BATFE proposes ban on importation of "military-style" shotguns; Deadline for submission of comments is May 1

by Jim Shepherd

Last week, the ATF released a study regarding the importability of certain shotguns. It might behoove anyone who believes that the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) or International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) are sporting communities to chime in on this latest bit of research. They're accepting comments through May 1, 2011.

The ATF report follows their having researched the "Importability of Certain Shotguns". In that study, they've determined there is a class of -gasp- assault shotguns. OK, they're not exactly saying "assault weapons" but they are making a decided distinction between "military style" and "sporting" shotguns. Basically, you might be able to shooting sporting clays with your black shotgun, but that doesn't mean it's not an inherently evil weapon, determined to turn the United States into the "dumping ground for surplus military armaments." You can't make this stuff up.

At the risk of inviting a visit from the bureau that seems more intent on hassling legal firearms owners than catching criminals who shouldn't have them, it's another bit of trial ballooning to start the inevitable process of regulating firearms based on look.

If a shotgun has no legitimate sporting purpose, it will be subject to stringent importation restrictions, if not an outright ban.

If you're a practical shooter or compete in 3-gun you might think -correctly- that the Saiga shotguns favored by many competition shooters would be on the no-fly list.

But the list expands to cover any one of the usual suspects of "assault type" features: adjustable stocks, rails, extended magazines; you know the drill. You can quite easily convert your Benelli, Beretta, Remington, or Browning sporting shotgun into a forbidden class by the simple addition of an extended magazine, adjustable stock or rail capable of holding a foregrip, light or other "non-sporting" accessory.

We'll give you the web citation so you can read the report for yourself, but the concluding paragraph tells the story:

The purpose of section 925(d)(3) is to provide a limited exception to the general prohibition on the importation of firearms without placing "any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms...."51 Our determinations will in no way preclude the importation of true sporting shotguns. While it will certainly prevent the importation of certain shotguns, we believe that those shotguns containing the enumerated features cannot be fairly characterized as "sporting" shotguns under the statute. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the working group that shotguns with any of the characteristics or features listed above not be authorized for importation.

You can comment on the report by e-mail to [email protected] or by fax to (202)648-9601. The deadline for comments is May 1, 2011. Read the entire study online at:

And as we wrote yesterday, simply because the State of the Union didn't contain a call for stronger firearms regulations following the shooting of Representative Giffords of Arizona there is no reason to think there's not an assault on firearms coming. Two pieces of legislation have already been introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate, but we received news yesterday from a source inside the White House that says President Obama will call for increased gun control laws. That proposal will be made, we're told, within the next two weeks, and it will call for an outright ban on all firearm magazines of more than ten rounds. The proposal will also call for a tightening of the NICS system that will call for a significant upgrading of the system, especially when it comes to the question of mental instability.

The mainstream media is starting to float trial balloons referencing the purported White House proposal, with several liberal websites and bloggers banging the drum for support. The Brady Center is also starting to make noise, meaning they believe the White House may finally be ready to take a stand - against- gun owners.

We'll keep you posted.

Republished from The Outdoor Wire.

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