NFA

Legal Challenges to Bump Stock Ban Begin Rolling In

As reported Tuesday and discussed on the GunLink Forums, the Department of Justice this week issued a new regulation reversing the BATFE’s longstanding position on bump stock devices. This regulation modifies the meaning of certain words and changes the codified definition of machine gun such that it now includes language inclusive of bump stocks.

This reclassification leads to a situation faced by many hundreds of thousands of owners of such devices whereby they must now either destroy or surrender to the BATFE their lawfully purchased property or become overnight felons in possession of illegal, unregistered machine guns.

No doubt worse than the fact that they must now hand over their property – purchased in good faith with assurance from the BATFE that the device was, in fact, not a machine gun – without compensation, is the manner in which the regulation came about.

To be certain, the regulation is causing an uproar among factions of the firearms community with talk about violations of everything from Article I of the US Constitution’s prohibition on ex post facto laws to various and sundry elements of the Bill of Rights to include the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 10th Amendments.

The Cato Institute published a piece rightly stating that “this regulation is not an attempt to clarify a vague law, but to seize political expediency to expand the power of the executive,” continuing that they may reserve their “right to intervene in the coming litigation.”

It should come as no surprise that the first legal challenges to the Bump Stock Ban were put into motion just a few short hours after the announcement that it had been inked by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker given that the opening shots in this legal battle were fired by some of the more prolific opposition to the change since its early stages.    Continue reading

Acting AG Signs New Bump Stock Ban

Devices Must Be Destroyed Within 90 Days of Rule Being Published

After months of speculation on whether such a measure could be taken under an ostensibly pro-RKBA administration, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker signed a new rule today that classifies “bump stocks” as machine guns and bans their possession. The rule, set to take effect 90 days after it is published in the Federal Register – which is expected to happen this Friday – would require current owners of the devices to destroy them.

The BATFE had previously concluded that such devices were unable to be federally regulated as such because they are simply an accessory part. Following the Mandalay Bay attack in October 2017 in which the attacker allegedly used weapons equipped with such devices, President Trump prompted the DOJ to revisit the matter. AG Jeff Sessions introduced the proposed legislation in March 2018.

The new rule inaccurately concludes that these devices allow a “shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger,” making it a machine gun. Generally, under current regulations, possession or transfer of a machine gun manufactured prior to May 19, 1986 – the date on which the Firearms Owners Protection Act (and the Hughes Amendment thereof) went into effect.

The complete Final Rule can be read here. The summary of the rule reads as follows (emphasis added):

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type devices […] are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger. Specifically, these devices convert an otherwise semiautomatic firearm into a machinegun by functioning as a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism that harnesses the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm in a manner that allows the trigger to reset and continue firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter. Hence, a semiautomatic firearm to which a bump-stock-type device is attached is able to produce automatic fire with a single pull of the trigger. With limited exceptions, the Gun Control Act, as amended, makes it unlawful for any person to transfer or possess a machinegun unless it was lawfully possessed prior to the effective date of the statute. The bumpstock-type devices covered by this final rule were not in existence prior to the effective date of the statute, and therefore will be prohibited when this rule becomes effective. Consequently, under the final rule, current possessors of these devices will be required to destroy the devices or abandon them at an ATF office prior to the effective date of the rule.

The BATFE sought public comment on the proposal, receiving upward of 100,000 comments, although passage of such a rule seems to have been a foregone conclusion with direction straight from the White House. Given the Second and Fifth Amendment concerns surrounding the issue and the time frame for it to go into effect, we expect to see a number of legal challenges to the rule.

Franklin Armory’s Reformation – Brilliant End-Run or Spotlight on NFA Absurdity

GunLink-SHOT18_001Franklin Armory mystified the shooting community in the days leading up to SHOT Show 2018. Right around two weeks ahead of the show, the company – most well known for their binary triggers – issued a press release with photos of a weapon that, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be an NFA-regulated short barreled rifle (SBR).  However, Franklin claimed that the item shown was not a rifle (so, not an SBR) nor were they playing sneaky semantics games with a shotgun (and, thus, not an SBS).  Readers were left scratching their heads and trying to figure out how it might fit into the generic “firearm” category that might escape the purview of NFA regulations

Rumors swept the internet, along with speculation on how Franklin Armory had achieved this feat, if they had achieved it at all – many thought that the company was just trolling to generate buzz and that the new firearm, dubbed the Reformation, was just their 11.5″ SBR and that the entire campaign was a hoax.  Everyone loves a good puzzle, and the only clues in the initial release were that the Reformation sported an 11.5″ barrel, a Magpul SL stock (not a brace), that it used patented “NRS” technology, and that it required no NFA tax stamp.

