Saturday, February 21, 2015

January SIG Brace Ruling - Don't blame the 'YouTubers', ya cunts!

Rant: I hate being blamed and shamed by armchair gunrights activists.

Original 2012 ATF letter.
Backstory of the SIG Brace for those not in the know: Several years ago, the SIG stabilizing brace was allegedly made for disabled veterans/amputees (oh, how gallant of SIG!) so they could shoot an AR15 pistol one handed by strapping to your arm and thereby stabilizing it.  As far as how practical that actually is I don't know, but I can take a good guess, and to me it sounds like the dumbest idea ever conceived in the past 10 years.  Think about it - who actually sticks their arm straight out when shooting an AR pistol? It also just happens to be in the shape of an M4 stock, but it's made of rubber so it's not like it's actually a good substitute for a stock.  The brace was approved by the ATF as long as it was used for it's intended purpose and each brace came with a copy of the letter.

But let's be honest - this was designed solely as a loophole for having a stock-looking device for AR pistols.  It looks cool though, I won't lie.  But as far as I'm aware, no disabled veteran was ever actually consulted on this.  It sucks as a stock and it's even more worthless when used for it's 'intended purpose'.  If you are already shouldering an AR pistol with just the buffer tube - that's fine.  There's nothing illegal about that any more than shouldering an ordinary pistol-pistol.

In 2014 everyone and their brother asked the ATF Tech Branch if it was okay to shoulder an AR15 pistol with a SIG brace attached, and the ATF confirmed it's legality via opinion letters which apparently hold some kind of legal authority - or does it (see last paragraph of this post)?  Lots of people continued to send this same question via mail and eventually the wrong person was working at ATF in mid-January 2015 and decided that the SIG Brace was not legal to shoulder - so the ATF did a full 180.  "Redesigned" was their exact wording.  We all knew it was going to happen, so of course it was inevitable.  Some gun owners got angry that it happened and the phrase "poking the hornet's nest" and "looking a gift horse in the mouth" was thrown around a lot.

I really hate those two phrases and they certainly have no relevance to January's letter.  There was no hornet's nest; and the earlier 'pro-shoulder' ruling was definitely no gift - government agencies don't issue 'gifts'.  I really don't get it when gunowners use the phrase 'Don't look a gift horse in the mouth' in regards to this issue -  that's the equivalent of saying "Hey, the ATF said we can shoulder it - let's not shoulder it so the ATF doesn't revoke our right to shoulder it... so we can continue to not shoulder it!"

This isn't the gunowner's fault.  This isn't the fault of people showing off videos on YouTube.  This isn't because of the flocks of people buying this for the sole purpose of using it as a shoulder stock accessory.  This isn't the fault of people sending the tech branch letters.  There are millions gunowners in the US and there's no way from keeping track of gunowners and preventing them from exercising their first amendment by writing letters, making videos, and openly discussing it on forums - and I hope it stays that way.

My point is this: If you're relying on an opinion letter from the ATF on something that is questionable at best, then you can bet that it's not going to last and you should assume it won't last.  I'm sick of all these armchair 'gun rights' activists saying "I told you so" and trying to blame and shame others after they delete their own SIG Brace videos.  No gun owner is to blame for this, and the only idiots here were those naive enough to purchase SIG products. a SIG SBR Loophole Device.

Anyways, I don't want this to be a completely worthless rant post so here is a link to a video that actually sheds some light on what exactly January's OPINION letter really means for SIG Brace owners (as opposed to pointing fingers and yelling 'The sky is falling!').  "It's either an NFA item or it isn't."

Further reading and links of interest:

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