Skip to comments.BATFE Modifies Shotgun Import Ban Study & Still Gets It Wrong
Posted on 07/17/2012 5:25:58 AM PDT by marktwain
Charlotte, NC --(Ammoland.com)- In January 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released its Study on the Importability of Certain Shotguns.
Using the unconstitutional and oft-abused sporting purposes test as justification, BATFE concocted a list of ten popular shotgun features and determined that shotguns containing any of these features are not particularly suitable for nor readily adaptable to generally recognized sporting purposes. Guns with any of these features will therefore be prohibited from importation.
A public comment period followed the studys release. NRA-ILA submitted extensive commentsand encouraged gun owners to do the same. After receiving roughly 21,000 comments, with approximately 15,000 of them challenging the constitutionality and efficacy of the sporting purposes test, BATFE has been compelled to reverse two of its more onerous determinations.In an update to the shotgun importation study, the BATFE determined that it will no longer consider forward pistol grips or integrated rail systems as features barring importation.
To justify its change of opinion on forward pistol grips, BATFE stated, there is a convincing argument that this feature is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes because it permits accuracy and maneuverability even for activities such as bird hunting or skeet shooting. The update also mentions public comments explaining the importance of forward pistol grips for disabled shooters. BATFE goes on to explain that its determination of forward pistol grips as sporting necessitates their acceptance of integrated rail systems, as rail systems are the primary way in which shooters mount forward pistol grips.
However, gun owners shouldnt confuse BATFEs shift on these features with a newfound respect for Second Amendment rights. The reversal is couched in language justifying the change under the sporting purposes test and most of the update is dedicated to justifying the agencys previous report.
In response to the thousands of commenters who suggested the sporting purposes test violates their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, BATFE is dismissive. The agency pays lip-service to Second Amendment rights, citing a central piece of the Heller decision, but then states with no further explanation, concerns about the constitutionality of [the sporting purposes test] or ATF application of this statute are without legal basis. But even a casual reading of the Heller decision proves such concerns do have basis. Rather than duck hunting, Justice Scalia found self-defense to be the central component of the right itself.
Similarly strained is BATFEs continued defense of the position that shotguns with the remaining banned features are not generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes. The agency notes that it received numerous comments regarding shooting sports such as three-gun, in which the features banned by BATFE are commonly used. BATFE compares the United States Practical Shooting Associations 19,000 members who participate in three-gun, to the 10.7 million licensed hunters nationwide and comes to the conclusion that since this measure of the three-gun community is .18% the size of the hunting community, three-gun equipment is not generally recognized as suitable for sporting purposes.
This argument is disingenuous and exposes BATFEs bias against certain popular firearms. In determining generally recognized, BATFE treats hunting as a single widely practiced sport, while breaking the shooting sports into bite-size categories small enough to ban the equipment the agency finds objectionable.
In downplaying the bans burden on gun owners, BATFE says, it should be noted that the sporting purposes test under 18 U.S.C. § 925(d)(3) applies as a limitation only on the importation of shotguns. Not mentioned is that under federal law an individual is also barred from assembling a semi-automatic shotgun that that would otherwise be prohibited from importation. Under BATFEs scheme, a person who mounts a flashlight or telescoping stock on an imported semi-automatic shotgun could be in violation of federal law.
BATFEs partial reversal shows the positive impact determined gun owners can have on the regulatory process. But this battle is far from over. In the short-term, NRA-ILA will continue to work with its friends in Congress, using the appropriation process to prohibit the BATFE from enforcing this ban, as has been the case since 2011. In the long-term NRA-ILA will work for the repeal of the unconstitutional sporting purposes test.
About: Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org
However, I believe the Federal government does have the power to regulate trade across international borders.
Prohibit the BATF from placing further restrictions on guns of any type.
Existing restrictions are to be reviewed for consideration of repeal.
Speaking of support of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, opposition to the NFA of 1934 and the 1986 gun laws should be at the top of your list along with GCA 1968. All are in direct violation of “Shall Not Be Infringed”, and result in the disarmament of the American People vis a vis their Government.
Every hour that passes the disparity in arms only increases.
Flashlight on a shotgun is very common in Mi for hunting coyotes at night. In fact your only other legal choice is a 22 rimfire that remains unloaded until you are ‘at the point of kill’.
Might be practical for treed raccoons, but it would be beyond worthless for yotes.
The correct test for importability:
1. Are the parts dangerously radioactive (e.g. > 1 microcurie per item)?
2. Do the parts carry deadly organisms (e.g. ebola, smallpox)?
3. Do the parts contain chemical weapons in dangerous quantities (e.g. sarin, VX, >> 1 ng)?
3. Are the parts too big to fit on a cargo boat?
4. Are the parts too heavy to allow a cargo boat to float?
If the answer is no to all of the above, the parts are importable. Spot checks to questions 1-5 are acceptable.
Existing restrictions are to be reviewed for consideration of repeal.
Fixed it for you.
My "#1 Son" (US Army -- 20 years) uses his Mossberg 590 sans stock (with only fore and aft pistol grips) to shoot skeet. Even though he shoots "from the hip", I have a hard time beating him with my standard Model 12.
Now, that is sporting!!
Obviously, there is a conflict inherent in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Given that the Founders insisted on the addition of a Bill of Rights before agreeing to the unmodified version of the Constitution, which concept do you believe should control our government?
That the government may regulate international trade? Or that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?
The "sporting purposes" test is a thumb in the eye of freedom-loving citizens. The Second Amendment is not simply about hunting and it is certainly not simply about target shooting.
Is there a "sporting purposes" policy regarding the importation of books? Why not?
Why, of course! The Second Amendment mentions NOTHING about 'sporting'....Unless, you want to give some BATFE a$$wipe the 'heads up' before you exercise your constitutional right to bear arms.