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Michael Cargill was successful in his challenge of the ATF’s unilateral redefinition of bump fire stocks as machine guns in the Fifth Circuit. It’s safe to assume that had something to do with the National Association for Gun Rights also choosing the Northern District of Texas to file their complaint against ATF’s similar unilateral redefinition of forced reset triggers.

Yesterday NAGR sued the federal firearms regulatory agency hoping to overturn their sudden, arbitrary, and capricious decision to go after Rare Breed and pursue its customers who bought their drop-in triggers.

As NAGR argues in its lawsuit, by the court’s ruling in Cargill, Rare Breed’s triggers aren’t machine guns as they’re defined under the law . . .

[T]he Cargill Court examined the statutory text defining “machinegun” and concluded that the statutory term “single function of the trigger” is not synonymous with a single pull of the trigger: “The problem with [the ATF’s] interpretation is that it is based on words that do not exist in the statute. The statute ‘uses single function of the trigger, not single function of the shooter’s trigger finger.’” … The Cargill Court stated “we are obliged to conclude that the statutory definition of machinegun unambiguously turns on the movement of the trigger and not a trigger finger.” … Instead, “the statute requires that a machinegun be capable of firing automatically once the trigger performs a single function.” … Cargill further elaborated that the shooter’s input is absent from the statutory “machinegun” definition:

[T]he prepositional phrases [of the statutory definition] define the firing process’s requirements from a mechanical perspective. The process must occur by a single function, and the single act must be by the trigger. In short, there is no mention of a shooter. The grammatical structure continuously points the reader back to the mechanics of the firearm. The statute does not care what human input is required to activate the trigger—it cares only whether more than one shot is fired each time the trigger acts.

The Cargill Court favorably quoted from the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Appeals regarding the definition of a “machinegun:” “‘The statute does not say ‘by a single function of the trigger finger’ nor does it say ‘by a single pull of the trigger in addition to external pressure from the shooter’s non-firing hand.’ …. Had Congress wanted to use the phrase ‘by a single pull of the trigger’ for machine guns, it could have. But it did not.’ …

In the FATD reports referenced above and the Open Letter, the ATF explicitly claims that FRTs are “machineguns” because they may enable a user to fire multiple rounds with a “single, continuous pull of the trigger” (emphasis added). This interpretation is foreclosed by Cargill.

Defendants have not—and cannot—allege that FRTs allow users to fire multiple rounds by a single function of the trigger. An FRT resets after every round is fired and the trigger must engage in a separate function of releasing the hammer for each and every round fired.

You can read the full NAGR complaint here. NAGR issued the following press release announcing the lawsuit . . .

The National Association for Gun Rights filed a lawsuit against the ATF, National Association for Gun Rights v. Garland, in federal court in the Northern District of Texas. This action was filed in the same appellate circuit that ruled earlier this year that bump stocks are not machine guns in Cargill v. Garland.

In an open letter to all federal firearms dealers in 2022, the ATF stated: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently examined devices commonly known as ‘forced reset triggers’ (FRTs) and has determined that some of them are ‘firearms’ and ‘machineguns’ as defined in the National Firearms Act (NFA), and ‘machineguns’ as defined in the Gun Control Act (GCA).”

Rare Breed Triggers began selling the Forced Reset Trigger in December of 2020, after having the design analyzed by multiple legal teams and firearms experts. By January 13th of 2021, the ATF had launched efforts to have FRTs outlawed. The ATF tried to justify this by saying that “multiple concerned citizens” reached out to them regarding Rare Breed’s FRTs, however FOIA requests proved that there was no record of a citizen ever contacting the ATF about the triggers.

Rare Breed Triggers FRT-15
Rare Breed Triggers FRT site-15. Image source; Rare Breed Triggers web

“They are harassing our friends at Rare Breed Triggers for making perfectly legal forced reset triggers (FRTs). They’ve seized merchandise, raided homes, and generally rained terror down on the heads of law-abiding gun owners,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights.

