Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #91
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Somewhere, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: ATF is changing the term "business" for FFL's.

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshIronshaft View Post
    Let me clarify that I wish we lived in a world where firearm transfers were unregulated. I'm with you on that. But we don't live in that world, so we have to play by the rules or men with guns put us in a cage.

    I really dislike how vague many ATF rules and regulations are. Which is a double edged sword. Additional rulings and clarifications can be positive or negative. I guess I see some positive in this rule, in that it makes it easier for someone to understand if they should have an FFL or not based on the activities they are engaged in. But I see the negatives you are pointing out, as there is still a lack of clarity here.

    Reading that definition is tricky.

    The term shall not include any firearm purchased for the purpose of resale with the predominant intent to earn a profit (e.g., primarily for a commercial purpose or financial gain, as distinguished from personal firearms a person accumulates for study, comparison, exhibition, or for a hobby, but which the person may also intend to increase in value).

    That last part, "but which the person may also intend to increase in value", to me, sounds like the ATF is acknowledging that firearms in your collection may increase in value, so you make money when you sell them, and that is ok.

    In addition, the term shall not include firearms accumulated primarily for personal protection: Provided, that nothing in this definition shall be construed as precluding a person from lawfully acquiring firearms for self-protection or other lawful personal use.

    I do find this part to be confusing and maybe mildly concerning. I wonder how you could distinguish a firearm for self-protection or other lawful personal use from one acquired for those reasons listed under the collection definition. They are all purchased in support of my hobby, and all of them can be used for recreation or self-protection. That is interesting. I don't think I have the knowledge to really interpret the implications of this.

    Yup, I can't answer that.

    I don't buy firearms as an investment with the intent to profit in a couple years, and I don't think most people do. Many people say that firearms are a good investment but they're really not when compared to other options and the volatility in the market. I would say I am collecting firearms, and they just happen to increase in value. They can also decrease in value. Some certainly have.

    I'm still not in agreement that the intent of this rule change is to target hobbyists and collectors. I think the intent is to have more transfers go through an FFL by defining FFL mandating activities, and certainly some collectors and hobbyists will fall into that window. It seems they will have to get an FFL or modify their behaviors.

    I agree that engaging in collecting and hobby is tradition as you stated, and if the Supremes strike down this rule based on that, then I will celebrate.

    I have an 03 FFL for C&R collecting. I say this just to state I am not an 01 or other retail/manufacturer FFL.

    I know many FFLs, and it is not hard to obtain the FFL. In some recent talks I had with the local ATF office, the guys I spoke with encouraged me to get any FFL I wanted. Their attitude was "more the merrier" it seemed. You will be expected to express an intent to engage in business, which isn't hard to do.

    They have certainly cracked down on FFLs and made it harder to keep an FFL if you are lazy, negligent, or nefarious. It seems that your proximity to a "hot" urban area may also increase your level of scrutiny. I know one FFL who does a fair amount of business from his rural home and he hasn't heard from or seen an ATF agent in years.

    I know someone with an 01 FFL who hasn't done a transfer in a decade. He renews, and never hears a thing.

    I know someone who has had an 01 FFL for years that has never done a transfer. Only purchased inventory. No issues there either.

    We hear some stories about FFLs being shutdown but I don't think they give a true representation of what is actually happening. I think some FFLs do get shut down for legitimate or illegitimate (even political) reasons, but the vast majority are going about their operations unbothered.
    As far as ATF not blocking renewals of FFLs for lack of business, my understanding is that there is an appropriations rider that prohibits ATF from revocation or nor reissuing for this reason. So ATF currently has to either deny initial issuance on this basis or find another reason to revoke or not renew once an FFL has been issued.

    I do not believe that all or even the vast majority of ATF employees are bad people. However, when you have an anti-gun administration and your next promotion, performance review, or even your next pay check depends on your willingness to go a long with this agenda, you may find that many will push the boundaries in order to get that promotion, good performance review, or that next pay check.

    That is part of the history that lead to the Firearm Owners Protection Act to provide more protections to gun owners from this. One ignores this prior history at their peril.

    As at least one lawyer on this forum has noted, ATF employees can be very helpful and provide all sorts of guidance and advice. That is until this conflicts with a change of mind at the agency and, if you are unlucky, this quiet change of mind maybe for your prosecution.

    This apparently happened to YouTube personality CRS Firearms (Matthew Hoover) who was apparently told by an ATF employee that what turned out to be, in his case, a (out of dimension to be useful drawing of a gun part on a flat) sheet of metal was not a statutory machine gun under the National Firearms Act. That is until ATF apparently changed its mind and then the employee had no memory of any conversation with CRS Firearms despite phone records documenting that there was a call with ATF. Needless to say, he was convicted without the jury hearing this advice that he apparently got from ATF.

    I end with this video as it shows the scope of the proposed rule. Even ATF could not defend parts of it when the practical effect was pointed out. It is hard to believe that the wide scope of the proposed rule was not appreciated by the Biden Administration. If you or others are interested in some of the comments made (and changes made to the proposed rule that were made by ATF as a result of these comments) during the notice and comment period that resulted in the final rule, this video by GOA maybe of interest:
    Last edited by Mosinshooter762; May 15th, 2024 at 05:48 AM.

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