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Being in government for nearly two decades now in a regulatory role, the way I see it is as follows:
The BATFE did us, the consumers a favor by allowing the Sig brace to be mounted on short barrel firearms in such a manner without the requirement of the Tax Stamp and Form 1 filing.

Eventually, the BATFE's boss, either the Department of Treasury, or maybe the Secretary of Treasury, of one of the Federal House Committees, or even the President himself ordered the BATFE to reverse this regulatory decision on the Sig brace.

Ive seen even it many times before. A regulatory body allows or disallows something and after awhile, the politicians or higher ups force them to reverse the regulatory rescission.

I am sad that the BATFE reversed its regulatory decision to allow Sig braces as "butt stocks," but I am not surprised it happened.
 

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so i've changed my perspective.

previously i was narrowly focused on the brace. i figured that what they said was opinion. i don't think it really mattered. the brace was still legal and it made sense to blame the person, not the device, for the misuse. what matters is the court's interpretation. if ATF is challenged, it'll push their opinion into courts which i did not think would go well either way. so let them get away with their opinion. nod head. move on.

however i started to see the bigger picture. if we were to actually put value into their interpretation then its implications would be ugly as well; maybe uglier. from the perspective of playing it as a political chess game, i don't have the foresite to make a strong stance either way, so i retract my previous opinion. i'd say it's probably better to disagree with their interpretation; maybe even challenge it. from the perspective of principles alone, i don't agree with the ATF's interpretation. however i don't favor to always play the hot headed purist (stick). i think sometimes more can be done thru the political chess game (carrot).

here's a good article about carrots vs sticks : by joe huffman
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Being in government for nearly two decades now in a regulatory role, the way I see it is as follows:
The BATFE did us, the consumers a favor by allowing the Sig brace to be mounted on short barrel firearms in such a manner without the requirement of the Tax Stamp and Form 1 filing.

Eventually, the BATFE's boss, either the Department of Treasury, or maybe the Secretary of Treasury, of one of the Federal House Committees, or even the President himself ordered the BATFE to reverse this regulatory decision on the Sig brace.

Ive seen even it many times before. A regulatory body allows or disallows something and after awhile, the politicians or higher ups force them to reverse the regulatory rescission.

I am sad that the BATFE reversed its regulatory decision to allow Sig braces as "butt stocks," but I am not surprised it happened.
Sorry I have to completely disagree. Saying that a government agency is "doing gun owners a favor" by initially stating installation of the Sig brace doesn't change classification of the firearm is like saying the guy stole your car then did you a favor by allowing you to use it for one day a week. What actually happened is Sig did themselves and us a solid by asking the ATF for clarification on the Sig brace; you'll note that Sig never submitted the MPX to the ATF.

Also ATF is a DOJ bureau, what does Treas or SecTreas have anything to do with it? And people up the chain from the guy at Technology branch (who wrote the open letter) can indirectly order them to reverse their decision on their stance on the Sig brace. But Sig would definitely bring on another lawsuit, one which they would have a greater chance of winning seeing how ATF was the one who initially approved the Sig brace to begin with.

I see this unfolding in the court much similar to US vs Thompson Center Arms Company, a case in which the ATF got slapped down because it tried to apply a too broad of an interpretation to the language of NFA. The Supreme Court basically stated that since violation of NFA is a Federal crime, the ambiguity of the law is ruled against the government. Sounds familiar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
so i've changed my perspective.

previously i was narrowly focused on the brace. i figured that what they said was opinion. i don't think it really mattered. the brace was still legal and it made sense to blame the person, not the device, for the misuse. what matters is the court's interpretation. if ATF is challenged, it'll push their opinion into courts which i did not think would go well either way. so let them get away with their opinion. nod head. move on.

however i started to see the bigger picture. if we were to actually put value into their interpretation then its implications would be ugly as well; maybe uglier. from the perspective of playing it as a political chess game, i don't have the foresite to make a strong stance either way, so i retract my previous opinion. i'd say it's probably better to disagree with their interpretation; maybe even challenge it. from the perspective of principles alone, i don't agree with the ATF's interpretation. however i don't favor to always play the hot headed purist (stick). i think sometimes more can be done thru the political chess game (carrot).

here's a good article about carrots vs sticks : by joe huffman
The open letter IS in fact an opinion. If it held any legal weight Sig would have print a legal disclaimer with all their brace and on their website that misusing their brace carries with it a criminal penalty. If ATF chooses to enforce their opinion and press charge on someone who did shoulder the brace, then Sig would no doubt get involved (either voluntary or the accused will sue Sig for not notifying users of the potential legal pitfall). But I think those are moot points, since Sig response implies that they've already started a legal proceeding against the ATF in regards to the letter.

