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Posted: 5/2/2001 5:12:17 AM EST
Mr. Michael Etheridge: It has come to my attention that ATF recently released what has been described to me as a “vaguely unfavorable ruling” regarding the muzzle brake that DS Arms and Tapco are using on the FAL rifle. While many in both the media and the firearms community have painted ATF as being the natural enemy of gun owners, I wish to put that aside, and speak with you as an American. I do my dead level best to obey the law. I try to keep up with the latest rulings regarding firearms, as well as all other non-firearms regulations, and what I need to do to keep myself compliant. But what I am being told about this situation with the DS Arms muzzle brake frightens me. Mostly because of its arbitrary nature, and how it impacts BOTH firearms owners and firearms sellers and manufacturers. I am told that DS Arms and Tapco had approval for this brake BEFORE issuing it to law abiding purchasers. To now go and “move the goal posts” on those people is patently unfair. Were I an average citizen, too absorbed in trying to make a living and support my family, I would never have known about this ruling. I would be in violation of the 1994 Crime Bill. I would be a felon. Simply by owning what JUST A MONTH AGO was legal to own. Further, how can a seller / manufacturer EVER be assured of being in compliance with the law when the rules are FOREVER changing? Assume DS Arms had sold 1 million of these rifles. With a stroke of a bureaucratic pen, you have put a multi-million dollar liability on them, RETROACTIVELY. To a conspiracy theorist, it looks like you are trying to put a gun maker out of business. While the actual liability is somewhat less than that, you can see my point. You can imagine why many gun owners have come to see the ATF as an arbitrary bunch of despots interested only in wielding their power. I am certain that you do not view yourself as such, and that you are simply “doing your job.” Well, here is a chance for you to prove your motivations. Simply REVERSE the unfavorable ruling. WHY should you do that?? As I and many other FAL owners can testify, this brake does NOT suppress flash. You should try firing this rifle at dusk, and SEE the flash signature that is emitted. While I can argue effectively that the ENTIRE flash suppressor ban was built on feel-good policy and junk science, that is NOT the point. The point is that THIS muzzle brake is NOWHERE NEAR being a flash suppressor, per a knowledgeable interpretation of the 1994 Crime Bill, as any firearms technician could tell you. It is my hope that before making a ruling that will adversely affect the public you are SUPPOSED to serve, including gun owners, manufacturers and retailers, you would have the integrity to actually fire one of these rifles for yourself, and learn the truth about them. Sincerely, Mark A. Kozak Roebuck, SC
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:14:41 AM EST
Contact: Michael W. Ethridge Director, Laboratory Services Email:- ATFLabs@atfhq.atf.treas.gov be knowledgeable, be polite, be courteous,but be firm. DO NOT be antagonistic or anarchistic, or threatening. here's a chance to join the fight. Or you can continue standing on the sidelines while the rest of us carry your dead weight.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:24:29 AM EST
BTT..... might also send a letter to the agent in charge of the BATF weapon technologies dept. for ohio,would that do any good though?
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 5:26:14 AM EST
Originally Posted By sigman: BTT..... might also send a letter to the agent in charge of the BATF weapon technologies dept. for ohio,would that do any good though?
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I would think its a good idea to get the word out wherever, whenever, however. Do you have all teh states contact info??? THAT would be great.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 6:57:51 AM EST
I wonder if a similar future problem might be on the way for the LEGP rifles.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:01:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By kikomax: I wonder if a similar future problem might be on the way for the LEGP rifles.
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It will be if ATF is allowed to just throw their weight around unchecked. Which is what PISSES ME OFF about this board sometimes. WHERE IS THE FREAKIN' OUTRAGE????????? Four replies??? When a post "Knight vs. Samurai" gets 100?? Come on people. [}:(]
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:08:40 AM EST
The ATF is an illegitimate and unconstitutional agency. Their arbitrary and always contradictory executive rulings with the force of law that bypass standard legislative procedures are a slap in the face to all Americans.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:10:56 AM EST
The BATF is an organization whos eleaders are appointed by elected officials, is it not? Perhaps as law abiding voters we could put some teeth into this by writing the elected official who appoints thes people. Who is that, GW?
