Regarding ATF final rule 2021R-08F
16th Jan 2023
EDIT (01/31/2023): Rule 2021R-08F is now published in the Federal Register, the information in this post has been amended with this information.
On January 13th, the Attorney General signed and the ATF put on their website Rule 2021R-08F “Factoring Criteria for Firearms With an Attached Stabilizing Brace”. We are rightfully getting a lot of questions from our customers about how this rule will affect their EP9 Pistols. If you own an EP9 and are wondering how this Rule change affects you, we suggest that you read Rule 2021R-08F and the related material and consider whether your EP9 as configured is a Braced Pistol or an SBR under these new guidelines. If your EP9 is in a largely stock configuration with the included brace attached, there is a possibility that it will be considered a legal Braced Pistol. The ATF has two lists (List 1 and List 2) of braced firearms that they consider to be Short-Barreled Rifles. In these lists, they include only one firearm that is a 9mm short-barreled firearm with a functional receiver extension similar to the EP9, but the firearm had an adjustable brace equipped which Rule 2021R-08F makes clear that adjustable braces will be considered a shouldering device thus making whatever firearm it is attached to under the definition of a rifle. Given this, what we can say is that with the current information available to the public, the ATF has not cited our firearm as an SBR, and they have not cited a Pistol in similar size, weight, caliber, and function with a fixed (non-adjustable) brace on it as an SBR, nor did they include any mention of our Extar Stabilizer which provides minimal surface area and length-of-pull for use as a shouldering device. We cannot say officially whether an Extar EP9 with either an SB-Tactical SOB (which the EP9 originally came with) or with an Extar Stabilizer (which the EP9 later came with) is considered an SBR by the ATF. Only the ATF FATD can say whether they consider our pistol with the fixed brace that it came with, an SBR. What we can say is that the Extar EP9 is clearly a pistol in our eyes, and we have worked hard to listen to the information that the ATF put out, in order to sell a legal Braced Pistol.
It is the hope and the belief of all here at Extar that this rule change is unlawful and will be deemed as such in the courts. We are looking into how Extar can help with the efforts in fighting this rule. In the meantime, though the EP9 for some time now has been sold as a non-Braced Pistol with an optional Stabilizer included free with purchase which avoided any scrutiny as a Braced Pistol, we are now selling the EP9 without our Extar Stabilizer included with the shipment, as now pistols sold with braces in the same transaction will be under their scrutiny. Since we work with many dealers across the nation and want transactions to go smoothly for our customers, not including a brace will reduce returns and rejections by the transferring dealer, as well as eliminate the possibility of legal issues.
As of 1/31/23, Rule 2021R-08F has been published in the register and is now effective. The ATF is stating that existing Braced Pistol owners that may be affected have 120 days to become compliant, which would make the deadline 5/31/23. Effective 1/31/23 it is not legal to make, transfer, or sell a “Braced Pistol that is subject to the requirements of the NFA”.
For those that have altered their EP9 Pistol to a point in which they know it is considered an SBR under Rule 2021R-08F, or those that feel as though the EP9 Pistol as was sold with either an SB Tactical SOB or an Extar Stabilizer will be considered an SBR, here are our recommendations to becoming compliant within the 120 days after the publication in the Federal Registry:
- Remove the brace from your EP9 Pistol and either dispose of or “destroy” the brace by rendering it impossible to be used on the firearm. Before doing this, we would advise waiting for possible court intervention on Rule 2021R-08F before the 120-day deadline for you to become compliant. If you are close to the 120-day deadline and the Rule still stands, and you think or the ATF has said that your EP9 is considered an SBR, we recommend removing and disposing of the brace. Any brace that has come with an EP9 is attached with a friction fit and can be pulled straight off without any tools.
- Convert your EP9 Pistol into a rifle. We recently introduced the EP9 Rifle-Length Upper. Adding this upper with a 16" barrel will make your EP9 a Rifle. 16" Rifles are exempt from brace rules and you would have the option of either keeping the brace on the firearm or adding a stock for shoulder firing.
- Register your EP9 as an SBR via eForm 1. From our understanding, as long as you feel that your braced firearm is considered an SBR under the criteria outlined in Rule 2021R-08F, you are eligible for registration as an SBR with the fee waived (information on how to file an eForm 1). Registering your firearm as an SBR will make you compliant with the requirements of the ATF, and you will then have the option of adding our Adjustable Receiver Extension and putting a stock on your EP9 Short-Barreled rifle.
- The ATF’s published “FAQ on Rule 2021R-08F” is a great resource for questions about this rule.
- Pistols without braces that have functional receiver extensions (often called “buffer tubes”), such as the EP9 Pistol are not considered SBRs under the rule “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces”. That is a common misconception. This rule only applies to Pistols with “Stabilizing Braces” and other similar, rearward attachments.
- It is not legal for citizens to own an SBR even when registered in the following States: California, New York, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The only two states that we have sold an EP9 pistol to from that list are Maryland and Rhode Island. EP9 Pistol owners in those states do not have the option to convert and register their EP9 Pistol into an SBR.
Disclaimer: This article was written and published with the intent to inform and state an opinion. This article should not be taken as legal advice. The only authorities on the legality of an individual’s firearm are the ATF and the individual’s own legal counsel.