Also while I appreciate the merits of a moderate approach, I don't believe this is a case where "carrot" is the right strategy; that will just lead to them coming back wanting all of your carrots. This has been happening since 1934:
 

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I think a lot people are upset because ATF interpret the NFA law beyond what we would consider reasonable. Previous interpretations of NFA by ATF have always been related to physical change of firearms, there's never been a legal precedent where how one HOLDS the weapon constitutes as a "re-design" of the firearm. Again if this is to be accept as norm, then ATF can restrict how gun owners are allow to hold their weapons, since now they established that alone is all they need to charge us with a Federal crime.

Furthermore, the way at which ATF arbitrarily flip flop back and forth in the legality and the inconsistent method in which they make that determination is almost entrapment.

I disagree that tackling NFA is a "politically prudent" course of action. Problem is that gun control issue is essentially at a political stalemate; there's no chance of either side will be able to score a major win over the other. And modifying or even overturning the NFA is about big of a win as we can hope. So both sides have resorted to argument over specific language of the existing law (i.e. loopholes or gray area). Those loopholes or gray areas benefit both sides (although I personally believe that the NFA is clear in the definition of what the controlled items are). They might close but they should always be challenged as it won't be the first time a government agency gets slapped for overstepping their authorities in their interpretation of the law in a court case.
I don't think they really flip-flopped based on what I've seen... there is the redesign statement... but again... everyone wants to basically use the Sig brace as a stock and to me these arguments further force their hand... The ATF can always interpret the law as they see fit depending on the political environment... I just don't see how a suit or anything else is going to change their mind absent cases being prosecuted unsuccessfully... Or political pressure from the top... think about it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I don't think they really flip-flopped based on what I've seen... there is the redesign statement... but again... everyone wants to basically use the Sig brace as a stock and to me these arguments further force their hand... The ATF can always interpret the law as they see fit depending on the political environment... I just don't see how a suit or anything else is going to change their mind absent cases being prosecuted unsuccessfully... Or political pressure from the top... think about it...
No flip-flopping? Really? Maybe you missed this a few pages back:


And no, ATF can't interpret the law as they see fit, again see what I posted on US vs Thompson Center Arms Company. That's legal precedent from Supreme Court stating that ATF CANNOT interpret ambiguity of the law "as they see fit".

So what do you suggest gun owners do next time ATF decides to interpret (i.e. mis-interpret) the law a certain way? We should just let it happen because nothing is "is going to change their mind... Or political pressure from the top"?
 

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I don't think they really flip-flopped based on what I've seen... there is the redesign statement... but again... everyone wants to basically use the Sig brace as a stock and to me these arguments further force their hand... The ATF can always interpret the law as they see fit depending on the political environment... I just don't see how a suit or anything else is going to change their mind absent cases being prosecuted unsuccessfully... Or political pressure from the top... think about it...
I never have had the intent or desire to utilize the brace in any other manner than which it was designed. However, if I hold the end of the brace with my left hand and the pistol with my right hand, does that make it an AOW because it can be "re-designed" using both hands instead of the one hand that makes it "designed" as a pistol?

BTW, think of all the $200 tax stamps that this "re-design" will require.......registration of AR15 pistols with a Sig brace as SBR, mommy's permission to move it out of state, etc etc etc.... Further, now they may determine that the use of the buffer tube is being "re-designed" to be used as a shoulder stock making all AR15 pistols with buffer tubes SBRs. Cha ching, cha ching, cha ching,.......
 

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The two situations are apples and oranges...

Background[edit]

The legal dispute in United States v. Thompson-Center Arms Company arose when officials from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms contacted Thompson Center Arms informing them that the kit of the Contender Pistol that included a stock and a 16-inch (410 mm) barrel constituted a short-barreled rifle under the National Firearms Act.
Arguments[edit]

The US Government's argument centered on the analogy of a disassembled bicycle still being a bicycle.
Stephen Halbrook argued on behalf of Thompson Center Arms and stated that the weapon would have to be assembled with both the stock and the 10-inch (250 mm) barrel attached to it to be a short-barreled rifle.
Decision[edit]

The court ruled in Thompson Center Arms' favor in that the carbine conversion kit did not constitute a short-barreled rifle, primarily because the kit contained both the stock and the 16 inch barrel.
Justice Scalia also noted that there is a warning carved on the stock telling the user to not attach the stock to the receiver when the 10-inch barrel is attached to the receiver or vice versa.
This circumstance caused the court to apply the rule of lenity since the NFA carries criminal penalties with it. This meant that ambiguous statutes are interpreted against the government.

