ATF Partners with Anti-gun
Researchers to Expand Agency's Power

By NRA-ILA. May 23, 2022

On May 17, the Department of Justice announced the release of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives publication titled the National Firearms in Commerce and Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). The report is the result of the Biden-Harris Administration’s April 2021 “Initial Actions to Address the Gun Violence,” which called for the creation of “an annual report on firearms trafficking.” The May 17 release is the first volume in a planned four-volume series.

Despite the presidential mandate, the first volume of the NFCTA is long on “commerce” and short on “trafficking.” Most of the document is a collection and presentation of firearm industry data that is available elsewhere. To the extent that the document is a convenient compilation of firearm industry data, it is useful. Gun rights supporters inclined to delve into the 308-page document will find much of interest.

Those who appreciate Second Amendment rights will be less enthused by portions of the document devoted to touting ATF’s recent controversial regulatory moves and the frequent editorializing.

The document spends significant space defending ATF Final Rule 2021R-05F concerning the “Definition of ‘Frame or Receiver’ and Identification of Firearms,” which seeks to make it more difficult for Americans to exercise their longstanding right to make their own firearms for personal use. NRA-ILA filed extensive comments opposing ATF’s perversion of federal law, which readers can examine here.

Likewise, the NFCTA attempts to justify ATF Proposed Rule 2021R-08 “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces.’” That rule seeks to re-classify millions of commonly-owned pistols as short-barreled rifles, items that are required to be registered under the National Firearms Act, based on the pistols being equipped with a stabilizing brace that allows for more accurate one-handed shooting. .....


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