Congress Demands ATF Stop Secret Rule Changes

Congress 101 – Confirmation, Impeachment, Oversight, And Spending, iStock-1154438278

WASHINGTON, D.C. -( Both chambers of Congress are sending letters to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) demanding answers regarding the ATF secret rule change surrounding privately manufactured silencers.

Over the past two years, the ATF has been cracking down on solvent traps while saying that the agency does not regulate the devices. The ATF recently sent out a mass rejection notice to around 850 Americans who filed a Form 1 for a tax stamp to make an 80% silencer. The regulatory agency claimed that these applicants used kits or parts that the Bureau already considered suppressors.

The ATF has raided several companies for selling cups and freezer plugs with dimples. The Bureau claimed that these markings could be used for drill guides. Some other companies were raided for selling Chinese-made parts. The ATF even showed up at people’s homes that ordered fuel filters off websites like Wish or Alibaba Express.

The denied Americans, in this instance, had their information forwarded to local field offices for further investigation. The ATF could charge the owners with having unregistered silencers for each part. Having an unregistered silencer is a violation of the Nation Firearms Act (NFA). The ATF would most likely just confiscate the parts.

The ATF asked the applicants who were not initially denied to supply high-resolution pictures of each part, the manufacturing technique used to assemble the silencer, and the store or website that the builder used to acquire the parts. These new requirements are a stark change from the ATF only requiring the maker to supply the length and caliber of the planned suppressor.

The Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition (FRAC) helped twenty Republican Senators not only to demand the ATF stop secret rule changes about solvent traps and other kits but for the ATF also to stop rule changes surrounding force reset triggers (FRTs). This letter is the first of two coming out of the Senate destined for the ATF. A second letter covering Form 1 suppressors coming out of the Senate is expected to be unveiled shortly.

ATF Targeting HomeBuilt Silencers

Another letter to the ATF over the secret rule change surrounding homemade suppressors will be sent by the House of Representatives. The letter will be sent from Republican House Judiciary Committee Member Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Ranking Member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). The American Suppressor Association (ASA) sent out an alert to its members to encourage their Congressional Representatives to sign the letter to the Bureau and the Department of Justice.

The ASA also is asking Congress to demand that the ATF abide by its previous determinations. Many users built approved Form 1 suppressors using kits that the ATF now considers unregistered suppressors. The ASA is concerned that the ATF could revoke American’s approved tax stamps.

The ASA also wants Congress to pass the Hearing Protection Act (H.R.95/S.2050). The HPA would remove the suppressors from the NFA. If silencers no longer required a tax stamp, it would encourage more people to buy hearing-saving devices. In Europe, with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world, it is considered rude to shoot without a silencer.

AmmoLand News encourages all readers to fill out the ASA’s request to Congress.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at

John Crump

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