And again in that situation while I don't see the reasoning the ATF made an interpretation and there was an unsuccessful court case... kind of proves my point...

Unless there is something I'm missing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
The two situations are apples and oranges...

Background[edit]

The legal dispute in United States v. Thompson-Center Arms Company arose when officials from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms contacted Thompson Center Arms informing them that the kit of the Contender Pistol that included a stock and a 16-inch (410 mm) barrel constituted a short-barreled rifle under the National Firearms Act.
Arguments[edit]

The US Government's argument centered on the analogy of a disassembled bicycle still being a bicycle.
Stephen Halbrook argued on behalf of Thompson Center Arms and stated that the weapon would have to be assembled with both the stock and the 10-inch (250 mm) barrel attached to it to be a short-barreled rifle.
Decision[edit]

The court ruled in Thompson Center Arms' favor in that the carbine conversion kit did not constitute a short-barreled rifle, primarily because the kit contained both the stock and the 16 inch barrel.
Justice Scalia also noted that there is a warning carved on the stock telling the user to not attach the stock to the receiver when the 10-inch barrel is attached to the receiver or vice versa.
This circumstance caused the court to apply the rule of lenity since the NFA carries criminal penalties with it. This meant that ambiguous statutes are interpreted against the government.

And again in that situation while I don't see the reasoning the ATF made an interpretation and there was an unsuccessful court case... kind of proves my point...

Unless there is something I'm missing?
No, it's orange to orange. In US vs ThompsonCAC, the entire case rests on different interpretation of NFA, in particular the word "make".
(a) The language of § 5845(i)-which provides that "[t]he term 'make', and [its] various derivatives ... , shall include manufacturing ... , putting together ... , or otherwise producing a firearm"-clearly demonstrates that the aggregation of separate parts that can be assembled only into a firearm, and the aggregation of a gun other than a firearm and parts that would have no use in association with the gun except to convert it into a firearm, constitute the "making" of a firearm. If, as the Court of Appeals held, a firearm were only made at the time of final assembly (the moment the firearm was "put together"), the statutory "manufacturing ... or otherwise producing" language would be redundant. Thus, Congress must have understood "making" to cover more than final assembly, and some disassembled aggregation of parts must be included
However, application of the ordinary rules of statutory construction shows that the Act is ambiguous as to whether, given the fact that the Contender can be converted into either an NFA-regulated firearm or an unregulated rifle, the mere possibility of its use with the kit to assemble the former renders their combined packaging "making."
What proves your point? You claimed that ATF is free to interpret NFA however they like when in fact that's not the case. US vs ThompsonCAC is clearly an example where Supreme Court strike down one ATF interpretation of NFA.
 

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No, it's orange to orange. In US vs ThompsonCAC, the entire case rests on different interpretation of NFA, in particular the word "make".




What proves your point? You claimed that ATF is free to interpret NFA however they like when in fact that's not the case. US vs ThompsonCAC is clearly an example where Supreme Court strike down one ATF interpretation of NFA.
That is my point... "The ATF can always interpret the law as they see fit depending on the political environment... I just don't see how a suit or anything else is going to change their mind absent cases being prosecuted unsuccessfully..."

That's legal precedent from Supreme Court stating that ATF CANNOT interpret ambiguity of the law "as they see fit".

^ That case would only set precedent about a similar situation... Another company with similar kits, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
That is my point... "The ATF can always interpret the law as they see fit depending on the political environment... I just don't see how a suit or anything else is going to change their mind absent cases being prosecuted unsuccessfully..."

That's legal precedent from Supreme Court stating that ATF CANNOT interpret ambiguity of the law "as they see fit".

^ That case would only set precedent about a similar situation... Another company with similar kits, etc...
Your point is two unrelated statements. It's the first statement I have a problem with.
The ATF can always interpret the law as they see fit depending on the political environment

No, they can't, as stated US vs ThompsonCAC is one case where ATF's interpretation was strike down. So obviously they can't interpret the NFA anyway they like.


