ATF Interpretive Change Restricts Handgun Imports and May Require NFA Registration


From Military Arms Channel

A letter from the law firm of Wiley Rein LLP was sent to me for sharing on social media (see link). The law firm of Wiley Rein is one of the largest law firms in the firearms industry and represents a number of major manufacturers in their dealings with the BATF and regulations. This is NOT a joke nor is it speculation. This is a stark warning of things to come and I hope it prompts you to take political action.

This letter is about several things but primarily it is something you should take very seriously because of recent actions by the BATF that will affect any owner of AR15 pistols, AK pistols, HK pistols, etc. Yes, this means your Saint AR pistol or your Draco. That’s exactly what the ATF is targeting.

There are several things of importance in this email.

First: It goes against the Trump administrations Executive Order mandating such regulatory practices cease. The BATF has lead the charge is thumbing their nose at the President and his DOJ under the leadership of Attorney General Barr.

Second: Any firearm that has a barrel length that is too long, or the firearm is too heavy will be considered not importable by the BATF. No more pistol versions of rifles will be importable.

Third and the MOST IMPORTANT: Through unwritten interpretation of regulations and through private correspondence with unspecified companies, the ATF has capriciously and arbitrarily decided that ANY AR15 pistol, AK pistol, HK pistol, etc. is an ANY OTHER WEAPON (AOW) and thus is subject to the NFA and taxation. Any company who produces such firearms for sale in the United States and any consumer/owner of such firearms are either manufacturing or in possession of illegal AOW’s. This is being retroactively enforced. It does not matter if you bought a previously approved firearm. The only way you can be for certain you are not in possession of an illegal NFA item is to personally submit your AR15 pistol, AK pistol, etc. to the ATF for a determination. This can take up to a year and any letter given to you is only for you.

The ATF is getting around the EO’s by claiming they’re not making any permanent determination and their decisions are in essence fluid and subject to change.

When you were willing to hand over bump stocks, we warned you it was not about the bump stocks, it was about HOW they were doing it. This is why Gun Owners of America and I are suing the federal government. When they started talking about reclassifying braced pistols as SBR’s, you laughed and said people who bought them were stupid. Now, as we warned, they’re coming for your regular AR15 and AK pistols. Is it so funny now? WAKE UP!

Contact your representatives TODAY and tell them you will NOT stand for the ATF making such capricious and arbitrary rules thus turning millions of Americans into felons over night. Sit silent now and you will have no one to blame but yourselves for what comes next. GET POLITICALLY ACTIVE.

Letter from Wiley Rein: link

Contact your Reps: link

details from wiley law

Within the past few months, at least one HK91 pistol-style submission as light as 8 pounds, with a barrel length of 8-3/4 inches and an overall length of 21-3/4 inches, has been determined to fall outside the definition of “handgun.

In some of the new letters, ATF has begun listing the following “objective design features” when making its evaluations:
Incorporation of rifle sights;
Utilization of “rifle caliber ammunition” (both 5.56mm and 7.62mm have been considered as such);
Incorporation of “rifle-length barrel;”1
The “weapon’s heavy weight;”
Ability to accept magazines that range in capacity from 20 rounds to 100 rounds, “which will contribute to the overall weight of the firearm”; and
Overall length of the weapon which “creates a front-heavy imbalance when held in one hand.”

Under ATF’s new interpretation of the handgun definition, millions of AR-15 style pistols could be considered “too large, or too heavy” to fall within ATF’s new interpretation, thereby making them unregistered NFA weapons, and subjecting manufacturers and gun owners to criminal prosecution. Given the private nature of ATF’s classification rulings, and the subjective nature of the analysis, it is extremely difficult to know for sure whether specific firearms fall within the new interpretation. This appears to be part of a continuing trend at ATF to apply firearms statutes in a more restrictive manner without informing the publica trend that appears unaffected by the IFR. In this uncertain regulatory environment, importers and manufacturers should consult counsel before making significant purchasing, importing, or manufacturing decisions for firearms that could be implicated by ATF’s heretofore unknown and undisclosed analysis.


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