Guesses at how this was done included things like the stock being pinned to make it unusable as a stock (instead, being capable of functioning only as a cheek rest), having a smooth bore (no rifling, no short-barreled rifle) – with or without guesses at special ammunition like a rifled shotgun slug, firing only on release (to skirt the definition of one round per trigger pull), and other theories.

This is not the first time that the designers at Franklin Armory were able to dance around BATFE definitions of certain classes of firearms (see the XO-26, which sports a short barrel, pistol brace, and VFG, yet is not an AOW). The company played the Reformation release close to their vest, letting the shooting community continue to guess right up through their SHOT Show announcement.   Continue reading

ATF Seeking Public Comments on Bump Stock Regulations

Consumers, Retailers, and Manufacturers Asked to Weigh in on Machine Gun Classification

ATF-BumpStock-RFCPresumably prompted almost exclusively by (or, at least, jumping at the “convenient” excuse of) their use in the October 1, 2017 attack on Route 91 Harvest Festival concert in Las Vegas, the BATFE is now seeking comments from the public regarding new regulations, potentially including reclassification as machine guns, on firearm accessories known as bump stocks.

Share your Comments with the ATF Now

In the wake of the attack, which has since spawned no shortage of conspiracy theories thanks to the dearth of officially released details, there was a brief initial outcry calling for increased regulation before quickly fading from the news. Some of those calls even came from unexpected sources, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and businesses who make their money by renting fully automatic firearms to tourists.

Now, the Department of Justice is contemplating a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would interpret the statutory definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) to clarify whether bump stocks, fall within that definition. Before issuing such an NPRM, the Department and ATF are soliciting comments from the public and industry regarding the nature and scope of the market for these devices, giving citizens the opportunity to weigh in on the topic.

The request for comments was published in the Federal Register, and can be seen here (excerpts are below).  Comments can be left via the regulation’s page on the Regulations.gov website or left directly here. Gun Owners of America have produced a summary of their two main points: that 1) Bump Sstocks do not fall within the definition of “machine gun” under the NFA and 2) ATF has no Constitutional or legal authority to ban or regulate bump stocks.

Share your Comments with the ATF Now

 Below are excerpts from the Request for Comments in the Federal Register:   Continue reading

Franklin Armory to Release new Non-NFA Short Barreled… Thing

Reformation – Redefining Firearms

Innovative firearms manufacturer, Franklin Armory, has brought another out of the box idea to the firearms industry. Known for their ground breaking American made products such as their Binary Firing System, F17 series rifles, and the XO-26, Franklin Armory has changed the industry once again. The new products are part of the Reformation line of patent pending NRS firearms, and the first SKUs in the Reformation line include a non-NFA configuration with an 11.5″ barrel and a conventional stock as depicted below:

FranklinReformation2

Having already received approval as a non-rifle from the Chief of the Firearms Technology Division, Reformation will be shipping without any onerous NFA paperwork required.

Franklin Armory President, Jay Jacobson, noted, “The patent pending technology employed in Reformation will create a whole new market segment that will not require NFA approval.”

For more discussion on the new Franklin offering, and other SHOT Show offerings, join us in the SHOT Show board of the GunLink Forums.

Smith & Wesson Corp. to Acquire Gemini Technologies

Asset Acquisition Will Add Leading Suppressor Brand to Smith & Wesson Firearms Platform

GemTechSmithWessonAmerican Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: AOBC), a leading manufacturer of firearms and a provider of quality accessory products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast, today announced that its firearms business, Smith & Wesson Corp., has agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of Gemini Technologies, Incorporated (“Gemtech”), a provider of high quality suppressors and accessories for the consumer, law enforcement, and military markets.

James Debney, President and CEO of American Outdoor Brands, said, “Gemtech is widely recognized for producing some of the finest rifle and pistol suppressors in the market. Gemtech’s strong product development capabilities, combined with our experience in brand management and our manufacturing expertise, will help us to efficiently develop both firearms and suppressors, minimizing our time to market for both product categories. We view this acquisition as opportunistic, allowing us to enter the suppressor category, which resonates strongly with our core firearm consumer, at a time when the market is particularly soft. These elements combine to make Gemtech an excellent fit with our long term strategy.”

The company intends to complete the acquisition of Gemtech utilizing cash on hand and expects the transaction to close this summer. Ron Martinez, President of Gemtech, will continue in his leadership role as General Manager, heading up the company’s strong team located in Eagle, Idaho.

Partners

Categories

Archives

R.K.B.A

Join NRA Save $10


GunLink is a proud member of NSSF