May 22, 2021
On May 21, 2021, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (“ATF”) published its official proposal to amend the federal definition of a “firearm,” and implement other corresponding changes. RLF previously reported that the new proposal is designed to enable the federal government to regulate and control the production of so-called “ghost guns.” If enacted, the new regulatory framework would expand the federal definition of a “firearm” to include “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.” The definition of a “receiver” would also be amended to include “partially completed” receivers. These changes would apply existing federal law to 80% lower receiver kits, requiring manufacturers of the kits to maintain a Federal Firearms License, and serialize the partially completed receivers that they sell. By publishing the proposal, the ATF is taking the procedural steps necessary to change federal firearm law, and to further the Biden Administration’s gun control agenda.
The proposed amendments would have a substantial impact on the firearm industry, particularly those businesses involved in manufacturing and/or distributing 80% lower receiver kits. The ATF approximates that the proposal will affect roughly 132,023 entities nationwide, and concedes that the “majority of affected entities are small entities.” The proposal will remain open to public comment for 90 days. There are three ways to comment: (1) by accessing the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov; (2) by sending a letter to Andrew Lange, Office of Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 99 New York Ave. NE, Mail Stop 6N–518, Washington, DC 20226; ATTN: ATF 2021R–05.; or (3) by fax to (202) 648– 9741.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor all developments with respect to federal firearm laws and regulations. If you have any questions concerning the potential impact of the ATF’s proposal, or the effect of any proposed, or newly enacted, law in your state, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.