Little Noticed Provision Kills ATF Shotgun Ban Plans

Little Noticed Provision Kills ATF Sporting Shotgun Ban Plans
By Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law

Arsenal’s SGL12 Semi-Auto Saiga 12-Gauge Shotgun
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Manasquan, NJ –-( Saiga 12’s, Benelli M4’s and virtually any other tactical/military shotgun can no longer be banned from import by the ATF.

A little noticed provision tucked into a large appropriations bill obviously flew under the radar of the “Brady Bunch” and the “Illegal Mayors.”

The new law effectively kills ATF’s plan to stop tactical/military shotgun imports by way of abusing the “sporting purpose” requirement and their agency rulemaking powers.

The “Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture, Commerce/Justice/Science (CJS) and Transportation/Housing/Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bills”, also known as the “Mini-Bus”, was passed by Congress, and signed into law by President Obama on November 18, 2011.

The new law reads as follows:

SEC. 541. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel to deny, or fail to act on, an application for the importation of any model of shotgun if–

(1) all other requirements of law with respect to the proposed importation are met; and
(2) no application for the importation of such model of shotgun, in the same configuration, had been denied by the Attorney General prior to January 1, 2011, on the basis that the shotgun was not particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.

This new law became necessary due to the ATF releasing on January 27, 2011, a “Study on the Importability of Certain Shotguns.” The “Study” argued “military shotguns, or shotguns with common military features that are unsuitable for traditional shotgun sports” should be banned from import into the U.S.

The ban would have applied to all shotguns including semi-autos, pump-actions, double barrels, etc. As part of the rulemaking process, comments from the public on the study were allowed to be submitted until May 1, 2011.

Many gun owners had been dreading the ATF’s decision, knowing full well what ATF’s intention was from the start.

Saiga-20 Autoloading Shotguns
Saiga-20 Autoloading Shotguns

For more info visit: and search on the Phrase “shotgun”.

Side bar: Interestingly Section 219 of the same appropriations bill forbid funds to be used to provide working firearms to a drug cartel member. A year ago before Fast & Furious came to light, that would have seemed like common sense?

SEC. 219. None of the funds made available under this Act, other than for the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, may be used by a Federal law enforcement officer to facilitate the transfer of an operable firearm to an individual if the Federal law enforcement officer knows or suspects that the individual is an agent of a drug cartel, unless law enforcement personnel of the United…

Evan Nappen ( is a criminal defense attorney who has focused in firearms and weapons law for over 23 years. He is the author of New Hampshire Gun, Knife, and Weapon Law and the New Jersey Gun Law Guide. He is a director and the General Counsel of Pro-Gun New Hampshire, Inc. (

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"The ban would have applied to all shotguns including semi-autos, pump-actions, double barrels, etc. As part of the rulemaking process, comments from the public on the study were allowed to be submitted until May 1, 2011."

Hey Ammoland, are you all boneheaded or what?

The ban was applicable to a 5+ round magazine capacity. Since when can a DOUBLE BARREL shotgun exceed that? Why mention doubles? Duh?


Forgot: please sign me up for News Updates via e-mail…


Most ATF agents are OK & just following dictates from upstairs.

Problem: Many in higher echelons are – and always have been – tyrannical, anti-2nd Amendment, anti-self-defense, anti-gun Fascists.

Stay on ATF's case; don't give'em a moment's rest.


No mention of the NRA here. If not for the diligent efforts of the NRA and their lawyers, this would have never been possible. We should give credit where credit's due.


this is scary!!! some Congressmen in Washington with common sense. we can only hope their is more to come


A win for a change, WOW!

I wonder if the ATF will find a way around the law?

This change repeals current law/regs

Keep repealing boys, when the Illinois FOID and 68 GCA are gone we are on the road to freedom


Do I read that correctly? Shotguns that had been banned under the "sporting purposes" test prior to Jan 1, 2011, of the same model and in the same configuration are still banned, but that NEW models, or NEW configurations (whatever the legal definition of that may be), or that models banned earlier this year, cannot be banned?


Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Lets all do our part to keep his campaign coffers full.


Echoing the sentiments already stated; one small step for man, one giant leap? OK, not a leap, but definitely a looonng step! Beat them at their own game this time by burying something important in an otherwise fairly routine and benign piece of legislation; I like that a lot! Let me know his nam…and I know it wasn't one of my Illinois senators! Possibly one of our area House members; several of the Dems are pro gun if they want to keep getting elected! Downstate ain't Chi-town! Whomever, I'll chip in so he can stay in this fall!


This did a lot more than kill BATF shotgun ban plans. This is one awesome piece of legislation. It severely curtails "Gun Walking" AND using firearms trace data to compile bogus statistics. PLEASE do a followup article on who is responsible for this wonderful piece of legislation. I have my checkbook in hand waiting to see who to make the check out to and maybe start a fundraiser on various forums!

Also, +1 to what TokenGimp said…..CHECKMATE!

Stu Strickler

We are winning and the progressives are whining!

Eric Equis

Oh yea Ammoland… not fair to show a Tromix SBS (Short Barreled Shotgun) as an example… that's a NFA item and -NOT- what was on the chopping block or available to ordinary peons like us!

Please, show the typical Saiga with the 5 round mag and the 19th century ergonomic stock as it is imported NOT as US makers legally modify it.

Here is the Saiga 12 as targeted (no pun) by the anti-gun BATFE:
Come on Ammoland, keep it honest and accurate!


@Erick Happy now? You cant say we don't listen to our readers..

Eric Equis

@TokenGimp… Didn't you hear, the M1 Carbine's and Garands were "the choice of gangsters and street thugs"? You know, they are "so easy to conceal under trench-coats" and those "ultra high capacity assault clips" of eight rounds are so vital to "hosing down children at the playground"… I mean, we have to use "common sense" and ban these horrible "assault weapons"… you know… "for the children". Yea… yea… Now whomever snuck this awesome piece of legislation in what I'm sure was another 8,000 page bureaucratic clusterfuck and did it without the Brady retards seeing it and crying like a 5-year-old… Read more »


It would be nice if the weapons my father and others used in Korea were not banned. For the President to prevent them from coming home is another disgraceful showing of his unpatriotic ways. They would be collector items for most people and not used much anyway