Rare Breed Triggers, makers of the FRT-15 trigger system, is challenging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) following the ATF’s recent FRT-15 classification. According to the ATF’s Technology Division, the FRT-15 is a machine gun.
Rare Breed filed a lawsuit against the ATF seeking an injunction to prevent the agency from enforcing their determination as well as to block any potential civil or criminal prosecution over the possession and/or sale of the FRT-15. They argue that the FRT-15 is a semi-automatic trigger, and the ATF is wrong in its determination.
The 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.
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.
Since the user still has to pull the trigger for each shot with the FRT-15, Rare Breed says that the ATF is not applying the law as it is written when they classified the trigger system as a machine gun last July. Additionally, the trigger includes a locking bar to prevent the user from being able to pull the trigger until the firearm has completely cycled.
“Because the FRT-15 requires a pull or function for each discharge of the firearm it is not a ‘machinegun,'” reads the lawsuit. “While the FRT-15 allows for a more rapid subsequent firing of the next round by the firearm, it does not allow more than one round of ammunition to be expelled per function of the trigger, and this does not meet the definition of a “machinegun”
The lawsuit has been brought by Kevin Maxwell, who is both an attorney and the owner of Rare Breed. Prior to filing the lawsuit, Rare Breed consulted with former ATF agents who agreed that the FRT-15 is not a machinegun or machinegun part.
“These four experts, with over 100 years of combined law enforcement experience, are well known to the Defendants,” states the filing. “This is not only because of their former employment as ATF special agents, but also because the DOJ and ATF presented each of them as experts in the Defendants’ cases and criminal prosecutions on the subject of what does and does not constitute a ‘machinegun’ under federal law.”
The request for the emergency injunction is scheduled to be heard Wednesday.