Judge Asks ATF and DOJ to Weigh In On Rare Breed FRT-15 Patent Case

ATF Determines That The Rare Breed FRT-15 Trigger is A Machine Gun
Judge Asks ATF and DOJ to Weigh In On Rare Breed FRT-15 Patent Case

GAINESVILLE, FL -(Ammoland.com)- A judge in the patent infringement lawsuit has asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the US Patent Office, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to weigh in on Rare Breed FRT-15 trigger.

Rare Breed Triggers sued Big Daddy Enterprises, the parent company of Big Daddy Unlimited (BDU) and Wide Open Trigger. The trigger manufacturer claimed that the giant firearms retailer ripped off the design of the Rare Breed FRT-15 trigger for its Wide Open Trigger (WOT). Big Daddy Enterprises denied those allegations claiming that the design of the WOT was not based on any of Rare Breed Triggers’ patents.

In a recent filing, BDU lawyers made several accusations against Rare Breed Triggers. Some firearms influencers claimed that the company sided with the ATF by insisting that the Rare Breed FRT-15 was a machine gun. Tony McKnight, Big Daddy Enterprises President, vehemently denied those allegations. He says that the attorney was just referencing the ATF’s claim.

The controversial line reads: “Foster functions on the same mechanical principle, but it includes a disconnector that prevents the automatic-fire attainable with the FRT-15. Thus, the ATF determined the Foster trigger is not a machine gun (even though it doubles the rate of fire), and it continues to be marketed by Mr. Foster’s company, Fostech. The only real distinction is Plaintiffs willingness to operate outside the law, not any technical improvement.”

The judge in the case did note in the request to the government agencies that neither party believes FRTs to be machine guns.

The Judge wrote: “The plaintiffs and defendants assert such triggers are not machineguns. No party in these cases has asserted or can be expected to assert that the triggers are illegal, and thus no party has briefed or can be expected to brief questions such as whether a party can recover for patent infringement based on sale of an illegal product.”

Whether or not BDU’s lawyers called the FRT-15 a machine gun is up for debate. What is not up for debate is that the judge has now engaged with the government to get its opinion on the FRT-15. Rare Breed’s case will be jeopardized if it is determined the company cannot collect damages on a patent infringement case involving an illegal item, and if the judge believes the FRT-15 to be a machine gun.

The ATF issued Rare Breed with a cease-and-desist order last year, demanding the company stop selling its popular trigger. The ATF claimed to have determined that the FRT-15 was a machine gun during a criminal examination. Rare Breed ignored the demand and kept selling the trigger. Later the ATF sent out an advisory to all law enforcement agencies about force reset triggers saying that the trigger converted an AR-15 to a machine gun. The ATF included pictures of the FRT-15 and BDU’s WOT in the notice.

The ATF then contacted federal firearms licensees (FFLs), warning the gun shops that “some” forced reset triggers are machine guns. The notice didn’t list any specific triggers, but because of the ATF’s previous actions, such as showing up at Big Daddy Unlimited to seize triggers like the FRT-15 and the WOT, many FFLs stopped carrying the triggers.

Last month the ATF charged a man with violating the National Firearms Act for having machine guns. In a DOJ press release, the government called force reset triggers machine guns. One of those “machine guns” was a Rare Breed FRT-15.

Then a few days ago, the ATF started showing up at the doors of gun owners who purchased FRT-15 triggers on Gun Broker to confiscate the item. The ATF obtained the information by pressuring the sellers to turn over their customer records. The confiscations are now limited to the Rare Breed FRT-15 trigger.

If the ATF or DOJ issues an Amicus brief stating that the FRT-15 is a machine gun, that would demonstrate that the ATF is willing to step up its attacks on force reset triggers. Judges and prosecutors might consider it a green light to start charging gun owners with NFA violations. Even though that is not a sure thing, gun owners should be aware of the impact of the brief.

Lawrence Demonico, President of Rare Breed Triggers, declined to comment on the advice of his attorney. Tony McKnight, President of Big Daddy Enterprises, said the company would release a video addressing the case and controversy soon.

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.

John Crump

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The frt does not in any way use the mechanics of the fostec trigger. Adding a Disconnector isn’t the difference bw the two. The frt only fires once per trigger pull and does not fire upon release. The fostec fires on trigger pull and AGAIN on release. Totally different functionality. BATFE has no clue what they are talking about. Per the legal definition, one shot per function of the trigger, the frt is a semi auto trigger. People on video showed if they kept the trigger depressed, the bolt would not cycle and could not even reset. This is blatant… Read more »


It’s a forced reset trigger. Every time you shoot, your bolt carrier group (BCG) goes backward, resets, and sends another round into the chamber. This trigger has a mechanism that causes the BCG to reset your trigger while the BCG is back. So, your trigger resets, but your finger is still pulling on the trigger. As soon as the BCG slams forward, the round goes off because your trigger has been pulled. You’ve also got to make sure your “buffer is heavy enough to cycle/reset the trigger”. A device that uses a spring, piston, or similar mechanism to push back… Read more »

Ansel Hazen

Wrong Fudd Boy.


