Is the Pistol Brace Next on the Banned List?
“White House orders pistol braces to be banned” Imagine clicking on your favorite news site or gun blog and reading those very words. Don’t think it can happen? remember that recently owners of slide fire or “bump stocks” found themselves in the very same situation. An accessory that was legal for years was suddenly called out by White House and through series of instructions from then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the Justice Department was made illegal in less than six months. POOF just like that something that was legal was now illegal without any due process.
The History of the Brace
In was back in 2013 when inventor Alex Bosco came up with the pistol brace and after letter back from BATFE about the legality of the newly created device Bosco found himself in partnership with Sig Sauer and the SB-15 pistol brace was unleashed on the world. The world hasn’t been the same since as the SB Tactical pistol brace has been adopted and created for several weapons platforms and the gun gods smiled down from heaven and the masses rejoiced.
The letter from BATFE, the support of a giant of the industry like Sig Sauer and their legal team added instant credibility to the SB Tactical brace and made the industry explode. All was good for a year or so until the waters got muddy when BATFE released some rather vague guidance on the brace seeming to reverse their early interpretation of the braces as being “ok” to use. The summary of the series of events was this essentially this. Don’t put the pistol brace to your shoulder or it might make the weapon subject to NFA rules and regulations. Shouldering the weapon constitutes a redesign of the weapon from a pistol to a short barreled rifle
Switching Stances Again
In March 2017 the BATFE once again changed their stance this time for the positive when they sent a letter to SB Tactical stating that the previous administrations position was incorrect and that they had a change of heart essentially. This meant that the thousands of pistol brace owners could go back to putting their pistol braces against their shoulders and firing their pistols. Again much joy was found in the firearms community, but for how long?
To Brace or Not to Brace…. That is the Question
I’ve wrote all that to have our readers ponder the question…To Brace or Not to Brace? Is a pistol brace viable in your world or would you rather just stick with a rifle with a 16” barrel to avoid any potential issues in the future with yet another reversal of administrative policy? It’s one I honestly struggle with while on one hand I love the CZ Evo S3 Micro Scorpion I’ve been lucky enough to review lately which has a pistol brace, do I love it enough to spend $1000 and find out in a year or two that I can no longer shoot it against my shoulder?
In my opinion having owned an MP5 variant and shooting it as a pistol while I waited 366 days for BATFE to finish the paperwork just flat out sucked. Let’s face it shooting anything larger than a full sized pistol without a brace or a stock is annoying and generally not any fun for me, but that’s just me.
What a reversal could mean in the future ?
I want to be clear, there are no reports or suggestions that a pistol brace ban is coming but lets examine what could happen if they are deemed to be “illegal” without any due process like the bump stock was. The possession, manufacture or transfer of a pistol brace would most likely be treated the same as any other violation under the below section of 18 USC Section 922, that would result in a Felony conviction with up to 5-10 years in a Federal Installation and a massive fine
18 USC Section 922 (k)
- Any machine gun, fully automatic firearm or any part designed or intended exclusively for use in such weapon
Thoughts & Ideas
When it comes to the National Firearms Act (NFA) and gun regulations in general we know that they don’t in fact do anything to deter criminals, it largely only diminishes a law abiding citizen’s ability to effectively defend themselves. That being said I personally like the various guns that have capability to have a pistol brace attached to them but I just won’t take the gamble that once again some politician trying to get better polling numbers making an accessory outlawed without due process.
When it comes to the issue of firearms I take some comfort in the rules that a rifle is always a rifle and the chances of anyone trying to make all 16” rifles illegal by executive order is much harder than outlawing an accessory. It’s an issue of numbers, there are roughly 300,000 -500,000 pistol braces that have been made compared to millions of rifle
The recent bump stock ban is the first time I can recall in gun related history where a government agency by “interpretation” has taken away products without any chance for owners to be compensated or grandfathered in. Even with the dreaded Hughes Amendment of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 the BATFE allowed people the chance to register machine guns before making private ownership of new machine guns illegal. Even the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 didn’t strip citizens of 30 round magazines or firearms with bayonet lugs it allowed a grandfather clause for existing firearms and accessories on a federal level.
Where Do You Stand?
Where do you stand on the pistol brace issue? Are you for them or against them? Do you use them and are you concerned about them one day being deemed illegal? I am 100% for pistol braces and people being able to decide for themselves if they want one. That’s the beauty of a free market economy, if you like something you should be allowed to buy it and enjoy it.