HomeUSAEXCLUSIVE: Of the 40 Million Pistol Braces In Circulation, Here’s How Many...

EXCLUSIVE: Of the 40 Million Pistol Braces In Circulation, Here’s How Many Have Been Registered Under Biden’s New Rule

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Only 125,000 ATF Form 1’s Have Been Submitted!

At the Orchid Industry Firearm’s Conference held this month in Atlanta, Georgia, Marvin Richardson, the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), provided critical updates on the upcoming deadline for pistol brace ruling compliance. 

Attendees were informed that as of the end of April, only 125,000 ATF Form 1’s have been submitted, with the deadline set for May 31, 2023, to receive a free tax stamp and comply with the ruling.

Remember, ATF estimates that there are 3-7 million braces in circulation! At the low end (3 million braces), that means only 4% of pistol brace owners have complied with the new rule thus far.

But also remember that many believe the ATF estimate is conservative — including the Congressional Research Service (CRS). See, the CRS’s “unofficial” guess puts the range between 10 to 40 million pistol braces in civilian hands!

Again, take the low end (10 million braces), that would mean only about 1 percent of pistol brace owners have submitted the required paperwork to be in good legal standing. Unless things radically change in the ensuing days, millions of Americans could become felons literally overnight for simply owning an innocuous piece of plastic.

Richardson, who is second-in-command at ATF, revealed that the current average processing time for Form 1’s is 48 days. That’s pretty impressive, considering it’s a government bureaucracy.

However, it makes one wonder if the agency could handle 2.9 million submissions by that May 31st deadline.

Wait Time for Suppressors Largely UnAffected!

Silencer Central, a prominent suppressor manufacturer and distributor, who attended the event told GunsAmerica via email that it has not experienced any negative impact on demand or approval times due to the pistol brace Form 1 submissions.

The staff hired by ATF to process the Form 1’s appears to be a separate group of employees, as the agency promised at Shot Show 2023. 

Silencer Central has seen a rapid increase in daily approvals over the past few weeks, now receiving over 750 approvals daily with an average approval time of around 280 days.

If you’re in the market for a suppressor, have no fears. ATF can still handle your request. Visit Silencer Central to learn more about how to get a can ASAP.

The Pistol Brace Rule

The pistol brace ruling, signed by Attorney General Merrick Garland on January 13, 2023, as ATF final rule 2021R-08F, modifies the definition of “rifle” and outlines factors to be considered when evaluating firearms equipped with purported “stabilizing braces.” 

This rule aims to determine if such weapons would be classified as a “rifle” or “short-barreled rifle” under the Gun Control Act of 1968 or subject to regulation under the National Firearms Act.

ATF has claimed that this rule does not affect stabilizing braces specifically designed and intended for use by individuals with disabilities. However, in the same breath it says that a firearm with a stabilizing brace is classified as a short-barreled rifle, it must be registered no later than May 31, 2023.

With the deadline fast approaching, the agency is urging firearm owners to take the necessary steps to comply with the new rule, either by registering their weapons, modifying the barrel length, altering or disposing of the “stabilizing brace,” or turning in the firearm to the local ATF office.

NRA Backed Lawsuit

This update comes amidst a significant NRA-backed lawsuit involving half of the states in the nation. The plaintiffs filed the suit in North Dakota. It’s known as Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc. v. Merrick Garland

The lawsuit claims that the ATF greatly overstepped its boundaries by reclassifying braced pistols under the National Firearms Act (NFA). Some key points highlighted by the lawsuit include (via America’s 1st Freedom):

  • The ATF has repeatedly said braced pistols are not NFA firearms.
  • The ATF knew the move was a bad idea, but pushed forward with the new rule under President Joe Biden’s guidance.
  • The ruling affects millions more people than the ATF and Justice Department say it does.
  • In reclassifying braced pistols as SBRs, the ATF failed to heed the statutory text by which it is bound.
  • The rule is also unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare ATF’s new rule unlawful and set it aside, along with preliminarily and permanently enjoining the ATF from enforcing the rule.

Nullification Via Congressional Review Act?

In addition, House Republicans are hoping to nullify Biden’s new rule via a resolution.

Reps. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., and Richard Hudson, R-N.C., are leading the effort in the House of Representatives to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, as Fox News Reported last March. 

“Congress must swiftly move to block the ATF’s unconstitutional pistol brace rule, as this misguided measure turns millions of law-abiding gun owners, including many disabled veterans, into criminals for merely possessing legal firearms with stabilizing braces,” Clyde told Fox News Digital.

However, the resolution would need to clear both chambers with enough votes to override a (probable) Biden veto.  Which is, unfortunately, unlikely. 


Firearm owners, industry professionals, and pro-gun lawmakers alike are watching the developments surrounding the pistol brace ruling, as its impact on gun ownership and the Second Amendment is nothing short of gigantic.

As always, stay tuned for updates. This fight is far from over!

is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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