Published on 6/7/2021.
Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ExplosivesACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comment.
SUMMARY: The Department of Justice (“Department”) proposes amending Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) regulations to clarify when a rifle
is “intended to be fired from the shoulder.” The Department proposes factors ATF
considers when evaluating firearms equipped with a purported “stabilizing brace” to
determine whether these weapons would be considered a “rifle” or “short-barreled rifle”
under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (“GCA”) or a “rifle” or “firearm” subject to
regulation under the National Firearms Act (“NFA”). This proposed rule is a separate
action from the Notice on the Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with
“Stabilizing Braces” published on December 18, 2020, and withdrawn on December 31,
2020. No comments received under the withdrawn notice were considered for this
proposed rule, and no comments received pursuant to that notice will be considered as
part of this proposed rule. Commenters will need to submit new comments in connection
with this proposed rule.
DATES: Written comments must be postmarked, and electronic comments must be
submitted on or before [INSERT DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION
IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. Commenters should be aware that the electronic
Federal Docket Management System will not accept comments after Midnight Eastern
Time on the last day of the comment period.
What is Proposed in this Rulemaking?
The proposed rule would:
This proposed rule would not affect “stabilizing braces” that are objectively designed and intended as a “stabilizing brace” for use by individuals with disabilities, and not for shouldering the weapon as a rifle. Such stabilizing braces are designed to conform to the arm and not as a buttstock.
- Amend the definition of “rifle” in 27 CFR 478.11 and 479.11, respectively, by adding a sentence at the end of each definition to clarify that the term “rifle” includes any weapon with a rifled barrel and equipped with an attached “stabilizing brace” that has objective design features and characteristics that indicate that the firearm is designed to be fired from the shoulder.
- Set forth a worksheet “Factoring Criteria for Rifled Barrel Weapons with Accessories commonly referred to as ‘Stabilizing Braces,’” ATF Worksheet 4999, to aid the firearms industry and public in understanding the criteria that ATF considers when evaluating firearm samples that are submitted with an attached “stabilizing brace” or similar component or accessory.