A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) document leaked by The Reload could redefine which parts of a gun are considered a "firearm." The document, according to America's 1st Freedom, would change the federal definition of a frame and receiver as well as change federal marking requirements for firearms.
According to the NRA-ILA, "The rule, if implemented, would completely upend the firearm industry by changing what parts must legally be considered a 'firearm' under federal law."
The 107-page document also matches the title and number of a bill submitted to the Office of Information and Regulatory affairs in the third week of April titled "Definition of 'Frame or Receiver' and Identification of Firearms."
The ATF's chief of public affairs, April Langwell, said, "I cannot confirm, nor deny, the authenticity of the document, nor can I comment on internal communications or deliberations on potential or hypothetical rulemakings."
The new definitions stated in the document would make it possible for firearms to have more than one "frame or receiver," which is at odds with the federal controlling statute. The rule would also create a new marking requirement for particular Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL). The ATF said the law would significantly impact companies selling unfinished receivers — they would have to "adapt."
"Based on current marketing related to the unregulated sale of certain firearm parts kits, ATF anticipates that these non-FFLs would either become FFLs or would take a loss in revenue to sell a parts kit that does not contain a frame or receiver, or simply sell the frame or receiver, but not both," the document stated.
The document went on to state the law could impact small firearm manufacturers. "ATF estimates the majority of affected entities are small entities that would experience a range of costs; therefore, this rule may have a significant impact on small entities."
President Joe Biden has also nominated gun-control group adviser David Chipman to run the ATF. He stated told a congressional committee that, "Simply reinstating the 90s-era ban on assault weapons is not enough. Instead, we should regulate a broader class of firearms, including assault weapons manufactured before the law's enactment … while banning the future manufacture and sale of these firearms."
If the document is authentic, the rule should be published this week, and interested parties would have 90 days to comment on it. All comments must include the document's docket number, ATF 2021R-05.
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