Using Sig’s Arm Brace to Poke the ATF

20140409-104258.jpgWhile working on my interior design degree I saw a lot of unrealistic projects. Often, students who attempted to create something utterly original, forgot about things like gravity and good taste. My perusuit of an education in an applied design (instead of a major like painting or sculpture), was specifically chosen to avoid such work.
Outside the box designs are impressive because they acknowledge and respect the definition of a box. That begin said, it was this time last year that I was sent an image of the AR-15 pistol Brace from Sig Sauer. It came with no explanation, branding, not even a title, and my initial reaction was, “Great! Now all the tacticool fools, can play Robocop on the weekends.” Until I was told that the design was created for use by the disabled I continued to be bothered by it. It seemed like an unneccisary act of defiance aimed at the ATF.

I am all for designs that offer freedom to those who are differently able. In interior design we had and entire class dedicated to learning to create spaces that follow rules that allowed those folks to use a space just as the rest of us. Sometimes, when working within ADA rules, amazing designs occur. But to those people I overheard saying, “Yay! Now I can have a short barreled rifle without the paperwork!…” I say, “Shame on you!”

Last month the ATF responded to Sig’s brace by saying that the product did not break any laws through its design. Those who would use the brace in another way than how it was designed, were outside the jurisdiction of the ATF and Sig Sauer could not be held responsible for the the actions of these folks either. I agree with the ATF’s assessment of the arm brace, but I think we should all take issue with those who are misusing the product. Not only are they insensitively using a product meant for those who are less able-bodied than they are, but they are also drawing the attention of the ATF in a manner that may bring penalties down upon all of us. Therefor, I retract my original disappointment, which I felt toward Sig, for creating the arm brace and now direct it toward those who choose to “poke” the ATF.


  1. I agree, poking the ATF is like Baggins messing with Smaug (sorry for the nerd reference), but you can figure out the rest.

    The ATF can, and probably will, end all this fun and when they do we will all be worse for it.

    This should be more of a tongue in cheek type of situation.

    1. But baggins came thru it and lived a long and happy life, worshipped by those around him as a hero. I think your analogy was in error.

  2. I will not be shocked if the BATFE eventually pulls the rug out from under SIG’s feet. Another possibility is that individual state and local agencies may still try to harass owners for having an unregistered SBR.

  3. I have to disagree. Remember the philosophical context, *any* infringement on peaceable exercise of a fundamental right without factual justification of massive countervailing harm is illegitimate on its face.

    SBS/SBR regulations doubly so, given the history of their passage. Recall that the original ban was to be on all handguns, SBS/SBR were simply included to forestall substitution with a “handgun analog.” At the moment the handgun ban was removed from the proposed law, the only stated justification *by the laws proponents* for the SBR/SBS regulation – to prevent substitution – went with it. The law thus fails on its own merits, much less on factual “public safety” grounds.

    That being the case, working around it, as we are working to repeal it, is almost a moral duty. Bad *and* stupid law which is a Constitutional infringement deserves no respect. At this point it is wise to remember that a “loophole” is simply black letter law a person happens to disagree with. The ATF has stated that the “intent” of the brace manufacturer removes it from regulation and the “use” of the product is not their concern.

    I’d recommend getting those things into “common use” as quickly as possible to give them even more legal protection. The lack of them showing up at crime scenes in statistically significant numbers will be one more bullet in our magazine of facts supporting NFA revision/repeal.

  4. I think the ATF should just do away with the regs on SBRs and SBSs. Those rules don’t stop criminals from cutting down the barrel. And get rid of the stupid regs on suppressors while they’re at it. Not a single firearm law deters a criminal, it just makes life more difficult for the rest of us.

  5. something either IS or ISNT… its not both….

    every AR pistol has a buffer tube…. a buffer tube is NOT a stock… a buffer tube CAN be used as a stock, but it dont change the fact its NOT a stock…

    before the sig brace, you could shoulder a AR pistol using the tube, ATF letters from YEARS ago even said that….

    the sig brace is NO different… except now it looks better and a bit more comfortable… still dont change the fact the the tube, nor the brace is a STOCK…

  6. Shame on you for bowing down before government and apologizing for people who are finding a way around their totalitarian dealings.
    Every long gun should be made in “pistol” format and use this arm brace and snub the ATF. Tempt them to cone get them and force the issue.

    If you don’t have the stones to stand up for your rights, please step aside so the rest of us can.

  7. Baer’s law: Engineer’s are smarter than lawyers. We will outsmart them every step of the way. Slidefire, Bullet button, arm brace, that awesome gun that came with a VFG, no stock and was too long to be an AOW (classed as a “firearm”). And have you seen the coke can launcher from last week?

    That said, the original inventor who got approval from the ATF knew it could also be used as a stock. SIG knew it when they bought the rights to it and started production. This arm brace is now a profitable item in stock at many gun stores across the country. Which means is available and affordable for the disabled individuals who will actually use it as intended. Isn’t that better than them having to pay an exorbitant price for a lower quality custom product? This is a win win for all involved.

