Warning: Time Sensitive!
The Biden Pistol Brace Ban Grace Period Ends May 31!
By Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law
The Biden Pistol Brace Ban is particularly dangerous to New Jersey gun owners because possessing an SBR (Short Barrel Rifle) is prohibited in NJ. Compliance with the Federal Rule by registration would leave one in violation of NJ State law by possessing an SBR, aka a “sawed-off shotgun”.
Also, at serious risk are those who have acquired federally defined “Other” guns such as the Troy A4 or the Dark Storm DS-15 in reliance on the New Jersey State Police Letter. The braced guns arguably become “rifles” under NJ gun law that accept detachable magazines, and if they have certain offending features, they may be deemed “Assault Firearms” under the 1996 NJ Attorney General’s Assault Firearm opinion.
As per the NRA-ILA, “Stabilizing braces were designed to enable gun owners to operate certain firearms with one hand with more stability. The ATF’s new rule says, essentially, that using a stabilizing brace with a pistol turns the firearm into a short-barreled rifle and must now be regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) — which means they’d be subject to registration, additional taxation, and long wait times for approval due to ATF’s lengthy NFA processing times. Because of this rule, the millions of Americans who own a pistol and a stabilizing brace, regardless of style or caliber or type of brace, must either dispose of, alter, or register their firearms. If they don’t comply, they will become felons and face 10 years in prison and large fines. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are currently between 10 and 40 million stabilizing braces in circulation.” (Emphasis added)
The ATF ruling went into effect on January 31, 2023. Firearms with “stabilizing braces” must be either disposed of, altered, or registered no later than May 31, 2023.
The following questions and answers regarding “Short Barrel Rifles” are from the book “New Jersey Gun Law – 25th Anniversary Edition” by Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law and is available for purchase at https://www.lulu.com/shop/evan-nappen/new-jersey-gun-law-25th-anniversary-edition/paperback/product-qev9zr.html?page=1&pageSize=4
(1) Is a “short barrel rifle” (SBR) prohibited under New Jersey law?
A: Yes. Under N.J.S. 2C:39-1o., a “short barrel rifle” falls under the definition of a “sawed- off shotgun” which includes a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length measured from the breech to the muzzle.
“Sawed-off shotgun” also means any firearm made from a rifle whether by alteration or otherwise having an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(2) What is the penalty for possessing a “sawed-off shotgun” (which includes short barrel rifles) under New Jersey law?
A: Under N.J.S. 2C:39-3b., any person who possesses a “sawed-off shotgun” is guilty of a crime of the third degree with up to five (5) years in state prison and up to a $15,000 fine.
(3) May a person manufacture, transport, ship, sell or dispose of a “sawed-off shotgun” (which includes short barrel rifles) under New Jersey law?
A: No. Under N.J.S. 2C:39-9b., this offense is a crime of the third degree with up to five
(5) years in jail and up to a $15,000 fine.
(4) Are there any exemptions for possession of a “sawed-off shotgun” (which includes short barrel rifles) under New Jersey law?
A: Yes, but only for the armed forces, National Guard, or law enforcement officers while actually on duty or traveling to or from an authorized place of duty and provided that the “sawed-off shotgun” has been duly authorized under applicable laws, regulations, or orders.
(5) Are there any exemptions for manufacturing, transporting, shipping, selling, or disposing of a “sawed-off shotgun” (which includes short barrel rifles) under New Jersey law?
(6) Doesn’t the exemptions for possession of a “sawed-off shotgun” (which includes short barrel rifles) contradict the prohibition of N.J.S. 2C:39-9b. as noted above?
A: Yes. Exempted persons under N.J.S. 2C:39-3 (see Question 4 above) are at risk of being in violation under N.J.S. 2C:39-9 (see Question 3 above). This is yet another example of absurd New Jersey gun laws.