The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives has put out a press release detailing its new rules about what constitutes a firearm under the law. This means that citizens, both those who are for guns and those who are against guns, are going to be able to comment over the next 90 days.
Here is a summary from the ATF about the change:
The Department of Justice (“Department”) proposes amending Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) regulations to provide new regulatory definitions of “firearm frame or receiver” and “frame or receiver” because the current regulations fail to capture the full meaning of those terms. The Department also proposes amending ATF’s definitions of “firearm” and “gunsmith” to clarify the meaning of those terms, and to provide definitions of terms such as “complete weapon,” “complete muffler or silencer device,” “privately made firearm,” and “readily” for purposes of clarity given advancements in firearms technology. Further, the Department proposes amendments to ATF’s regulations on marking and recordkeeping that are necessary to implement these new or amended definitions.
The ATF is getting to hold their cake and eat it too in this rule change. The new rules will go into effect and the old rules will also remain in effect, this will require gun manufacturers to follow both sets of rules. Why is this an issue? These changes mean that the ATF gets to cast a wide net and firearms that are nowhere near complete will be considered complete.
The new rules are also extremely vague, this means that gun manufacturers and hobbyists will have a hard time navigating the legal space involved with making firearms. This is a major issue because the penalty associated with violating the ATF’s rules is federal charges. Pro-2A groups are already preparing to take on the ATF over these proposed rule changes.
Want to leave a comment? Click here to go tell the ATF what you think about the proposed rule change.