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Fair Trade Group Sues ATF For Banning Importation Of Certain Firearm

2/24/2011

Today the FAIR Trade Group took action to sue the federal government for arbitrarily changing interpretation of federal law regarding the importation of certain firearm barrels to the detriment of the firearms community.

The ATF reversed years of statutory interpretation of the Gun Control Act and is acting in conflict with published implementing regulations regarding the importability of certain firearms barrels. ATF is enforcing the new interpretation of the law without any change to the regulations.

FAIR Trade Group members, other firearm importers and the customers seeking to buy imported goods have been directly harmed by the actions of ATF to prohibit the importation of barrels that can be assembled into sporting firearms or used as replacement barrels for legally owned firearms. Importers not only lost access to marketable goods but were also left with goods in transit and goods overseas that lost value. Firearms owners, collectors and potential buyers were denied access to these goods which, in many cases, have no available replacement.

ATF chose to reverse course 37 years after the GCA was passed and 18 years after the last amendments to the law. No underlying justification has been offered for ATF’s decision to affirmatively reverse a published regulation to the retriment of the industry without appropriate and required notice and comment.

FAIR is concerned the ATF is increasingly acting without regard to statutory obligations to the detriment of firearms collectors, sport shooters and enthusiasts. Most recently, published reports suggest ATF is opposing State Department authorization for the importation of M1 Carbines.

This opposition comes despite the fact that millions of these firearms are in civilian possession today yet they do not register as crime guns. The fact that the US Government sells M1 Carbines through the Civilian Marksmanship Program suggests the Government does not view them as crime guns. Ironically, current law directs the ATF to approve the importation of M1 Carbines–the very importation they are seeking to prevent at the Department of State.

The Fair Trade Group has sought for years to work constructively with the ATF but is compelled to seek judicial remedies when ATF refuses to address concerns FAIR believes are in conflict with the law.

The FAIR Trade group is a 501(c)(6) organization dedicated to protecting the interests of the Firearms and Ammunition Import and Export community. FAIR works with many U.S. government agencies including the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Department of State, and the U.S. Customs Service to provide solutions to FAIR Members’ concerns. More information about FAIR can be secured at

www.fairtradegroup.org

Questions regarding this release can be directed to the FAIR Trade Group at (202) 296-2573

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