“This trigger has a mechanism that causes the BCG to reset your trigger while the BCG is back.” This is the point where your argument falls apart. Once the BCG resets your trigger, as you admitted it does above, the firing of the next round requires a second function of the trigger… that eliminates it from being classified as a machine gun since to be a machine gun it must be capable of firing multiple rounds with one function of the trigger. “So, your trigger resets, but your finger is still pulling on the trigger. As soon as the BCG… Read more »


I think the best test of these triggers would be to put a trigger-pull measuring device on the triggers, aim a high quality video camera on the dial of the trigger-pull measuring device and watch as the needle on the trigger-pull dial bounces each time the trigger resets


Good point. Kinda hard to refute.


No, John. Seems you may need to read what you wrote. The reset function can NOT occur as you say by continuously pulling the trigger back. The RESET function also resets the trigger. May be ever so slight, but it DOES RESET THE TRIGGER


The video shows how it works and why it needs an M16 bolt.

there is a part that is tripped by the rear of the bolt closing. When that is tripped, the sear is reset and will fire if you are still holding the trigger to the rear…


You obviously didn’t watch to video. There is not a trip is of anything. The bolt pushes the locking bar against the trigger, moving it to the reset position. it is not allowed to overcome the fingers pressure the bold doesn’t finish cycling and there is no subsequent shot and a failure of operation instead. So pulling it back is one operation. The trigger is then forced forward. That is a second operation of the trigger. To fire again you need a third operation of pulling it back again. 26 U.S.C. 5845(b) defines “machine qun” to include any combination of… Read more »


I disagree with you understanding of how the mechanics of this trigger system works. In the end a expert will be called and the dispute will end. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. The basic mechanics is the trigger system was designed that by holding pressure on the trigger it will continue to cycle moving you finger for you.It does not do this on its own it uses the current operating system of the gun to make that happen. It is no longer a single function of the trigger. I am not here to dispute right of… Read more »


Yea, the rare breed has a patent it’s number US10514223B1 Here is the abstract from it A trigger mechanism for use in a firearm having a receiver with a fire control mechanism pocket, transversely aligned pairs of hammer and trigger pin openings in the pocket, and a bolt carrier that reciprocates and pivotally displaces a hammer when cycled. The trigger mechanism includes a hammer, a trigger member, and a locking bar. The hammer has a sear notch and is mounted in the fire control mechanism pocket to pivot on a transverse hammer pin between set and released positions. The trigger… Read more »

Ansel Hazen

You are completely wrong and if you actually paid attention to the videos put out by Rare Breed you can see them demonstrate how if you hold back on the trigger and don’t cycle it the gun will not fire any further rounds.


John, you just stated the mechanical facts again…

“moving you finger for you.It does not do this on its own it uses the current operating system of the gun to make that happen.” MORE THAN ONE PULL OF THE TRIGGER!


John, what you are missing is the disconnect and resetting of the trigger in each action, regardless as to however slight it is. It (trigger reset function) still in fact occurs.


So many ignorant Fudds, so eager to spew their opinions in the comments section.

Ansel Hazen

Well in the case of “John” it only takes one Fudd.


Indeed. Fudds are almost as bad or worse than grabbers.


I would say worse. Butters and Fudds are cancer. If it weren’t for them willingly helping the grabbers there would be no arms laws.


Traitors, appeasers, collaborators, squishes, cowards, corrupt scumbags & ignorant fools in our tent are more destructive than the open enemy outside.

Last edited 28 days ago by Russn8r

The only real distinction is Plaintiffs (FRT) willingness to operate outside the law” BDU is without a doubt saying quite clearly that the FRT trigger is a machine gun and I hope BDU is sued out of business and that the owner is left homeless.


Seems you don’t fully understand the case.


looks like scotus will have to take another case shutting down atf


BATFE exists only to infringe on the second amendment. By its very nature, it is repugnant to the Constitution.


isn’t the burden of proof on the government to prove that a law was violated, not some subjective/selective dictate, for prosecution?
y’all should just capitulate to the superior knowledge of john about the engineering and function of the frt. he might be the member of batfe that is going to provide the input for this case.


The federal government granted a patent for FR15 rare breed triggers What does that mean in legal terms This will go to the supreme court without any doubt

Read on



Can you patent something that’s illegal?
You can’t patent abstract ideas, works of art, obvious solutions, inventions created specifically for illegal purposes, and inventions that were revealed more than 12 months before filing the patent application.

Ansel Hazen

Looks like you have provided enough documentation to prove your point of view is totally wrong.


