Call to Action: Submit Your Comment on ATF’s New “Frame or Receiver” Rule Today!

It’s time for gun owners to step up and let the voice be heard.

UPDATE: Everytown is galvanizing their supporters to comment on the rule, according to a text message obtained by GunsAmerica. The anti-gun group is clearly concerned about the tens of thousands of negative comments, and they’re hoping their supporters can help balance the scales.

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It’s easy to get discouraged by the federal government’s constant attacks against the Second Amendment. After the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives unilaterally redefined “machine gun” last year in order to ban bump stocks (at the behest of the Trump administration), many gun owners understandably gave up on trying to lobby against bureaucratic fiat.

But each case is different, and gun owners can’t give up. Remember: the ATF went forward with their bump stock ban, but they backed down under the Obama administration after proposing a ban on “green tip” armor piercing ammunition.

Now, the ATF has proposed a new rule that threatens Second Amendment rights, and we must once again band together to stop it.

Why the Rule is a Threat to All Gun Owners

Early last month, the ATF proposed a new rule to redefine the term “firearm” under federal law. Much of the media attention focused on how the rule would ban “ghost guns,” or 80% receiver kits that allow customers to build firearms at home. The rule does exactly that, and if you care about 80% receiver kits, you don’t need to read any further in this section.

But what if you don’t enjoy building your own un-serialized firearms? Why should you care about the ATF’s new rule?

First, it’s yet another instance of bureaucratic overreach. The people’s representatives in Congress should be the only body allowed to make such a sweeping ruling related to constitutional rights. If you’re concerned about non-elected bureaucrats unilaterally creating laws out of thin air, you should care about this rule.

Second, the rule affects much more than just 80% receiver kits. As I pointed out last month, the ATF wrote the rule to give themselves the maximum amount of control over what counts as a “firearm” (and is subject to strict federal regulation) and what doesn’t.

The rule add this language to the definition of “firearm”: “a weapon parts kit that is designed to or may readily be assembled, completed, converted, or restored to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.”

What counts as “readily assembled”? The ATF is glad you asked: “A process that is fairly or reasonably efficient, quick, and easy, but not necessarily the most efficient, speedy, or easy process.”

What does that mean? It means whatever the ATF director wants it to mean. The rule states that the director will have discretion to judge whether a product is “identifiable” as a gun by consulting “any available instructions, guides, templates, jigs, equipment, tools, or marketing materials.” Joe Biden’s nominee for ATF director is an avowed anti-gun activist, and you can bet he’d want to expand the definition of “firearm” to include almost literally anything.

If you care about 80% receiver kits, bureaucratic overreach, constantly changing regulations, and empowering the ATF director with near-unlimited authority, you should care about the ATF’s new “frames and receivers” rule.

Why Our Comments Could Make a Difference

The ATF brass doesn’t care about gun owners or the Second Amendment. That much is obvious. But they’re required by law to consider all valid comments when proposing a new rule, so it’s critical we flood the agency with respectful, effective comments voicing our opposition.

The ATF has backed down before. The “green tip” rule is a great example, but even more recently the agency pulled its “arm brace” guidance after an overwhelming outcry from the gun industry and gun owners. They just reintroduced an updated version of the rule this week, but it shows that not even the ATF is immune to public backlash.

Here’s another reason to comment: good comments can help litigators fight the rule even after it’s been adopted. According to Harvard Law School, comments are crucial for future litigation: “Your comments help create the administrative record that a federal agency or decision-maker has to consider when finalizing a rule or regulation,” the law school points out.

In addition, if government agencies like the ATF fail to adequately consider public comments, a judge may invalidate the rule at a later date. In other words, if they move forward with the rule, they have to show that they’ve adequately addressed the concerns of the public. With each thoughtful, well-articulated comment advancing a new argument against the rule, that becomes more difficult.

Best Practices for Commenting

First thing’s first. No profanity. As tempting as it may be, profanity is one of the only things that will get your comment immediately disqualified, and the ATF is looking for any reason to discount as many comments as they can.

Your comment doesn’t have to be long, but it must forward a logical argument as to why the ATF is wrong to implement this new definition of “firearm.” As the Firearm Policy Coalition points out, “The more unique comments and different arguments the ATF receives, the more they will have to read and respond to (this is good)!”

Here are a few examples.

EFFECTIVE: “As an executive branch agency, the ATF should not be creating new laws, which is effectively what this rule does. I strongly oppose this rule’s new definition of ‘firearm.’ Such decisions should be left to the people’s representatives in Congress.”