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:18:47 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:51:08 AM EST
Nice letter...and I agree wholeheartedly.... I do not cotton to the notion of THEM making ME a criminal by moving the 'goal posts'.... I SURE HOPE they rethink this position....IT IS TIME for some common sense to play in here.... Any weird chance this ruling came down on or near patriots day????
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:01:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:13:54 AM EST
Great letter! I wish I personally knew more about the brake and the ruling, or was personally effected by it, so I could write a well reasoned letter myself. But I'm going to try, anyway. Too bad you asked us to be polite and not antagonistic. I have trouble being polite when dealing with communists.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:16:25 AM EST
Great letter! we need to take every opportunity to make ourselves heard. Keep up the good work!
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:30:15 AM EST
gman, If you had it to do over, would you wait a few weeks to see what the outcome is before you made the purchase? I have a sealed envelope with a completed order form and FFL over the visor in my truck, just waiting to be dropped in the mail box. I am very curious just what DSA is planning on replacing the brake with. Whatcha think I should do? BTW, Admirable leadership qualitites shown in starting this thread. Keep digging bro. Later, Joe
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:34:48 AM EST
kudo's garandman! very nice professional letter. i know nothing of the new ruling, i don't own a dsa fal BUT i do have compensators on my ar's that are at this time considered legal. this could impact us all in a strong way as i endeavour to comply with the exact letter of the law. what can i do to help? steve
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:41:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/2/2001 8:48:18 AM EST by critter_FR]
Can't let you hang alone garandman. Here's mine: Michael W. Ethridge Director, Laboratory Services Dear Mr. Ethridge, I am writing concerning something I read about a “vaguely unfavorable ruling” regarding the muzzle brake that DS Arms and Tapco are using on the FAL rifle. This ruling in no way effects me personally, since I do not own an FAL, and don't plan on owning one in the foreseeable future. However, it does concern me because I own other firearms that can also someday be viewed upon with scorn by your agency. I am an American, and this is America. This is the land of the free, or so I thought. We should not have to worry that some alphabet agency can make a less than scientific decision about a particular feature of a rifle, thereby making us felons in the eyes of the "law", without any of us having done anything directly, to deserve such status. If I buy something that is legal to own, it is mine. I can legally own it until I no longer want it. When the federal government begins to issue me rifles for my collection, then and only then can they change their minds and make it illegal for me to posses, and then and only then will I be pleased to dispose of it. Acts by your agency such as this are which give it the horrible reputation that it currently enjoys. I have read reports dated from as far back as 1982, written by a senate committee on the 2nd amendment, which criticize the ATF as spending far too much time trying to make felons out of the law abiding. It seems that some things have not changed in the last 18 years. Since you are the director of lab services, you must know that a so called flash hider is not what it's name implies. There is no know device that can completely hide a firearm flash. The only purpose of a flash suppresser was to eliminate the sharply pointed muzzle flash that serves as an arrow to pinpoint the precise location of the person firing the rifle. Even with a flash suppresser installed, there will be a muzzle flash present, but it will be dissipated in more of a circular pattern. Since witnesses and LEOs will still very much be able to locate a shooter by the suppressed flash they are hardly devices which should cause anyone any concern in civilian applications. So tell me, why go through all of this fuss in the first place, if not to create a bureaucratic nightmare for gun dealers, mfgs, and owners? Do you honestly believe that anyone would be any safer if the DS Arms muzzle brake is banned? Jim Crispino Canaan, CT
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 8:51:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By steve m: kudo's garandman! what can i do to help? steve
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Write a letter expressing your concerns about what may happen if the ATF should decide to review the compensators that you do own, like I did. [:)]
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 9:13:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cope: gman, If you had it to do over, would you wait a few weeks to see what the outcome is before you made the purchase? Whatcha think I should do?
