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ATF, that beacon of bureaucratic consistency, has reversed itself

Now, it’s OK to have extra shoestrings in the house.

Tired of being made fun of for ruling that the shoestring pictured above is a machine gun, the ATF (without any prompting whatsoever) issued a retraction that basically says a part that is designed and intended solely for the purpose of converting a semi-automatic rifle into a machinegun is now *not* a machinegun *until* it is added to a firearm. This ruling is quite odd. You see, federal law defines machine guns as:

Any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting weapons into machine guns;

Any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for converting a weapon into a machine gun;

Any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if the parts are in the possession or under the control of a person;

The ruling seems to undercut federal law which does not dictate that a weapon and parts must be assembled to be a machine gun. I am trying to figure out what purpose this serves. I think it’s because they grew tired of being made fun of. But this particular ruling seems to run counter to prior rulings to the point of maybe jeopardizing the ATF’s prior legal strategies for persecuting err prosecuting gun crime.

The ruling was sent to Brian Blakely, who originally brought the shoestring issue up. He has commentary at subguns.com. The ruling is here.

And people say to me Hey Uncle, why are you picking such nits regarding this law? And I say To illustrate how fucking stupid some gun laws are. When it comes to guns, the enthusiast acts at his peril.

13 Responses to “ATF, that beacon of bureaucratic consistency, has reversed itself”

  1. Snowflakes in Hell » ATF OKs Bits of String Says:

    […] no longer have to worry about spending time in the federal klink for having shoelaces and guns, at least, until they change their mind […]

  2. Hyrum; Says:

    I am so glad that I can keep my shoes laced without being arrested for possession of an illegal firearm.

  3. Adam Lawson Says:

    And people say to me Hey Uncle, why are you picking such nits regarding this law?

    Another possible answer: Because the ATF does, too.

    There are very few government agencies that are so prickly and odd about enforcement. Most of them are just inefficient and lazy.

  4. Ninth Stage Says:

    Didn’t Blakely pay $200 tax on this shoestring?

  5. SayUncle Says:

    Didnít Blakely pay $200 tax on this shoestring?

    I believe so.

  6. anon Says:

    “a part that is designed and intended solely for the purpose of converting a semi-automatic rifle into a machinegun is now *not* a machinegun *until* it is added to a firearm.”

    So a DIAS is legal again?

    WooHoo!

  7. BobG Says:

    “And I say To illustrate how fucking stupid some gun laws are.”

    And I say To illustrate how fucking stupid some most gun laws are.

    There, I fixed it for you…

  8. Lyle Says:

    BobG: “all”

    There, I fixed it for you. Armed assault, armed robbery, murder, and such are already against the law, you see, and there’s a little thingy-dingy known as the Bill of Rights.

    Now just as a mental excercise, tell us which gun laws you support. To put it another way, which particular technical “violations” do you believe justify putting a peaceable, honest citizen in jail over?

  9. emdfl Says:

    This’ll work – until they change their pea-sized minds again. I still have a problem with a bureaucracy that gets to make it own laws and then can radomely change them.

  10. Cactus Jack Says:

    “There are very few government agencies that are so prickly and odd about enforcement. Most of them are just inefficient and lazy.”

    Aint that the truth! It makes me wonder which is worse…

  11. dagamore Says:

    I wonder if people in jail now for multible counts due to having a single DIAS and many Lowers will now have their convictions overturned? but i doubt that.

  12. Donmeaker Says:

    also works on SKS, Browning BAR, and Remington 750 with minor modification.

    Of course I keep my key chain separate from my bootlace.

  13. Shoe string no longer a machinegun - Rec Guns Says:

    […] string no longer a machinegun [link] [link] George in Las Vegas —————————— ————————- Learn about […]