So you have a “pistol” equipped with a support brace. Welcome to the club alongside about 30+ million other Americans.

At the end of January, the ATF posted new rules that now define those formerly “a-okay” items as now making your pistol a “short-barreled rifle” (SBR) as of May 30th.

May 30th is coming up quickly. You have until then to take steps to remain legal under federal rules.

Right now, it’s looking doubtful we’ll have a nationwide injunction blocking the new rule. So it’s time to take action. You can do nothing, but you risk serious time in Club Fed if you opt for the “Molon Labe” option.

If you want to keep your braced gun in its current configuration, you will need to register it as a “Short-Barreled Rifle” with the BATF using eForm 1.

To do so in Illinois, you’ll need a Curios & Relics Federal Firearms License to have a “short barreled rifle.” You’ll also need two hard-copy fingerprint cards.

You still have time – barely – to apply for your C&R license. ATF typically has about a three-week processing time. You can apply at the BATF website (google “FFL license application“).

Go to the BATF web, locate the eForm 1 and start filling it out. You’ll need to file for the license ahead of the May 30th effective date for the new rule-making to remain 100% legal.  Initiating the application will keep you legal.  It does not have to be approved and finalized by May 30.

Don’t care about keeping the current configuration? No problem. You can remove the support brace and any mounting hardware to remain legal. In the AR-platform guns, you can replace the sub-16” barreled upper with a 16+” barreled upper.

You can also add a long flash suppressor and permanently affix that.  The only problem there is that said flash suppressor is a felony item now thanks to the new Illinois Firearm Ban Act.

The other alternatives involve surrendering them to the police or destroying them. Neither of those options seems all that bright.

4 thoughts on “ILLINOIS RESIDENTS ACT NOW: Time’s running out on ‘Support Braced’ pistols”
  1. Removing the brace is the easiest & cheapest option. Do I have to switch the buffer tube over to the “pistol style” or can I leave the carbine buffer tube on it?

  2. Two hours ago the 6th (Federal) Circuit Court of Appeals published a decision applying the Rule of Lenity to the bump-stock ban case heard by the 6th Circuit Court. In summary the decision says the ATF has no authority to make rules, with the force of criminal penalties, in cases where the laws passed by congress do not directly address the issue at hand. This obviously does not directly affect the pistol brace rule at this time. However, the long term (12-18 months) implications for these unconstitutional legislative shortcuts are profound. The executive overreach is coming to a head. Great movie quote: “Your time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.” Hang tough Illinois ‘we’ are winning !

    1. This is well worth reading if you are in the SBR conundrum. I wouldn’t personally trust ATF to clean the shit out of my septic tank, let alone ‘double-secret we promise not to bend you over’ language. I think you are better off taking the brace off until adjudicated rather than calling attention to yourself. Leave the gun as a pistol, and hide the brace or whatever is necessary. Take it fishing and ‘lose’ it in a boating accident. Anything.

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