Recent arm brace ruling may impact those who received a tax-free amnesty form 1 approval

When those who applied for a tax-free amnesty form 1 registration pursuant to ATF Final Rule 2021R-08F began to receive approvals, I posted an article about the conditions noted on the approved forms.

In that article, I predicted the listed conditions (see image below) might impact applicants in the future if the rule were to be overturned or blocked via injunction.

As I noted at the time:

  1. These are items that the ATF has decided were illegal SBRs from their time of manufacture.
  2. The ATF has, in their eyes, magnanimously agreed to give owners of these ‘illegal SBRs’ an amnesty period and free form 1 approval if they choose to register them.
  3. With this free form 1 approval, the user can put an actual stock on the resulting ‘SBR’ in place of the arm brace.  In other words, it is a full-blown SBR from that point forward, and the owner received that approval for free.
  4. It is possible that the rule might be subject to an injunction or be outright overturned in the future.
  5. If that happens, those that have these conditional form 1 approvals will be in possession of an actual SBR with an actual stockand they didn’t pay the tax on it.

What I interpreted the condition to mean is that, should the rule be overturned, these approvals will no longer be valid and will be removed from the NFRTR.

However, we are in an intermediary stage where it has not yet been struck down but has been blocked by a nationwide injunction out of a Texas Federal District Court in the case of Britto v. ATF.

While we have no idea how long the injunction will be in place, while it is in effect, it is my legal opinion that these approvals are not currently valid.  Therefore, I advise those with a free form 1 registration who have configured these items with something other than an arm brace to remove all stocks, vertical foregrips, or other characteristics you have added that make the item an SBR and return it to a pistol configuration ASAP!  Note that the arm brace can still be left on the firearm.

Could I be wrong in my interpretation?  Of course.  But out of an abundance of caution, I would encourage my clients to not put themselves in legal jeopardy.

If you wish, you may sign up to get email updates whenever I post new content on my website, including any updates on the arm brace legal challenges.

This entry was posted in Administrative Law, AR Pistols, Arm Brace, ATF, ATF Ruling, Court Rulings, Form 1, Regulatory Rulemaking, SBR, Short Barreled Rifles, Stabilizing Brace, Tax Stamp. Bookmark the permalink.