The ATF’s proposed restrictions on shotgun imports call for a ban anything that is not, in their opinion, an appropriate firearm for “traditional sports of hunting, trap and skeet target shooting.” Events hosted by USPSA, IDPA and 3-Gun groups were not considered “sporting purposes.” And here’s why: including these events would alter past rulings and allow previously banned shotguns. We’re torquing the USAS-12, Striker 12 and Street Sweeper. This despite the fact that on page 7 of their study the ATF recognizes that the definition of “sporting purposes” changes over time and new sports “may become ‘generally recognized’ as such.”
If “gun culture 2.0” is focused on “run-and-gun” sports, concealed carry and replicating the firearms and targets from military scenarios, would it not make sense that the new definition of “sporting purposes” include these activities and competitions?
The ATF knows that if 3-Gun tournaments are considered “sporting purposes,” the ramifications would extend to rifles and pistols as well as shotguns, which would allow for almost any type of firearm to be imported. For this reason they have always discounted plinking as a sporting activity since in their words “almost any firearm can be used in that activity.”
You might want to reinforce that notion. If so, click here for gunleader.com’s “commenting on the shotgun ban for dummies” post. Meanwhile, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is on their case. Here’s today’s press release:
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is currently reviewing the recently released study by ATF on the importability of shotguns. NSSF will be submitting comments to ATF by the May 1, 2011 deadline. NSSF’s initial reaction to the study is that if the shooting public deems a certain activity to be “sporting” through participation, even if that sport is new and seems unconventional to the uninitiated, NSSF does not believe the federal government should say that the firearms law abiding citizens use to participate in that shooting sport activity are neither “particularly suitable for nor readily adaptable to generally recognized sporting purposes” pursuant to the Gun Control Act of 1968. Many new sport shooting disciplines have arisen since 1968 and have enjoyed significant participation. The federal government ought not to be making subjective decisions about what lawful shooting activities it considers a sport.
The safe and responsible participation in new and evolving sporting events does not result in injury. The possession of firearms in the hands of law abiding Americans for any lawful purpose, including but not limited to sports shooting, does not cause crime.
The Supreme Court’s decisions in Heller and McDonald make clear that the exercise of the fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms for self defense protected by the Second Amendment does not hinge on whether one will use the firearm to participate in an activity the government deems to be sufficiently sporting. The shotguns this study would ban from importation are also suitable for self protection including home defense.
NSSF believes the time has come for Congress to re-examine the so-called “sporting purpose” test as a criteria for importing a firearm into the United States.