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Everytown Releases New Report Uncovering Deceptive Practices from Largest Arm Brace Maker


Never-Before-Seen FOIA Documents Reveal SB Tactical Sidestepped Federal Regulators

Today, a new report from The Smoking Gun, an Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund resource dedicated to exposing the gun industry’s role in our gun violence epidemic, released new FOIA documents regarding SB Tactical, a leading manufacturer of “arm braces,” accessories that attach to the rear of AR-15s and AK-47s and mimic shoulder stocks, providing more stability for shooters while firing. SB Tactical’s arm braces helped gun manufacturers sell concealable short-barreled rifles without registering them, as required by federal law. Short-barreled AR-15s equipped with SB Tactical braces have been used in at least three recent mass shootings. 

The FOIA documents reveal that SB Tactical ignored calls from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to cease advertising its “braces” as ATF approved. The new report also comes as the Department of Justice fends off numerous lawsuits about the Arm Brace Rule that it finalized in January 2023 to curb the market for these deadly short-barreled rifles.

“Arm braces started as a tool for disabled shooters, but were quickly exploited by the gun industry as a way to get around restrictions on short-barreled rifles,” said Nick Suplina, SVP of Law and Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “These accessories have been used in mass tragedies like The Covenant School shooting in Nashville and the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs. SB Tactical’s deceptive and irresponsible practices put our communities at risk, and they must be held accountable.”

Here’s what you need to know about the report:

  • While SB Tactical had two so-called “arm braces” approved by the ATF to help disabled shooters fire short-barreled AR-15 and AK-47 “pistols” with just one hand in 2012 and 2015, the company then released 23 other designs that mimicked traditional shoulder stocks.
  • Newly uncovered FOIA documents show that SB Tactical never submitted more than 20 “arm braces” to the ATF before marketing them as “ATF approved.”
  • The FOIA documents detail the ATF’s attempts to get SB Tactical to stop its “false advertisement” several times from 2017 to 2019. The ATF met with SB Tactical and even sent a cease-and-desist letter, but the company continued to sell “arm braces” as if they were approved.
  • The FOIA documents also show that the ATF examined several crime guns outfitted with SB Tactical arm braces that it classified as short-barreled rifles requiring strict registration requirements. SB Tactical learned of the ATF’s classifications but continued selling its “arm braces” like before.
  • After delaying for years, SB Tactical finally submitted a short-barreled Ruger AR-15 fitted with an arm brace to the ATF for examination. The ATF produced a detailed report classifying the gun as a short-barreled rifle, which requires an enhanced background check to own. One year later, the exact same model was used in the Boulder shooting. It was sold without an enhanced background check.

The FOIA documents shed new light on gun industry claims and lawsuits – including SB Tactical’s own in partnership with the NRA –  alleging that the ATF “reversed course” in enacting its Arm Brace Rule and overstepped its authority. The report also contradicts the testimony given by Alex Bosco, the founder of SB Tactical, before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees days before the Nashville mass shooting. Bosco had testified that the ATF’s “guidance was unclear and contradictory” and pulled the rug out from SB Tactical and “millions of Americans who followed ATF’s advice for the past decade.”

Click here to read the report on Everytown’s Smoking Gun website.
To speak with an Everytown expert, please contact [email protected].