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Sig arm brace -- important legal update

Discussion in 'Legal' started by kimberkid, Jul 10, 2014.

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  1. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    I disagree. Page 2 paragraph 5 does not say it is ok to shoulder the stock if your intent when attaching the brace was to use it as designed. Using it as a shoulder stock at any point makes it a rifle regardless of your previous intent. The physical act of pressing it to your shoulder is the making of a rifle.
     
  2. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    Read this yesterday

    Full article, probably a mobile link

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/12/foghorn/calm-pistol-brace-ruling-hasnt-changed/
     
  3. Styx

    Styx Member

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    The physical act of pressing it to your shoulder is not the logic behind what he's saying. In the context of everything he said AND if you look at the current definition of what the law says, his beef has more to do with the manufacturing/creating/intent than it has to do with physically putting the arm brace to your shoulder. To prove this, he clearly uses words like "designing, redesigning, making, assembly." He's saying that adding the arm brace to a AR pistol to use it as a stock would be, and I agree, creating a SBR; however, if you brought the Sig P516, for example, with the arm braced already added thus you assembled nothing and Sig sold it with the "intent" for it to be used as a brace, then shooting it from the shoulder is not a legal issue according to existing law and his opinion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014
  4. MAKster

    MAKster Member

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    It seems clear to me that the ATF has realized their March letter to Sergeant Bradley was a mistake and they have been trying to walk it back with the Nov. 10 letter and the other recent letters to Black Aces and Shockwave.
     
  5. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

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    I wonder if the same applies to a bare buffer tube; logic's the same...

    TCB
     
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    So if I press my 1911 up against my shoulder does it become a rifle also?

    The Feds want the NFA legislation, and this interpretation of the Sig brace to be "fuzzy". That is the intent as they want to be able to loosely interpret it, and then it is up to a judge, often with an anti gun agenda to rule from the bench on it. So, prepare for a test case.
     
  7. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    However unpopular this post may be, I agree 100% with Tirod on this one. Even though we all wish we didn't have to abide by any ATF rules, putting the toothpaste back into the tube isn't going to be as quick and simple as skirting the NFA. The have reversed decisions before; why is this such a surprise now?

    The exact reason WHY the overwhelming majority of people are drawn to and purchase/install the brace is so that they can have a compact, shoulder fired weapon with a barrel shorter than 16" without having to go through the NFA process. For those of you with handicaps for which the brace is being used as described by the maker, then you are in fact the minority.

    These braces are being used as a workaround to the SBR, and to pretend otherwise is to admire the Emperor's New Clothes.

    Similarly, over at AR15.com, people were so distraught over the fact that the ATF said No-Go to their suppressor baffle "muzzle brake." Some chose to argue in endless circles about the minutiae of the classifications. At the end of the day, the reason they desired them was precisely because they could be used to manufacture or assemble a working suppressor. "How is this different than a muzzle brake" they said. Puh-lease!

    SIG Sauer (previously SIGArms) has taken it upon themselves to push the boundaries of the NFA. Now, the spirit of these efforts is an admirable thing, but in reality, each and every consumer is forced to take both the glory and the risks as a package deal.

    I'd much rather spray an attacker in the face with Wasp Killer than pepper spray. Unfortunately, if I use that product for self defense, it would likely land me in prison b/c my use was inconsistent with the product's labeling, and in doing so it turned it from a household product into a deadly weapon. Stupid law? Maybe so, but I have other daily battles to fight.
     
  8. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

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    I was in a local retailer several weeks ago and saw a pistol set up with one of these "braces". I asked the guy if he'd shot it. He told me he had. I asked what it was liked strapped to his forearm. He said something to the effect of, "No one shoots it like that, you shoot it from the shoulder. Even the ATF said you could!"
     
  9. HRnightmare

    HRnightmare Member

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    He cannot simply change the definition or class of a firearm with his signature as he is there to enforce laws, NOT create them. This is simply ignorance of the process or tin foil hat conspiracy theories. Either way it adds no value to these discussions.

    I believe this is merely an opinion letter based on his interpretation of the wording of the law. It is NOT a declaration of the law or a changing of a current law.

