ILA | URGENT! Public Comments on ATF “Frame or Receiver” Rule Due by August 19

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The Biden Department of Justice is threatening to upend the U.S. firearm industry and how Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights.

On May 21, ATF published a new proposed rule in the Federal Register entitled Definition of “Frame or Receiver” and Identification of Firearms. That publication triggered the opening of a public comment period. The comment period will remain open until August 19, 2021.

In part, the Justice Department is seeking to destroy law-abiding Americans’ ability to make their own firearms for personal use by restricting access to popular items hobbyists and gun rights enthusiasts use to exercise this right. Americans’ have enjoyed the right to make firearms for personal use since before the Revolution.

The proposed rule would also create new definitions for the terms “firearm frame or receiver,” “frame or receiver,” “firearm,” “gunsmith,” “complete weapon,” “complete muffler or silencer device,” “privately made firearm,” and “readily.” The new definitions would make it possible for firearms to have more than one “frame or receiver.” This conclusion is both at odds with the controlling federal statute and could disrupt the entire firearm industry.

In addition to these changes, ATF is seeking to create an entirely new process for licensed firearm dealers to apply serial numbers to unserialized firearms that come into their possession and to require the indefinite storage of firearm records by licensees. This requirement has no basis in federal statute.

These are ATF’s instructions for submitting comments:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number ATF 2021R-05, by any of the following methods—

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Andrew Lange, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Ave. NE, Mail Stop 6N-518, Washington, DC 20226; ATTN: ATF 2021R-05.
  • Fax: (202) 648-9741.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number (ATF 2021R-05) for this notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM” or “proposed rule”). All properly completed comments received will be posted without change to the Federal eRulemaking portal, www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

ATF also provided the following contact information for any questions regarding the proposed rule:

Andrew Lange, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York Ave. NE, Mail Stop 6N-518, Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-7070 (this is not a toll-free number).

In addition to these technical requirements, it’s important to keep the following in mind when submitting comments.

  • Comments must be professional and respectful. While it is extremely frustrating, to say the least, that the Biden Administration is attempting to blame law-abiding gun owners for the actions of criminals, making comments that include profanity will make it easy for ATF to summarily reject those comments.
  • Comments should focus on the arbitrary nature of the proposed rule. The fact that it is essentially impossible to determine when a piece of metal or plastic becomes a firearm under the proposed rule and leaves such an important determination to administrative fiat makes the proposed rule incompatible with American principles of due process of law.
  • Comments should be individualized and focus on how the proposed rule would impact the commenter. ATF will treat all identical comments as a single comment, so it is important to avoid using a form comment.

Comments can be submitted directly through regulations.gov.



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