Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

ATF Reinterprets the Term “Machinegun,” Again

Monday, April 4, 2022

ATF Reinterprets the Term “Machinegun,” Again

On March 22nd, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) released an open letter on “forced reset triggers” (“FRTs”) indicating that the agency’s position is that these triggers meet the definition of “machinegun” under federal law, and are therefore “firearms” under both the Gun Control Act (“GCA”) and National Firearms Act (“NFA”). Under ATF’s new interpretation, these triggers are effectively prohibited due to the GCA’s prohibition on new manufacture of machineguns for the commercial market.

While the open letter claims to apply to “some” FRTs, it is unclear what current design would not fall under ATF’s new interpretation.

Forced reset triggers operate by using the mechanical action of a semi-automatic firearm to forcibly reset the trigger, so it can be more quickly pulled by the user. This can result in a higher than normally attainable rate of fire similar to bump firing.

ATF sent Rare Breed, a manufacturer of FRTs, a cease-and-desist letter in July 2021, claiming that the trigger met the GCA's definition of "machinegun."

Rare Breed filed suit in Florida. Rare Breed sought a TRO and a preliminary injunction to stop the agency from enforcing its application of the statute, but both were denied. The case was then dismissed without prejudice (meaning it could be refiled).

Because the case deals with ATF's interpretation of the term "machinegun," the result will likely rest on whether or not the Supreme Court reevaluates the deferential standard that federal courts apply when agencies interpret statutes they are charged with enforcing.

This deferential standard, often referred to as Chevron Deference because of a case of the same name, is wholly incompatible when applied to criminal statutes because it allows the government to turn once lawful conduct into a felony overnight.

The Supreme Court currently has several cases before it that would allow it to review Chevron. NRA filed an amicus brief in one of these cases that involved ATF’s reinterpretation of the definition of machinegun as applied to bump fire stocks. That brief argues that for 200 years, the Supreme Court has consistently held that “the power to create crimes lies exclusively with Congress.” Thus, when criminal liability is on the line, “ATF’s position is ‘not relevant at all.”’

Until the Supreme Court reevaluates this deferential standard, gun owners, and all law-abiding Americans, will be stuck attempting to follow the whims of unelected federal bureaucrats.

TRENDING NOW
Prohibitionists Seek to Weaponize Yet Another Federal Agency to Target Guns

News  

Monday, February 6, 2023

Prohibitionists Seek to Weaponize Yet Another Federal Agency to Target Guns

Ambitious gun control advocates have long sought a “whole of government approach” to stamping out the right to keep and bear arms. This involves weaponizing not just the ATF and FBI against gun owners and ...

Updates to ATF Final Rule on Stabilizing Braces

News  

Monday, January 30, 2023

Updates to ATF Final Rule on Stabilizing Braces

On Monday, January 30, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) published the final Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule for public inspection in the federal register.

ATF Posts “Final” Rule on Stabilizing Braces

News  

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

ATF Posts “Final” Rule on Stabilizing Braces

On Friday, January, 13, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) posted the “final” Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached “Stabilizing Braces” rule to its website.

Biden-Appointed Judge Issues PI against New Jersey Anti-Gun “Public Nuisance” Law

News  

Monday, February 6, 2023

Biden-Appointed Judge Issues PI against New Jersey Anti-Gun “Public Nuisance” Law

New Jersey’s losing streak trying to defend its recent gun control laws in court continued last Tuesday when a federal judge – appointed by Joe Biden, no less – issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a ...

Florida: Constitutional Carry Introduced

Monday, January 30, 2023

Florida: Constitutional Carry Introduced

Today, Representative Chuck Brannan (R-10) filed House Bill 543, the NRA-backed constitutional carry bill. The Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee will hear it on February 7th from 4-6PM. Florida is currently in ...

Anti-Gun Group Wants California to Continue as Petri Dish for Failed Anti-Gun Policies

News  

Monday, February 6, 2023

Anti-Gun Group Wants California to Continue as Petri Dish for Failed Anti-Gun Policies

In a move that could have been predicted by anyone with a pulse, anti-gun extremists are calling for more anti-gun policies to be implemented in arguably the most anti-gun state in the nation: California.

Washington: Hearing Rescheduled & Updates on Other Anti-Gun Bills

Friday, February 3, 2023

Washington: Hearing Rescheduled & Updates on Other Anti-Gun Bills

On February 9th, the Senate Law and Justice Committee will hold a public hearing for Senate Bill 5232, the companion to House Bill 1144, which imposes a firearm permit requirement, a 10-day waiting period scheme, and allows indefinite ...

New Mexico: Radical Gun Restrictions on Deck in Committee Next Week: Magazine Limits, Waiting Periods, Semi-Auto, Suppressor & NFA Bans

Friday, February 3, 2023

New Mexico: Radical Gun Restrictions on Deck in Committee Next Week: Magazine Limits, Waiting Periods, Semi-Auto, Suppressor & NFA Bans

On Monday, February 6, the New Mexico Senate Health & Public Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 171 by Sen. Bill Soules (D-Las Cruces), legislation that attempts to supersede federal law and make it a ...

Minnesota: Gun Control Bills Committee Hearing on Friday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Minnesota: Gun Control Bills Committee Hearing on Friday!

Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. the Public Safety Finance and Policy committee will meet in Capitol Room 120 to vote on numerous gun control bills. Please contact the committee members today asking them to oppose the "red ...

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Invalidates ATF Bump-Stock Rule—Holds that Congress, Not ATF, Declares What the Law Is.

News  

Monday, January 9, 2023

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Invalidates ATF Bump-Stock Rule—Holds that Congress, Not ATF, Declares What the Law Is.

On Friday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, invalidated the ATF’s Rule classifying bump stocks as machine guns under the Administrative Procedure Act.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.