“They’re even bringing up Rare Beed Triggers on civil charges in an attempt to run them out of business.”

The goal of the Texas lawsuit is to bring an end to the ATF’s FRT trigger ban and to protect NAGR’s members and supporters who own FRTs from an out of control ATF.

Under federal law, a machine gun is defined as “a weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”  This is the definition that has stood unaltered in the law for nearly nine decades that the ATF is now ignoring and trying to re-write through civil charges against our friends at Rare Breed Triggers.  There is no dispute that the Rare Breed Triggers’ FRT only allows one round to be fired for each function of the trigger. 

“If we allow the ATF to continue to whittle away our rights by constant re-defining of what is, and what isn’t legal, we’ll soon be left with no rights at all. There should be no authority for a government agency to make rule of law unilaterally by themselves, and the courts need to recognize that,” said Hannah Hill, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Gun Rights, legal arm of the National Association for Gun Rights.

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  1. What Gun Control zealots really want is a mandate for all firearms to have 15 lb. triggers. If you are caught with an ounce less you get the treatment of having a 14.5″ barrel without a welded on extension. I.E. Resistors get arrested, dog shot, family shot and home burned as seen on TV.

    Bottom line reality…History Confirms Supporting Gun Control is equivilant to hanging a noose and a swastika on your front door.

    • Outstanding work, Mike. I applaud your efforts since I currently make more than $36,000 every month from just one straightforward web business. Even though these are the most fundamental internet operations tasks, you may start bs-06 making a respectable online income with as little as $29,000.
      Modify your connection————————>>>

  2. Based on the en banc Cargill decision, this one should be a slam dunk in a district court in the Fifth Circuit.

    One nit, however: While the Northern District of Texas has become the preferred place to file test cases against the ATF (if you file it in certain divisions, you’ll get either Judge Reed O’Connor or Judge Mark Pittman), Cargill was filed in the Western District of Texas.

  3. More nibbling around the edges. Repealing NFA and GCA benefits “the people”. All these other law suits first, and foremost benefit businesses and corporations. Money spent on trying to eliminate each cockroach of 2A infringement is money not available to eliminate the threat.

    The anti-gun mafia can punch holes in the the dike, warp-8 faster than 2A defenders can repair the damage.

    • If you’re suggesting a suit to repeal the entire NFA or GCA, you’re smoking something.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think much of them are unconstitutional under Bruen, but this idea that we should just go for broke is unrealistic and likely counterproductive.

      Successful test case litigation is about building a foundation brick by brick, then building upon that. It took many years, but finally we got Heller, then MacDonald, and finally Bruen. Bruen was then the basis to get Ranini. Rahini was the basis to get the decision yesterday in Daniels. (Note Judge Higginson’s concurrence in Daniels, which boils down to, “I don’t like Bruen, I don’t like Rahini, but they are controlling precedent and so I reluctantly have to concur reversing the conviction.”) By building a foundation first, you force even reluctant judges to the result you want.

      Similarly, Cargill was brought as a narrow statutory interpretation / APA case, rather than a 2A challenge. The win in Cargill will be the basis for this being an easy win.

      Going after the NFA will similarly require an incremental approach. Maybe it’s SBR’s. Maybe suppressors. Maybe the Hughes Amendment (my suggested approach). But pick what will be the “easiest” one and get positive precedent by tactically filing in a friendly jurisdiction and litigating that narrow issue. If you succeed, *then* build on it to move the line forward.
      Rinse and repeat. It’s time consuming and frustrating, but that just how successful test case litigation is done.

      But going for broke is like throwing the bomb on first down . . . except that if the pass is incomplete, it creates bad precedent that may mean the ball game is either over or MUCH harder.

      • Thanx for the follow up.

        I know how lawyers think, but my view is military. You can plink individuals all day to no real result, or you can eradicate the nest. IAW Bruen, there is no 1791 equivalent to NFA/GCA. Kick the stilts out from under these illigitimate gun control laws, and there is no authoritative support for gun control laws.

