WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) will possibly be unveiling the new rule dealing with unfinished frames and receivers tomorrow. Monday, April 4th, 2022.
The rule comes almost a year to the day that President Joe Biden directed the ATF to develop and implement new regulations surrounding privately manufactured firearms (PFM) and pistol stabilizing devices. He directed the ATF to have a proposed rule for PFMs within 30 days. He then gave the ATF 60 days to come up with regulations on pistol stabilizing devices.
The rule is expected to require the serialization of all frames and receivers before they can be sold or transferred by a business. Gun owners will not be required to serialize the frames currently in their possession. The rule affects dealers and manufacturers such as Polymer80 and JSD Supply. Unless the owner of a firearm built from a kit takes it into a gunsmith to have work done on the gun, they will not be required to serialize the gun.
It is expected that unserialized frames will still be able to be transferred without being serialized by individuals in states that do not have universal background checks. Any firearm built from a kit being transferred via an FFL will need to be serialized. Anytime an FFL takes a frame into their possession, the frame will need to be serialized
It is expected that the suppressor tubes (aka metal tubes) will now be treated as a receiver under the new rule. A modular suppressor will need each small section serialized, although it will require only a single tax stamp. This change will increase the cost of modular suppressors if it is even possible to serialize all sections.
Biden Whitehouse Block Extended Grace Periods
The ATF wanted a 90-day grace period until the new rule would officially go into effect. The Whitehouse pushed back, believing that the grace period was too long. It is thought the Whitehouse settled for a 60-day grace period before the new rule goes into effect.
The President was under pressure from anti-gun groups that felt disappointed with the President’s lack of action against guns. As well as his failed attempt to nominate anti-gun advocate David Chipman to head the ATF. Due to heavy opposition, the President would withdraw his nomination of the Giffords employee.
New Leadership for ATF?
On Monday, Biden will nominate anti-gun advocate Steve Dettelbach to head the ATF. The failed Democrat candidate believes in banning so-called “assault weapons” and universal background checks. He has an A rating from multiple anti-gun groups.
The New Rules
The ATF submitted the proposed rule to the Federal Register for an open comment period where the public could respond. The ATF received nearly 300,000 comments from the public regarding the proposed rule. The vast majority of the public’s comments were in opposition to the proposed rule.
The new rule is believed to be 350 pages long. Many of the pages in the rule is the ATF responding to comments gathered during the comment period. The ATF has a duty to respond to many of the comments as possible. It is not known how many comments were not answered.
Gun rights advocates believe that the ATF is overstepping its authority. They believe the Bureau is creating new de facto federal law by abusing Chevron deference. This alleged abuse of authority is the same the agency used to ban bump stocks which led to the case currently being considered by the Supreme Court.
Until the ATF used Chevron deference to ban bump stocks, it was never applied to a criminal statute. When Chevron was decided, it was never meant to apply to criminal law. The ATF vastly expanded the scope of Chevron. If Gun Owners of America is successful in its case in front of the Supreme Court, it could mean that the new rule could be voided.
Biden will make the announcements at the Whitehouse surrounded by anti-gun advocates and anti-gun politicians. Failed pillow salesman David Hogg and anti-gun Senate Democrat Chris Murphy will both attend Monday’s event.
The rule will most certainly face legal challenges from gun groups. Gun Owners of America and Firearms Policy Coalition are already gearing up lawsuits. Other groups will most likely follow suit.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.