I think what you mean to say is ATF will always TRIES to interpret the law the way they want. That I don't disagree with. However whether it's adapted really depends on whether someone choose to challenge it in court. In the case of ThompsonCAC someone did and in case of the Sig brace, I'm glad Sig is going to. The fact that Sig is doing as much as they are in challenging ATF in courts just makes them that much of a better company in my eyes. I definitely will be looking into buying more Sig products to support them in the fight for our 2nd amendment rights.

I just don't see how a suit or anything else is going to change their mind absent cases being prosecuted unsuccessfully

Why not? On the Sig brace issue alone, ATF has changed their minds plenty. I don't think ATF really cares enough to waste the legal resource to fight Sig in court and risk another Supreme Court ruling against them. Especially when presidential election is 2 years away and ATF already brought enough headache and embarrassment to Obama administration with its Fast and Furious fiasco. Plus I think after the general failure of antis to gain any ground after Sandy Hook, majority of the Democrats don't really want to touch the gun issue when their last bastion of power (executive branch) hangs in the balance.
 
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"I think what you mean to say is ATF will always TRIES to interpret the law the way they want. That I don't disagree with. However whether it's adapted really depends on whether someone choose to challenge it in court. In the case of ThompsonCAC someone did and in case of the Sig brace, I'm glad Sig is going to. The fact that Sig is doing as much as they are in challenging ATF in courts just makes them that much of a better company in my eyes. I definitely will be looking into buying more Sig products to support them in the fight for our 2nd amendment rights."

THAT IS MY POINT as you say regarding the two un related statements... I never said the ATF wins every decision... my point was just as in the case you highlighted they saw fit to make the case and they did... They made that case based on someone's "interpretation." This isn't the only instance where that has ever happened... They win some they lose some... Similarly regarding the Sig brace, if they decide to make a case against someone absent a change in law the only thing that will overturn this current opinion is a case being presented in court and a decision being handed down. Like I said a few posts ago...

Here is another example and the case you cited earlier is mentioned...

United States Court of Appeals,Seventh Circuit.UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. William CASH and Michael Croyle, Defendants-Appellants.
Nos. 97-3748, 97-3749.Decided: July 23, 1998Before ESCHBACH, EASTERBROOK, and MANION, Circuit Judges. Haywood E. McDuffie (argued), Office of the United States Attorney, Criminal Appellate Division, Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellee. Sara L. Ellis (argued), Office of the Federal Defender Program, Steven Shobat, Chicago, IL, for William Cash. Terence MacCarthy, Sara L. Ellis (argued), Office of the Federal Defender Program, Chicago, IL, for Michael Croyle.
William Cash and Michael Croyle sold 30 auto sears to undercover agents and agreed to sell another 37, plus a silencer and two AR-15 semi-automatic rifles (with kits to make them fully automatic).   Auto sears enable semi-automatic weapons to be used as fully automatic weapons, which means that auto sears themselves are defined as “machineguns” by 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b).   The devices defendants sold lacked serial numbers and were unregistered.   As part of a plea bargain, Cash and Croyle pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess and transfer the silencer, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861, and therefore, derivatively, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (the general conspiracy statute).   Cash was sentenced to 33 months' imprisonment and Croyle to 37 months, terms calculated on the assumption that the sale of auto sears was relevant (unlawful) conduct under the Sentencing Guidelines.   See U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b).   Both defendants contend that the auto sears should not have been treated as firearms and therefore should not have increased their sentences.


Because auto sears are treated as machine guns, 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b), machine guns are “firearms” for purposes of the Guidelines, U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1 Application Note 3(ii), and none of the transfers was registered to the purchaser, defendants' argument hangs by a thread.   The thread is ATF Ruling 81-4, which we reproduce in full:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has examined an auto sear known by various trade names including “AR15 Auto Sear,” “Drop In Auto Sear,” and “Auto Sear II,” which consists of a sear mounting body, sear, return spring, and pivot pin.   The Bureau finds that the single addition of this auto sear to certain AR15 type semiautomatic rifles, manufactured with M16 internal components already installed, will convert such rifles into machineguns.

The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5845(b) defines “machinegun” to include any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.


Held:  The auto sear known by various names including “AR15 Auto Sear,” “Drop In Auto Sear,” and “Auto Sear II,” is a combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.   Consequently, the auto sear is a machinegun as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(b).