        NFA/GCA are predicated on the legal theory that a two step analysis/argument applies: public safety is a compelling government interest, and 2A restrictions are not a heavy burden on a constitutionally protected natural, civil and human right, along with being tightly crafted to address the first step analysis.

        If Bruen is the law of the land regarding every sentence of gun control laws, why does it not have the same effect at the national level?

        • If the same people who scream these laws are for “public safety” while releasing violent criminals without bond or from long prison convictions then they are the ones who need to be charged with crimes as co-conspirators in the crimes these offenders commit.

        • The flaw in your logic is that it presumes courts / judges are willing follow “the law” and decree that laws in place for decades are unconstitutional. The reality is that most judges — even pro-2A ones — will be VERY reluctant to do so. (That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as a general principle.)

          Take challenging the NFA restrictions on MG’s. We can make all sorts of historical arguments that in 1789, private *warships* were not only allowed, they are recognized in the Constitution (Letters of Marque and Reprisal), to say nothing of cannons being commonly owned by private militias and landowners. We can point out that MG’s could (and were) bought over the counter for over three decades before the ’34 Act. But most judges are going to say, “you may be right, but *I’m* not going to be the one who legalizes MG’s.”

          The way you counteract this is by the incrementalist approach, whereby you build the foundation so that taking the next step is “easy.”

          To use the military analogy, would you try and defeat Germany in 1944 by doing a paratroop attack on Berlin? No, you establish a beachhead and grind your way toward it.

        • Lol. Starting to look like the best way to get NFA struck down is let Hunter get caught in a violation.

        • “Kick the stilts out from under these illigitimate gun control laws, and there is no authoritative support for gun control laws.”

          Scalia in ‘Heller’ recognized there were “exceptionally dangerous” weapons that could be banned, so the NFA (at least as applied to full-auto) will be staying. The fact the rest of the democratically-elected free world recognizes suppressors and SBRs are just fine bodes well for us getting them off the NFA.

          What we can do is get the ‘Hughes’ amendment nuked, and re-open the registry, which was working just fine beforehand…

    • Eliminate the obsolete ATF and defund the DOJ. put those marxists out of a job. States should pass laws that list the ATF as a terrorist organazation.

  4. so after a round is fired the next round can be fired by a trigger pull without having to let the trigger move forward to reset? the trigger is always at the break until the finger is relaxed?

    • tsbhoa.p.jr,

      I understood your question as asking about how a forced-reset trigger functions. Here is my understanding:

      Your finger moves the trigger backward past the “break” point (which makes the gun go “bang!”) and the bolt cycling (due to recoil) pushes the trigger forward past the “reset” point with much more force than a simple trigger return spring. The novelty is that you can keep a significant amount of rearward pressure on the trigger since firearm recoil pushes the trigger forward even though you are pressing backward.

      Nevertheless, your finger and the trigger must move backward (past the “break”) and forward (past the “reset”) before the gun can fire again. The only thing a forced reset trigger does is help you move your trigger finger forward with much less thought and coordination than a “standard” trigger. That is what increases rate-of-fire for the average person.

      • Tgere’s no balancing needed. When the bolt carrier goes back, it pushes the hammer down, which pushes the trigger forward. There is no disconnector or auto sear. The trigger is held forward until the bolt carrier moves back into battery, when its rear portion trips the lever on the top, which allowed the trigger to be pulled backward and release the hammer. A full auto BCG is needed to reach the lever. If the shooter doesn’t want to fire another shot, he doesn’t pull back on the trigger.

  5. seems like a binary trigger could leave you hanging with a situation coming up where it’s no longer safe to release the trigger and fire the second round.
    i like the sound of these better.
    enh, larue.

    • Binaries are supposed to have a switch you can activate while the trigger is fully back, stopping the weapon from firing when you release pressure on the trigger.