    And I think that secretly the ATF technology branch loves it when we come up with this stuff.

  8. I say shame on you. The whole concept of a needing a federal law governing the length of a barrel is stupid. It’s a made up rule that makes no one safer but makes criminals out of people every year. You know up in Canada you can get a shotgun with a fourteen inch barrel? Do our four extra inches make us safer? Why, as a law abiding American citizen do I need to read reams of rules made up by bureaucrats and never voted on by my representative? They keep saying they want to stop criminals, then they make up rules that give them an excuse to make more criminals. That’s not law enforcement, that’s entrapment.

    BTW, I’ve been kind about your spelling mistakes in the past. It’s been long enough. Learn to proof read.

  9. If I understand your sentiment, we should not let anyone dress in a pirate costume with a hook for a hand or peg leg because it is insensitive to those “differently abled” people who actually wear a prosthetic limb.

    1. No, I meant that we should take on stupid laws with a full frontal sort of approach and not use disability work arounds as a means to do it

  10. I understand the desire to follow the spirit of all laws, but there’s something to be said for following the letter of them too… and this sets aside the already-suggested position that most of these laws have a pretty tenuous footing with regards to Constitutionality in the first place.

    To make it something of a thought exercise, what kind of law would you consciously disregard? Is there a case where that would ever happen? If there is, then it’s not exactly fair for you to be wagging your digital fingers Mutombo-style at those who are doing what you’d do in a different situation. If there is not a law you’d consciously disregard… well, that’s going to be it’s own source of separation from many (if not most) in the field of gun rights.

  11. A lot of good responses here; bottom line, the “Shame” belongs on any and all politicians who have stood up to suppress our 2nd Amendment and any other rights that they are currently infringing upon.

  12. The shame is on those that make pointless and unconstitutional laws on civilian armaments, and then use men armed with the very things they are banning from the civilians to take those that refuse to comply under threat of violence, and jail them for decades at a time. Shame on them. And shame on the writer of this piece.

    On a more sarcastic note, in response to this quote: “but they are also drawing the attention of the ATF in a manner that may bring penalties down upon all of us.”

    Yeah, just like those idiots that kept drinking from white fountains and refusing to go to the back of the bus. Screw them, shouldn’t they know they’d just draw attention and get in trouble? Didn’t they know they’d just make life harder on those that just go to the back of the bus and realize that the colored fountains are just fine? Same water, jeez. Why cause trouble?

  13. Can’t we do both, and actually ENJOY ourselves, while also working to get stupid laws repealed?

    If I wanted a 10″ AR I could actually hit things with, I’d rather not pay an extra $200 (and wait, what, about six months, these days?) to get one I cannot leave with a spouse because I’d make her an instant felon (which means I have to have a seperate gun safe she doesn’t have the combo to, just for the NFA stuff – NFA trusts are NOT doable in my state at this time), or I should wait 10, 20, or 30 years for ultimate legislative victory?

  14. Meant this to link to Gabby’s comment April 9, 2014 at 18:33

    “Can’t we do both, and actually ENJOY ourselves, while also working to get stupid laws repealed?

    If I wanted a 10″ AR I could actually hit things with, I’d rather not pay an extra $200 (and wait, what, about six months, these days?) to get one I cannot leave with a spouse because I’d make her an instant felon (which means I have to have a seperate gun safe she doesn’t have the combo to, just for the NFA stuff – NFA trusts are NOT doable in my state at this time), or I should wait 10, 20, or 30 years for ultimate legislative victory?”

  15. Gabby,

    I generally agree that pushing the envelope is not the right way for us to expand our gun rights. I am not a fan of confrontational open carry, for example, and I was very specifically against using the Sig Brace to assist deviation control by using it to gun by firing it from the shoulder. I took this position because I thought the situation was very vague and there was no point in risking a felony, nor encouraging others to do so. However, once the letter came out and the BATFE Officially took a Official Position that any AR Pistol can be shoulder fired without legal issue being raised, the situation changed dramatically. This is no longer a group of people to identifying a loophole and exploiting it just because they believe they can or to knowingly take advantage of a technicality in a way that was never anticipated or intended. This is now a gov’t sanctioned action that shows the ridiculousness of the NFA Firearm Restrictions. Sig Brace Equipped AR Pistols regularly being used in competitions, home defense training courses, by police officers on patrol and countless other places right next to functionally similar SBRs that cost their owners hundreds of dollars more, bring cumbersome legal baggage and require a few extra hoops to jump through, the laws will be even more obviously ridiculous.
    All that said, I will not be surprised if this decision is reversed… but, until it is, the BATFE has official said “we don’t care”… There is no “poking” going on. The Flood of Videos from responsible voices in the firearms community about using the Sig Brace to Shoulder fire AR Pistols is happening AFTER the green light was given.


  16. Shame on you for siding with infringement. These type of laws do nothing to save lives and are exactly the oppression that the founding fathers were trying to protect us from. Think about it. You are a part of the problem. Come on over to the side of freedom…

  17. One of the benefits of being a libertarian is not feeling guilty about enjoying what freedom the bureaucrats LET you have..

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