    I am not claiming to agree with it or not BUT my opinion is these things were designed as a middle finger to the NFA. For a few years they have watched as gun owner after gun owner joined in on giving them the middle finger. WELL... you poke the bear long enough and eventually the bear is likely to strike back. It appears the bear has been backed into and is now starting to fight its way out.

    I always saw them as this: You pay $200 and go through the butt pain of a stamp and wait and it comes back approved and you are good to go.

    You save $50 by doing this (IMO) goofy looking work around and then you deal with the hassle's of everyone attacking it as exactly that...a "work around". Shortcuts can backfire and it seems in this case it may on likely hundreds of thousands of owners.
     
  10. HRnightmare

    HRnightmare Member

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    If you add a "brace designed to be attached to your forearm, shape it exactly like a buttstock and then use it AS a buttstock...apparently YES!

    Otherwise NO!!! Perhaps you should go back and read the letter and evaluate his choice of words and definitions more clearly.
     
  11. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    My point was that the BATF agreed it was a brace, and deemed it legal. Now they just change their mind because people are using it differently? Well the grip on my 1911 is a grip, and defined as such but if I put it up to my shoulder is it a rifle?

    My original question still stands. Nice try though.
     
  12. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    No, read the definition of "rifle" in ATF regs or NFA/GCA.
     
  13. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    In the eyes of the ATF, this is completely different because the receiver extension is required in order for the firearm to be functional in the first place.

    Obviously, shouldering one isn't particularly stable or comfortable, or else SIG would have had a big flop with these things.
     
  14. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

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    People are missing the point.

    It seems to me if you write a letter asking the ATF if it is OK to build it with the stated intention of using it as a stock, that is exactly the answer you can expect. I do not think it changes previous letters.

    Mike
     
  15. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Here is the legal definition of a rifle...

    When you buy a short barrel AR pistol, have an arm brace added after the fact, and then shoot it from the shoulder, have you NOT just redesigned an AR piston to shoot from the shoulder?

    Now, if you shoot an unmodified AR/AK pistol from the shoulder, you have NOT personally redesigned anything; however, when you add an arm brace thus redesigning the pistol, and then you shoot it from the shoulder, then you created an SBR.

    The LEGAL definition does NOT say you have to add an actual traditional stock for a firearm to be considered a rifle.

    The most recent opinion letter is correct according to the law, and the previous letter is incorrect. According to the law and the law and the definition of a rifle, when someone modifies ANY firearm that fires a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger with the intent that it be shot from the shoulder, they've created a rifle. When you add an arm brace to a pistol and shoot it from the shoulder, you've created the what is legally known as a rifle....
     
  16. kimberkid

    kimberkid Member

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    So my take on this whole thing is, that letter only applies to the idiot that wrote the asinine inquiry, rubbing it in the BATFEs' face about the position they took ... and now, if someone uses their SiG Arm-Brace improperly in public, or makes a make a video shooting with the SiG Arm-Brace improperly, they may find themselves in court as an example to the rest of us.

    Also, anyone who shoots an AR pistol from the shoulder with the receiver extension only ... let me emphasize, WITHOUT a SiG Arm-Brace attached, is still within the law ... this is the way hundreds of people have been shooting AR pistols for years anyway ... the SiG Arm-Brace expanded this concept to pistols that never had a receiver extension on them before, like the AK pistol & HK 9x series of pistols ... now, if you apply this "logic" to an AK or HK and shoot it improperly (from the shoulder)you would be making an illegal SBR because these weapons don't need a receiver extension to function and were never designed to have a receiver extension.
     
  17. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I never bought a Sig Brace and have no intention of doing so. I paid my $200 and took my 7+ month wait to get the stamp even though I could have simply purchased the brace. And this is why.

    Everybody, and I mean everybody, plainly knew the brace was designed, marketed, sold, and (for the 99%) purchased in order to make an SBR that didn't require the stamp (or living in a state that allows SBRs).

    I've never fired a sig brace'd firearm from the shoulder and I'm sure not going to now.
     
  18. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    Mmmmm...there we go with "intent". I *really* want an MP5 style gun but do not want the baggage that comes with a tax stamp and all that. I'd love a pistol with the functionality of an SBR but not the baggage.