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Cope - I wopulnd't be so presumptuous as to suggest what you should do. The stakes may indeed be too high. Far as my decision, I don't think I would do it any different. I MAY??? be to the point where I refuse to obey ATF's unconstitutional and arbitrary "ruling" on this one. We keep giving ground and giving ground. remember that thread "Where is your line in the sand?"" For too long, our line in the sand has been right behind the heels of "the man." Even tho DSA gas agreed to make it good at no additional cost, I may leave it the way it is. Today its this muzzle brake, tomorrow its prebans, and the day after that it is semi autos. Enough already. I'm not sure what I will ultimately do. I've contacted ATF, and my senators and representative. Hopefully, someone over at ATF will come to their senses and solve this whole problem. (Yeah, right... )
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 9:20:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By critter_FR: Can't let you hang alone garandman. Do you (ATF) honestly believe that anyone would be any safer if the DS Arms muzzle brake is banned? Jim Crispino Canaan, CT
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Atta boy, critter!!!!! "We better all hang together, or we will all certainly hang separately." -- Ben Franklin BTW - My understanding is that that CT assault weapon complete and total ban bill is DEAD. Good job, and congrats!!!!!
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 9:36:33 AM EST
Here's mine: Dear Jackboot thug; You are an unconstatucinal agincy set up by the freeMasons who are the UN to take over the US of A and Me and my Militia buddies are ready, willing and able to Stand Up And Be Counted! You Can Pry It From My Cold Dead Fingers! I Am A Patriot! Sinserely, Andreusan Private 2d Class Unreformulated Rebel Militia of Patriotic Duty; Treasurer, Ambassador, Vice President and Minister Of Defense of the Free Re-Seceded Republic of Florida [url]www.FloridiotMilitiaWackos.com[/url]
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 9:51:24 AM EST
The BATF is an [u]executive[/u] agency. That means , ultimately, the authority rests with good ol' W (but I've learned few people on this board put any faith in him [:(]) I'm writing to him. Most of the ATF authorities are Clinton appointies. Maybe it's time to flush 'em out. [x]
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 10:01:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cible: Dear Jackboot thug; You Can Pry It From My Cold Dead Fingers! ]
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Cible - You may find some kindred spirits over at AK47.net. They are a ROWDY bunch, ready to head over to ATF and "TP" the building, or worse [:D] I too am tempted to tell ATF where to go, but know that ain't gonna accomplish anything. Oh well. We all have our own way of making the world go 'round.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 10:02:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cible: Dear Jackboot thug; You Can Pry It From My Cold Dead Fingers! ]
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Cible - You may find some kindred spirits over at AK47.net. They are a ROWDY bunch, ready to head over to ATF and "TP" the building, or worse [:D] I too am tempted to tell ATF where to go, but know that ain't gonna accomplish anything. Oh well. We all have our own way of making the world go 'round.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 10:11:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By critter_FR: Since you are the director of lab services, you must know that a so called flash hider is not what it's name implies. There is no know device that can completely hide a firearm flash. The only purpose of a flash suppresser was to eliminate the sharply pointed muzzle flash that serves as an arrow to pinpoint the precise location of the person firing the rifle. Even with a flash suppresser installed, there will be a muzzle flash present, but it will be dissipated in more of a circular pattern. Since witnesses and LEOs will still very much be able to locate a shooter by the suppressed flash they are hardly devices which should cause anyone any concern in civilian applications.
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While your heart is in the right place, I hope you didn't send this message to him yet, because that's a highly inaccurate (and surprisingly widespread) description of what a flash supressor does! The sole purpose of a flash supressor is to preserve the night vision of the person OPERATING the weapon. A flash hider "hides" the flash from your sight, and the muzzle flash is still clearly visible to anyone downrange of your weapon. The ironic thing about the ban on flash supressors is that it has led to the widespread use of muzzle brakes, which on many weapons are much more useful to the average person, enabling you to get more rounds on target quickly. I don't think you'll get them to admit it, but this sort of action is probably an attempt to enforce a de-facto ban on muzzle brakes. They're trying to scare companies into believing there's a risk in putting them on their products. Write to DSA as well as GWB, your congressmen, etc and let them know you support them. To those who are waiting to see the outcome: DSA needs your support _now_ and if you were planning on buying a rifle from them, this is hardly the time to hesitate. If the ATF continues to insist that these are flash supressors, every owner of one of these rifles should practice civil disobedience. There is no way they're going to try to throw thousands of people in jail while standing on such shaky legal ground!
