News: ATF Plans Forced Confiscation of FRTs

In an announcement by Gun Owners of America (GOA), the group claims to have received internally leaked emails from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE or colloquially referred to as the ATF) detailing how the government agency plans on executing confiscation (willful or forced) of Forced Reset Triggers (FRTs). In it, the ATF instructs its regional inspectors/agents to:

…please be prepared to take possession of any documents and FRT’s the manufacturer/distributor/retailer offers to surrender. The manufacturer/distributor/retailer may choose to abandon the items, in which case ask them to complete a Consent to Forfeiture of Property and Waiver of Notice (ATF F. 3400.1). If the manufacturer/seller refuses to abandon the items, please take custody of the items, and seize them for forfeiture so that they can be properly noticed.

Gun Owners of America: YouTube

While this action is specifically targeting the FRTs manufactured by Rare Breed and Wide Open Triggers, the larger implications are that the ATF—without any ruling or legal justification—is planning on the confiscation of devices it has determined make a semi-automatic rifle into a machine gun (which also has no legal precedence or evidence). Per the leaked email this effort was to go into effect and begin enforcement on 26 January 2022.

The ATF email goes on to refer to anyone refusing to surrender FRTs as “defendants”, which is a key legal term denoting that the ATF views any ownership of FRTs as a criminal offense, and that the ATF will prosecute anyone for refusing to comply. Currently, the email states this planned effort only is to target manufacturers, distributors, and retailers – but it wouldn’t be much of a legal effort to extend that on to private ownership.

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