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Commenting on the ATF shotgun importability study

1512 Views 2 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  ShotgunPro

Seeing this link - I thought it might be helpful to have new thread with suggested comments.

If we want to defeat the current ATF attempt at curbing shotgun imports please join in commenting on the "study".

This is a first step in what will probably be a long fight to preserve our ability to import shotguns and it is a critical step. While this study may only deal with shotguns remember who we are dealing with here.

Full version is here: Commenting on the ATF sporting purposes shotgun study - also, there's a link to the "study" done in 1989 to ban the import of "certain rifles".

These are a starting point, feel free to expand, add, editorialize and personalize. NOTE: You must provide a name and mailing address for your comments to be accepted as input.

Suggested comments:

The conclusion of the ATF study on the "importability of certain shotguns" is based on a flawed interpretation of 'sporting purposes' using outdated information, incomplete data and stands in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution as upheld in the 1939 US v. Miller Supreme Court decision, and 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court decision.

The study identifies 10 features which through a "working group" they recommend any shotgun with any of the identified features be barred from importation. Many of the features identified: integrated rails, light enhancing devices, forward pistol grips, collapsing/folding or telescoping stocks are in 'common use' on various firearms, rifles & shotguns today. 'In common use' was first mentioned in Miller, then reiterated in both Heller & the subsequent McDonald Supreme Court decisions protecting the individual right to keep and bear firearms for self defense. These features being in common use not just for military, law enforcement and personal protection have also found a niche in the sporting community and are practically ubiquitous in some applications. Briefly:

Folding, telescoping & collapsible stocks provide an adjustability to the "length of pull". This permits the user to obtain a more ergonomic fit and further allows sportsmen to share the use of the firearm with family members of different stature and age. This feature allows fathers, mothers, sons & daughters to all be able to use a single firearm, as well as allows users to tailor the gun to their specific needs. Better ergonomics and fit offered by these stocks provide for better control of the firearm and enhanced safety.
Magazine capacity over 5 rounds is and arbitrary and low number based on the industry today.
Flash suppressors allow for faster follow up shots when hunting in fading light of hours near dawn or dusk.
Integrated rails, forward pistol grips, & light enhancing devices all permit a more ergonomic and usable sporting shotgun and again are features in common use today. These features permit better ergonomics and control over the shotgun as well as the ability to easily mount accessories on the gun to enhance usability.

Additionally, many of these features facilitate the shooting sports participation of disabled Americans across the country. Depriving the market of shotguns with features which enables a person with a visual or muscular/skeletal impairment to participate in the shooting sports, is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and more importantly is a despicable attempt at preventing a protected minority in our society from enjoying the shooting sports.

The study in many places indicated a need to evaluate 'sporting purposes' and declines to address what exactly qualifies as sporting. The study concludes that though USPSA has comparable membership to many organizations it does not 'qualify as sporting' under the current interpretation. Indeed, at 19,000 cited members USPSA dwarfs the membership of the USA Curling society which despite only having 13,000 members is an Olympic sport. This shows that ATF needs to re-investigate the definition of 'sporting purposes' for the use in determining importability of firearms. Because ATF uses not just questionable, but flawed logic in their study, ATF needs to reconstitute the "working group" to examine 'sporting purposes' in the post-Heller, post-McDonald light as well as with the understanding that practical & action competition shooting sports need also be considered.

In summary, this study should be shelved until 'sporting purposes' is redefined to include a more modern and truthful definition inclusive of action / competition shooting disciplines and the study needs to recognize that any one or even several of the features identified in the study do not disqualify a shotgun or other firearm for importation, that certain features which may be more common in military / militia context do enhance the ability of disabled citizens to exercise their right to keep and bear arms and prohibiting them from importation would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and that some of these same features are protected by the 2nd Amendment, and reiterated via the Supreme Court rulings in Miller, Heller & McDonald.

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I've also posted the NRA's commentary on this in the 2nd Amendment/RKBA forum.
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