MARTINSBURG, WV –-(Ammoland.com)- According to a leaked email obtained by Gun Owners of America (GOA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is about to crack down on forced reset triggers such as the Rare Breed FRT-15 and the Wide Open Trigger.
The ATF has given its field agents the green light to seize all force reset triggers from manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. The ATF will request that the businesses voluntarily turn over the force reset triggers to field agents. If the stores do turn over the triggers, then the ATF will then provide the company with a “Consent to Forfeiture of Property and Waiver of Notice (ATF F. 3400.1).” That document says that the company is choosing to turn the stock over to the ATF and releases all rights to the property. The businesses cannot sue for the return of the items.
If the business refuses to turn the triggers to the Bureau, the ATF agents are instructed to seize the items from the companies for forfeiture. This choice gives the company more legal standing to sue over the confiscation, but the ATF can threaten to file criminal charges against the company owner for violating the NFA. Each business owner should consult an attorney before choosing an action to take.
The email reads: “As discussed, please be prepared to take possession of any documents and FRT’s the manufacturer/distributor/retailer offers to surrender. The manufacturer/distributor/retailer may choose to abandon the items, in which case ask them to complete a Consent to Forfeiture of Property and Waiver of Notice (ATF F. 3400.1). If the manufacturer/seller refuses to abandon the items, please take custody of the items, and seize them for forfeiture so that they can be properly noticed.”
We Told You So
This email comes on the heels of a law enforcement notice obtained by AmmoLand News, where the ATF told law enforcement agencies across the country that force reset triggers are machine guns. The notice mentioned the Rare Breed FRT-15 and the Wide Open Trigger by name and pictures. A sister company of Big Daddy Unlimited (BDU) produced the Wide Open Trigger, and BDU sold it.
Rare Breed Triggers recently won a preliminary injunction against BDU for patent infringement. The day after the victory was announced, the ATF showed up at BDU’s offices and seized all of the company’s stock of Wide Open Triggers. This action showed the ATF would crackdown on force reset triggers. The ATF did not go to the Rare Breed offices.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
The new email also refers to anyone in possession of the triggers as “defendants.” The use of the term in the email is problematic to those in the gun community because it shows that the ATF is treating the possession of the triggers as a criminal offense rather than a regulatory violation. It is highly unlikely that anyone will be charged for violating the Hughes Amendment of the National Firearms Act (NFA) at this time, but that might change in the future.
So far, the letter is only dealing with manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. The ATF is expected to take the next step and target individual gun owners next.
AmmoLand News reached out to Rare Breed for comment, but the company is not ready to issue a public statement at the time of this writing.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.