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ATF determines arbitrarily decides Akins Accelerator is a machine gun

Should have bought one then.

So says their site:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
ATF DECIDES THE AKINS ACCELERATOR™ TO BE A MACHINEGUN

Akins Group Inc. regrets to announce that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reversed its position and has decided the Akins Accelerator™ to be a machinegun conversion kit, thereby subjecting it to strict regulation under the Gun Control Act (GCA) and National Firearms Act (NFA).

ATF rescinded its previous determination that the Akins Accelerator™ was not subject to the GCA or NFA (see http://www.firefaster.com/documentation.html). Attorneys for the Akins Group Inc. are seeking reconsideration by ATF of its new position. In the interim, any sale, transfer, or return of the Akins Accelerator™ must be suspended. Akins Group Inc. will advise further after meeting with ATF.

Akins Group Inc. has received no instruction as to the disposition of units in customer hands. Please refrain from public speculation and emotional responses and allow our Attorneys to advocate for everyone’s best interests.

Let the lawsuits begin.

Update: More here.

Update 2: The ATF approved the device a bit back and has now changed it’s mind (assuming it has one). Also, there is speculation that the new 10 round Saiga-12 mags are next. The ATF has a history of arbitrarily changing the rules. Some speculation that the NFA community was behind it as the Akins Device resulted in a drop in Pre-86 prices.

Update 3: Oops, guess you can’t remember everything I write. The Akins Accelerator:

It is a stock/spring system for a Ruger 10/22 that offers a rate of fire of 650 RPM. It’s completely legal (except in Cali and Minnesota) as it is not a machine gun. Video here. A bit pricey at about $1,000 but much cheaper than than a pre-86 registered Ruger 10/22 that comes in at about $10K.

26 Responses to “ATF determines arbitrarily decides Akins Accelerator is a machine gun”

  1. chris Says:

    What is the Akins Accelerator?

  2. beerslurpy Says:

    It’s very annoying that contract law has evolved the ability to punish private parties that make representations and then harm other people by reversing themselves. Why doesnt estoppel work against the ATF here? There are thousands of dollars worth of capital sunk into their business and the ATF has destroyed its value by fiat.

  3. Exador Says:

    The only thing I know about this thingy is what I can gather from the video, but it looks to like a modification that renders a semi into a fully auto. Just because the mechanism for doing so is different than buying a factory-built fully auto, I think is irrelevant. The completed assembly is fully auto, and that is its sole purpose.

    I gotta side with the ATF on this one.

  4. beerslurpy Says:

    Sorry, definition of a machine gun is “one bullet, one operation of the trigger.” Thats what the gun does, so it isnt a machine gun.

  5. beerslurpy Says:

    By your rate-of-fire definition, all semiautos would be machine guns since through bump fire they could be made to fire as quickly as machine guns.

  6. Standard Mischief Says:

    What I find annoying is that the party that promised to (by and large) defend our 2nd amendment freedoms didn’t gut the bastards and their freaking agency when they had the chance.

    What’s that old saw about a honest congress-critter stays bought?

  7. SayUncle Says:

    renders a semi into a fully auto

    It does not. A machine gun is defined as (from memory) as firing multiple rounds per pull of the trigger. This device mimicked bump-firing (see video here on bump-firing a semi-auto) in that the trigger was pulled one time.

    If you read the letters here, you can see the ATF approved it because one trigger pull was required. Now, they’ve changed their mind. I’m curious to see the reasoning as the weapon does comply with the law as machine gun is not defined in the law by rate of fire. I could build a weapon that fires two rounds in 10 minutes as a single function of the trigger and that is a machine gun. Stupid law, actually. the rules are the rules, no matter how arbitrary.

  8. Michael Says:

    The ATF is nothing more than two things, 1) A tax collection agancy and 2) the most anti-gun agancy I have ever seen. The whole reason for the NFA is that the police and FBI were out gunned so they restricted( violated) the 2nd. Then when too many people (citizens) were converting semi’s or buying full autos, they created the GCA of 1986. So it does not surprise me that they are playing these games. That is all the ATF have and until the NRA gets off of its ass they will contiune to play them.

  9. robert Says:

    So….if you learn the ability to “bump-fire” a firearm do you have to register yourself as a machine gun? If you were born after 1986 will the BATFE de-mill you?

  10. gattsuru Says:

    Does a law become unconstitutionally vague when the agency designed to enforce it can’t keep the damn thing straight?

