Justice Department announces new rules regarding 'stabilizing braces' for pistols

Directive requires pistols stabilized like rifles to be treated as the latter.
A stabilizing brace for a handgun

The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday announced a new rule to apply to "stabilizing braces" for handguns, a measure that will see an additional layer of regulation applied to that modification. 

The DOJ in its announcement said that "when manufacturers, dealers, and individuals use stabilizing braces to convert pistols into rifles with a barrel of less than 16 inches, commonly referred to as a short-barreled rifles, they must comply with the laws that regulate those rifles."

"Stabilizing braces" allow shooters to hold pistols in the style of a rifle, offering greater stability and accuracy when firing those guns. 

The DOJ noted that federal officials have applied additional regulation to short-barreled rifles for nearly a century because they "are more easily concealable than long-barreled rifles but have more destructive power than traditional handguns."

"Nothing in this rule bans stabilizing braces or the use of stabilizing braces on pistols," the DOJ noted.