ATF Pistol Brace Rule and What Your Options Are

As of January 13th, 2023, the ATF released its final rule regarding pistol braces and the firearms they are attached to, and it’s just as bad as we expected.

The new rule change is long, sitting at just 293 pages making it difficult for the average American citizen to read and interpret.

To read it for yourself CLICK HERE.

The meat of the issue however is simple, if you own an AR-15-style pistol with a brace, the ATF may now consider it an SBR, subject to all the tyrannical policies and regulations that come with that.

ATF Pistol Brace Rule and What Your Options Are

RELATED – Pistol Brace Ban Updates and How the ATF is losing

The ATF was gracious enough however to allow for a 120-day amnesty period, in which you can register your firearms, destroy your property, or surrender your freedom to them.

However, Congress still has the means to address this and other oversteps, by using the Congressional Review Act and calling into question these actions and the lack of statutory authority that this agency has to make them.

Even though there are multiple 2A legal entities drafting up lawsuits, it could take years to make it to the Supreme Court for a final ruling. In the meantime, however, what do we do?

5 Ways To Comply With The ATF Pistol Brace Rule

The ATF and DOJ mention 5 different options to deal with this unconstitutional ruling.

  1. Permanently remove or alter the brace such that it cannot be reattached
  2. Remove the short barrel and attach a 16-inch or longer barrel
  3. Destroy the firearm
  4. Turn the firearm into your local ATF office
  5. Complete and submit ATF Form 1 along with the $200 tax payment (There is no $200 fee during the 120-day amnesty period)

There is however another option. It’s been somewhat of a sleeper but is already on the market. That option is the Maxim Defense Pistol System.

Maxim Defense Pistol System

The benefit of going with a buffer tube brace system such as the Maxim Defense Pistol system is that you don’t have to deal with any legal ambiguity.

The ATF, as of the date of this writing, has not hinted that they might want to reclassify AR pistols as SBRs when there is no brace involved.

To ensure you’re 100% legal with your AR pistol, you can install a pistol buffer tube on your AR if it doesn’t already have one.

ATF Pistol Brace Rule and What Your Options Are
The Gen 7 CQB Pistol System by Maxim Defense is your choice for simplicity and compactness for your AR-15 pistol. This system features a Gen 7 style housing and a CQB length buffer tube.

The buffer tube brace design still gives you a third point of contact on your cheek but is designed in a way that it does not resemble a stock and cannot be shouldered.

The Maxim Defense Pistol System is a perfect alternative to a pistol brace. I have the Gen 7 CQB Pistol System for my AR pistol. It’s extremely easy to install and with practice, easy to shoot with.

Gen 7 CQB Pistol System

at Maxim Defense
Prices accurate at time of writing

The only thing you need to deal with is the slight learning curve to shooting with an AR pistol buffer tube vs an AR pistol brace.

From Maxim Defense

The Gen 7 CQB Pistol System by Maxim Defense is your choice for simplicity and compactness for your AR-15 pistol. This system features a Gen 7 style housing and a CQB-length buffer tube.

It is compatible with your standard bolt carrier group, but you will need our proprietary CQB buffer & springs or JP Silent Captured Spring if you don’t have one.

The CQB Pistol System is compatible with any MIL-SPEC lower receiver and it does not accept a stabilizing brace. For those that are looking to convert their existing CQB brace into the Pistol System, you only need the housing as your existing extension tube is compatible.

The Maxim Defense CQB Pistol System measures 6 inches, which keeps you at 0 points for the attachment methods under section 3 of the ATF scorecard. In addition, the CQB Pistol System reduces the overall length of your firearm.

ATF Pistol Brace Rule and What Your Options Are
Maxim Defense SCW Pistol System on an AR Pistol.

Is the ATF banning AR pistols?

The ATF is not banning AR pistols. They are going after the stabilizing braces that attach to them. In a roundabout way though, the ATF is going after the AR pistol market.

Want to legally keep your AR pistol? Simple. Pay the $200 tax stamp and register it as an SBR. Sounds pretty simple, but does it infringe on our rights? Check out our in-depth blog on AR Pistol Laws and the Pistol Brace Ban.


With the ATF publishing the pistol brace rule, now is the time to make the move to the Maxim Defense Pistol System.

The Maxim Defense Pistol System comes with a housing that allows you to attach a sling via a QD sling mount for a single-point sling.

The installation of the Pistol System and sling takes less than 15 minutes, and you don’t have to worry about registering what you’ve got, paying a $200 tax stamp, or turning in your freedom.

READ NEXT -> Complying with Short Barrel Rifle Laws: What You Need to Know

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