  11. Justin Buist»Blog Archive » The BATFE Plays Games Says:

    [...] Over at SayUncle’s place he’s posted that the ATF has decided the Akins Accelerator is a machinegun. This is in stark contrast to their previous determination that the product in question was a valid and entirely legal product. [...]

  12. beerslurpy Says:

    Gattsaru,

    Regarding vagueness, I dont think that is the problem. The law is vague, but the issue here isnt interpretation of a vague section. One pull of the trigger has been the law for a long time, as is reflected by the ATF’s original letter. I suspect the problem is that the ATF is twisting the law to mean stuff it plainly doesnt. It wont be easy, but you can get injuctive relief when an agency goes against the language of the statute. The supreme court recently laid smackdown on the EPA for interpreting “daily” to mean something other than daily. Can’t remember name of teh case.

    Sporting purposes might be susceptible to vaguness attack because the ATF hasnt come up with a meaning in 40 years of trying. It was basically a tool to protect domestic manufacturers from an influx of cheap milsurps after WWII. In the early days, they ended up with a lot of very inconsistent results because they wanted to ban things that were clearly sporting (imported sporting shotguns) but allow things that were clearly non-sporting (like expensive handguns). In later years we have seen all sorts of weird results like “3-gun isnt a sport.” And so on.

  13. beerslurpy Says:

    I’m not saying that handguns arent used in sports today, but back then they werent used for much beyond self defense. Handgun target shooting and hunting wasnt yet widespread in the late 60s and early 70s.

    I am interested to see how that sporting purposes challenge goes (can’t remember the name) and also parker.

  14. straightarrow Says:

    A thug is a thug and is for sale or will prey on anything that it believes can’t harm it. BATFE is the Bureau of American Thugs That F***** Everybody. They do it for a price and theirs is the only agency whose express purpose is to violate the constitution. Many agencies do violate the constitution, but the BATFE is the only one whose charter is to do so.

    We either quit sending the same drones to Washington or we send them to the graveyard or we kill ourselves. Living free; with them in power is not possible.

    However, I expect that everyone will vote his goddamned pocketbook and the “freebies” promised by the latest popular thug and return the same bunch to DC in the next election also. Which means only option 2 or 3 are viable. With three leading by two furlongs.

  15. Diamondback Says:

    I think we need to be careful how we argue this. I think bump firing a semi-auto is a bad idea since it looks to the average citizen-joe as if the person has a full-auto weapon. If we’re not careful the anti-gun crowd will grab on to this capability as a reason to ban all semi-auto firearms. I’d rather they ban this atkins device rather than ban all semi-autos. It doesn’t matter what you or I think about the “one trigger pull, one shot” definition. What matters to the average citizen is that if it “shots like a machine gun, it is a machine gun”. I’d rather not get stuck with a semi-auto ban. Ask the Brits.

  16. Chris Byrne Says:

    DB, reductio ad absurdium of your argument:

    Women shouldn’t wear short skirts, because it will cause them to be raped, and result in the government banning all revealing clothing.

  17. SayUncle Says:

    If we’re not careful the anti-gun crowd will grab on to this capability as a reason to ban all semi-auto firearms.

    They already do. they just call it spray-firing from the hip. Even when they’re on to something, they get it wrong.

  18. Diamondback Says:

    Chris, You totally missed what I said. Read it again.
    Uncle, My point exactly. They go by what they see. Why give them fuel for the fire. The device is designed to get full auto performance out of a semi-auto. There is no denying its purpose. Is it neat? Heck yeah! Legally a good idea? Hell No! All we need is for Feinstein or Kennedy to use these videos of “bump fire automatics” and say “see, there really is no difference between autos!” My point was in the first sentence of my previous post. Show the video to anyone unaware of the device and they will believe they are looking at a full-auto 10/22.

  19. Block Head Says:

    Diamondback: The existence of a bump fire-enhancing device like the Akins Accelerator doesn’t make a bit of difference in potential future bans of certain guns. Do you realize that during the push the 1994 ban the anti crowd convinced everybody that they were banning machine guns? I saw the bits on TV where the talking heads interviewed a cop or other authority figure and that person dumped a magazine or two from a real machine gun. The authority figure would then explain why those “evil guns” needed to be banned. HCI and others didn’t need a device that simulated full auto to make their case – they just used the real thing and applied appropriate lies, distortion, and omissions of fact.

