LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Bill Lambuth has been educating his customers on a new federal rule involving an item in the possession of millions of gun owners.

“They’re trying to stay informed so they don’t get caught in a bind,” said Lambuth, the owner of Shooters Firearms & Gun Range.

A new rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requires gun owners to register their pistols as short-barreled rifles if they have a stabilizing brace.

“Almost a century ago, Congress determined that short-barreled rifles must be subject to heightened requirements. Today’s rule makes clear that firearm manufacturers, dealers, and individuals cannot evade these important public safety protections simply by adding accessories to pistols that transform them into short-barreled rifles,” wrote Attorney General Merrick Garland in the press release announcing the change.

The brace is used to help steady a pistol against the user’s shoulder.

“Personally I always considered an adjustable arm brace kind of pushing the limit,” said Lambuth. “I don’t see a problem with having them, but I’m not the ATF.”

In an interview with our Washington D.C. bureau, ATF Director Steven Dettelbach said the goal is to close loopholes.

“What we at ATF are doing is taking the laws that Congress has passed and making sure that people aren’t able to misuse technology to get around them,” he said.

While the rule is being challenged in court, gun owners with stabilizing braces on their pistols have until the end of May to register it with ATF at no fee.

They can also permanently remove the brace and dispose of it to comply with the rule.

Failure to comply with the order could result in a felony charge.

Information on online registration can be found here and by following this link.

To view a copy of the rule, click here.