The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (BATF&E or ATF) released a notice from the Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch (“FTISB”) stating they would no longer be taking submissions on devices without a firearm attached.
Meaning that if a developer puts together a product that they say is a “firearm stabilizing brace” and not a buttstock, to get the ATF to give a ruling on the new product they must ship it attached to a gun like it is intended to be used.
There are some obvious causes here, bumpstocks and pistol braces.
On the surface the rule makes sense. It delivers a working and installed version of the submitted product to the ATF for the evaluation. Also the ATF doesn’t have to rely on their store of firearms and their non manufacturer knowledge to install the item.
What this introduces is the far greater hassle of shipping a firearm to the ATF. It puts a much more stringent burden on someone trying to introduce a product. Shipping $1,000 dollars worth of property to the ATF instead of $50-100 changes the risk involved, to a small business especially.
And that’s before the nebulous implication that now the items submitted on a firearm could sway the ruling on an emotional basis based on the function instead of on the actual function.
We don’t know if the ATF would change a single ruling they have made… but the unspoken implication sits heavy that, going forward, items like pistol braces will have a much greater hurtle to approval.
Clap back? Probably.