The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is coming after certain aftermarket triggers starting now, according to leaked emails from the agency obtained by Gun Owners of America.
Specifically, ATF agents are going to start confiscating Rare Breed’s Forced Reset Triggers (FRTs) and BDU’s Wide Open Triggers on the grounds that they are unregistered “machine guns” in violation of the Hughes Amendment.
“Please be prepared to take possession of any documents and FRTs the manufacturer, distributor or retailer offers to surrender. They may choose to abandon the items in which case give them a forfeiture of property notice,” states one of the leaked emails, per GOAs alert (see video above).
“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,” it continues.
GOA also notes that in the correspondences ATF refers to those in possession of FRTs as “defendants,” suggesting that they’ve already committed a crime.
Per federal law, possession of an unregistered “machine gun” is a felony offense that carries with it a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine not to exceed $250,000.
“With its new reckless interpretation that FRTs are machine guns, ATF is playing games with your life,” said Phil Reboli, senior policy advisor for GOA.
Rare Breed’s FRT-15 works mostly like a normal AR-style cassette-type trigger pack. It’s a drop-in assembly with one extra function: after a round is fired and the bolt cycles, it cocks the hammer and at the same time, resets the trigger, as GunsAmerica previously reported.
That’s how the FRT-15 gives shooters the ability to repeatedly pull the trigger quickly, similar to how practice with a light trigger can also be used to shoot rapid strings of fire. According to the law, a machine gun isn’t a gun that can be fired quickly, it’s a gun that fires more than one shot per pull of the trigger.
However, last Summer, ATF’s Technology Division departed from the conventional interpretation and classified FRTs as “machine guns.” Now, any manufacturer, distributor, retailer or consumer in possession of an FRT is a target of the agency.
For those who think a run-in with the agency can’t happen to them, they ought to consider the story of Sacramento fire captain Derik Oakes.
In 2019, ATF got wind that he was in possession of an “80% Glock Auto Switch” and came knocking on his door. Though Oakes obtained the device prior to the ATF’s 2018 determination on its illegality, it didn’t matter. Oakes, who is by all accounts a standup citizen, was still put through the wringer.
Oakes was charged with multiple felonies and his firearms were abruptly confiscated. Last we spoke, he was still fighting the charges in court.
“You think you’re doing the right thing, and you’re not,” Oakes said in a 2021 interview with GunsAmerica. “The ATF can just change their mind on something, get a warrant, and come to your house.”
Stay tuned for updates.