The legal definition of a machine gun is a firearm where you can pull the trigger once but fire multiple rounds. That’s an important point to remember, especially with regard to something happening with Florida-based Rare Breed Triggers.
Their AR trigger groups basically, as I understand it, use the recoil of the weapon firing to reset the trigger. This means you can pull the trigger much faster.
Now, based on the above definition, there’s nothing about Rare Breed that should be an issue. Yet, there is.
Orlando-based Rare Breed Triggers, a Florida Limited Liability Company, is taking on the federal government in a lawsuit over an order to halt production of their patented gun trigger, the FRT-15.
In July, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Tampa Field Division issued a cease and desist order to the company to halt production of the FRT15 trigger, after the agency said they determined the trigger to be a machine gun, under the definition in the National Firearms Act.
Machine gun. Any 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. The
term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely
and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a
machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts
are in the possession or under the control of a person.
Subsequently, the ATF sent its order to Rare Breed Triggers, part of Rare Breed Firearms.
While the letter from the ATF, addressed to owner Kevin Maxwell and pulled from the online database Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), details their ruling on the FRT-15 as manufactured and marketed, Maxwell’s attorneys and industry experts disagree over the definition’s application to the trigger.
Multiple industry experts brought on by Maxwell and Rare Breed to test the trigger legally and practically, including a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, disagree with the ATF’s definition of the product as a machine gun, fully automatic, or for use that could make a gun fully automatic.
Honestly, I’m glad that they’re fighting it.
See, while these particular triggers may well speed up one’s ability to fire a weapon, it’s not a machine gun part. You still have to pull the trigger in order to fire the weapon.
Unfortunately, I don’t know that it will help them.
So far, the courts have upheld the ATF’s bump stock ban. What I fear is that the same reasoning will be used to justify this measure. It shouldn’t. At least, not as the National Firearms Act is written, but since when did any of that matter?
I hope I’m wrong, though. I hope the court looks at the facts and recognizes that what Rare Breed Triggers manufactures isn’t a machine gun part, but the kind of thing that any law-abiding citizen may want to own for any number of legitimate reasons. I kind of want one, to be honest. Quick follow-up shots can be a good thing for so many reasons it’s almost ridiculous.
Rare Breed shouldn’t be going through this.
Unfortunately, government overreach is just what the ATF does in this day and age. The bump stock ban emboldened them and the fact that they have a Gun Grabber-in-Chief in the Oval Office just makes it that much sweeter for them. Expect to see more of this regardless of how Rare Breed’s case settles out.