As of November 8, 2023. pistol braces are legal as of now based on the fifth circuit court of appeals decision. Read more about Britto VS ATF here
The legality of pistol braces have been challenged many times in the past few years, and the legal uncertainty made many gun owners frustrated.
Before this, there was confusion around whether these accessories could be used, sold, or produced. Some even considered a brace is basically a stock, and legal professionals just crafted the wording to get around the law. Read more about brace vs stock here
However, a recent court ruling has allowed for the production, sale, and use of pistol braces to resume. It's important to note that consulting legal counsel is advisable for anyone involved in this matter.
Referenced The Firearm Blog
The ruling, which came into effect on November 8, 2023, declared that the ATF's earlier "ban" on pistol braces, announced in January 2023, was deemed unlawful and exceeded its authority.
This court decision expanded the initial injunction granted by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to apply nationwide.
It essentially states that, during this injunction period, pistol braces are not subject to ATF or NFA regulations.
It's essential to understand that this injunction is not permanent, as the Supreme Court may still make a final decision, and the ATF has the option to appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Nonetheless, for the time being, it seems that individuals can use pistol braces without legal restrictions, similar to the situation before 2022.
To provide some context, the ATF's original rule regarding pistol braces, announced on January 31, 2023, stated that it was not illegal to manufacture or sell these accessories.
Still, they were subject to regulation when attached to a pistol for specific purposes. This led to reduced sales for manufacturers and retailers.
Despite the legal battles, manufacturers like Shockwave Technologies LLC continued producing pistol braces, and they received support from various organizations and customers. As a result, they are now looking forward to increased production and the release of new products in 2024.
With the nationwide injunction in place, many retailers are restocking pistol braces and offering special deals to clear out older inventory.
This entire saga stems from the invention of the pistol-stabilizing brace in 2012 by Army veteran Alex Bosco.
He gained ATF approval for his design, and SB-Tactical was formed to produce these braces. Over the years, millions of pistol braces were sold, with an estimated value of over $6 billion.
However, some users began to shoulder these braces instead of using them as intended, which caught the ATF's attention. This led to debates over their legality, and the ATF changed its stance multiple times, causing uncertainty in the industry.
In January 2023, the ATF published a ruling that attaching a pistol brace to a firearm with a barrel under 16 inches would classify it as an NFA short-barreled rifle, subject to additional regulations and taxes.
Legal battles ensued, resulting in the November 8, 2023, injunction that temporarily lifts these restrictions, allowing manufacturers, retailers, and customers to resume their activities related to pistol braces. The hope is that this situation remains stable in the long run.