U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- AmmoLand News and I recently reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) went to, (“Raided”), Big Daddy Unlimited (BDU), and Rare Breed Triggers and seized their stock of forced reset triggers.
That report was not correct, the ATF never went to Rare Breed manufaturing.
The ATF did go to Big Daddy Unlimited and seized their Wide Open Trigger inventory as confirmed by BDU employees to AmmoLand News and independently to Youtuber Gun & Gadgets, but they did NOT go to Rare Breed as was initially reported.
The visit by ATF to Big Daddy came just as Rare Triggers won a preliminary injunction against Wide Open Enterprises for patent infringement stopping the Big Daddy Enterprise’s subsidiary from selling its popular forced reset triggers known as the Wide Open Trigger. Rare Breed argued to the courts that Big Daddy Enterprises infringed on the patent of its FRT-15 trigger. The preliminary injunction said that only Rare Breed could produce a forced reset trigger because they were the only other company to make one. The judge was mistaken on that fact. There are other companies that produce forced reset triggers.
In July of last year, 2021, the ATF served Rare Breed Triggers with a cease and desist order ordering the company to stop selling its popular FRT-15 trigger. The company refused to comply with the ATF’s demands and filed a lawsuit in federal court against the ATF. The state tried to block Rare Breed Trigger’s evidence by arguing that the administrative record was closed because of the lawsuit. The ATF did re-open the record twice to add videos and other things after the suit was filed. That case was dismissed after Rare Breed Trigger and the government missed a filing deadline. A judge also denied Rare Breed Trigger’s initial preliminary injunction against the ATF and the Department of Justice.
In that initial order, ATF claimed that force reset triggers are machine guns. The ATF used its own discretion to determine that the FRT-15 is a machine gun. A forced reset trigger works by the bolt pushing the trigger forward, thus resetting the trigger. This arbitrary ruling by ATF is very similar to how the ATF determined that bump stocks were machine guns.
Force reset trigger popped up on the radar when an ATF employee, working in the Washington, DC office, noticed a YouTube video showing a rifle with Rare Breed’s FRT-15 installed firing. That employee contacted the ATF’s Technical Branch to see if Rare Breed had obtained an opinion letter from the ATF.
Rare Breed based its opinion on the legality of the trigger based on outside experts’ opinions and not an internal determination by the ATF’s Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division’s (FATD).
FATD informed the ATF employee that they had not examined the trigger, but it most likely would be considered a machine gun. Months went by without further action, but the ATF employee would not be undeterred. He would reach out to the local ATF field office in Florida to push for an examination of the FRT-15 trigger.
The ATF’s FATD examination was further delayed by the public demand for the FRT-15 trigger, ATF could not get their hands on one to test. The Bureau was forced to use Gun Broker to purchase two triggers to test. Sources report that ATF tested the trigger by using a zip tie to secure the trigger back. The trigger continued to fire. Some in the gun community point out that plastic is flexible, so it was actually pulling the trigger multiple times.
Important to Note: Current Owners of Forced Reset Triggers are NOT Violating the law at this time.
The ATF has not released any letters to the public about the legal status of owning a forced reset trigger, although there is insider speculation those letters may be forthcoming.
On the same day as I reported on the site visits by ATF, we also received another document from alternate sources within the ATF marked “LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE,” dated January 13, 2022. (embedded below) That document is what the ATF will send out to all police departments in the country. The ATF again calls all force reset triggers machine-gun-conversion devices in that document.
The document further states that forced reset triggers are machine guns under federal law. The ATF once more says that the shooter does not need to release the trigger to fire another round after the first round is fired. The Bureau says the firearm will automatically cycle.
The ATF document reads:
“FRTs are generally marketed as replacement triggers for AR-type or other semiautomatic firearms. Unlike traditional triggers and binary triggers (sometimes also referred to as FRTs), the subject FRTs do not require shooters to pull and then subsequently release the trigger to fire a second projectile. Instead, these FRTs utilize the automatic firing cycle inherent in the trigger design to eliminate the need for the shooter to release the trigger before a second round may be fired.”
The document gives two examples, with photos. of the triggers that the ATF is telling law enforcement are machine guns. The first trigger image is the Rare Breed FRT-15 trigger. The second example trigger is the competing Wide Open Trigger sold by Big Daddy Unlimited.
Note the document is dated the exact date that the ATF showed up to Big Daddy Unlimited.
In AmmoLand News’ correspondence with Rare Breed Owner, Kevin Maxwell, he stated the company sent a letter to the ATF to add its evidence to the administrative record on November 2, 2021, since the lawsuit was dismissed. The ATF responded on November 15, 2021, that it received Rare Breed’s request. Rare Breed Triggers requested an update on December 12, 2021. The ATF did not respond.
Support AmmoLand NewsSign up for the Daily Digest email and protect the 2nd Amendment.
Maxwell believes the newly revealed document apparently being sent to law enforcement will be the only response that Rare Breed Triggers will receive. The company is preparing to file another lawsuit against the ATF.
“A new lawsuit against the ATF is being prepared and will be filed shortly. RBT is not backing down,” Maxwell told AmmoLand News. “We feel the ATF is overreaching its legal authority by its intentional misclassification of the FRT-15.”
AmmoLand News would like to repeat that mistakes were made in the initial reporting and Rare Breed had NO visits by ATF.
We will provide additional updates as the story develops.
(U/LES/TAX) Forced Reset Triggers (FRTs) ATF Document Jan 13, 2022
About John Crump
John is an 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.