    I never purchased an MP5 style pistol and added a Sig brace but considered doing that to get SBR functionality if I wanted it without the SBR tag. I have held off because I find the whole situation "nebulous" and convoluted being clouded with unclear language, expectations and baggage. It is clear that putting a brace on a pistol *does not* make it a rifle. And shouldering a brace fitted pistol does not make it a rifle either.

    It comes down to intent and proving or disproving that in a court of law might get a tad bit expensive. Who wants to be a test case now that the definitions have been convoluted a bit more? Not me, I don't have the money. I never wanted an SBR, only a pistol with brace but I didn't buy that (and won't buy that) if I might have to hire an attorney and go to court to prove intent which I may or may not be able to do if someone sees me shoulder my brace mounted pistol. If I were a person who had purchased a brace with the intent of circumventing the SBR tax stamp knowing full well that I was going to modify a pistol and create a stamp free SBR then I'd think I'd be worried about being seen doing that.

    It's all razzle dazzle IMO. Sig should sue 'em for that as well.

    VooDoo
     
  19. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    ^^^^^. Mr. da Vinci nailed it. Thanks.
     
  20. HRnightmare

    HRnightmare Member

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    And my original answer still stands. Like others have said, READ the definition of a rifle and it makes your point absolutely invalid.
     
  21. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    As a brace. (In addition, one letter did say that it would not be an unlawful item if someone did shoulder the gun with it. That is contradicted, at least on its face, but the newer letter.)

    No, they are not. They still maintain that it is legal -- as a brace.

    There isn't, unfortunately, a fundamental conflict between the two ideas that causes these opinion to be invalid.

    Most shooters have tended to look at these things as either legal, no matter what you do with it, or illegal. In fact, the ATF letters have now pointed out several ways in which you can have an item configured in a way they consider legal, and do something that is completely legal with it, but that the combination of the item and the action creates an illegal condition.

    E.g.: have a PGO "other firearm" (shotgun) over 26" long that is perfectly legal and not an NFA "Firearm" -- but CONCEAL that weapon and it automatically becomes an unregistered NFA "Firearm" (AOW) because you've now disproved the condition assumed by the NFA that weapons over 26" long are "not concealable."

    Similarly now we see that an AR-15 "pistol" with a SIG brace is a legal configuration, and having a bare AR-15 pistol without a brace and shouldering it is a legal act. BUT, adding the brace so you can shoulder it as a stock creates an illegal condition by the combination of "redesigning" and shouldering.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  22. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    Pretty simple. If you build it with the intent of firing it from the shoulder it's an SBR, if you build it with the intent of using the brace as designed and later decide you want to fire it from the shoulder that is legal (as previous letters have stated).
    It's all about intent of who built it, kind of like did you buy that gun and then later decide to sell it or did you buy it with the intent to sell it all along? Hard to prove intent with the braces except for the guy that specifically asked if he could build one and then fire it from the shoulder (which is clearly intent).
     
  23. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    And this indeed is LIKELY (though not certainly) how this will all be interpreted. I assume that the ATF will not actually pursue many (if any) prosecutions over this as it is nearly unenforceable.


    But I'm not going to be a test case.
     
  24. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    From what I have read, mostly outside this thread, I belive Ryanxia nailed it. I'd also agree I wouldn't want to be the test case, but honestly I believe the odds of their actually being a test case are very limited, and it wouldn't bother me one bit to stand for freedom if it was required of me.

    It has been said, you have to stand for something or you fall for anything.
     
  25. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Asinine inquiry? Rubbing 'it' in the BATFE's face?

    How so?

    The inquiry looks like it was merely this...
    I'll need you to pinpoint the phrases in that question that 'rubbed it' in the bureau's face. And what's so absurd about the question? It sounds rather benign to me, if not overly simple. It's actually sort of an odd question... Noveske flash suppressor? AFG? Everything in that question is elementary to a fault.

    What's peculiar to me is that the bureau took that simple question as an opportunity to cut to the heart of the whole Sig brace phenomenon that has been happening. Because the inquirer didn't ask anything about the use of the brace. He didn't mention shouldering it at all. But the bureau certainly wanted to talk about that specific issue, and at detailed length.
     
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