I have watched this video over and over midway through aiming at the steel plate only one hit with a 30 round mag. Again the thought of facing down those young men in the first video who clearly like to waste ammo down range without hits on target. In a public setting a lot will go wrong in the hands of someone committing a criminal act It is a awful lot to digest in the hands of the unskilled.Just because you can doesn’t mean everybody should. That is why the marines and the military have to qualify with the weapons… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by john
Ansel Hazen

Your opinions don’t hold any weight against rule of law.


Yet NONE of these fears and fantasies are anywhere to be found in The Declaration of INDEPENDANCE, Bill of RIGHTS, The CONSTITUTION or even the Federalist Papers. ALL of which are documents that cement the freedom and liberty of WE, The People”. We do not run this country because someone is scared of something. Well, at least for the first 200 years we didn’t. Then feminizm came around, gay people started popping ou of closets, dogs started becoming cats and all sorts of unnatural crap. Now, if you want FEAR? Go watch a small child be forced to watch a… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by USMC0351Grunt

The fact is FR15 triggers or rare breed will make a semi automatic rate of fire as fast as fully automatic firearm. Installation is easy This is not my wheelhouse I would not want to have to face this down with a regular semi auto rifle or pistol in a home invasion or one on one in a public space. I do not disagree with the right of personal ownership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbCxC1BuYXw Rare Breed FRT-15 Shooting Compilation/Review *Extremely Fast* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF-k-nAqv4o Comments by users Dumped two mag through both Rare Breeds, and once you learned to brace for the recoil the guns… Read more »


Rate of fire doesn’t make it a machine gun. The mechanics of the trigger do, by law.

Some pro shooters can fire almost as fast as a machine gun, and that doesn’t make their weapons machine guns either. If you train enough with a grip strength trainer, you can do the same.

It’s all moot, as machine guns per the Constitution are legal. Congress had no authority to police or restrict their use or ownership, as they admitted in 1934 while discussing the NFA with the AG.


First I never used machine gun in my post I used fully automatic again watch the videos. I can build a car that goes 200 mph ford and chevy already do, If I drive at that speed I am breaking the law and endangering others and will be arrested. Do you see the comparison According to federal law, a machine gun is defined as a firearm that fires more than one round for every pull of the trigger. Basically, if your finger is pulling the trigger and multiple bullets are fired, that firearm is classified as a fully automatic machine… Read more »


Another restriction is a result of the Firearm Owners Protection Act (FOPA) passed in 1986. It prohibits the possession of new machine guns (made after 1986) by civilians. If the machine gun was not registered at the time the act was passed, it cannot be legally owned by a private citizen for any reason. Also, you have to watch out for specific state laws that could ban certain characteristics of some firearms. For example, you cannot legally possess, manufacture, or sell a machine gun in California, Illinois, or New Jersey. To summarize, you can’t be a prohibited person, the machine gun must… Read more »


Based on the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, machine guns fall under a special category of firearms. This means they must be registered with the government from one owner to the next so they can be tracked. Some of the NFA firearms and related equipment that fall under this special category include: Silencers Short-barreled rifles Cane guns and pen guns Short-barreled shotguns Fully automatic machine guns To legally own a machine gun, you first have to apply for approval from the federal government. After purchasing the gun, you must fill out an ATF Form 4 application and wait for approval before… Read more »

Ansel Hazen

The FRT trigger is not a machine gun so what’s your point?


So? What’s your point? We own ALL this scary stuff! So WHAT?


And certain FFL’S who’s shops can own SAMPLES, and much more.

Ansel Hazen

WTF does speeding in a perfectly legal to own car have to do with a machinegun, that by the way does have ways to be owned in a perfectly legal manner as well?


Machine gun and full auto are the same. And again, speed of fire is not what defines a full auto or machine gun; it is the mechanics of the trigger. The frt only fires one round every time the trigger is pulled to the rear. It must move forward and then be pulled back again in order to fire again. A machine gun/full auto will fire continuously with the trigger pulled back; it does not require the trigger to move forward and back again, unlike the frt which does require forward AND backward movement in order to function. That is… Read more »


WTF? You start of with WHY we can own a machine gun, then you switch to why we CAN’T?

“For private citizens, there are several facets to legally owning a machine gun. For one, you are only eligible to own a fully automatic machine gun”

John, the FACTS ARE:. We CAN own full auto weapons, tanks, howitzers, grenades, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Because we are a FREE NATION!


Free men require no permission and no license. They are not “allowed”. The gov does not have power to “allow” free men to do anything, because it is not in gov authority to dictate what free men do… nor did citizens cede any such power over themselves to the gov when We the People created the gov, and gave it very limited and specific powers. ALL POWER RESTS IN THE PEOPLE. Not the gov.


What if? John? What if an arsonist douses your house with gas and lights a match? What if your postal carrier drives his truck into your living room? WHAT IF, your TV screen blows up on you? What if you choke on a cherry from some pie you are eating? WHAT THE FUCK…… “IF”, JOHN?