    I live in a semi-rural area with many, many hunters. In fact, my employer and all of the area schools consider the first day of antlered deer season a holiday. Very few of the hunters (not shooting enthusiasts) knew that the 1994 assault weapons ban only banned semi-automatics. Even those individuals had fallen for the mass media propaganda. Most of those folks thought that anybody could buy an AK-47 or M-16 and rock and roll. BTW, many of those same guys are NRA members, yet support bans on high cap magazines, “assault weapons”, and anything else that “can’t be used for hunting”. One guy even said that he wouldn’t mind giving up all of his guns because it would make everybody safer! The anti-gun crowd is definitely winning the war of public opinion, whether we like to admit it or not.

    Gun owners are not becoming fractured – we’re already in separate camps. Some folks, like myself, are hunters, collectors, and plain old shooters, but many folks only fit into one category. They could give a damn less what happens to other peoples’ guns, so long as they’re not affected. Anything that restricts free ownership of firearms by law-abiding individuals rather than criminals, eventually will affect all of us. I remember that for a short time a couple of years ago there was mention of the “sniper rifle” problem. I think that it was during the D.C./Virginia and Columbus, OH shootings. It probably lost steam when it turned out that neither case involved a scoped sniper rifle (aka, a deer rife). However, you can be sure that it will be an issue again sometime in the future. After all, how many millions of those accurate, long-range killers are in peoples’ homes? I’m convinced that we will be all be split off from the pack, group-by-group, until practically no gun ownership is legal. Don’t worry, the “guys in black” won’t come one day to knock own your door and confiscate all of your guns – they’ll request that you make arrangements with your nearest BATFE field office to turn in the most recent item that’s been reclassified or redefined and declared illegal. It will be all very orderly and reasonable. No new legislation is necessary. After all, laws are very concrete rules that can result in charges being fought and overturned in court. That wouldn’t be very efficient.

    Block Head

  20. Diamondback Says:

    Block Head,
    Preaching to the choir. I was born with guns and I’ll die with guns. Yes the Enemies of the 2nd don’t need any excuse. Never have, never will. But this conversion to “Auto fire” (And yes I understand how the device works and yes I know what “bump firing” is and I don’t need you or anyone else to “explain” any differences in the mechanical functioning to me) is POTENTIALLY a tempest in a teapot for the Legal ownership of semiautos. Let’s ignore all the other semi’s for the moment. Are you aware that several members of the Congress-Critters have on more than a half dozen times in the last 10 years tried to ban the Ruger 10/22 in part to all the full-auto conversion manuals that are floating around? The device is designed to get “around” the full-auto conversion laws by using (and I really hate to use the term) the “loophole” of “one pull, one shot” that defines the difference between semi and full. It really isn’t arguable that this is the sole purpose of the device. There are legal ways to obtain Full Auto Firearms. The Atkins Device is not the way to do it under current restrictions on full-autos. Bump Firing is a neat trick but adding a device to a legal firearm to “convert” (and again I reiterate that I understand the trigger is being bumped and no actual conversion of the receiver or mechanics of the rifle have been altered) to full-auto “performance” is a stupid idea under current law. Adding ANY device to a firearm to convert to full-auto is currently illegal. It doesn’t really matter what the device is or how the conversion is performed! I wish it wasn’t the case! I’d love to order an AK47 (the real deal as Kalisnikov intended in all it’s full auto glory) over the internet and have the UPS guy deliver it to my doorstep! But under current law, adding a device that converts to auto fire is illegal. Atkins is clever. He’s invented a new “type” of full-auto conversion. But a conversion it still is.

  21. SayUncle » They’re looking Says:

    [...] Given the ATF’s recent ruling that the Akins Accelerator is a machine gun after having ruled it wasn’t (be wary of fickle bureaucrats), there have been quite a few searches for Akins Accelerator landing at this site from various .gov agencies, including: [...]

  22. Mike Says:

    I built my own version of the Akins Accelerator a year ago and though I have never seen an Akins I assume it is along the same design princable. How many versions of a sliding stock could there be without being on the same basis. What happens to me? Will I be in possesion of an illegal MG?
    If anyone knows what I can do to keep my rifle let me know.
    Thank you,
    Mike

  23. SayUncle Says:

    Mike, I’d contact a lawyer.

  24. SayUncle » So, what next? Says:

    [...] Also, their fickle minds are potentially bankrupting people and making criminals out of the law-abiding since they can decide what is or is not law. There needs to be oversight of the agency. [...]

  25. SayUncle » Akins Accelerator Update Says:

    [...] Background here. [...]

  26. SayUncle » Conversion Devices Says:

    [...] I should be clear on the shoestring/rubberband thing. In light of the Akins Accelerator issue, why is it that a rubberband that facilitates bump-firing has not been ruled illegal? Same [...]

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