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New ATF Regs on Ammo?

National Firearms Act Trade & Collectors Association:

Recently, the NFATCA took the lead on an issue that could have far-reaching consequences in the NFA and Sporting communities. It was learned that ATF was seeking to create a definition of small arms ammunition under the aegis of the Safe Explosives Act. The definition was being created as an opinion letter and had no input from the firearms community. More importantly, it could have arrived as a declaration that all ammunition above .50 caliber would now be classified as an explosive. New licensing, regulation, administration and the prospect of re-classifying all weapons that used these new explosives were a very real possibility. The fact that this was “flying under the radar” of traditional firearms advocacy groups was troubling, to say the least.

14 Responses to “New ATF Regs on Ammo?”

  1. Tam Says:


    Not very well thought-through.

    Pretty much everything over .5″ is already a DD. The notable exceptions being shotguns and a dozen or so sporting rifle cartridges of the “Nitro Express” variety.

  2. Fiftycal Says:

    Uh, yeah, SHOTGUN ammo is “explosive”. All shotgun ammo except .410 is over 50 cal. Maybe this will get some of the skeet shooters that didn’t think THEIR apple cart would be disturbed by this regime involved.

  3. Russ Says:

    Tam, the gun is a DD, not the ammo… if that gets changed, things will get F’ed up…

  4. Robert Says:

    Bureaucracy always seeks to expand, like cancer.

  5. Tam Says:

    Tam, the gun is a DD, not the ammo…

    …unless the ammo in question is an explosive shell itself, right?

    I mean, currently, as I understand it, a 40mm HE grenade is a DD, while a 40mm inert practice grenade is just a really big bullet and requires no tax stamp. So now what they’re trying to do is reclassify inert solids as DDs?

    But only if they’re loaded and assembled?

  6. Ron W Says:

    Abolish the ATF! Re-assign their agents to the Border Patrol and let’em treat illegal alien, border-crossers like they treat American citizens who exercise their RKBA! Then they’d be doin’ us some good!

  7. Diomed Says:

    This came out a year and a half ago. I’ve tried warning the NFA community about it but unless you spend all day every day screaming about it no one notices.

    Last I heard the basis for this is the amount of propellant used in cartridges larger than .50BMG. I don’t think they thought that through very well, since I’m pretty sure 40mm LV rounds have less powder in them than that. They’ve already started confiscating cannon powders as explosives, so this is an avenue of attack that’s been percolating for a while.

    They could do it under the GCA (since ammunition for DDs is supposedly the domain of the type 09, 10 and 11 FFLs, though that’s never stopped anyone else from making/selling it) but I suspect they think they’ll have an easier go of it under the SEA. From what little I know of it they’re probably right.

  8. Mr Evilwrench Says:

    The proper term is “all wee-wee’d up”

  9. Chas Says:

    ATFer’s should be ordered to trade in their guns for pooper-scoopers and be reassigned to the White House lawn. Their new pay grade should be consistent with federal minimum wage, with no benefits whatsoever to be provided at taxpayer expense.
    For the billion dollars a year that we pay for BATFE, what we get is a country where any ex-con gangbanger can get a gun at will. I think we can continue to have exactly that same situation for a billion dollars a year less.

  10. wildbill Says:

    Wouldn’t this mean that each round would have to be registered and have the $200 tax paid on it? This would remove the possibility of anyone ever shooting these firearms, or having ammo to use in them.

  11. Diomed Says:

    wildbill –

    No, this is about the Safe Explosives Act, not the National Firearms Act. The NFA is the one with registration taxes. The SEA just says you have to get a Federal Explosives License, keep a record of each round’s acquisition and disposition, any transportation must occur in a properly placarded transport driven by a DOT-qualified driver under explosives transport rules, and storage must be in an approved explosives storage bunker that is subject to annual inspection.

  12. Rivrdog Says:

    Yeah, ask Joe Huffman about having to adhere to all those SEA rules for his Boomershoot powder for the boomer reactive targets. He has quite the little dance to dance, every year.

    If this Federal reaction is to keep a prospective Militia’s hands off of artillery shells, that isn’t going to fly, either, because if THAT balloon ever goes up, the militias will have all the captured light artillery and ammo they can use.

    The point being, if the public wants something bad enough, they will manufacture a suitable substitute. Wasn’t that what the “Anarchist’s Cookbook” publications were all about?

  13. Paul Says:

    So my 12 gauge is 76 cal with slugs and rifled barrel. Is that gonna be a DD?

  14. Vote For David Says:

    Only if it has a pistol grip. Oh wait, sorry wrong ATF bureaucratic nightmare.

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