Archive for the 'BATFE' Category

ATF Withdraws Pistol Brace Guidance

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

The ATF has withdrawn its pistol brace guidance.  This may have come from Trump.  We have no way of knowing.

This may have come from the fact that bloggers like me have covered this in such detail and with such derision (although it’s doubtful).  It may be from more public articles like ones written by David Codrea.  This may have been due to multiple congressmen weighing in with derision.

This may have been due to videos like Mr Guns ‘n Gear weighing in with such derision (here is his take on the withdrawal).  It may have been due to the utter derision with which reddit/firearms treated the ATF and its rule making.

I’ve seen and been involved with rule making before, and I confess that I’ve never seen such comments made to the FedGov before on a proposed rule.  The ATF should have been rightly concerned.  I predict noncompliance would have been 100%, and I frankly wouldn’t have wanted to be an ATF agent under such rules (but then I wouldn’t want to be an ATF agent anyway because I have moral scruples).

We may never know why the ATF chose to do this, and why they chose to do it now.  But I do disagree with Mr Gun ‘n Gear, who claims that “we’ve won (for now).”  No, we haven’t won.  For those relying on the pen being mightier than the sword, that will not always obtain, and it may not have this time.

One thing we can be sure of, though, is that this is not over.  Ryan Cleckner has outlined a number of gun control initiatives likely to occur in a Biden administration, and he’s right that they would love all of them.  Whether they will get them all is another story.  Another story still is whether, even if they get any of those initiatives, the public will care enough to oblige the FedGov with compliance.

But they will try for all these initiatives, and they will try this pistol brace ruling again at another time.  When they do, the boys from reddit/firearms will send them the same brutal comments they did before, and probably worse.  They were virtually daring the ATF to try something like that.

This was just a skirmish – the real battles are yet to come.

UPDATE: “TTAG has learned that the final straw that persuaded the ATF to back down and withdraw the guidance was serious pressure applied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A call took place over the weekend involving a number of firearms industry companies and McConnell’s office.

McConnell’s subsequent involvement in the matter, along with fast and furious (to coin a phrase) activism from the gun rights community in opposition to the ATF’s proposed move were what resulted in this evening’s win.

More details may be revealed over time, but this is an unqualified victory.”

That’s interesting detail, but no, it’s not an “unqualified victory.”  This is a strategic decision by the ATF.  This will come around again.

The ATF Targets Pistol Braces

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


Update On 80% Receiver Confiscations

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

We previously discussed the ongoing tribulations of Polymer80 here and here.  I told you the real intent behind all of this was to locate buyers of the kits.  As it turns out, I was right.

The reader stated that on the afternoon of December 10, 2020, they were visited by the ATF and were requested to surrender any Polymer80 kits. The ATF took custody of the Buy Build Shoot Kit and provided them with a receipt for the property. In the “Basis for Transfer or Seizure of Items” box, the ATF agent wrote “Polymer80, Inc. Investigation”. The email to TFB stated:

They are also going after customers. Had ATF at my house approximately 1pm yesterday telling me I need to surrender my P80 or he would return to raid my house with a warrant. Enclosed is my surrender sheet for proof. If anyone purchased a “Buy, Build, Shoot” kit from them they will probably be hearing from the ATF as well.

In my previous more amusing post (taken from reddit/firearms) on the ATF statement, one reader had a question on this and more explanation is required.

The ATF has allowed / will allow / no one knows if they will allow 80% receivers to be sold as non-firearms.  They have also allowed other required other parts to be sold that the builder needs to turn this into a firearm.

Apparently, the ATF doesn’t like the parts being sold as a kit (“Not a firearm becomes a firearm if in the same box as other not a firearm.  The status is unknown until your dog is dead”).  Those who purchased them separately (it is presumed) will not receive a visit from the ATF.  Thus, the reference in the cartoon to contradiction and paradox, with the subject being Schrödinger’s dog rather than Schrödinger’s cat, since the ATF likes to kill dogs in raids.

ATF Official Statement On Polymer80 Raid

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

ATF Has Just Raided Polymer80

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Len Savage learned of this before I did, and sends the WSJ article, but I don’t subscribe, nor do I send readers to text behind paywalls.