With respect to the machinegun classification of the auto sear under the National Firearms Act, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7805(b), this ruling will not be applied to auto sears manufactured before November 1, 1981.   Accordingly, auto sears manufactured on or after November 1, 1981, will be subject to all the provisions of the National Firearms Act and 27 C.F.R. Part 179.


Cash and Croyle rely on the first sentence of the ruling's fourth paragraph.   They insist that the prosecution did not negate the possibility that the 67 auto sears were manufactured before November 1, 1981, and therefore did not prove that they are “machineguns” under § 5845(b).   It is not at all clear that defendants (or, for that matter, the prosecutor) correctly understand the effect of this proviso.   Defendants believe that it places auto sears manufactured before November 1, 1981, outside all obligations laid by statute on the ownership and transfer of firearms.   But nothing in the firearms statutes gives the Secretary of the Treasury (or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) the power to make exemptions to § 5845(b) and associated legal obligations.   The statute to which ATF Ruling 81-4 refers, 26 U.S.C. § 7805(b), provides that the Secretary cannot give retroactive application to tax regulations and adds in § 7805(b)(8) that the “Secretary may prescribe the extent, if any, to which any ruling (including any judicial decision or any administrative determination other than by regulation) relating to the internal revenue laws shall be applied without retroactive effect.”   Read in conjunction with § 7805(b)(8), the proviso in the fourth paragraph of ATF Ruling 81-4 means only that the Secretary will not collect any tax under 26 U.S.C. §§ 5801, 5811, or 5821 on account of auto sears manufactured or transferred before November 1, 1981.   The ruling does not-and cannot-excuse compliance with criminal laws applicable at the time of post-1981 transfers.   Cash and Croyle transferred the auto sears in 1994 and 1995, when § 5845(b) and ATF Ruling 81-4 alike defined auto sears as machine guns;  they therefore had to comply with the laws regulating transfers, such as 26 U.S.C. § 5841(b) ( “Each firearm transferred shall be registered to the transferee by the transferor”).   See also 26 U.S.C. § 5861(e) (making a violation of § 5841(b) criminal).


Nonetheless, the prosecutor appears to be content with defendants' reading of ATF Ruling 81-4 and argues only that the evidence does not show that these auto sears predate 1982.   Perhaps the prosecutor was misled by language in United States v. Bradley, 892 F.2d 634, 636 (7th Cir.1990), which stated that under ATF Ruling 81-4 “auto sears made after a certain date must be registered even if transferred in isolation.”   This may be thought to imply that auto sears made earlier may be transferred today without registration.   Like Cash and Croyle, Bradley contended that auto sears manufactured before November 1981 need not be registered even if transferred after the Ruling's date;  we did not evaluate that possibility in Bradley in light of other facts but added that Bradley's “argument misunderstands ATF 81-4.”  892 F.2d at 636.   As in Bradley we move on without final resolution-for the prosecutor's acquiescence in defendants' legal position has deprived them of any reason to offer arguments supporting it.   Perhaps their reading has some basis that we do not now perceive.   Firearms dealers would do well to assume, however, that all current transfers of auto sears must comply with the statutes, no matter when the devices were manufactured.


Conversations between Croyle and an agent (posing as a private buyer) were tape recorded.   When the agent offered to buy five auto sears, Croyle replied:  “Five? I gotta get ‘em made in orders of fifteen․  [My supplier Freddie] won't even turn the ․ machine on for five.”   Croyle told the agent that Freddie fabricated the bodies of the auto sears, which Croyle himself had to finish:


I get 'em all nice and smooth, ․ 'cause he just, he just roughs 'em out.   Gets 'em going for me and I, I finish um all by hand and I got to go buy the springs ․ 'cause I get uh a precision spring․  I got to cut 'em down and I make 'em fit, each one, and that, and those I gotta harden 'em, put 'em together and stuff.

Croyle added that he “tumbled” the parts in order to remove burrs and polish the surfaces.   At the sentencing, however, defendants maintained (through counsel;  they did not testify) that this was just sales talk-that the auto sears actually had been purchased by mail order from magazines, where advertisements tout the availability of “pre-'82 drop-in auto sears”.   After obtaining these “legitimate” auto sears, the defendants insisted, Croyle replaced their springs with newer ones-a step that they contend does not compromise the pre-1982 “manufacture” date of the auto sears.

