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January 31, 2023

February 2023 ADC Newsletter

Earlier today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms added its interpretation to the federal register that officially classifies pistols equipped with arm-braces as "Short Barreled Rifles" regulated under the National Firearms Act. If you own a braced pistol, in order to be in compliance with the law, you must either register it, destroy it, or reconfigure it to a non-pistol configuration. There is a 120-day grace period to do this. With regards to registration, the ATF is offering to waive the $200 registration fee if you submit photos of the firearm proving that you own it. The risk here is that millions of gun owners will be submitting Form 1's to register SBR's which is going to bog down the already notoriously slow NFA office of the ATF. If your application isn't approved within the 120-day grace period, technically there is now photographic evidence that you are in violation of the law, that you yourself provided to a federal law enforcement agency. Take the risk to save $200? ...tough call.

While domestically-made rifles like AR-15s make up a majority of the affected firearms, there is another complexity with foreign-made firearms like H&K MP-5s and clones, AK's, Brugger and Thomets, etc...
Any foreign made firearms must comply with 18 U.S.C. 922(r). Imposed in 1990, 922(r) prohibits “assembling from imported parts any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation.” BATFE`s regulation [178.39, Commerce in Firearms] prohibits using more than 10 “imported parts,” from a list of 20 parts, such as trigger, hammer, barrel, etc. While it is lawful to build such firearms using a certain number of US-made "compliance parts" to reduce the foreign-made critical parts, this would have to be done before assembling the firearm into rifle configuration. Since braced firearms are, as of today, "Short Barreled Rifles," and in the eyes of 922(r) short-barreled rifles are still rifles, they are already out of compliance. Playing the compliance parts game can be an difficult and expensive hobby. If you have a braced pistol version of a foreign-made firearm and need more information, get in touch with me and (short of giving legal advice) I'll try and help you work your way through your options.

Gun Owners of America and Firearms Policy Coalition have already filed lawsuits challenging this interpretation. The ATF, as part of the Executive Branch of government, does not and can not make laws, but that is exactly what they have done with this move, by administrative fiat. They did the same thing with the bump-stock ban which was recently ruled unconstitutional. If you want to help fight this ATF overreach, I recommend contributing to Gun Owners of America or Firearms Policy Coalition.

Your support is needed at the state and local level as well. New Mexico is facing a particularly severe legislative session this year. If the proposed laws pass, New Mexico's gun restrictions will rival those in California and New York. Almost every semi-automatic pistol and rifle will be impractical or impossible to own with no grandfathering.

Local organizations you should be helping out: In Idaho, there is Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, in New Mexico, you can join or contribute to the NMSSA, and in Ohio there is Buckeye Firearms Association. Those are the three states that make up the majority of our subscribers.

It is also important to let your elected representatives know how you feel. You can use this site to find and contact your representatives. Please remember to be concise and professional in your communications. I don't need to say it, but I will anyway: insults and threats won't be helpful and will probably score you some unwanted attention.


Thursday, February 16th is our next online class: Precision Optics Workshop. This class is a primer on precision rifle optics. Whether or not you currently own a precision rifle, this class will guide you through the details of precision optics and precision rifle marksmanship.

Class time is 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Mountain Time.


Despite Supreme Court decisions supporting The Second Amendment, including the recent Bruen decision, many states, the federal government, and the ATF are still applying continual, relentless pressure to further restrict the right to keep and bear arms. With the mid-term elections approaching rapidly, I'd like to ask you to take a moment to ponder the state of our nation and our second amendment rights (which, as a subscriber to this newsletter, I assume are of some value and interest to you), and take that into consideration at the voting booth.

If you haven't been keeping up with the ATF's infringements this tear, they have basically reversed their position (which they do frequently) on the legality of arm braces on AR-type pistols. If you own an AR-style pistol (AR equipped with a barrel length less than 16 inches and an arm-brace), the ATF has re-interpreted the rules so that they may arbitrarily declare your firearm a "short-barreled rifle (SBR)." Possession of an SBR without an approved Form 1 or Form 4 and $200 tax stamp is a felony, the same as possessing an unregistered silencer or machine gun. If you currently own an AR-pistol equipped with a pistol-brace, your main options are to either install a 16" or longer barrel and convert it to a "rifle," or register it with the ATF on a Form 1, pay your $200, wait, and upon approval, convert it to a legal short-barreled rifle. There are other options, of course, like surrendering it to the ATF or non-compliance with the law, but these options have their own...disadvantages. The decision is yours, but I want to make sure you are at least knowledgeable so you can make an informed decision.

The ATF has also attacked 80% receiver kits. If you own a firearm made from an 80% receiver, be advised that if you ever take it to a gunsmith for any kind of work, they will be required to apply a serial number and put it on their books. The main purpose behind 80% guns is to keep them off the ATF's records and illegal gun registry. So if you have any home-made firearms, best not to take them to a licensed dealer if you can avoid it.

As always, please keep the pressure on your representatives and help support pro-gun organizations like the Firearms Policy Coalition and other local groups who focus on the preservation of our right to keep and bear arms.


I have yet to receive any feedback from any ADC-15 owners on how their rifles are shooting. If you have had your ADC-15 out to the range this year, I'd love to hear about it. If you have ANY problems or issues, I'd like to hear about those too.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy some nice fall weather and hit the range at least one more time before winter. Keep in touch and if you have any questions about guns, ammo, or training, please feel free to drop me a line.

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PO Box 218 Rigby, ID 83442
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