ATF Discontinues Accessory Classifications

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.

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22 thoughts on “ATF Discontinues Accessory Classifications

    1. It means that if you submit an accessory to ATF for classification (to determine whether it converts something to a firearm or into a NFA firearm), ATF will not respond with a classification unless it was submitted attached to a firearm. For example, if someone invented an arm brace and only sent ATF the arm brace to be classified, ATF would return it without classifying it. If that same arm brace were attached to a firearm when submitted, ATF would classify the item.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Someone over there probably got their ass reamed out over some shit and this seems like a quick future fix for the old “oops we shouldn’t have ok’d (x item) and it’s too late to go back” Now they want a solid example sent in, so they can really explore any and all possibilities to any new items that could be used as intended or not.


  1. Interesting twists… and if you submit on a particular firearm perhaps any other derivations need to be considered and submitted as well? Seems goofy. Why so difficult to accept a description and diagrams such as ‘attaches to buffer tube of standard AR pistol’.?


  2. I just woke up & got this & the ATF notice twice, is it 1938 Berlin again? What happens if I take or send a sevice attached to a firearm that’s not appoved a semi auto, do I get arrested for using the only avenue they provide?
    The FAA is doing it’s own rules aka laws on drones also.


  3. It also means that you can’t just ask, “Is this legal?” You have to act first, and then ask, “Was that a felony or not?”


  4. What about home made sound suppression devices, if we send pic of it attached to the firearm before getting the ATF TAX stamp, we’ve already been classified a Felon.


  5. So you essentially have to risk catching a charge for an NFA violation if the item you want classified ends up being classified as such, even if you have an otherwise reasonable belief that it does not.

    I think that’s intended to chill innovation and intimidate people to NOT even ask.


  6. i like this and am worried about happy cause anyway the government get smaller im happy,but then does this now open the door for a rogue doj or administration to regulate via backdoor?


  7. This is disappointing, as I was just considering sending in the pistol accessory I’ve developed for classification. Given that I’m just getting started, I don’t exactly want to mail in a personal firearm and wait months or years for it’s return… Perhaps I’ll buy a beat up old Hi-Point?


  8. I would love to hear some expert opinion by Mr. Kraut and others on the general legal standing and alleged ‘ authority ‘ of B.A.T.F. , since it seems to have been created improperly ( Fraudulently ) and not by act of congress but by slight of hand and regulatory FIAT. I don’t know if ” Color Of Law ” is the proper term but it sure seems to fit. The following body of research traces BATF and IRS back to the ” Revenuers ” of prohibition , then through several dubious name changes , Trusts of Puerto Rico, and claims by Secretarys of Treasury that they have powers that they in fact do NOT have to create these alleged ‘ agencies ‘
    If even only SOME of this is true it exposes monumental fraud on We The People !

    ( The FEDERAL Alcohol Administration, which ADMINISTERS the Federal Alcohol Act, and offices of members and Administrator thereof, were ABOLISHED, and their functions were DIRECTED to be ADMINISTERED under direction and supervision of Secretary of Treasury through Bureau of Internal Revenue, now Internal Revenue Service. THE FEDERAL ALCOHOL ACT WAS RULED “UNCONSTITUTIONAL” WITHIN THE 50 STATES; so was transferred to the B.I.R., which is an OFFSHORE TRUST, which became the I.R.S.; which gave BIRTH to the B.A.T.F.; AND SOMEHOW, the term [Director, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Division], which is a PERSON within the B.A.T.F., spawned the alleged Internal Revenue Service via another flick of the pen .)


  9. ‘Cause they screwed up with the bump stock in 2010. Now they want to retroactively classify it as a “machine gun” which it isn’t, by redefining what makes a “machine Gun”. Their own wording still says it isn’t.
    From another one of your articles.
    “The term “machine gun” includes bump-stock-type devices, i.e., devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.”
    That says if I remove my finger from the stock it keeps firing. We know that isn’t true.
    My finger continuously manipulates the trigger with assistance, and I can do it myself WITHOUT a bump stock with enough practice.
    Just Google “bump fire with bump stock”
    I guess that means my trigger finger is now a “machine Gun”. Or is this leading up to banning ALL semi auto firearms as “machine guns”?
    Somebody better sue the ATF and the DoJ over this.


  10. This move lets ATF/LEO basically declare any firearm illegal on the spot and then the citizen must prove their innocence. This is BS!


  11. “… submitted samples for classification can expect to have them returned without being classified.”

    So, now a firearm must be submitted as well. I predict that the firearm – and any “accessory” attached to it – will both be judged Prima-Facie evidence of violation of federal law (regardless of their legality or lack of intent to violate federal law), confiscated, and the submitter prosecuted under GCA/NFA/Whatever.

    Remember: They want the guns. And, they are going to try to grab them and keep them any way they can. This new procedure is merely another ratcheting-up of that process.

    Isn’t the requirement for this sort of submission a violation of one’s 5A Right against self-incrimination? Oh, I forgot. The Constitution is just a “G*d-damn piece of paper” [- GWBush], that is merely a suggestion today.


  12. The purpose here is to be able to justify how they had previously determined bump stocks were perfectly legal accessories, but now claim that they’re machine guns. They’re going to blame the change in determination on the fact that the bump stock submitted wasn’t attached to a firearm, so they were unable to determine correctly what it was or how it functioned.


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