ATF Rules Against SIG SAUER MPX

Discussion in '2nd Amendment' started by lklawson, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    How did this story not get referenced anywhere on HPFF is beyond me. It's getting a little out of date, but here it is:

    ATF Rules Against SIG SAUER MPX
    by Jim Shepherd
    3:00pm Thursday, April 17, 2014

    While filming last season's studio segments for "Guns & Gear" TV, SIG SAUER brought several of their new guns to the studio as highlights of their 2014 products. One caught the eye of everyone -including production crew members who normally had no interest. It was, even to a "gun person" a strange-looking thing.

    The "thing" was SIG's new MPX carbine. OK, a 9mm carbine isn't all that big a deal, but this one had a major difference: a muzzlebrake that was actually longer (9.5 inches) than the barrel itself (6.5 inches). Actually, the two weren't separable. And, being welded in place, they gave the compact carbine an overall barrel length of sixteen inches. Without the integral muzzlebrake, the short barrel itself would classify the gun as an SBR - a Short Barreled Rifle in ATF terminology. It would then be subject to all the legal constraints and registration requirements of fully-automatic guns and suppressors.

    [​IMG]

    In August, the BATFE responded-negatively- to the muzzlebrake. The ATF's contention was that the brake actually wasn't a brake, classifying it instead as an interior part of suppressors known as a "monolithic baffle stack". The official denial said "welding it to a barrel does not change its design characteristics or function" and because of that, they were classifying the MPX as a Class 3 weapon.

    In September SIG disagreed, and asked the ATF to reconsider.

    The company stuck by its contention that the MPX's integral muzzlebrake did nothing to reduce the sound signature. As evidence, SIG submitted sound meter tests that demonstrated that the brake in fact increased the sound levels.

    If you've fired a rifle with a muzzlebreak, you know what they're saying.

    That same submitted testing demonstrated that the MPX's unique muzzlebreak did, however, significantly reduce both recoil and muzzle climb-its sole intended purpose.

    In February, the ATF responded, telling SIG it was sticking with its original finding.

    In response, SIG filed a civil suit against the ATF, claiming the ATF's incorrect ruling was causing the company significant economic injury.

    "There is no market for a non-silencing silencer" SIG claims, while there is a "significant market for a muzzlebrake that decreases muzzle rise and recoil."

    The ATF's classification of the MPX's integral brake a silencer, despite the fact it doesn't "silence, muffle, or diminish the report of a firearm" simply attaches "burdensome requirements set forth above as if it really is a silencer," Sig says in the suit.

    If this is beginning to sound somewhat familiar, it's because we have reported on another ATF ruling recently (http://www.shootingwire.com/features/228649) that was overturned by a Federal Circuit Court. In that case, the ATF classified a muzzle brake from Innovator Enterprises a suppressor. The company countered with a lawsuit saying, essentially, that the ATF went purely on cosmetic appearance rather than demonstrable performance characteristics.

    On appeal, the ruling was overturned.

    But U. S. District Judge John Bates disagreed, saying the ATF clearly "jumped the gun" and overturned their finding. Bates then went on to castigate the ATF for its slipshod methods, citing as examples a lack of clearly enumerated standards and their subsequently selecting "dubious standards" that served only to fit the decision they wanted to give.

    In fact, Bates wrote, the finding letter "contains hardly any reasoning, and makes no reference to prior agency regulations or interpretations that support its conclusion." Instead, Judge Bates called the ATF letter a brief and informal document and "a non-binding statement of the agency's position on whether the Stabilizer Brake is a silencer."

    Bate's ruling went on to remind the ATF that having "a tail, grey skin and four legs" didn't make an animal an "elephant" or a child's bicycle a motorcycle because it had "three characteristics of motorcycles: two rubber tires, handlebars and a leather seat."

    He didn't stop there. He went on to point out that a Bud Light is not a Single-Malt Scotch because it is "frequently served in a glass container, contains alcohol and is served in a tavern" any more than a hockey puck is a "rubber bullet" because it has "rounded sides, is made of vulcanized rubber, and is capable of causing injury when launched at high speeds."

    "Learning that one object has three characteristics in common with some category," he wrote, "may not be very helpful in determining whether the object in question belongs in that category."

    With this latest example of companies pushing back against ATF rulings, it would seem that several possibilities are emerging.

    The first, and most frequently offered by industry executives, is that the ATF is making a significant push to make firearms more difficult to manufacture and sell.

    A complimentary observation, however, may be that the industry, seeing the BATFE continually found lacking in its methods of investigation and self-policing, sees an opportunity to push back against what have historically been decisions that were difficult to question, much less reverse.

