View Full Version : Sporting purpose, DDs, and ATF announcement...

01-20-2011, 8:22 PM
Apparently the ATF is set to make an announcement (http://blog.princelaw.com/2011/1/20/atf-to-issue-new-ruling-on-monday-regarding-new-restrictions-on-shotgun-importation) on Monday regarding the importation of certain shotguns. The obvious (but unstated) target would be Saigas.

The Constitution grants Congress virtually unlimited power regarding international trade, so it seems to me that the sporting purpose language from the 1968 GCA for imports cannot be seriously challenged.

But, there is another possible issue: weapons greater than .50 caliber are NFA regulated unless they are determined by BATFE to be suitable for sporting purposes. The USAS-12 and Streetsweeper were classified as destructive devices as they were found suitable for military rather than sporting purposes. However, Saigas are imported in a sporting configuration (no pistol grip, small magazines). It is possible that the ATF is concerned because there are aftermarket drum magazines available for them.

Under Heller the 2nd amendment is not merely for "sporting purposes." Shotguns are weapons that are commonly possessed. That said, the NFA is "presumptively lawful" and I doubt the courts are going to overturn the DD provision in general. So, this is a complex situation. So here is the question: if BATFE were to declare Saigas to be destructive devices, is there a viable route to challenge such a determination? (Indications are that they will not declare any new DDs, though I don't see how they could ban imports without such a declaration).

Of course, the ATF announcement may not be directed at Saigas. Does anyone know of other imported shotguns that might be of concern?

01-20-2011, 8:23 PM
2nd dupe