      I personally have no interest in one of those things, good news, since Flori-Duh made them illegal after mentally-damaged boy shot up MSD high schooldown here awhile back…

      • He’s a self proclaimed member of the modern SS, antifa. Of course he likes fascist ideas. They make him all warm and fuzzy.

    • “In March, President Joe Biden issued an executive order to take advantage of this new power with help from the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.” — from the sourced article

      Asshole, an illegal executive order is not an ATF rule.

      “ATF may rule that selling more than 5 guns a year without a license or going through an F.F.L. dealer is illegal.”

      Criminals are already defying the current laws in place. What makes you think that they’ll suddenly line up to register their guns if the ATF changes their rules?

      You’ll never answer, or be able to answer, that question. Somehow, you believe that laws are the cure-all for society’s ills. Will you ever get it through your thick skull that —


  6. Oh, so now it ISN’T alright to identify as non-binary ???
    On the same note, the area that I walk my Borador (dog breed) through, which is school property, recently posted that ” Only Certified Service Animals are Allowed “, and this morning on our regular outing there was one of the Nazis waiting for us, and asked if I hadn’t seen the sign.
    I indicated that we both read it, and my dog chooses to identify as self-certified. When Joe school cop gave me additional shit, I told him my dog asked if it was because she’s black. When he started spouting back off to me I told him to have some respect and work it out with her !!
    I imagine he might still be standing there with a deer in the headlights stupid-ass look on his puss. Might have to vary my route up for awhile though

    • Lol. School grounds are great for dog walking. Walk my rottweiler thru one every day. I strongly recommend rotties by the way, if anybody is in the dog market. Best dog weve ever had

    • “When Joe school cop gave me additional shit, I told him my dog asked if it was because she’s black. When he started spouting back off to me I told him to have some respect and work it out with her !!”

      Nice, that’s just the way to deal with crap like that… 😉

  7. @chiefton
    “…they are the ones who need to be charged with crimes as co-conspirators in the crimes these offenders commit.”

    Unfortunately, that would require cooperation from the people you identify as needing to be charged.

  8. @LKB
    “To use the military analogy, would you try and defeat Germany in 1944 by doing a paratroop attack on Berlin? No, you establish a beachhead and grind your way toward it.”

    If the rules of war stipulated that the nation that first drops 50,000 paratroops on the capital of a nation wins. Or, if “Little Boy” had been available in Jan ’45, that would have settled the hash quickly.

    So many people (including judges) want law and order until it affects them, one way or another.

    The “incremental approach” is anchored on the notion that 2A defender organizations can continue to match funding available to governments, and the anti-gun mob.

    Given the growth of appeals for interlocutory judgements, seems all it would take is for an NFA/GCA case before district court to put the heat directly on the SC to defend Bruen.

      • “Oops, wrong thread, Sam.”

        Comparison between analogies. For agencies charged with solving problems, doing so doesn’t really bode well for agencies charged with solving problems.

        • Oops, my mistake, Sam.

          Since your reply ended up at the bottom of the thread, I had forgotten that this part of the discussion took place much earlier in this line.

          So, yeah — I forgot what you guys had said by the time I reached the end. I think there’s a name for that — “old guy’s something or other.”

        • no name,

          I always refer to it as the “CRAFT syndrome” – “CRAFT” standing for “can’t remember a f**king thing!”.

        • Lamp, at my old job (which had an obsessive love for three-letter acronyms for every process that we had to follow) we shortened it to “CRS” — Can’t Remember Sh**.

    • Sam I belive the cut off the head approach is the way to go. Strike while the iron is hot. The make up of the court will change for better or worse. They presently have seemingly endless funding and they will be the ones doing the grinding down on us. The old let’s play thus out approach works in their favor.
      Years to get a case near the Supremes, every shot at it needs to be a head shot

      • “Sam I belive the cut off the head approach is the way to go.”

        In WW2, the Brits adopted finesse as a grand strategy. The US (and Russians) adopted brute force and awkwardness.