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 10:41:41 AM EST
Garandman you asked where is the outrage??? On Ak47net there are several threads on this issue one has almost 100 replies. The FAL Files board members are up in arms as well. And also threads on AssaultWeb. I have ranted until I'm ranted out. I'm not changing my rifles due to the whims of the ATF. They can piss off!!
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 12:17:01 PM EST
btt
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 12:30:49 PM EST
Thanks Garandman, Great letter. I, for one, am not changing anything until there is an "offical" letter from ATF Technology Branch regarding these brakes. I've built dozens of rifles for resale with the Tapco brake on them. I've build hundreds of rifles for others with those brakes. When and if an "official" ruling in pronounced, providing that ruling is not on the side of reason and technical accuracy, then I'll start calling customers and requesting their rifles back. And I will expect Tapco to compensate me accordingly for my labor and shipping costs. Until then, I'm writing, complaining and lamenting the death of common sense, same as you. Keep up the good fight. We have had our differences in the past, but this is where you separate the "wheat from the chaff". We dont have to agree on everything, but when it counts, we stick together. That's how Americans have always been! Bravo! D.
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 12:44:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/2/2001 12:44:36 PM EST by NewShot]
Well, I'm between a rock and a hard place on this one. I'm not so sure I want to send my rifle back just yet. DSA has said they have already sent samples of the MB for independent testing. For all I know this situation could correct itself in a few weeks. I really don't want to send my rifle back in and have a paper weight put on only to find out they approve the thing a month later. I doubt DSA would reinstall the original MB if that were the case. I just want to sit back on this one for a while until something more concrete is produced. On the other hand DSA and I are aquainted and they did call me personally to request I bring in the rifle immidiately. They're good people and they've had me by their facility a few times and always treated me right. I wish I didn't get that phone call...........
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 2:35:51 PM EST
Two points I'd like to make. 1)The letters need to go to AG John Ashcroft IMO, if any correction from ATF is expected. 2)This would be a nightmare for the feds to prosecute if no changes have been made to the brake after they "approved" it. I doubt they would take the chance of charging someone for this. A jury, if told the truth, probably would not agree with them. Still, it needs to be corrected!
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 7:04:51 PM EST
Thank you Garandman for the outstanding letter I do not own a FAL but also feel the need to get involved now. But we need some consensus on the correct avenue to pursue this case and more specific info on the brake itself. This way, when we go to reference the MB in our letters, we can somewhat authoritatively comment on it. Suggestions?
Link Posted: 5/2/2001 10:03:01 PM EST
Great suggestions and comments, keep this topic near the top. Today the DSA and Tapco brakes, tomorrow, the Cav arms and Wilson brakes. It may affect you. D.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 3:21:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By derek_huffman_azex: Thanks Garandman, Great letter. Keep up the good fight. We have had our differences in the past, but this is where you separate the "wheat from the chaff". We dont have to agree on everything, but when it counts, we stick together. That's how Americans have always been! Bravo! D.
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That's right, Derek. We share a foxhole, and therefore we are friends, regarless of our other differences. Which at times like THIS look pretty small and insignificant anyway. Let's ALL try to keep each other updated of news, info, progress, new approaches of tackling this issue.
Link Posted: 5/3/2001 3:40:11 AM EST
It should not surprise anyone that ATF would do this type of thing. When they decide they don't want any grandfathered evil weapons out there, they will make criminals out of all who own them. They can change the rules anytime they want, and there is very little that can be done. I think the letter that garandman wrote was very well written and to the point. I suspect that it will fall on deaf ears and maybe put him on some kind of list they keep. Little by little they are taking away. It disgusts me to no end.
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 5:17:04 AM EST
Please let me know what if any respones you get form your letters. Did you e-mail or snail mail ATF? Just want to know so I can do the same.
