Hello there fellow gun lovers, survivalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. I have returned from a brief hiatus to report some interesting finds I’ve gathered in the past few months. I have been gone to help run a tactical nylon company. Recently, I have been vending at gun shows across my beautiful state, and an ATF agent who will remain nameless approached my booth to look at our gear. After I inquired about some things of interest to me, namely the legality of shouldering a SIG Brace and whether or not the Maglite “Solvent Trap” that has been reformed into a suppressor is legal or not with the correct paperwork. These questions seemed to raise the brow of the agent, and he brought two other agents to my table to “answer my questions.” Honestly though, I believe it was more for them to gather intel than it was for me to with the way they were acting.
Shady federal agents aside, when I told them I was a writer for a website they immediately attempted to break contact with me, stating they had representatives specifically meant for the media. Using my gift of gab to grease the wheels I was able to convince them that their names wouldn’t be released nor would any of their statements be directly quoted. To honor that promise I will paraphrase the scoop they gave me.
Anyone worth their salt in the gun community has, over the last year, been well aware of the ATF’s finicky stance on the legality of SIG Braces being shouldered. If you don’t know what a SIG Brace is I suggest you google it, it’s the buttstock-like apparatus everyone is getting for their rifle caliber “Pistols”. Now, you may have seen that the ATF released a statement stating that if you shoulder the weapon with the SIG Brace attached it is now classified as a Short Barreled Rifle. Some folks have thought this to be pure hearsay, or a single agent’s interpretation. I am here to verify that that it is in fact the case that it is illegal. The ATF agents clearly stated to me and showed me the ruling that to shoulder a weapon with the SIG Brace affixed would be a violation of federal law without filing the applicable tax stamp. You must still fire the weapon with one hand, with the brace affixed to your forearm. The reason behind this? Too many people asked questions.
Because people are totally going to honor this law. Right.
That’s right folks, the ATF ruled it as a felony to shoulder a weapon with a SIG Brace without the applicable tax stamp because too many people sent them letters and emails asking them as to the legality of it. That’s how the government works, if there isn’t a definitive answer for something and too many people inquire, the government is likely to ban that thing altogether in order to save on time, which to them is money. This deplorable practice means that big brother would rather we not ask questions and just let things slide, if we let things slide, we’re more likely to get away with them for longer. It means that they discourage inquisitive minds and reward complacency and, well, keeping your mouth shut.
The agents also answered some of my questions regarding the Maglite conversions, with good news! It’s perfectly legal to convert a Maglite or an Oil Can into a suppressor when filing the correct paperwork. This can be done on an individual level if you want to go through the trouble of getting your local law enforcement involved, or it can be done by establishing a trust beforehand and putting the NFA items in the trust. That saves both time and money for individuals who want to put multiple people on the trust and trade their weapons out with one another without having to bother with all the crazy paperwork. The thing I was most intrigued about was the fact that for three hundred and fifty dollars you can get a suppressor that works just as well as name brands. That’s a fraction of the price, and still perfectly legal!
The interaction with the agents left a bad taste in my mouth, not only did I dislike them crowding my stand as if I were some sort of criminal for asking these questions, but I didn’t like the fact that I was told “If you guys would have just kept your mouths shut no one would have bothered with the SIG Brace ruling.” To me that’s ridiculous. So a perfectly law abiding citizen can be turned into a felon instantaneously because they shouldered a weapon that fires a rifle cartridge? How is this law in any way going to protect people? It seems like another unnecessary encroachment into the every day citizen’s life. To any ATF agents who may read this, no, I don’t have a rifle caliber pistol and I don’t intend on breaking this law, but that doesn’t mean I agree with it, so please don’t kick in my door.
Now we know, next time a cool piece of equipment comes out that treads the line, keep our mouths shut, don’t talk to feds about it, and enjoy it for as long as possible before they rip that right away from you for inquiring. What they don’t know won’t hurt them, or you.
“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.”– Tommy