The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ classification of pistol grip only firearms with 14” barrels that fire shotgun shells and are over 26” in overall length as neither “shotguns” nor National Firearms Act “Destructive Devices” or “Any Other Weapons” has created a situation wherein the agency must either quietly save face or have it exposed that untold numbers of good faith gun owners currently legally possess firearms problematic for the government to allow. In order for that status quo to continue, ATF, in conjunction with certain members of Congress and lobbying interests, is working at “tweaking” its definition of the arbitrary “sporting use” term, insider sources tell Gun Rights Examiner. And with that will come a push to expand definitions to allow for further importation bans on certain types of presently legal ammunition.
While many of the details of the deal being worked on are sketchy, informed sources are of the opinion that the “tradeoff” is a backroom effort that includes undisclosed “bipartisan” members of Congress, ATF acting on behalf of itself, the Department of Justice and the administration, and firearms lobbyists who have traditionally been part of the behind-the-scenes development, if not outright “ghostwriting” of classifications and rules affecting the industry and gun owners.
Last week, a secret deal involving the National Rifle Association lobbying arm and brokered by politicians of both national political parties was struck in Washington DC that would save the ATF from the political and legal consequences of its own regulatory errors. In the process, this deal would broaden the language of the 1968 Gun Control Act regarding "sporting purposes" and allow ATF to extract itself from the potentially catastrophic political damage of enforcing its arbitrary ruling that makes every owner of a pistol grip 12 Gauge shotgun like the Mossberg Cruiser a felon in possession of a "destructive device" subject to the penalties of the National Firearms Act of 1934 -- currently up to 10 years in federal prison and a quarter million dollar fine.
As explained by sources here and in the nation's capitol, the outlines of what one called "this cynical deal with the Devil" are as follows:
1. The ATF will be let off the hook by broadening the "sporting purposes" language and legislatively negating their own determination that millions of heretofore legal pistol-grip shotguns produced over the past decades by companies like Mossberg are "destructive devices."
2. The NRA will get to claim credit for, as one source said, "riding in out of the storm on a white horse and claiming to have saved millions of firearm owners from federal prison, even though," he added, "everybody in the room with an IQ above room temperature understands that politically and legally there is no (expletive deleted) way that ATF can enforce this ruling on anybody. They can't and they won't . . so" he concluded, "the NRA will claim to have saved their members from a boogeyman that never really existed."
3. In return for allowing NRA to claim the credit, the Democrats demanded another ammunition import ban on "specialty ammunition," to include tracers. Some sources agreed that this last "gimme" was a "throwaway," in the words of one. "Look, their M.O. is to always demand more than they know they can get in to get the thing they really value. They'd like to get it but what they really covet is knocking a bigger hole in the Constitution by (widening the 'sporting purposes' language) . . . this deal will give them one big enough to drive Diane Feinstein's limousine through."
I encourage readers to begin digesting both articles. Then, let the discussion begin.