Following a study released last week by the ATF on the legality of importing shotguns with “non-sporting” features, many shooters and sportsmen expressed outrage. Following the release of that study, the ATF has opened up a 30-day comment period for feedback on its proposed ban on the importation of shotguns with certain “non-sporting features.”
According to the study, despite the fact that popular shooting sports organizations such as USPSA and IPSC have tens of thousands of competitors, the working group conducting the study felt:
…participation in and popularity of practical shooting events as governed by formal rules, such as those of the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) and International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), to determine whether it was appropriate to consider these events a “sporting purpose” under § 925(d)(3). While the number of members reported for USPSA is similar to the membership for other shotgun shooting organizations, the working group ultimately determined that it was not appropriate to use this shotgun study to determine whether practical shooting is “sporting” under § 925(d)(3).
Read more from Jim Shepherd at The Outdoor Wire:
Yesterday afternoon, the ATF released a study regarding the importability of certain shotguns. It might behoove anyone who believes that the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) or International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) are sporting communities to chime in on this latest bit of research. It is accepting comments through May 1, 2011.
The ATF report follows—it having researched the “Importability of Certain Shotguns.” In that study, it determined there is a class of… gasp…assault shotguns. OK, it’s not exactly saying “assault weapons” and it’s making a decided distinction between military-style and sporting shotguns. Basically, you might be able to shoot sporting clays with your black shotgun, and that doesn’t mean it is not an inherently evil weapon, which would turn the United States into the “dumping ground for surplus military armaments.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
At the risk of inviting a visit from the Bureau that seems more intent on hassling legal firearms owners than catching criminals who should not have them, it is another bit of trial ballooning to start the inevitable process of regulating firearms based on look.
If a shotgun has no legitimate sporting purpose, it will be subject to stringent importation restrictions, if not an outright ban.
If you’re a practical shooter or compete in 3-gun you might think—correctly—that the Saiga shotguns favored by many competition shooters would be on the no-fly list.
Then, the list expands to cover any one of the usual suspects of “assault type” features: adjustable stocks, rails, extended magazines; you know the drill. You can quite easily convert your Benelli, Beretta, Remington or Browning sporting shotgun into a forbidden class by the simple addition of an extended magazine, adjustable stock or rail capable of holding a foregrip, light or other non-sporting accessory.
Other “non-sporting” features include (but are not limited to):
- Light rails
- Removeable magazines
- Thumbhole-style stocks (Remington SP-10 cited)
- Pistol grip-style stocks (Mossberg 935 Magnum Turkey)
- “stocks with separate grip” (Saiga semi-automatic)
We’ll give you the web citation so you can read the report for yourself; the concluding paragraph tells the story:
“The purpose of section 925(d)(3) is to provide a limited exception to the general prohibition on the importation of firearms without placing “any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession or use of firearms….”51 Our determinations will in no way preclude the importation of true sporting shotguns. While it will certainly prevent the importation of certain shotguns, we believe that those shotguns containing the enumerated features cannot be fairly characterized as “sporting” shotguns under the statute. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the working group that shotguns with any of the characteristics or features listed above not be authorized for importation.”
And as we wrote yesterday, simply because the State of the Union did not include a call for stronger firearms regulations following the shooting of Representative Giffords of Arizona, there is no reason to think there is not an assault on firearms coming. Two pieces of legislation have already been introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate, and we received news yesterday from a source inside the White House saying President Obama will call for increased gun control laws.
That proposal will be made, we are told, within the next two weeks, and will call for an outright ban on all firearm magazines of more than ten rounds. The proposal will also call for a tightening of the NICS system requiring a significant upgrading of the system, especially when it comes to the question of mental instability.
The mainstream media is starting to float trial balloons referencing the purported White House proposal, with several liberal websites and bloggers banging the drum for support. The Brady Center is also starting to make noise, meaning they believe the White House may finally be ready to take a stand—against gun owners.
What are your thoughts on stands being taken against gun owners? Share in the comment section.