The district judge chose to believe Croyle the entrepreneur over Croyle the defendant-and sensibly so.   Magazine advertisements offer each “pre-'82 drop-in auto sear” for approximately $150.   Cash and Croyle sold auto sears to the agent for less than $65 apiece.   It is hard to stay in business buying at $150, repairing the inventory at extra expense, and selling at $65.   Defendants' selling price, plus their use of code words and other hugger-mugger that accompanies black market transactions, supports the district judge's inference that the auto sears were of recent manufacture, and that defendants knew full well that their activities violated the law.

Like the district judge, we think it unnecessary to decide when the repair of a pre-1982 auto sear counts as the “manufacture” of a new auto sear.   Defendants were not charged with illegally making the auto sears, see 26 U.S.C. § 5845(i) (defining the term “make”);  cf.  United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Co., 504 U.S. 505, 112 S.Ct. 2102, 119 L.Ed.2d 308 (1992), or with evading the tax on manufacturing;  the relevant conduct that led to the sentence enhancement was the transfer of machine guns without registration.   On defendants' reading of ATF Ruling 81-4, the only way to escape the conclusion that the transfers in 1994 and 1995 were illegal is to find that the auto sears were “manufactured” before November 1, 1981.   Not even defendants' expert witness was willing to testify that the devices transferred to the agent were made that long ago;  the most he would say was that the possibility could not be ruled out.   A defendant who wants to take advantage of an exception to a statute must do better than that.   The selling price and Croyle's statements show that these auto sears were made by “Freddie” and Croyle no earlier than 1994.
Affirmed.

EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge.

- See more at: UNITED STATES v. CASH - FindLaw
 

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Sorry I have to completely disagree. Saying that a government agency is "doing gun owners a favor" by initially stating installation of the Sig brace doesn't change classification of the firearm is like saying the guy stole your car then did you a favor by allowing you to use it for one day a week. What actually happened is Sig did themselves and us a solid by asking the ATF for clarification on the Sig brace; you'll note that Sig never submitted the MPX to the ATF.

Also ATF is a DOJ bureau, what does Treas or SecTreas have anything to do with it? And people up the chain from the guy at Technology branch (who wrote the open letter) can indirectly order them to reverse their decision on their stance on the Sig brace. But Sig would definitely bring on another lawsuit, one which they would have a greater chance of winning seeing how ATF was the one who initially approved the Sig brace to begin with.

I see this unfolding in the court much similar to US vs Thompson Center Arms Company, a case in which the ATF got slapped down because it tried to apply a too broad of an interpretation to the language of NFA. The Supreme Court basically stated that since violation of NFA is a Federal crime, the ambiguity of the law is ruled against the government. Sounds familiar?
Pardon me, but the BATF was a Bureau of the Dept of Treasury. When it was, the BATF was under the command of the Secretary of Treasury.
I am old school and will always remember that the BATF was a Dept of Treasury Bureau.
This is what the Department of Treasury, the Secretary of Treasury, and the BATF had to do with each other.

Under the Bush Jr administration, the enforcement part of BATF was stripped from the Dept of Treasury and given over to the Department of Justice in 2002 or 2003 as part ofBush's Homeland Security Act. The taxing of alcohol and tobacco remains with Dept of Treasury.

Getting back on topic: I remember the US vs Thompson Center case displayed that the judicial system will and did rule against the then BATF's regulation when applying the ambiguous parts of the NFA laws in USC.
I do not remember this case being the landmark for banning the BATF from creating regulation in ambiguous cases.
What I do remember from this case decision is that when a regulation is created to enforce an ambiguity in a law, if challenged in court, the judicial decision will rule against the government.

What that means is the BATFE can and still creates regulatory decisions for all parts of the NFA parts of the USC. That is the power and duty of the BATFE. However, the onus of overturning a BATFE regulatory decision in a court of law is on the defendant.

The BATFE will continue to create regulations in attempts to apply the NFA laws in USC. Someone has to and that falls on the BATFE.
It is up to us, the gun enthusiasts to see these as opportunities to at the very least push regulations into our favor.
In this case of the Sig arm brace, we have a shot at having BATFE's opinion being prevented from becoming regulation, or if it is already being enforced as an active regulation, we have an opportunity to challenge it in the judicial system by citing the U.S. vs Thompdon Center case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Pardon me, but the BATF was a Bureau of the Dept of Treasury. When it was, the BATF was under the command of the Secretary of Treasury.
I am old school and will always remember that the BATF was a Dept of Treasury Bureau.
This is what the Department of Treasury, the Secretary of Treasury, and the BATF had to do with each other.

