Today, the ATF announced at the 2011 SHOT Show that a new ruling would be issued on Monday, January 24, 2011, regarding the importability of certain shotguns. ATF informed the audience at the ATF Townhall meeting that they wanted to ensure that they were properly and justly enforcing the requirements of a shotgun being for a “sporting purpose.”
This is definitely concerning given the huge demand for certain shotguns like the Saiga platform, which has seen a noticeable increase in demand. While ATF would not comment on which shotguns will be named in this ruling, I would not be surprised to hear that the Saiga is going to be mentioned in the ruling, given the large capacity magazines and feeding devices that are now available.
Some may remember that ATF determined that the USAS-12 was a Destructive Device because it had “no sporting purpose,” and had a barrel diameter of more than 1/2 inch. The determination that it had no sporting purpose was largely because of the semi-automatic shotgun having large magazine and drum feeding devices, for which, ATF said there would be no sporting purpose.
When I inquired whether this ruling would encompass any DD determinations, the response was that it would not; however, I believe the affect will be that certain US-made shotguns may end up becoming DD’s by this new ruling.