    As the industry lawsuits challenging the agency's methods mount and Congressional pressure again ramping up over disastrous ATF operations like Operations Wide Receiver and Fast & Furious, mounting evidence of capricious rulings and slapdash operations may be adding credence to claims in Congress that the BATFE has become an "out-of-control - and unnecessary agency."​

    Reposted from BuckeyeFirearms.org

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  2. mn_doggie

    mn_doggie Member

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    WOW..

    I used to do High Power Rockets (in my case 10 ft, 15 lb rockets with K sized motors) and ATF got sued by the rocketry organization for some unusual rules. (I had to get an explosives permit and store my motors in a "magazine" just as if they were explosives.) ATF lost in that case, too.
     

  3. interesting. I have seen the MPX in an AD recently but i dont remember where.

    So after the court decision is it legal to sell us lowly non-licensed citizens?

    The ATF amazes me.

    A pistol stock isnt illegal, because it is sold as a "brace" and sold with a nice Velcro strap. But a muzzle brake that is long and permanently attached is now a silencer!?!?!
     
  4. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Well if the Libs get their main policy enforcing lobbies (IRS, ATF) reigned in, maybe we can get things back on track..... Now if someone would bust the EPA's balls as well........
     
  5. Like it or not, the only way to rein in excessive government is by revitalizing the militia. There is a reason that the US Constitution says it in "necessary" for there to be a freedom. Thousands of years of written history back this up fully.

    There is a reason that the very 1st thing those who favored strong central government did was to get rid of the state militias. Then they basically had a free hand do whatever they wanted.
     
  6. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    No it isn't.
    This just needs to be won in court.
     
  7. ekim

    ekim Member

    Do you really believe this is how the people can regain back the rights and freedom lost! :( Really
     
  8. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    RE: Which of the several statements above:confused:

    Militias are a great thing, IMO...
    "National Guard" is a bit of a misnomer, applied by DC bureaucrats to muddy the waters. There are likely separate militias in all 57 states;)
    In reality, we are all militia members!
     
  9. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    15,993
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    I am. It says so in the Vermont Constitution.
     
  10. panoz77

    panoz77 Member

    2,864
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    +1

    If this goes to court, it will be a very good thing and may result in all ATF "opinion letters" being non-enforceable. I am fairly sure that the "opinion letters" are non-enforceable now and not law, but only serve as guidance. We have already seen that two different ATF agents can have two completely opposite opinions (as shown with the sig brace).
     
  11. My pa CCW permit has the Westmoreland county Militia flag on it. Apparently in this county when you get your permit, the sheriff auto enrolls you into the "local militia"
     
  12. It hasn't work in the last 100 years or so. What makes you think it will work now?
     
  13. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter


    Because they're wrong?
     
  14. Yes we are and even in the Heller description it is stated that all able bodied persons 18 and over are members.

    But without some kind of organization we will never have a government that doesn't try an infringe on our rights.

    FWIW: A good point is in Miller the SC says that the NFA doesn't apply to arm that the worlds military's use when owned by a member of the militia. Heller says we're all militiamen.

    Did the Hughes amendment go way? Did you and neighbors go out an practice with a anti-tank weapon lately? Pickup a used light machinegun lately at a good price? You have done a couple of these, but you don't want the gov knowing about it. Winning in court does nothing.

    Best that we all demand that the states revitalize their respective state militia. The next choice is join or start a non-government sanctioned one, as this is proper under the concurrent power that the state and people have.
     
  15. ekim

    ekim Member

    Being wrong has never stopped the courts or the government from taking away citizens rights or freedoms yet, what makes you think things will change now?
     
  16. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    "We the People" do still need to pursue all legal judicial means as much as possible, because we CAN still win on those fronts. Molon Labe is still our "ace in the hole" ;)
     
  17. While we are on the topics of are we or are we not in the militia.
    If we were to get a leader, say the 2AF or NRA. and they stand up and say. We are starting a militia everyone who wants in, sign up.

    Suck it ATF, suck Feinstein, try not to faint as all our class 3 weapons are perfectly legal because we are a MILITIA. and they all have a "shoulder thing that goes up."
     
  18. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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    Shoulder Thing that Goes Up
     

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  19. FlashBang

    FlashBang I Stand With Talon Lifetime Supporter


    Ask David Koresh or Randy Weaver how things worked out for them poking the ATF..... not saying I agree with them, just saying that it will be a hard row to hoe.
     
  20. Liberty

    Liberty Shhh! Lifetime Supporter

    WAIT! You sound exactly like me!