Under the Bush Jr administration, the enforcement part of BATF was stripped from the Dept of Treasury and given over to the Department of Justice in 2002 or 2003 as part ofBush's Homeland Security Act. The taxing of alcohol and tobacco remains with Dept of Treasury.

Getting back on topic: I remember the US vs Thompson Center case displayed that the judicial system will and did rule against the then BATF's regulation when applying the ambiguous parts of the NFA laws in USC.
I do not remember this case being the landmark for banning the BATF from creating regulation in ambiguous cases.
What I do remember from this case decision is that when a regulation is created to enforce an ambiguity in a law, if challenged in court, the judicial decision will rule against the government.

What that means is the BATFE can and still creates regulatory decisions for all parts of the NFA parts of the USC. That is the power and duty of the BATFE. However, the onus of overturning a BATFE regulatory decision in a court of law is on the defendant.

The BATFE will continue to create regulations in attempts to apply the NFA laws in USC. Someone has to and that falls on the BATFE.
It is up to us, the gun enthusiasts to see these as opportunities to at the very least push regulations into our favor.
In this case of the Sig arm brace, we have a shot at having BATFE's opinion being prevented from becoming regulation, or if it is already being enforced as an active regulation, we have an opportunity to challenge it in the judicial system by citing the U.S. vs Thompdon Center case.
To clarify, I never implied that US vs Thompson case restricts ATF from interpreting NFA; I only cited it as a similar case in which one of ATF's interpretations was challenged and strike down by SCOTUS. I specifically stated that it was my opinion that if this whole "re-design" case goes that far it would play out like US vs Thompson. I don't think it's reasonable to interpret usage as redesign of a product; if it does go up to SCOTUS, I believe majority of the justices will see this as too broad of an interpretation for ATF to make and something that's not practically enforceable.
 
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To clarify, I never implied that US vs Thompson case restricts ATF from interpreting NFA; I only cited it as a similar case in which one of ATF's interpretations was challenged and strike down by SCOTUS. I specifically stated that it was my opinion that if this whole "re-design" case goes that far it would play out like US vs Thompson. I don't think it's reasonable to interpret usage as redesign of a product; if it does go up to SCOTUS, I believe majority of the justices will see this as too broad of an interpretation for ATF to make and something that's not practically enforceable.
Very good, we are both on the same page as far as legal interpretation goes, especially in this case concerning the Sig brace.

My belief still stands as I see it in my opinion: the BATF did us a favor by allowing the use of the Sig brace to be attached on short barrel firearms.
But yes, I agree it sucks that they decided to consider an opinion to reverse their initial regulatory decision.
 

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Very good, we are both on the same page as far as legal interpretation goes, especially in this case concerning the Sig brace.

My belief still stands as I see it in my opinion: the BATF did us a favor by allowing the use of the Sig brace to be attached on short barrel firearms.
But yes, I agree it sucks that they decided to consider an opinion to reverse their initial regulatory decision.
I would also like to know if you truly mean that you think that "the BATF did us a favor by allowing the use of the Sig brace"? is OK. Are you indicating that you think that it is OK for the government to have oversight and penalize me for the use of a piece of plastic and that it is all right for them to now put me in jail for 10 years, fine me, and destroy my life because of the way I use this piece of plastic? I can't put it up to my shoulder but I can fire it from my nuts? Are you OK with the government oversight of this?

Or are you indicating that you think that the issue by the BATFE allowing the use of the brace first and now recanting, that somehow this is also good for us because we now have to spend millions and millions of dollars and tie up the court system for the next 8 years with an appeal to the SCOTUS? After getting the governments permission in the first place? And get to pay on both sides due to higher charges from the maker and government fees (taxes) to pay the lawyers for these trials? (I think this last part is called social engineering - forcing something to happen vs allowing something to happen naturally unimpeded).

Or this is what FTB said and I am alright with it for now because they know what is best for me. Not my problem, I don't care, does not affect me, it is somebody's else problem, not my fight....

Or I hope that some government supervisor will change this reversal and if not then I will let the court system make a determination no matter the cost, outcome, or stupidity of it.

I think I must have missed something so please expound so that I fully understand your discussion points on this matter. I am not trying to be sarcastic, I just want to know the depth of understanding that you as a former government regulator view this and how you think that this is a good thing for the American people.
 

