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February 1, 2023

February 2023 ADC Newsletter

Yesterday, 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 already own a braced firearm. 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 MP-5s, AKs, 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 the pistol brace 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.

In addition to this action by ATF, the usual cast of anti-gun characters are up to their perennial games with another federal "assault weapons" ban. The statistics indicate, and the ATF admits, the 1994 AWB had no effect on crime. Neither will this one. The end game is pretty clear, this isn't about crime or criminals, this is about disarmament of US citizens. Hmmm, I wonder why they would want to do that?

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.


Assuming AR15s are still legal to own this summer, I have some exciting news about expansions to the Adaptive Defense Armory product line. I wasn't 100% happy with the new gas blocks, so we went back to the drawing board and added some features to reduce weight, increase surface area to improve cooling, and coordinated the aesthetics a little bit closer to our handguards. I'm a lot happier with this new design. These are currently in production!
gas block
3 lengths
In addition, we will be getting some more handguards made, new and improved, and also available in Carbine, Mid-length, and Rifle-length. This updated design improves free-float clearance, strength, and enables a wider variety of backup sights to be used. The Magpul PRO folding front sights (for example) are ideal. These will be sold as a set including a handguard and gas-block which allows a simple retro-fit on current upper receivers. I'm particularly excited about the rifle-length version, as these will be great in combination with an 18" heavy barrel for precision Mk12/SPR type builds. There's almost 15" of Mlok and Picatinny real-estate for bipods, slings, lights, grips, illuminators, and other accessories.


In my May 2021 newsletter, I included some thoughts on Moral Codes that I think was important then, and just as important now. For some of you, this may leave a bitter aftertaste, but strong medicine often does.

Not long ago, the pressures in our world were putting us to the test individually and collectively. Watching the direction the world is taking today, there are agendas driving decisions and policies that are having a critical impact on our present and future. In light of that, I think it's important to dredge this up so people don't make the same mistakes again. Or can at least prepare when those in authority make the same mistakes again, which they are wont to do. It's time to have a questioning attitude and push back against the fairy-tale versions of reality that are being used to justify new laws and policies at the expense of our liberty.

In our concealed carry classes, I discuss the elements of successful armed self-defense, and one of those things is having, really more defining, a personal moral code. A moral code is your default position, a set of personal ethics that defines those lines you are not willing to cross, a set of rules you can fall back on in the midst of confusion and chaos. For example: the four rules of firearms safety are like a moral code. They constitute our default position when handling firearms and no matter the situation, we don't deviate from them. The 4 rules aren't just range rules, these were designed for use in combat. They work great on the range, but they are most important when all hell is breaking loose.

Consider the world since March 2020. Consider what fear enabled and caused in our world. Today, many people are reaching the conclusion that they were deceived and manipulated. "Trust the Science" has turned into "we were misled." Well... yes and no. We have a National Moral Code in the United States Constitution that protects individual rights. Even the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights dictates that there are some rights that all individuals have by virtue of being human. Because our society let itself be manipulated by fear and corruption, those codes were jettisoned - which is the bigger issue than deception or manipulation - and today, people are still paying the price and experiencing the negative effects. It might have been having to closing their business, or getting kicked out of a job for refusal to subject themselves to a medical intervention they didn't want or need, or negative health effects as a result of being threatened or coerced into taking that intervention despite their better judgement. It might have been not having those final moments with an elderly family member, or a million other missed opportunities.

Maybe our institutions and employers were deceived, were acting out of fear, but deception and fear doesn't justify the suspension of our societal codes protecting the individual. We know better. We knew better. The world of the past 3 years crossed the Rubicon of violating our moral codes and the rights of others because people let themselves be governed by fear. Just as we need moral codes to moderate our behaviors when things are good, we need them when things are going bad, in fact, the worse things get, the more important our ethics, codes, and civil rights become. If we as people, or a society, jettison our ethics, our fairness, our respect for other people's rights because of pressures, then our policies and statements and rules don't constitute an actual moral code or laws for that matter, they are not our default position, they are just disposable platitudes.

I asked it in 2021, and I'll ask it again (rhetorically): How is your moral code? Do you really believe in your code of ethics or do you find it easy to cut corners when fear, stress, or pressure makes it expedient? When we cut corners on ethics, it encourages others to do the same and our culture deteriorates rapidly. One reason I tend to be strict with the four firearms safety rules in my classes is that it only takes being tolerant of one infraction to create a "culture" of danger. Where individuals stand firm and uphold our ethics and moral codes, when we stand up for our rights and the rights of others, that too tends to spread.

Think about that when you read the news of the day, when you make your decisions, particularly those decisions that have an effect on others. We have seen the destructive results of gun control in other countries, and even here in the US. The states with the strictest gun control have the highest violent crime rates. Some might argue correlation is not causation, etc... but the underlying policies that favor strict gun control also favor a bloated, out of control government that is fertile soil for crime and its enabling factors.

That's all for the moment, forgive the excursion, but I think it is necessary for us to get to uncomfortable core issues sometimes because they are the foundation and justification for armed self-defense; the difference between legitimate use of force and barbarity.

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