National Association for Gun Rights Files Lawsuit against the ATF

Aug 9, 2023

Washington, D.C.- Today the National Association for Gun Rights filed a lawsuit against the ATF, National Association for Gun Rights v. Garland, in federal court in the Northern District of Texas. This action was filed in the same appellate circuit that ruled earlier this year that bump stocks are not machine guns in Cargill v. Garland.

In an open letter to all federal firearms dealers in 2022, the ATF stated: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently examined devices commonly known as ‘forced reset triggers’ (FRTs) and has determined that some of them are ‘firearms’ and ‘machineguns’ as defined in the National Firearms Act (NFA), and ‘machineguns’ as defined in the Gun Control Act (GCA).”Rare Breed Triggers began selling the Forced Reset Trigger in December of 2020, after having the design analyzed by multiple legal teams and firearms experts. By January 13th of 2021, the ATF had launched efforts to have FRTs outlawed. The ATF tried to justify this by saying that “multiple concerned citizens” reached out to them regarding Rare Breed’s FRTs, however FOIA requests proved that there was no record of a citizen ever contacting the ATF about the triggers.

“They are harassing our friends at Rare Breed Triggers for making perfectly legal forced reset triggers (FRTs). They’ve seized merchandise, raided homes, and generally rained terror down on the heads of law-abiding gun owners,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights.

“They’re even bringing up Rare Beed Triggers on civil charges in an attempt to run them out of business.”

The goal of the Texas lawsuit is to bring an end to the ATF’s FRT trigger ban and to protect NAGR’s members and supporters who own FRTs from an out of control ATF.

Under federal law, a machine gun is defined as “a weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”  This is the definition that has stood unaltered in the law for nearly nine decades that the ATF is now ignoring and trying to re-write through civil charges against our friends at Rare Breed Triggers.  There is no dispute that the Rare Breed Triggers’ FRT only allows one round to be fired for each function of the trigger. 

“If we allow the ATF to continue to whittle away our rights by constant re-defining of what is, and what isn’t legal, we’ll soon be left with no rights at all. There should be no authority for a government agency to make rule of law unilaterally by themselves, and the courts need to recognize that,” said Hannah Hill, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Gun Rights, legal arm of the National Association for Gun Rights.

         The National Association for Gun Rights is the nation’s largest “no compromise” pro-gun organization, with 4.5 million members nationwide.
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