EFFECTIVE: “This new definition of ‘firearm’ is vague, dangerous, and will sow confusion throughout the firearms industry. For example, there’s no way to know what the ATF means by ‘readily converted.’ If a 3D printer can make simple parts that turn a Nerf gun into a functioning firearm, do all Nerf guns fall under ATF control?” (Check this out if you’re wondering where this example comes from.)

EFFECTIVE: “I’m a law-abiding gun owner, but this new rule will make it impossible for me to know whether any given firearm or product is legal. I don’t want to go to jail just because a product that was legal is suddenly declared illegal based on an arbitrary decision by ATF leadership. I strongly oppose this new rule.”

EFFECTIVE: ” The vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens. This new definition could cause many of our law abiding citizens to be criminals. This new rule is ambiguous and gives the ATF too much power in determining what a firearm is. It should be clear and concise like it is right now. Leave the definition to Congress. I oppose this. “

NOT EFFECTIVE: “The ATF is a Commie apparatus doing the bidding of an illegitimate president, the baby-eating Joe Biden! F— you!”

If you’re an FFL, you should definitely comment. The ATF asks specifically for feedback from licensed dealers related to the “feasibility” of implementing the new definition.

How You Can Comment Right Now

There are a few different ways to comment, but if you’re reading this on a phone or computer (which you are), then you should comment via the online portal. This minimizes the chances that the ATF will be able to throw out your comment, and it ensures you’ll get your comment in before the August 19 deadline.

  1. Visit the comment page here.
  2. Click the blue “comment” button.
  3. Type your comment into the box.
  4. Say whether you’re an individual or organization, or want to make a comment anonymously.
  5. Enter the required information.
  6. Click submit.

As of June 10, over 33,000 people have submitted comments, and I haven’t been able to find a single one voicing support.

Click here to leave a comment.

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Abner Yokum July 19, 2021, 7:32 am

    What I posted:

    RE: PROPOSED RULE-Definition of Frame or Receiver and Identification of Firearms (FR Doc # 2021-10058, ATF ID-2021-0001-67069):

    “This new definition is vague and will sow confusion throughout the legally-owned firearms community. There’s no way to know what the ATF means by ‘easily’ or ‘readily.’ Easy to whom? A nun? A housewife? An armorer for a movie production company? And, what do you mean by ‘readily’? Given less than a minute? An hour? Two weeks, using a CNC milling machine? What?

    The ATF, if any organization, should know what “subjective” means by now, and how it usually turns a perhaps plausible idea into something totally sucky, discriminatory, and pointlessly burdensome to a law-abiding public. For instance, why is citizen Hunter Biden allowed to lie to the ATF on a firearms application and face no jail time, while other U.S. citizens are not? That’s called subjective, and it’s quite obvious to all citizens now, and it’s what the ATF and other alphabet Federal organizations are becoming known for. ‘No thank you’ on that one.

    I’m a law-abiding gun owner, and this new rule would make it impossible for me to know if holding any certain spare parts is legal. I don’t want to go to jail, or spend my life savings defending myself from a government bureaucracy, just because you decide to suddenly declare a piece of plastic/metal illegal because of a randomly, improperly enforced execution by the ATF.

    Thank you.

  • Jack Brown July 9, 2021, 10:26 pm

    Rules are required is any society. There must be guidelines for any society. In the United States of America those rules and guidelines begin with the Constitution of the United States of America. Our founding Fathers laid out these fundamentals for our Country with great thought and research to protect all the people in our society. These were not just suggestions. They are a list of freedoms that are guaranteed to the citizens of our Country.

    All of the rules in a true democracy should be created to help establish the safety and wellbeing of every citizen. It is important that these rules (laws) are followed by the citizens in that society. It is important that these laws are enforced in a fair and just manner to protect the society. In our society there are plenty of laws. The problem is not that we need more laws. One of the problems is that many of our laws are confusing and left to the interpretation of the enforcing agency. Another problem is that there are laws that are not being enforced.

    This law being considered today and so many others laws under consideration are being written in a way that will be increasingly difficult to enforce and will be open to different interpretations as to the degree of the violation of said law. If the laws that are on record today were enforced we would have less crime. By increasing the the amount of laws we will only be creating criminals out of the otherwise law abiding citizens. Enforcement of the current laws will reduce crime by removing the existing criminal from continuing to violate the existing laws.

