Pistol Stabilizer Brace NFA Nonsense

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

Via Uncle, Prince Law.

ATF is at it again in their latest determination later. Previously, I discussed their determination in relation to the sample that Black Aces Tactical submitted and hinted that ATF might be shifting its view on stabilizing braces …

The letter notes that the literature included with the sample states the Stabilizer is not designed nor intended to enable a user to fire a weapon from the shoulder (Page 1 of the letter). FTISB correctly finds that attaching the Stabilizer does not turn the pistol into a “firearm” as defined by NFA, but then states “provided the Blade AR Pistol Stabilizer is used as originally designed and NOT as a shoulder stock.”

The issue with FTISB’s latest determination is they are attempting to classify a firearm based on the end users use of an attachment designed and intended to be used in a certain way.

[ … ]

The letter to FTISB stated that the device was not designed OR intended to enable a user to fire a weapon from the shoulder. So how does FTISB come to the conclusion that an end user shouldering the Stabilizer turns the firearm into an item regulated by NFA?

[ … ]

Allow me to pose this hypothetical to you using the logic in this latest determination letter. If an individual attaches the Stabilizer to his AR pistol, goes to the range, shoots it as the manufacturer intended and then hands it to his friend who shoulders it, did it just become an illegal short barreled rifle?

I know that the good and smart folks from Prince Law are attempting to make sense of an arcane law and regulation thereto.  That’s their profession and they’re good at it.  And to be clear (although unrelated exactly to this post at Prince Law), lawyers do things that sometimes puzzle us, like argue for or against something before a court and then argue (in case the court rejects that argument) something that undercuts the first argument to see if the court accepts that position, as if they didn’t believe the first argument.  But the problem is that none of this (stabilizer brace ruling) makes any sense.

Let’s circle around on this one again.  The problem is that none of this makes any sense.  It’s similar to the same thing we observed with the sporting purposes test for the importability ruling for shotguns.

On page 4 the following statements are made: “The 1989 study then examined the scope of “sporting purposes” as used in the statute. The study noted that “[t]he broadest possible interpretation could take in virtually any lawful activity or competition which any person or groups of persons might undertake. Under this interpretation, any rifle could meet the “sporting purposes” test. The 1989 study concluded that a broad interpretation would render the statute useless.”

Wrapped up in this paragraph we have not only an amusing logical blunder but also the real crux of the problem. Authors have presupposed the answer (so-called circular reasoning) at which they must arrive, i.e., the statute must remain useful. Thus, all interpretations by ATF are biased to yield that result. It is not the responsibility of the ATF nor is it within the purview of their authority to ensure the continued usefulness of a statute, if in fact it is rendered useless by advances, common practices, evolution in sporting, or lack of wise crafting of the statute (such as the fact that nowhere in this discussion of “sporting purposes” is there any latitude given for personal protection and home defense under the second amendment to the constitution of the United States). This single paragraph renders the study itself as useless as the statute has become.

The entire NFA is useless, (in the main) unenforceable, and nonsensical.  It needs to be repealed, along with the GCA. This ruling by the ATF on stabilizer braces is yet another demonstration of that fact.  Fortunately, we have another option.

In each case, Bloomberg understood his enemies, their foibles and their failures far better than they understood him. So he won and they lost.

But then something happened that Bloomberg in his arrogance never expected, something that the “mainstream gun rights organizations” for their part never expected either — in every single state where Bloomberg had “won,” it turned out that the victims of his unconstitutional laws had other ideas. And they didn’t need “leaders” like Wayne LaPierre and Alan Gottlieb to lead them.

The “I Will Not Comply” movement in the various affected states began the instant Bloomberg’s Intolerable Acts were passed. Individual firearm owners, led here and there by some courageous activists of the smaller rights groups who were not so worried about raising money and preserving their press image than their “betters,” simply announced that they would not obey such unconstitutional laws.

In the case of a stabilizer brace (and I don’t currently have one and I also have no AR pistol or SBR), if my home was threatened by invaders intent on doing harm, I would use whatever weapon was within reach, including a pistol with a stabilizer brace, and deploy it the way I deemed best suited for my own safety and the safety of my loved ones.  If that meant shouldering a pistol, they so be it.

The folks at Prince Law will not argue that way because it isn’t their job.  But it’s our job to disobey unjust laws.


Comments

  1. On December 23, 2014 at 2:06 pm, TexTopCat said:

    “The entire NFA is useless, (in the main) unenforceable, and
    nonsensical. It needs to be repealed, along with the GCA. This ruling
    by the ATF on stabilizer braces is yet another demonstration of that
    fact. ” – exactly!

