Franklin Armory Reformation
Courtesy Franklin Armory
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From Franklin Armory . . .

Franklin Armory, Inc., a leading U.S.-based manufacturer of firearms and accessories, in conjunction with the Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc. (FRAC), today announced that it has filed a federal lawsuit challenging wrongful classification of firearms and regulatory delays by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The Co-Plaintiff, FRAC, is a nonprofit organization demanding accountability, transparency, and fairness from those agencies that regulate firearms.   

The case, Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc., et al.  v. Merrick B. Garland, et al., seeks the immediate promulgation of procedures and forms necessary to facilitate sales and transfers of Franklin Armory’s Reformation® firearm line as required by law. The case also seeks the immediate reclassification of Franklin Armory’s Antithesis™ firearm line consistent with the National Firearms Act (NFA) and Gun Control Act (GCA).

The complaint centers around the multi-year delay by ATF to develop the mechanisms necessary for Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) to sell and transfer Franklin Armory’s Reformation, which the agency considers to be a firearm subject to GCA but not subject to NFA. In one of its letters to Franklin Armory, ATF acknowledged that its classification created “a gap in the federal firearm regulations,” which the agency would need to promptly rectify. As of this case’s filing date, it has been more than 1,500 days since ATF classified Reformation as a non-NFA firearm without implementing the requisite procedures.

The lawsuit further spotlights ATF’s arbitrary, capricious, and meritless regulatory overreach regarding the agency’s misclassification of Franklin Armory’s Antithesis line of firearms as a “short-barreled rifle” under both the NFA and GCA. Per the filed complaint and despite several additional voluntary submissions of widely-popular caliber and cartridge variations of Antithesis that Franklin Armory sent for classification, ATF ignored numerous factors in its erroneous classification. According to the claim:

Franklin Armory’s Antithesis is a new type of weapon that, in addition to firing a fixed cartridge with a single projectile, is designed and intended to fire cartridges that expel multiple projectiles. By classifying Antithesis as a short-barreled rifle subject to NFA and GCA, ATF has saddled the weapon with unlawful conditions that make it significantly more burdensome for Franklin Armory to sell it to the public. 

“The ATF’s classification of Antithesis overlooks the plain and clear language of the statute in favor of their own politically motivated interpretation, and its extraordinary delay in creating the procedures and forms necessary for the Reformation series of firearms to be sold in the marketplace has caused Franklin Armory significant financial harm,” said Franklin Armory President Jay Jacobson. “We have spent years attempting to resolve this matter without litigation. This lawsuit rightfully challenges the ATF’s egregious inaction and overreach, and seeks to ensure that not only Franklin Armory, but all industry members are treated fairly, accurately, and in accordance with the laws enacted by Congress.”

After many years of fruitless negotiations, Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition, Inc., et al.  v. Merrick B. Garland, et al. was filed with the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota Western Division and names as defendants: Merrick B. Garland, in his official capacity, as Attorney General of the United States; The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Steven Dettelbach, in his official capacity, as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Counsel for plaintiffs is Washington-based Wiley Rein LLP.

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    • Yes, but the problems still amount to more delay due the court system, and the cost of attorney time to both FRAC and the U.S. Taxpayer. So “go get ‘em” resolves into go get us! They know they’re wrong, but they don’t care.

      • Too bad it’s another tit for tat lawsuit that dosen’t demand Gun Control be abolished like its sidekick Slavery. Anything less is grasping at straws.

  1. Well that Franklin gun may be a dumb product, but it certainly isn’t a rifle, because the barrel is smooth bore, so how can it be a “short barreled rifle” when it’s not even a rifle? The ATF is occupied primarily by anti-American morons.

    • They have a few competent employees……they are just constantly baiting / shit posting online or writing determination letters with a backlog deeper than their scandals.

      • My lgs owner has an excellent relationship with the agents he has to work with. He’s one of the lucky ones I guess.

        • Mine has an excellent relationship with local LASD and provides guns, smithing, and repairs to many LEOs. They all collectively distrust the AFT.

  2. Government entities can and do intentionally refuse to act.

    Of course government entities can and do intentionally act in other ways for their personal and/or political gain–including suppressing and/or punishing political enemies.

    I really wish that the masses would see the world as it is and stop giving so much trust and deference to government entities.

  3. Just more nonsense from this socialist leaning Government to try to disarm the Country. Fortunately they will lose because the American Public is getting fed up with all this socialist nonsense and eventually they will all get what they deserve.