    Government cannot reduce crime by creating more laws. Criminals will never agree to comply with the laws we have now. Criminals will never admit to violating the current laws. Theft, murder, gun violence, and other terrible crimes can only be stopped by enforcement of the laws that are currently being broken. More laws is NOT the answer to a better society. Proper enforcement of the current laws will stop CRIMINALS from continuing to break laws.

    Please refrain from the concept that more laws will reduce crime. Please realize that our Country needs to remove the criminals from our streets. Only then will we become a society where the citizens will be safe.

  • Zupglick July 9, 2021, 10:46 am

    Are they going to regulate Metal and Plastic stock? Anyone with a CNC mill and the Knowledge to use it can make a lower.

  • Lou Gigliotti July 5, 2021, 1:13 pm

    I posted a MSM lame stream weblink from CBS, you know the real news…
    How dangerous people get their guns in America – CBS News
    Lou

  • Paul July 2, 2021, 12:21 pm

    Enforce the laws that are already on the books instead of making new ones! A friend who has a gun shop has had several people come into purchase a firearm and were turned down by the background check and many had obviously lied on their form, he notified ATF for 3 of those attempted purchases that he knew the people had lied on the form….ATF never responded, no phone calls, no visits, nothing! The ATF can’t be bothered enforcing the fracking laws that you already have!!

  • Keith Campbell July 2, 2021, 12:01 pm

    The same ATF that sold machine guns to Mexican Drug Cartels (Fast and Furious) and NO ONE WENT TO JAIL? My home was raided by a bunch of drug addict cops on the drug task force in Bartlesville Oklahoma in the 90’s over one druggie cop’s vendetta. No warrant, due to no probable cause, illegal arrest, illegal confiscation of legal firearms by Robbie Melton, Eddie Virdin (his brother the biggest drug dealer), Dennis Nix… with the assistance of Murna Landsdown ( the lezbian cocaine addict judge). No lawyers within in 150 miles had the balls to sue them because they’re all corrupt and involve in the same things.

    • Kane July 5, 2021, 9:49 am

      And the details of the BATFE OP are sealed. A Federal Agent was killed with weapons that FFL Dealers were forced to OK by the BATFE. Who is being protected?

      And then there is Ashli Babbit (sp?) who was killed along with the Freedom of Information Act, the 4th Estate and half a dozen other vital institutions.

      Nothing to see here.

  • Stephen June 21, 2021, 12:15 pm

    This is supposed to be a gov’t by and for the people. Not some non-elected punk coming up with something and not asking first, just doing. It might be a very good idea for these wanna be’s to read the Constitution before implementing these brain-dead ideas. This is not, afterall, some backwater country with a dictator. Either follow the Constitution, or get out. It’s just that simple. Elected officials that cannot follow simple instructions such as this will be removed from the offices they hold by simple majority. If there is a problem, other ways can be put into play. This is why we have a judicial system…

  • survivor50 June 18, 2021, 7:59 am

    NEXT UP !!! FOOT BRACES … Stop laughing… I saw a guy shoot a BOW and ARROW with his FEET on TV sooo…

    ” NEWS FLASH !!! ”

    ATF bans FOOT BRACES !!!

    Could convert Bow and Arrows to FULL AUTO , or Short Bows… easily concealed…

  • survivor50 June 18, 2021, 7:47 am

    Another USELESS ” Law/Rule “… From Alcohol,Tobacco,and Firearms one stop shopping center…

    Show me the FBI stats on how many crimes (Any Crime) committed with a “ghost gun” or 80% receiver kit ” !
    ANY crime… ANYWHERE… (Crickets… Crickets…)

    Where’s the FIRE here ? OH… there isn’t one … So just another ” GUN GRAB” attempt !

    You think Jambone ” X ” is going to BUILD an 80% gun ? Because he has a RIGHTEOUS machine shop ?
    Or buy it on the BLACK MARKET behind Uncle Pooky’s ” STOP-N-ROB ” on MLK Blvd !!!

    There’s no one I know of, that has made their own firearm, who committed any crime of any kind, until the ATF made it a CRIME !!!
    DAMN !!! JOB SECURITY !!! I should have known …

  • Joseph R. Santos June 14, 2021, 5:29 pm

    Lets talk about Sleepy Joe a two time looser for President he won with a Soft Coue. The ATF has been a goon squad for the Government at least since Waco Texas, and Ruby Ridge, and maybe much longer. I have noticed the ATF allow bump-stock, and short barrel weapons only later to ban them in the future this empowers the Government to take away our 2ND. Amendment rights when most of us will not give up our Guns. For the record I never liked bump-stock weapons I prefer Full Auto.

