ATF Study Released

Just read through this fairly quickly, but I think the Saigas are safe. Here are the evil features:

  1. Folding, telescoping, or collapsible stocks;
  2. bayonet lugs;
  3. flash suppressors;
  4. magazines over 5 rounds, or a drum magazine;
  5. grenade-launcher mounts;
  6. integrated rail systems (other than on top of the receiver or barrel);
  7. light enhancing devices;
  8. excessive weight (greater than 10 pounds for 12 gauge or smaller);
  9. excessive bulk (greater than 3 inches in width and/or greater than 4 inches in depth);
  10. forward pistol grips or other protruding parts designed or used for gripping the shotgun with the shooter’s extended hand.

The Saiga is imported with a 5 round magazine, and has none of these features coming, so I’m pretty sure it’s safe. It only addresses importation. The study looked the meaning of the sporting purposes clause, and determined that IPSC, IDPA, etc are not shooting sports within that definition. For shotgun purposes, they’ve determined that only clay sports and hunting count.

37 thoughts on “ATF Study Released”

  1. Well, I guess they still think the NRA is run by hunters… Determination that practical shooting isn’t a sport? really?

  2. So, we all know gun control is what you do instead of so

    So what would this effect if it were law? Caleb mentioned the FN SLP at Uncle’s – if its foreign made.

  3. Seems to me that they are laying the ground work for an executive order, after congress fails to act on gun control, that will be far reaching. They constantly referenced the Clinton era bans, and this worries me a bit. The whole sporting test language seems to run counter to the second amendment, where there is no mention of “sporting”. Just because I don’t shoot ducks or clays does not mean that the shotgun does not have a sporting purpose to me. Furthermore, if I don’t participate in “sporting” events does that mean that the ATF feels there is no legitimate reason to own a shotgun?

  4. Yeah, but they’re saying that Saiga’s WITH those features wouldn’t be “sporting”.

    Which could be a setup to declare converted ones in the country to be Destructive Devices.
    From the definition:”(2) Any weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes”

    They just said a Saiga as imported is sporting and one that has those features is not and couldn’t be imported.

    But if they’re not sporting then they could call them DD’s.

  5. Pistol grips aren’t evil anymore?

    I thought the various AWBs were mostly designed to be pistol grip bans.

  6. More bullshit from people who understand basically nothing about shooting sports in the real world.

  7. You can feel confident that explicitly including picture of a US made Saiga drum (see exhibit 3) in the discussion of banning guns doesn’t somehow suggest in any way that they are planning on banning Saiga. If you do I think you are insane, but you can still feel confident if makes you happy.

  8. This study actually wasn’t all that bad. The import disruption is going to suck somewhat, but there are glimmers of hope:

    It sounds like ATF was having a great deal of difficulty trying to convince itself that IPSC-type games aren’t a sporting purpose. The study wasn’t dismissive of IPSC but it punted the issue for another study, indicating that any finding of practical shooting as a sporting purpose would have implications for a broad swathe of import rules, not just those related to shotguns.

    Second, pistol grips are now sporting. Suck it Carolyn McCarthy. ‘the best quote of the study:

    “Note, however, that the working group believes that pistol
    grips for the trigger hand are prevalent on shotguns and are therefore generally recognized as
    particularly suitable for sporting purposes.”

  9. I wouldn’t say I’m confident, but if the standard is that it can accept any magazine with more than 5 rounds, then it was rather pointless for them to say there’s no distinction between a magazine and tube… since in effect such a ruling would ban any shotgun with a detachable magazine if someone makes a larger magazine for it.

  10. A couple comments on this.

    1) If pratical shooting is not a “sporting purpose” then why does the US Army have the Army Marksmanship Unit that competes in practical shooting events?

    2) If practical shooting is not a “sporting purpose” then why does the US Army host the Fort Benning 3-Gun Match?

    3) The features list. I have been know to shoot trap and sporting clays with my Mossberg 590 which has: a bayonett lug, 9 round magazine, flashlight, and ghost rings. I has a wide pattern but it work. I have also removed the flashlight and used it as a slug gun for deer hunting.

    4) What is a “light enhancing device”? Flashlight? Lasers sight? Fiber optic sights? Night sights? Seems vague to me.

  11. I like how they lie, er, misstate Virginia’s firearms laws in the relevant appendix. I had no idea we have a seven round limit here! Better get rid of all those hi-cap magazines.

  12. So what happens if you add these things after importation? My Benelli (set up for 3-gun) has a fiber bead AND an 8-rd tube, both domestic but on top of an Italian gun.

  13. John@– My understanding is that assembling an imported gun into a non-importable configuration is a 922(r) violation.

    Registering the gun as an SBS is one way to solve the problem.

    I’ve never heard of 922(r) being enforced, but the day will come when ATF decides to make an example out of somebody who unknowingly put a full-length magazine tube on his Benelli M4.

  14. Yeah, this sounds like they are going to start going after people for violations of 922(r) and possibly going after those who manufacture the components that allow people to “violate” their interpretation of 922(r).