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I would also like to know if you truly mean that you think that "the BATF did us a favor by allowing the use of the Sig brace"? is OK. Are you indicating that you think that it is OK for the government to have oversight and penalize me for the use of a piece of plastic and that it is all right for them to now put me in jail for 10 years, fine me, and destroy my life because of the way I use this piece of plastic? I can't put it up to my shoulder but I can fire it from my nuts? Are you OK with the government oversight of this?

Or are you indicating that you think that the issue by the BATFE allowing the use of the brace first and now recanting, that somehow this is also good for us because we now have to spend millions and millions of dollars and tie up the court system for the next 8 years with an appeal to the SCOTUS? After getting the governments permission in the first place? And get to pay on both sides due to higher charges from the maker and government fees (taxes) to pay the lawyers for these trials? (I think this last part is called social engineering - forcing something to happen vs allowing something to happen naturally unimpeded).

Or this is what FTB said and I am alright with it for now because they know what is best for me. Not my problem, I don't care, does not affect me, it is somebody's else problem, not my fight....

Or I hope that some government supervisor will change this reversal and if not then I will let the court system make a determination no matter the cost, outcome, or stupidity of it.

I think I must have missed something so please expound so that I fully understand your discussion points on this matter. I am not trying to be sarcastic, I just want to know the depth of understanding that you as a former government regulator view this and how you think that this is a good thing for the American people.
Let me begin with my two part opinion to address the root behind your question and hopefully ease your thoughts.

The first part is I am against Big Brother and believe Big Brother laws should be minimal and not what it is today.
To me, there is too much of it today. Even laws that might only be perceived as Big Brother are too widespread in our existing statutes.

The second part is I personally despise many parts of the 1934 NFA and wish the following two key NFA parts would be amended out of the USC:
The articles concerning SBRs
The articles concerning suppressors

Another part of the USC I would like to see amended out is the Hughes Amendment which of course is discussed in another thread.

In short, I am with you on every part of your questions you asked me.

Now, since the NFA exists as it is even 80 years later from when it was passed and ratified into the USC, we have no choice but to live with it.
And because we have to live with it, established governing bodies are tasked with creating regulations as part of interpreting the NFA laws.



How is it that I see the BATF doing us a favor by allowing Sig braces on short barrel firearms?
The way I see it as a favor is that the BATF decided to allow it instead of prohibit it from the very beginning.

Now to look at what you are trying to get at: Should the BATFE even had put that regulatory decision out to begin with?
My opinion is No. This to me is Big Brother making the rules.
But since it is their duty as a regulatory body charged by the government to make the laws "workable" in real life, they did so as is their charge.
Why this sort of thing is evening happening is because the NFA laws exist in the USC. If SBR laws were not in the USC, this would not be an issue. And to remove SBR laws or any other part of the NFA from the USC requires amendments to be passed by way of federal bills. But that is a whole other fight that we, the firearms enthusiasts are not in a position right now to attempt due to today's current opinions and thoughts shaped by the mass-media vilifying guns and over-sensationalizing gun violence beyond all recognition.

Would it have been better if they didn't make that regulatory decision?
The way I see it, one way or another, they would have had to eventually.
Sure, the BATFE could have made a no-call and allowed us to use the Sig Brace as we see fit, but sooner or later, somebody at the front end enforcing the law would interpret the Sig brace as being used as a butt stock and arrested the person using the firearm. The arrested person would then become a defendant and have to defend himself in a court of law for the charge of violating NFA SBR laws.
Possibly, as a foresight, and in the spirit of being lenient, BATFE might have been being proactive to prevent such arrest cases which would have caused a mess in the judiciary system due to legal interpretation. I don't know if this is the case but this is my guess. Regulatory bodies after all have their own legal sections/departments/sub-Bureaus. Whether they heed their own legal counsel, that is a different matter altogether because the managers and administrators of the Bureaus/departments/agencies could have other agendas on their minds and make professional decisions accordingly. I've seen it before and I have seen managers/administrators/directors fired or otherwise driven out ("made to retire early") due to insubordination.

And lastly, I am with you on the issue of the BATFE opinion to consider reversing the previous Sig brace regulatory decision. It sucks.
If this opinion is pushed to become a BATFE official regulatory decision, that forces our hands and the firearms industry to spend money in courts just to have the regulatory decision overturned.
 
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