Moments ago, I received an email that ATF’s Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch would no longer offer classifications on accessories, effective immediately.
The Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch (FTISB) classifies firearms as defined by the Gun Control Act (GCA) and National Firearms Act (NFA) based on the configuration and the design features of the firearm as submitted by members of the industry.
The notification stated that “any requests for a determination on how an accessory affects the classification of a firearm under the GCA or NFA must include a firearm with the accessory already installed.” The new stance makes it clear that except in cases of conditional import determinations, FTISB will no longer issue determinations on accessories that are not installed on a firearm for determination purposes.
Those that have recently submitted samples for classification can expect to have them returned without being classified.
Simply put, if an individual or company submits an accessory to ATF for classification and it is not attached to a firearm, they won’t be rendering any decisions on it. Some readers inquired what would happen in a case where the accessory made the firearm subject to the control of the NFA. In the past, ATF has returned those items to individuals or companies that hold the appropriate type of SOT. If the individual or company lacks the appropriate SOT, ATF has not returned the item. To the best of my knowledge, ATF has not previously charged any individuals with GCA or NFA violations for seeking a determination.
With ATF and DOJ expected to take regulatory action in the future, one has to wonder if this is in anyway related.