Question of the Day: Should the ATF Merge with the FBI?

Waco (courtesy

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (and Really Big Fires) started life as a small office inside the Internal Revenue Service. Their mission: to collect tax revenue. President Reagan elevated the BATFE(RBF) to agency status. Today’s Bureau is a $1.1b per year behemoth dedicated to infringing on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. OK, that’s not their official mission statement. But even a cursory glance at their entry reveals . . .

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BREAKING: ATF Seizes 3,000 Guns from Stag Arms

Stag Arms Model 9 9mm AR-15 (courtesy

Stag Arms is a relatively well-known AR-15 manufacturer with a big presence in the 3-gun community. So it was a bit of a shock when word came that the ATF had seized 3,000 of their AR-15 rifle lower receivers over a legal compliance issue that’s usually covered in the first five minutes of any “Gun Industry 101″ class. The complaint from the ATF alleges that these thousands of lower receivers were just lying around the shop completely un-serialized, which is a huge mistake if true. Stag’s answer to the ATF on that allegation doesn’t fill me with confidence . . .

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ATF Cries Poverty, Travels Like Kings


Orchid Advisors, which describes itself as the only management consultancy dedicated to the firearms industry, is holding their annual Firearms Industry Compliance Conference this week in Orlando. It’s an annual confab that “brings together all segments of the industry–manufacturers, importers, exporters, distributors, dealers, and regulators to focus on operational compliance.” As you might expect, when you have a segment of the economy that’s as highly regulated as is the firearms industry, keeping up with the changing regulatory landscape can be a challenge. And no industry powwow focusing on regulation would be complete without a representative of our friends at the ATF . . .

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NFA For Beginners: Form 1 to Manufacture an NFA Item


When an individual or a trust/corporation purchases an existing NFA-regulated “firearm” (silencer, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, “any other weapon,” destructive device, or machine gun), the application for transfer is done via ATF Form 4. When an individual or a trust/corporation wants to create an NFA item, whether it’s as simple as a minor configuration change or as complicated as manufacturing one from scratch, the application for approval to do so is ATF Form 1. Even if it’s nothing more than bolting a vertical forward grip onto a GLOCK, thereby turning it into an AOW, the Form 1 applicant becomes the “manufacturer” of that new, NFA-regulated firearm. But what does that mean? What does the manufacturer have to do? What’s this about engraving? Glad you asked. . .

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The Truth About NFA Inspection: Forfeiting 4th Amendment Rights


It seems like every post about an NFA firearm — whether SBR, silencer, etc — is followed by comments along the lines of “owning an NFA item isn’t worth giving up my Fourth Amendment rights.” These comments stem from the belief that NFA ownership means the ATF is legally allowed to stop by and enter your home at any random time for a no-warrant-or-notification-needed “NFA inspection,” and that you’re obligated to comply. The truth of the matter is. . .

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Guns for Beginners: “Silencer” or “Suppressor?”


A favorite topic among YouTube trolls and pedants everywhere is whether that can on the end of one’s barrel — you know, the one that quiets the report of the gunshot — is called a “silencer” or a “suppressor.” Usually this is in the form of folks “correcting” anyone who says “silencer.” Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re both completely correct. As is “firearm muffler.” And this is why. . .

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Rumor: New Legislation Coming to Widen “Sporting Purposes” Definition, Ban “Special” Ammo Import

Mossberg 500 (courtesy

There are a couple of outlets reporting that a deal is afoot to make some serious changes to federal gun laws. However, since these outlets quote no sources whatsoever besides things they’ve overheard in the NRA press room, we’ve held off on running with it. Since this seems to be getting some traction in social media, I’d like to bring y’all up to speed on what those outlets are saying and the current purported status of the deal. However, be aware that TTAG cannot independently verify this information . . .

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ATF Attorney on NFA Trusts


The surprise hit of the National Firearms Law Seminar (for me, anyway,) was the last presentation of the day by William J. Ryan, from the Office of the Chief Counsel of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). Mr. Ryan’s speech came at the end of almost nine hours of lectures (including the luncheon speaker,) and I was internally debating whether or not I should bail out early to check out the outdoor concert and see if I could find a good pair of Lucchese roper boots from some of the nearby shops….but I am really glad I didn’t . . .

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CZ-USA Announces Scorpion Folding Stock & 922r Compliance Kit


CZ’s Scorpion Evo S1 Pistol is proving to be a hot item. At an MSRP of an affordable $849 and with tons of potential, it’s easy to see why. I say “potential,” because the shootability of a large “pistol” like this — like an AR pistol, like a SIG MPX pistol, etc. — is less than ideal. They tend to be clunky and awkward but, of course, this is because they were designed to have a shoulder stock. Regardless of barrel length, they were made to be used like rifles and are only sold in pistol form to avoid NFA “short barreled rifle” regulation and/or to avoid 922(r) compliance requirements as discussed in detail earlier today. On the factory folding stock and 922(r) front, though, CZ-USA has just released the following bit of great news at the NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville. . .

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Guns for Beginners: 922(r) Compliance and You


What you see above is my CZ Scorpion Evo SBR. It’s a paperweight. Look closely and you’ll notice the trigger pack has been removed from the rifle entirely, and there’s no Scorpion magazine in sight. Removing these parts was necessary to assemble it as a rifle while also complying with 18 U.S.C. § 922(r) of the 1968 Gun Control Act. What on earth does that mean? Glad you asked. . .

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The Moral Conflict Presented by the ATF


Five-star ratings aren’t handed out willy-nilly around here, so when I said that Lancer’s L15 lower receiver was worthy of the $200 tax stamp and the commitment to register it as an SBR, I meant it. Now, money has been placed where my mouth was and the BATFE has collected yet another two bills from me. With articles like RF’s recent “ATF’s Secret Air Force Revealed,” and the linked articles therein demonstrating just a couple of ATF’s complete and total CFs, I can’t help but feel highly conflicted about sending the agency more money. Now, I’ve heard or read that the NFA Branch has a separate budget, but. . .

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