The ATF told The Reload on Friday it has received just over a quarter million applications to register pistol-brace-equipped firearms. Registering the affected guns was one path toward avoiding possible criminal punishment for possessing the guns under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) after the agency implemented a rule reclassifying the firearms as subject to NFA restrictions. The ATF waived the tax requirement for registration to encourage owners to comply before the deadline.
“The final rule provided possessors of such firearms the option to comply with the registration requirements of the National Firearms Act through a tax-free process using either the ATF eForms System or a paper application process with a deadline for such applications of 11:59 PM (ET) on May 31, 2023,” Erik Longnecker, Deputy Chief of the ATF’s Public Affairs Division, told The Reload. “As of June 1, 2023, ATF received 255,162 applications for tax-free registration.”
That number represents just a fraction of the braced guns believed to have been sold in the decade since the ATF first classified a version as outside the scope of the NFA. In the impact assessment for the rule, the ATF estimated that three to seven million devices exist. However, the Congressional Research Service puts the number much higher at somewhere between 10 and 40 million.
That puts the registration rate for pistol-brace-equipped guns at between 0.6 percent and eight percent.
I’m surprised it is this high. The compliance rate for “assault weapon” bans and registrations is in the two to five percent range. And the pistol brace issues is just as bogus and without a serial number on the brace it is much more difficult to track down those who don’t comply.