Deadline Nears On BATFE Shotgun Ban Comments

“As we reported on Jan. 28, May 1 is the deadline for public comments concerning a shotgun importation ban that has been proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. A working group within the BATFE has recommended that any shotgun (semi-automatic, pump-action or any other) that has any one of 10 specific features should be banned from importation, on the grounds that such shotguns are not “generally recognized as particularly suitable for a readily adaptable to sporting purposes.”

The features in question are:
– a folding, telescoping, or collapsible stock;
– a magazine of over five rounds or a drum magazine;
– a flash suppressor or a muzzle brake that also suppresses flash;
– an integrated rail system other than on top of the receiver or barrel;
– a light enhancing device;
– a forward pistol grip or similar protruding part;
– an “excessive” weight of over 10 pounds; an “excessive bulk” of over three inches width and/or over four inches depth;
– a bayonet lug; or
– “a grenade-launcher mount.”

The working group considers “sporting purposes” to be limited to hunting, skeet, trap and sporting clays, but not to include practical shotgun matches or recreational target shooting.

Particularly relevant will be the comments of people who use shotguns equipped with one or more of the features for hunting or any form of competitive or recreational target shooting, and people who adapt such shotguns to a sporting purpose by simple modifications, such as attaching or removing a flashlight, attaching or removing a forward grip, or installing or removing a magazine extension or magazine plug.”

Comments to the BATFE may be submitted by e-mail to, or by fax to (202) 648-9601, and must be received by May 1, 2011. Faxed comments may not exceed 5 pages. All comments must include name and mailing address.

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