UPDATE: I see that reader Ned sent me this as well.

Depending Upon Whether It’s Our Time Of The Month

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Courtesy of JWR.


Pistol Brace Drama By The ATF?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Did they see this kerfuffle coming from way back and try to poison the well?  You be the judge.


First Bump Stock Ban Case Falters In Court

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

News from Texas.

The first case testing a Trump administration edict outlawing bump stocks failed during a brief federal bench trial in Tuesday in Houston.

A federal prosecutor withdrew the unique charge before the trial began for a Houston man accused of owning the device. However, the defense was prepared to call an ATF expert to testify that bump stocks, attachments that cause a rifle to fire more rapidly, do not render a semiautomatic gun a machine gun.

Senior U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller convicted Ajay Dhingra, 44, on three remaining counts that he lied when he purchased a handgun, rifle and ammunition, and illegally possessed a weapon as a person who had been committed for mental illness.

Experts had conflicting views on the matter, said defense attorney Tom Berg. But Rick Vasquez, a retired ATF agent and firearms expert, would have told the court the bump stock did not meet the statutory definition of a machine gun. The prosecution dismissed case, he said, because the government couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt the bump stock was a machine gun.

Prosecutors don’t indiscriminately drop cases.  They do it if they think they have a bad case and a non-trivial chance of losing, coupled with high consequences of a loss.

This continues a pattern of cases where the ATF feels that continued prosecution of a case could possibly cause a loss in court and a restriction of their ability to enforce other regulations.

It’s good to see this loss, as the bump stock ruling should never have even seen the light of day.

ATF Pistol Brace Ruling: Collusion With Joe Biden?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Did the hopeful administration of His Fraudulency Joe Biden collude with the ATF to stir the waters with pistol braces?

November 10th, 2020, during an ATF conference call, Acting Director Regina Lombardo told those in attendance that the anti-gun Biden transition team has reached out to the ATF to get the agency’s “top priorities”.

AmmoLand News’ anonymous source said Lombardo told those on the call that her priorities would be pistol braces and 80% lower receivers.

The Department of Justice told the ATF’s industry side not to move on pistol braces until the agency could be worked out regulations (sic). SB Tactical and other companies have been working with the federal government to clarify the rules surrounding braces. Currently, the rules are very subjective, which means it depends on the reviewer that gets assigned the review to determine if a brace is legal. There is no set standard.

Instead, the rogue ATF’s law enforcement side sent letters to multiple companies stating that their pistol brace firearms were short-barreled rifles (SBRs). Q LLC, which makes the Honey Badger AR pistol, went public with the cease and desist letter that the ATF sent to the company. Because of pressure from the Trump administration and the general public, the agency walked back their demands and gave Q a 60-day reprieve.

[ … ]

Through an executive order, he created Schedule F. The order allows the President to move government workers into the new category to more easily fire them. Trump could send a message by using Schedule F to remove the rogue ATF leadership.

It sure looks that way from where I sit.  And it causes things to make a lot better sense.  Something like pistol braces and SBRs wouldn’t have even been on Trump’s radar screen.

BATFE,Gun Control Tags:

ATF Games Over Revoking Use Of CHPs For Gun Sales

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago


Gun Owners of America recently filed a lawsuit against the ATF, after the agency blocked Alabama firearms dealers from allowing buyers to use their concealed handgun permits in place of going through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Federal law says that state concealed handgun permits (CHP) that meet or exceed the requirement of section 922(t)(3) of Title 18 can be used by dealers instead of requiring background checks. Alabama’s concealed firearms permit statute meets the federal requirements because sheriffs are supposed to run applicants through NICS before issuing a permit.

The ATF discovered that some sheriffs in Alabama were not using NICS. Some of these sheriffs were running applicants through The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and other federal databases, but not NICS. Yet NCIC is the same database that NICS pulls its information from before returning with a denial or approval. The ATF decided to revoke dealers’ ability to use CHPs because of a few sheriffs’ actions.

[ … ]

… as ATF records show, multiple ATF employees decided it was worth the litigation risk because of “public safety.

Oh it has nothing at all to do with “public safety” and they know it.  That’s a smoke screen.

But it does go to show just how much the ATF is feeling its oats.

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