  4. The 2 most destructive things for firearms. Rust and Governments. Oil and maintenance cures the first. “Watering the Tree of Liberty with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants, cures the other.” Thomas Jefferson

  5. Far be it from me to point out the turd floating in the middle of the punch bowl, but lawsuits such as this have been tried before. And went exactly nowhere. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I’d like better than to see the ATF brought down a peg or fifty. But as long as Biden & Co are ensconced in Washington, I don’t see squat happening with regards to getting any relief whatsoever where NFA and/or GCA are concerned. My biggest dream would be to see US v Miller revisited. This court would overturn it and every jot and tittle of both those egregious pieces of legal crap would be ruled unconstitutional, and we’d see progressive heads exploding from coast-to-coast!

    • No need in pulling up Miller. NYSRPA v. Bruen cut the legs from under everything from 1791 to present. Only need a litmus test case beyond reproach to re-litigate NFA 1934 and it will fall thanks largely to the Thomas majority opinion.

      Crucially, Kennedy has seemingly reversed course in favor self defense just a few days past. That’s an important development. Seems that Kavanaugh assassination attempt cut deep. Fear can be a great motivator.

      • WilliamWallaceTheThird,

        Kennedy has seemingly reversed course in favor self defense just a few days past.

        If you are referring to the U.S. Supreme Court, there is no Justice Kennedy on the bench. (There was a Justice Kennedy on the bench and he retired a few years ago.)

        I imagine that was a typographical error or a “brain fade”. Who did you mean to type?

    • I know, blame Biden, I agree, but why didn’t the Republicans do something constructive regarding: GCA, NFA, the closure of the machine gun registry, etc., when they had control of the senate, the house and Trump in the White House?

      • Two wings of the same broken bird, neither of which who want anything other than everyone under their thumb. Totalitarians both ultimately, but one decidedly more than the other.

        That’s why.

  6. Under Bruen, what gun control governmental agency existed during the founding era?

    The answer is the Red Coats. and we kicked them off the continent. Therefore, this agency can not be justified, it’s regs can not be considered as existing.

    Ask your Reps and Sens to defund this illegal blight.

    • Mudhunter,

      Ask your Reps and Sens to defund this illegal blight.

      While that is a nice sentiment, I do not see Congress ever defunding the ATF, no matter how many nice letters, e-mails, and phone calls we manage to send to Congress.

      Government is a bureaucracy. The overarching activity of bureaucracies is enlarging themselves. Name one single agency that our federal government ever truly eliminated. And I mean eliminated entirely–not renamed nor integrated into another agency.

    • And eliminate the GCA of ’68 and throw the ATF to the outer darkness where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
      “Then SCOTUS said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And “Cast the worthless ATF into the outer darkness. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
      and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

      (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; Matt. 25:30; Matthew 13:42)

  7. When it comes to suing the federal government, it is good to remember that the federal government must agree to be sued.

    • Almost. The government can be sued for injunctive relief and actions, it just can’t be sued for damages.

      That falls under “petitioning the government” by petitioning the judicial branch to review errors by the executive branch.

  8. Why are these companies going after the small fish in these cases?
    We wouldn’t need to make these kinds of “workarounds” if there was nothing to work around. Go big or go home. Go after the NFA and GCA and challenge their legitimacy in court. File separate cases for everything and one that encompasses the laws as a whole. Hell, in some cases we could use the anti-gun rhetoric against their own laws.

    File a lawsuit to challenge the legality of suppressors being on the list. The anti-gunners talk about following EU/AUS gun laws, well some of the countries have a requirement to own a suppressor when buying a gun, especially when hunting. Call into question why they were put on the list in the first place and how it relates to today’s world.

    SBR/SBS/AOW lawsuit would call into question their reason for being on the list and why it should hold true today. Those firearms don’t exist in the EU from what I’ve been reading as their laws have no strict definition of barrel length legality. Make them show proof of how/why they were put on the list.

    The Hughes amendment lawsuit might be the most difficult in court, but should still be brought up. We wouldn’t need these ridiculous toys like binary triggers, bump stocks, force reset triggers, etc if the legal machine guns weren’t so expensive, and the reason they are is the Hughes amendment of 1986.

    The lawsuit against the NFA/GCA would be a rider is only because of the other cases being brought up. If we got SBRs, suppressors and even the Hughes amendment removed, then the NFA as a whole wouldn’t really exist, save for still having the $200 tax stamp and registration of full auto firearms.

    • Because these “small fish” turn into court orders that allow them to make several different rifles, catering to consumer needs, and then argue to consumers that you should “buy them now and get grandfathered” before DOJ/ATF write new restrictions.

      By the time ATF or Congress make a new law, they have sold a lot of them.

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