      • Again, the flaw in this argument is that going for broke makes it FAR more likely that you create negative precedent that is counterproductive.

        The incrementalist strategy for test cases has been used for generations in many different areas. Talk to any legal professional with experience in them (call Cody at FPC, for example) and they can also explain.

        I understand the impatience with the slowness of the process. But don’t confuse “it’s clear to me, so it will be clear to the Court” with effectiveness.

        • “The incrementalist strategy for test cases has been used for generations in many different areas.”

          Yes, once-upon-a-time. Decline is accelerating, the anti-gunners are creating infringements at an amazing pace, Congress is kicking into anti-gun overdrive. “There’s always time” is not recognizing the changes we currently face.

          And, as politicized as the court system is, the great majority of jurists have already determined outcomes to 2A cases, so how is it that the risk of loss of rights is greater if we “go for broke” now, or dilly dally one gun control law at a time?

        • “The incrementalist strategy for test cases has been used for generations in many different areas.”

          LKB, you and I both know the *entire* ‘house of cards’ we have carefully built since Scalia’s watershed ‘Heller’ and ‘MacDonald’ decisions disappears in its entirety the very moment the court balance changes and they rule the 2A is a collective right *only*.

          Make no mistake, that’s ‘Job 1’ if they ever grab those ‘levers of power’ again.

          (And I predict that will be the moment this nation finally splits…)

    • They don’t do anything. They don’t certify trainers, they don’t promote school safety, they don’t participate in any legal action, they don’t have a legislative action arm, they don’t donate money to political campaigns or PACs. They don’t publish magazines, and the leadership is stealing all of the money that “members” send in.

      The NRA is just a myth — a foil for 2A opponents. There are no NRA members. It’s all a figment of your imagination.

  9. @Man With No Name
    “So, yeah — I forgot what you guys had said by the time I reached the end. I think there’s a name for that — “old guy’s something or other.” ”

    The word, or phrase, you are looking for is

  10. @Geoff “I’m getting too old for this shit” PR

    Scalia and Heller are subject to Bruen.There is no 1791 equivalent of weapons too dangerous for “the people. There is no 1791 equivalent of NFA/GCA. Nor is there a 1791 analog for ATF; indeed, no 1791 match for DOJ, either.

    • “There is no 1791 equivalent of weapons too dangerous for “the people.”

      I agree with you on that, but do you seriously want the real nutballs to just walk out of a gunstore with a select-fire weapon?

      Seriously? The NFA system has flaws, but it seemed to pretty much work in keeping the mass-murderers deterred. Let’s first get the registry re-opened…

      • “…but do you seriously want the real nutballs to just walk out of a gunstore with a select-fire weapon?”

        (this will be long)

        Why not? If they are too dangerous to possess firearms, why are they walking the streets?

        How is the law, the constitution, describing “nutballs”? If we could accurately describe “nutballs” which other constitutionally-protected natural, civil and human right are they to be barred from exercising…before they commit a criminal act?

        “The NFA system has flaws, but it seemed to pretty much work in keeping the mass-murderers deterred.”

        Bruen prohibits a two step analysis.

        Regarding the Second Amendment, we are presented with two conundrums: Any restriction of the Second Amendment opens the door for others. The difference being whose ox is being gored; We have the irrational situation of government dictating which weapons are allowed to be used to keep government in check from subjugating the populace.

        • Remember that chat with your dad when you were a lad when he said “There are the way things oughtta be, and the way that things are.”?

          That qualifies… 🙁

  11. @Geoff “I’m getting too old for this shit” PR
    “Remember that chat with your dad when you were a lad when he said “There are the that way things oughtta be, and the way things are.”?”

    Seems a neat defense for gun control. I know you didn’t intend that.

    All infringements of the Second Amendment are justifiable, unless 2A is declared absolute. If anyone not currently in jail/prison can be denied RTKBA, all can be, depending on our favorite infringement.


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