Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Do Braced Pistols Form 1'd As SBRs Under The Amnesty Require Engraving/Marking?

It's a good question.

As you should know by now, if you have an Arm-Braced pistol, you have until May 31, 2023 to get them on a free Form 1 or you have to make them no longer an Arm-Braced pistol.

If you don't want the amnesty registration, you can by May 31, 2023 undo them by disassembly; placing a 16" or larger barrel on them; or otherwise bringing them into compliance. Or if you want to reach into your wallet, disassemble them now, then pay $200 and then after approval of a standard Form 1 reassemble them and make them an SBR.

Note that just taking the brace off an AR type pistol may not get you into compliance as if you can still shoulder the buffer tube, ATFE is taking the position that it is still an SBR and that will be consequential for you and not in a good way.

So, assuming you go the free tax stamp route on your braced pistol that is now Determined-To-Be-An-SBR-After-Prior-Determinations-Declared-It-Was-Not, do you need to have it engraved with your name and city/state as if you were doing a typical Form 1?

From the Form 1 Section K(7) that you will fill out under this program you would think so, as here's the stated requirement on the form: 

(7) Markings: The maker is required to mark the firearm with the Maker’s name, City and State as shown in item 3b. All markings are to be in compliance with 27 CFR §§ 478.92 and 479.102. Do not alter or modify the serial number of an existing firearm. Enter the existing serial number, or if a new firearm, one you create. The Maker may not duplicate any serial number placed by the Maker on any other firearm.

That would seem that you do have to mark the firearm doesn't it?

But wait, there's more.

There's an ATFE guidance that is contrary to this instruction on the form and is in the final regulation as well:

Once the firearm is registered, am I required to mark the firearm since I manufactured a short-barreled rifle (SBR)?

If the SBR equipped with a “stabilizing brace” is registered by May 31, 2023, the possessor is allowed to adopt the markings on the firearm.  The maker’s marking exception is only applicable to firearms that are registered pursuant to the final rule.  If the firearm is a personally made firearm, the possessor must mark in accordance with 27 CFR 478.92 & 479.102 prior to submitting the E-Form 1.

So, per this ruling, you do not need to engrave the amnesty-registered arms-braced pistols now declared to be SBRs so long as you didn't make the receiver yourself from an 80% lower or such.  Certainly another reason to utilize the program. 

I can sorta see the reasoning:  

You as the possessor of an arm-braced pistol did not actually manufacture them as an SBR, you manufactured them as a pistol that is now only later determined to be an SBR. Thus, you wouldn't need to engrave it as when you made it, it was not an SBR, so you had not manufactured an SBR.

Clear as mud, isn't it? Part of the confusion is they are using the normal Form 1 as part of this program rather than a specially made Form 1 for this amnesty and thus the contradiction between the form and the regulation for the arm brace amnesty program.

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