Does an SBR Brace Negate SBR Laws?
Dr. John Woods 01.01.21
Does an SBR brace negate SBR laws?
When it comes to SBRs or Short Barreled Rifles, there is considerable confusion about the need of a forearm brace to make the SBR legal. No, wait a minute, the issue is not with SBRs, it is with AR-15s that are classified as pistols. Those have an arm brace, too, but then is it legal to shoulder the “pistol” like a rifle without using the forearm brace? So, what the heck is that gosh awful brace good for anyway? See the confusion?
Frankly, I do not know how this arm brace contraption thingy got started anyway, but my guess is that it was some sort of a sneaky way to circumvent some BATF rule for a firearm that was shorter overall than legally allowed. Have you ever tried on one of those arm braces or even shot an AR with one installed? I have tried them on, and found no credible use for them what-so-ever. They are awkward, uncomfortable, and unnecessary, except maybe to comply with an otherwise ridiculous federal firearms ruling.
That’s just me. But I simply do not want a firearm much less an AR of any configuration dangling from my arm when I am done shooting. What if I needed to drop the firearm during any kind of an exchange or some condition in which I needed to leave the weapon behind or opt for another strategy, such as drawing a sidearm for some close quarters work?
Same if I were out in the field, say for example a prepper or survivalist conducting a patrol of property lines checking on poachers or trespassers. I’m riding on an ATV or inside of a UTV cab with an AR-15 designated pistol by my side, I certainly do not want it hook and loop strapped to my arm while I’m driving or bouncing around. That would be stupid trying to deploy a firearm on or inside a ride with that thing attached to my shooting arm.
So, to answer the question, “Does an SBR brace negate SBR laws?” — If your AR is designed and sold as a pistol with a collapsible stock which includes an arm brace, then legally, you can shoulder the stocked pistol without using the brace. Yeah, I know. The BATF has issued a letter explaining that the approval is based on the firearm being a “pistol.” If your AR-15 is a rifle, but with a shorter than allowed barrel length (16 inches), then you have to secure a permit stamp to register it as an SBR.