NAGR sues ATF over forced reset trigger ban

Giant Gavel" by Sam Howzit is marked with CC BY 2.0 DEED.

When President Donald Trump had his ATF reclassify bump stocks as machine guns, it started an avalanche of problems. After all, a bump stock doesn’t change how a gun functions. It just lets people conduct that single pull of the trigger a whole lot faster.


As a result, the ATF started looking at other things that might allow faster trigger pulls.

One example was their decision to unilaterally ban forced reset triggers.

These triggers are set up so that after a pull of said trigger, it forces the trigger back into a reset position so it can be pulled again. You still have to pull the trigger yourself, of course, but you can do that a bit faster because you don’t have to let up on the pressure being applied.

Yet forced reset triggers don’t turn firearms into machine guns, no matter what the bureaucrats claim.

Now, the National Association for Gun Rights is filing a lawsuit against the ATF over forced reset triggers.

Today, the National Association for Gun Rights filed a lawsuit against the ATF, National Association for Gun Rights v. Garland, in federal court in the Northern District of Texas. This action was filed in the same appellate circuit that ruled earlier this year that bump stocks are not machine guns in Cargill v. Garland.

In an open letter to all federal firearms dealers in 2022, the ATF stated: “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently examined devices commonly known as ‘forced reset triggers’ (FRTs) and has determined that some of them are ‘firearms’ and ‘machineguns’ as defined in the National Firearms Act (NFA), and ‘machineguns’ as defined in the Gun Control Act (GCA).”

Rare Breed Triggers began selling the Forced Reset Trigger in December of 2020, after having the design analyzed by multiple legal teams and firearms experts. By January 13th of 2021, the ATF had launched efforts to have FRTs outlawed. The ATF tried to justify this by saying that “multiple concerned citizens” reached out to them regarding Rare Breed’s FRTs, however FOIA requests proved that there was no record of a citizen ever contacting the ATF about the triggers.

“They are harassing our friends at Rare Breed Triggers for making perfectly legal forced reset triggers (FRTs). They’ve seized merchandise, raided homes, and generally rained terror down on the heads of law-abiding gun owners,” said Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights.


And let’s be real, the definition of a machine gun specifically states that it’s a firearm that fires more than one right with a single pull of the trigger. It says nothing about facilitating faster trigger pulls.

I mean, by that metric, Jerry Miculek should be categorized as a machine gun himself because I’m still not sure he’s entirely human.

Regardless, forced reset triggers aren’t machine guns by the NFA definition. The ATF deciding to classify them as such, then to go after Rare Breed Triggers so aggressively is beyond troubling. If taken in isolation, it would be a problem.

But we can’t look at it by itself. We have to look at it with the totality of other things the ATF has been up to, and that paints a very terrifying picture. Especially some of the recent examples.

My hope is that the courts recognize this as an unconstitutional overreach of executive authority and overturn the ATF’s bizarre fixation on forced reset triggers.

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