  15. That section applies only to open carry in public by a person without a CHP in a few urban localities.

    At a minimum that’s a stretch of the truth. I call it a lie.

  16. “Registering the gun as an SBS is one way to solve the problem.”

    No it doesn’t, because 922(r) applies to semi-auto SBRs and all SBSs.

  17. “But if they’re not sporting then they could call them DD’s.”

    After seeing this comment and similar ones elsewhere, and thinking about it, I don’t think that will happen.* Here is my reasoning:

    It’d be easy for them to hand-wave and say that sporting purposes for the Gun Control Act and for the National Firearms Act are different. Different titles in the Code, different goals. It is not unreasonable since the coexistence of the category “short barreled shotgun” with the large bore, no-sporting-purpose “destructive device” category means that SBSs are, for the NFA, different from LB DDs. Since virtually all shotguns are larger than 0.5″ in bore diameter, configuring them as a short-barrel or short OAL firearm doesn’t make them unsporting by default – only by determination of the Secretary/AG. The GCA essentially says everything NFA is unsporting by virtue of it being NFA (925(d)(3) and 922(r)), but since not every SBS is considered a DD in NFA world, it’s not a stretch to say that the two laws have different requirements.

    As a practical matter, ATF would be insane to reclassify Saigas as DDs. They’d have two options, open an amnesty (and for potentially hundreds of thousands of guns, this is a major issue – they won’t get any more funding to handle the influx, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of problems) or declare them contraband (which would be tied up in federal court for years, with no guarantee of a win for the government, and which has the theoretical potential of gutting the NFA like Haynes did), and they can’t like either one. Unless this is being pushed at a political level, I don’t see them wanting to do it, since the worker bees at ATF are like everyone else in government, the less actual work to do the better. And this course of action would have actual work involved.

    * – of course, governmental agencies do stupefyingly dumb things all the time, so who knows?

  18. Actually ATF has issed letter both ways on the 922r issue for SBSs and SBRs.

  19. Diomed and Sebastian: That Virginia statute is limited to “any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or in any public park or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public” and only “in the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, or Virginia Beach or in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, or Prince William.” It also doesn’t apply to anyone with a CHP.

    My guess is that it was a concession to those localities back when VA’s gun laws were relaxed to get their Representative’s votes, and it’s just been left alone since then.

  20. “1) If practical shooting is not a “sporting purpose” then why does the US Army have the Army Marksmanship Unit that competes in practical shooting events?”

    Unfortunately the answer is in your question.

    Basically, the ATF says “hunting” is a Sporting Purpose. Ergo, anything to practice “hunting” ALSO has a Sporting Purpose.

    Since self-defense with a gun ultimately means “shooting other people.” That means it has a “martial purpose” (just like the 2A says…) Now you can call it a “defensive purpose” all you want but in the end it is still inter-personal combat.

    Ergo, anything that is practice for self-defense also has martial/combat/defense purposes. “Practical shooting” be it PPC, ISPC,or IDPA is about inter-personal combat. They are all several degrees removed from “fighting” but they still have a value in improving your skills at surviving a gunfight.

    In short: The Army don’t duck hunt!

    I do not like it but it just means we’ll need to go the 2A route rather than the sporting purposes route.

  21. Does a revolver cylinder meet their definition of a magazine?

    Does it ban the 6-shot Raging Judge? Or is that already ruled a handgun?

  22. Since pistol grips are now apparently “sporting” shotguns… the importers should start bring in the saigas with them!

  23. First they ban this stuff on imports. Then it’ll be “well it’s just as bad if domestic.” Then they ban that stuff too. Never mind that some of those items are common on home defense shotguns. It’s incremental gun confiscation.

  24. How does the mere presence of the itty-bitty nub of steel that is a bayonet lug render the shotgun not readily adaptable to hunting?
    It doesn’t, but they’re lying to us in order to disarm us. That is exactly what one would expect from an Obama ATF.
    ATF’s claim that such a little nub on the barrel has any effect whatsoever on the shotgun’s hunting performance cannot hold up in any sane court. Any reasonable judge would laugh at such a claim. The shotgun so equipped would not be merely “adaptable”, nor would it even be merely ” readily adaptable”, it would be simply “ready” for hunting use as is. Presumably the policy wonks at ATF understand the meaning of the word “ready”. If not, then they should have it explained to them by a federal judge who is less than happy about their pretense of ignorance.
    It seems that this ATF “study” was concocted by anti-gun ideologues who had a gun restriction agenda to implement and did so in a bullheaded manner.
    The political left cannot be trusted with the reins of government because they are so irrationally bigoted against guns and gun owners that they are utterly incapable of being “reasonable” on the issue – their paranoia always creeps in.
    Why are they so afraid of a little, steel nub? What does it represent in their minds that terrifies them into prohibition of a harmless, little nubbin?
    The prospect of our resistance to the agenda they mean to ram down our throats, perhaps?

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