My FFL just got back from Shot Show and attended a presentation by the ATF about the new rules etc. I wanted to share his information with all of you as well.
From Strong Persuader FFL:
"I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation from the new ATF Director at the SHOT Show earlier this week. He and his team spent over an hour on three key points: the new federal legislation’s impact on the purchase of guns from individuals between 18 and 21, changes to the Form 4473 (the form you fill out to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer) and the new final rule on pistol stabilizing braces.
On the new legislation, the very simple overview is that those between the ages of 18 and 21 who try to purchase firearms in states where purchases are legal under the age of 21 (in Florida, you must be 21 to purchase a firearm unless you are in law enforcement, so this does not really “apply” to us) there can now be an up to 10 day wait while an enhanced background check is undertaken
On the 4473, there are a few new questions confirming that your intended use of the firearm is not for committing a crime or giving it to someone else to commit a crime, that expand the definition of exclusions for domestic violence-related offenses, and that require the dealer to indicate if they are assisting in a private party transaction. Otherwise, pretty much the same form and nothing in the changes affects the timing of the clearance process or creates any new burdens on a buyer.
Of course, the biggest issue on the table was the new regulation (Final Rule 2021R-08F) governing Pistol Stabilizing Braces (PSB). These were approved by the ATF in 2012 or so for assisting the disabled in stabilizing a rifle for shooting. Regardless of this intent, the market for PSBs morphed quickly to where many of those produced now do not even pretend that they are for anything more than allowing the non-disabled to buy a “pistol” with a barrel under the 16-inch legal length for a rifle and use a collapsible or full length PSB stock to use the “pistol” like a rifle. However, with a barrel under 16 inches, when the weapon is used with a stock that can be used against the shoulder, the “pistol” becomes a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) and SBR’s must be registered just like fully automatic weapons and suppressors.
So, seeing that the exception has pretty much swallowed the rule, the ATF has now changed the regulation (Rule) to require registration of weapons with barrels under 16 inches and equipped with a PSB. Certainly, there will be legal challenges to the changes, but for now the revised rule is the law.
Short and sweet, here is what you need to know if you are a non-FFL owner of a weapon that was: (1) purchased with a barrel less than 16” and equipped with a PSB or (2) you added a PSB to a weapon with a barrel less than 16”. First, you can go on the ATF.gov site and see if your firearm might already be compliant (links at end of this article). Second, if you are truly disabled, see if your disability fits the categories of disability for which a stabilizing brace is authorized. In either of those scenarios, you do not have to take any further action.
However, for the vast majority of owners of weapons with PSBs attached, you need to be very aware of, and comply with, the following:
The Rule does not become effective until it is published in the Federal Register and as of this writing (Saturday, January 21, 2023) that has not yet occurred.
Once published, you have 120 days to comply with the Rule by taking one of the following actions:
a. Remove the short barrel and attach a 16 inch or longer barrel to the firearm; b. Permanently remove the PSB and dispose of or alter it such that it cannot be
c. Destroy the firearm;
d. Permanently surrender the firearm to your local ATF office; or,
e. Register the weapon as a SBR (the ATF is waiving the $ 200 normally associated
with such a registration).
If I am betting, options b, c and d will be the least used. So, it’s either realistically reattach the PSB to a qualifying non-SBR (option a) or register it (option f).
To register your firearm and avoid the $200 SOT, you must act within the 120 day window. It is actually very simple to do. First, establish an e-forms account at ATF.gov (you can use the paper form option, but it will likely be processed after the eForms are done). Once you are registered, login and you will be presented a number of options for forms to file; select Form 1. Follow the instructions. You will still need to get your fingerprint cards, etc, to the ATF, either electronically or by mail, and you can use (“adopt”) the serial number of the existing weapon as the serial number of the “new” SBR without going through an engraving process. You do NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR APPROVAL to be in compliance…once you submit, the registration is sufficient to bring you into compliance unless it is denied somewhere along the way, at which point your options are now a. - d. above.
More info can be found at: www.atf.gov. Search for “Frequently Asked Questions for Final Rule 2021R-08F” or “ Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” ”. The latter spot has a number of links including a 34 page PowerPoint to determine if you or your setup is already in compliance with the Rule or you need to take action within the 120 days.
It’s very confusing and controversial. But, once published, these are the rules until changed. I would highly recommend we all follow them because the ATF is taking this very seriously."
Hope this helps some of you. Stay safe, keep your powder dry, and God Bless America!!