill with a firearm, or, a blunt instrument? Am I guilty of "redesigning" a firearm?

    You have to do some strenuous moral gymnastics to write regulations when you are forbidden from passing laws "prohibiting".

  29. Maybe if the government just quit “infringing” on unalienable rights they wouldn’t find themselves in these un-understandable word games that no one, including the government, can possibly understand; especially when they assign severe legal penalties to any misunderstanding!!!

  30. Sounds like everything hangs on intent!? In that case everyone is treading on thin ice. In my opinion. Get the wrong administration and everyone suddenly could be breaking the law.

  31. They are by far the most confused socialist alphabet gang in the federal government!! Nothing they say or do makes any sense… They constantly contradict themselves and how can you redefine anything? If something is defined as what it is how can somebody change that definition of it? Absolutely ridiculous. They just keep changing things to make us spend more money to keep what we have legal. It's like they own stock in these companies!

  32. Why can’t the ATF leave people the hell alone and let them build SBRs just like when you build an AR15 with a barrel over 16 inches.

  33. Please correct me if I'm wrong but the hardest thing to prove in court, sometimes, is intent. There would need to be direct evidence by way of testimony or documentation demonstrating what a person's intent was. Documentation? Don't be that stupid? Testimony? Well, my guess is if a person simply don't tell anyone what they are going to using it for, then no one can testify what their intention was. "You intended to use it as a shoulder stock!" "I intended to build an AR pistol as defined by…"

  34. But Adam, how do you determine my intent? If I put a brace on a AR pistol and never fired it from the shoulder or even ever fired it can that be construed as intent to create an SBR? Or do I have to then at some point fire it from the shoulder to then solidify intent to create an SBR? Who determines my intent? And how is my intent determined question mark this seems like you're getting into the area of thought police?! I completely disagree that just because I create something a certain way and have the ability to use it in one weight just as you've mentioned with a flathead screwdriver, does not mean that I intend 2 ultra that device so that it can be used in such a manner just because something can be used in that way doesn't mean that that's what its intent is. I refer back to your screwdriver example!

  35. I'm just glad they are legal to buy. I haven't ever fired any kind of firearm with an ATF agent watching. 😎😎

  36. they put out a letter after that saying it is repealed…. you can shoulder it.


  37. Considering, in our legal system, you are innocent UNTIL proven guilty… if you built an AR Pistol with the INTENT of using the brace "as a pistol brace", but you were seen shouldering it at a pistol range one day… how would anyone prove "intent"?… wouldn't it be like holding an AR Rifle at waist height and dumping a mag at the target to see if you could "cowboy" it?… Ya Hooo… LOL

  38. maybe it is a 10 yrs Club Fed invitation if ON a TUESDAY and/or Thursday when humility is 45% to 66% when U have NOT eaten carrots in the last 7 to 9 days ?

  39. Call as many as 5 people in government and you get 5 different opinions. My Call: Hello ATF? Can I still use my C&R FFL to buy C&R semi autos like the SKS as a Washington resident? ATF: We don't know, call WA department of license firearms division….. Me: Hello WA DOL gun guy? Can I still use my C&R FFL to buy C&R semi autos like the SKS as a Washington resident? DOL gun guy: Well i don't see why not. Might wanna call ATF on that. Me: Called, they said call you. DO:Gun Guy: Well I don't see why not. You should consult a lawyer to be sure. If you can believe it the AG of Washington who is a lawyer himself also says best to consult a lawyer. Maybe the gun collective can do a video on this?

  40. Yea saying shouldering it is "redesigning" or "remaking" it is essentially thought crime and a double standard for companies vs individuals.
    Stupid ass laws need to be repealed anyway.

  41. Just buy the weapon, file the sbr NFA paperwork, and be done with it like i did. It’s not worth the risk or the attorney fees or potential incarceration. The only dictionary in the legal system that defines words commonly used in law “vernacular” is Blacks law dictionary. Why anyone would risk being caught, in a Society that films everywhere, should one actually need a pdw in a defensive scenario, would only complicate matters to levels one can’t possibly fathom in the news media. PDW is defensive, not offensive by definition.

  42. I listened to this. Twice.
    Here's the bottom line on this bullshit:
    -The BATF, and their masters, reserve the right to drag you into court for perceived infractions of their incomprehensible "regulations", should you anger them, or their masters, in any way.
    -YOU will have the right to due process, and your day in court, where you will (possibly) prevail. At the cost of $300/hr for a good attorney.

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