  • RICK MCCANN June 14, 2021, 2:35 pm

    Congress is the vehicle that should be ramrodding this, not ATF. Just like passing 1.9 trillion bills using reconciliation. Get it together America.

  • CHARLES SMITH June 14, 2021, 12:32 pm

    ATF IS FULL OF SHIT.

  • David Chamberlain June 14, 2021, 11:44 am

    Anybody that actually thinks commenting will help at all is living in a dream world.
    The opinion of the American people is irrelevant to these political overlords and has been since at least Clinton.

  • Rusty June 14, 2021, 10:00 am

    Funny, I was beating the heck outa the drum when BumpStocks were ruled out of existence under Trump, but nobody seemed to care.

    Nothing like setting an unconstitutional precedent under a 2A “friendly” president, by not pushing back, contacting representatives, openly criticizing the Trump administration, etc.

    Don’t feel too bad, because this all started with THAT slide down the “Slippery Slope” I do hope LaPeire has a fine, expensive suit to wear when he appears in public to express OUR NRAs “Dissapointment”

    Gotta make sure he can ride out the storm on OUR yacht….(should be ours, we paid our dues, only to be mid-appropriated)

    • Chris June 14, 2021, 1:18 pm

      I agree 100%. Nobody batted an eye when bumpstocks were banned at the repeated insistence of President Trump. That just laid further groundwork and precedent for the executive branch of our government to rule via edicts rather than by laws passed by the elected representatives of the people. Even though we may not agree with those representatives, they are at least appointed by, and beholden to, the American citizens, unlike the ATF, which has little incentive to listen to or consider the wants and needs of the people, as the people cannot remove them from office. In my opinion, everyone in this comments section should click that link at the end of the article and tell the ATF that they should not be the ones making laws and setting definitions. It may not be a great amount of power for any one person, but the comments to the ATF have been effective in the past, so we should still take advantage of it

      • jerry July 5, 2021, 3:21 pm

        Yes I was a little disappointed in the bump-stock ruling. I say “a little” because I just don’t like bump stocks. Consider that Trump, a non-shooter but a 2nd amendment supporter on principle (because he has a brain and loves our country and our Constitution) Just had 50 americans murdered with bump-stock equipped rifles. On HIS watch. I think we should ignore this debatable “mistake.” YOU GUYS WHO HOOT AND HOLLER AGAINST TRUMP AND THE NRA ARE DOING EXACTLY WHAT THE ANTI-GUNNERS WANT YOU TO DO! Thanks a lot. You don’t know the harm you do!

    • Jim June 18, 2021, 6:16 am

      You do realize that executive order has been overturned because people did fight back?

    • Jim June 18, 2021, 6:26 am

      You realize that rule was overturned right? Because people did push back.

      • Slim June 22, 2021, 11:16 pm

        And yet there still banned! So what executions your point?!

        • Rusty June 28, 2021, 11:48 am

          I do believe they are talking about the ban on surplus armor piercing 5.56 X45. There WAS a ban to be put in place, because of it being able to be fired in then ar15 pistol that was becoming increasingly popular under Obama.

          After SIGNIFICANT push back from the NRA, private citizens, etc. it was rescinded…..

  • Bill June 14, 2021, 9:47 am

    I tried but couldn’t figure out how to leave a comment on pistol braces. Could your link be more specific??

  • bill cattell June 14, 2021, 9:20 am

    No gun law is constitutional, people should learn to read just what the constitution says and quit trying to change it’s meaning.

    • PB- dave June 14, 2021, 10:08 am

      The founders knew nothing is perfect, and built in a way to make things right… Amendments to the Constitution. If gun-grabbers want to do away with guns, just make an amendment to the bill of rights. The challenge would be getting it ratified through the individual states. Maybe the pro-gun people should Amend the 2nd Amendment with clear & up to date language ?

      • Jim June 18, 2021, 6:20 am

        Shall not be infringed still means the same thing today as it did when it was written. No update needed.

        • Mitch June 21, 2021, 7:32 am

          That’s it.

  • Give Me Freedom June 14, 2021, 9:03 am

    I already submitted my comments to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms using Gun Owners of America software tools. I suggest everyone else also submit a comment.

    We have a right to create our own firearms without the government permission. This is an attempt to register more firearms out there for possible future confiscation. A Bureau should not be able to make up laws on their own. That is the job of Congress.

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