  2. On December 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm, Archer said:

    Using the FTISB’s logic, a car becomes a NFA-regulated “destructive device” if someone drives erratically – with a high probability of wrecking it – while it has gas in the tank (which if they’re driving, it does).

    If they sell the car, even if it’s a completely-non-functional pile of scrap, they’re breaking federal law for unlicensed dealing in NFA items; ATF’s precedent is, “Once a NFA item, always a NFA item.”

    Might this be an attempt at back-door registration/regulation?

  3. On January 1, 2015 at 5:16 pm, Phil Ossiferz Stone said:

    Yes.

  4. On December 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm, joe said:

    Two words: Constructive Intent.

    That alone makes it a catch 22 if you will. The fact that they say it is legal as long as you dont _____ but then say in another case that you had constructive intent is an extreme contradiction and a mockery of law and order.

  5. On December 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm, Christina Leah said:

    Intent = Thought Police and Pre-Crime.

  6. On December 23, 2014 at 6:08 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Years ago the ATF made some sort of ruling about a firearm that said, “if it can become a machine-gun within 8 hours of work on the firearm, then it was a machine-gun”. Allegedly, a very good gunsmith was heard to say, “hell, I can turn a Volvo into a machinegun in 8 hours”. I think the ATF may have either rescinded that, or no longer makes use of it.

    The entire NFA and the GCA must be repealed, they’ve done nothing for anyone.

  7. On December 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm, Archer said:

    I’ve always had serious issues with that definition of “readily convertible”, myself. The David Olofson case (IIRC) comes to mind (AR-15 firing a few rounds each pull of the trigger, due to a claimed malfunction and/or worn-out parts in the gun, which notably, no qualified gunsmith was allowed to inspect, nor was the “malfunction” demonstrated to the jury).

    The ATF-FTB was able to duplicate the full-auto feat with that gun in under 8 hours, so it was declared an illegal machine gun. Keep in mind that the ATF-FTB is a bunch of trained gunsmiths and machinists with unlimited access to fully-equipped machinists’ shops. There’s no doubt in my mind they could make a clay brick or a 2×4 fire full-auto in under 8 hours if they had half a reason to, but that doesn’t make Home Depot an unlicensed Class 3 dealer.

  8. On December 24, 2014 at 12:28 am, Warrior_Savant said:

    The NFA and GCA are by definition, illegitimate laws and null & void. By virtue of the supremacy clause, 2A predates both acts by more than a century and without a formal Congressional repeal of 2A it still remains the law of the land. NFA/GCA are infringements of the worst kind.

    The progressive elites of yesteryear tried an end run around this inconvenience and declared it a matter of “interstate commerce”….ala the Commerce Clause (easily the most abused clause in the Constitution to validate ubiquitous government). So they slapped it with a $200 excise tax which back in 1934 might as well have been $20,000.

    Never mind the fact that US Supreme Court held on numerous occasions that rights guaranteed by the Constitution as codified in the Bill of Rights were not subject to tax or other qualification. (E.g. Poll taxes being unconstitutional as a violation of 24A following from those rights under 14A)

    Unfortunately, 2A didn’t get the same jurisprudence attention that the poll tax did and here we find ourselves…bartering our most precious right as Americans walk in lock step to what big brother Fed says is best for them. No other nation in this world, free or otherwise, enjoys a right like the 2A that Americans do.

    GCA, NFA and any fiat “law” drafted by BATF or whatever alphabet soup agency…..is by definition illegitimate and has no force of law granted by the Constitution. Once Americans come to this realization the “I will not comply movement” will make these legal fictions a thing of the past.

  9. On December 24, 2014 at 11:58 pm, Josh said:

    Now frame this entire discussion with 3D printers and mobile CNC machines in mind.

    It’s a brave, new, regulated world.

  10. On December 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm, pjb1 said:

    “The problem is that none of this makes any sense.”

    A point of view problem. It doesn’t make sense to us, but we are peons and our opinions don’t matter to the rulers (provided we continue to give this criminal gang legitimacy in our minds). It does however make all the sense in the world to the ruling class, people intent on disarming us and creating innumerable “crimes” to control us.

  11. On December 30, 2014 at 11:26 am, Ned Weatherby said:

    For anyone who is interested, here’s a link to a video of a brace being used the legal way (as a pistol) and the illegal way (as a stock) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XAYsYwZGxI

    Now ain’t that some ATF BS?

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You are currently reading "Pistol Stabilizer Brace NFA Nonsense", entry #13178 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Gun Control,Guns and was published December 23rd, 2014 by Herschel Smith.

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