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 5:32:34 AM EST
ATF is doing this to pressure DSA-arms out of business; now DSA-arms will be setback by this? don't know. I will tell you this if i owned a dsa arms gun and i was sent a letter fuck the ATF i wouldnt sent my rifle back for shit. the gun was legal when it was bought.
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 6:15:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By Cible: Here's mine: Dear Jackboot thug; You are an unconstatucinal agincy set up by the freeMasons who are the UN to take over the US of A and Me and my Militia buddies are ready, willing and able to Stand Up And Be Counted! You Can Pry It From My Cold Dead Fingers! I Am A Patriot! Sinserely, Andreusan Private 2d Class Unreformulated Rebel Militia of Patriotic Duty; Treasurer, Ambassador, Vice President and Minister Of Defense of the Free Re-Seceded Republic of Florida [url]www.FloridiotMilitiaWackos.com[/url]
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Well I thought it was funny.
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 6:22:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By derek_huffman_azex: Thanks Garandman, Great letter. Keep up the good fight. We have had our differences in the past, but this is where you separate the "wheat from the chaff". We dont have to agree on everything, but when it counts, we stick together. That's how Americans have always been! Bravo! D.
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That's right, Derek. We share a foxhole, and therefore we are friends, regarless of our other differences. Which at times like THIS look pretty small and insignificant anyway. Let's ALL try to keep each other updated of news, info, progress, new approaches of tackling this issue.
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As derek said very well written letter. And yes I may not hold your views on everything but believe it or not I do stand with you on gun related issues. I don't own a FAL but I'm going to whip up a little something to mail them. We need to cut this cancer out before it spreads. We are all different, with different views on things, but for the most part I believe we are all Brothers-in-Arms.
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 6:42:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By garandman: Mr. Michael Etheridge: It has come to my attention that ATF recently released what has been described to me as a “vaguely unfavorable ruling” regarding the muzzle brake that DS Arms and Tapco are using on the FAL rifle. It is my hope that before making a ruling that will adversely affect the public you are SUPPOSED to serve, including gun owners, manufacturers and retailers, you would have the integrity to actually fire one of these rifles for yourself, and learn the truth about them. Sincerely, Mark A. Kozak Roebuck, SC The ATF like any other beaurocracy has no interest in serving the public, only in increasing it's own influence and sense of importance by extending the powers it's been given to the most restrictive interpretations it can get away with, and asserting it's authority on the most people possible as a means to demonstrate how "effective" and "nessisary" it is, to the beaurocracies governing it. The fact that GW is in charge now makes little diffrence since he will not change the nature of beaurocracy in america, this is too much to ask of any one person. Also, the ATF will only get more restrictive under the republicans because the bedrock of their position on gun control has been "Enforcment of the laws already in place". This is even the NRA's approved agenda. Says nothing about loose interpretations or tollerance. The only way to ease restrictions will be repeal the laws they are based on, and the Republicans will not make themselves vulnerable to criticism by doing that when they have other priorities they are pushing for, like the budget, education, etc...etc...
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 11:00:17 AM EST
I agree with going over BATFs head on this one. They've already shown a total disregard for their own prior opinions and need to be called on it. [url]AskDOJ@usdoj.gov[/url] Written letters are still the best and most unignorable forms of communication to our government: U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001 garandman, Do you know who has the facts on this issue? Where'd you get your information? Was the Tapco brake really pre-approved by ATF? I've seen the ATF letter for the Wilson brake, does Tapco or DSA have a similar one? Dave
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 1:36:43 PM EST
won't the ones that are already out there be grandfatherd in? I know nota about FALs . give me some more info and I will write them!!!
Link Posted: 5/6/2001 4:13:45 PM EST
Originally Posted By Centauro97: I agree with going over BATFs head on this one. They've already shown a total disregard for their own prior opinions and need to be called on it. [url]AskDOJ@usdoj.gov[/url] Written letters are still the best and most unignorable forms of communication to our government: U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001 garandman, Do you know who has the facts on this issue? Where'd you get your information? Was the Tapco brake really pre-approved by ATF? I've seen the ATF letter for the Wilson brake, does Tapco or DSA have a similar one? Dave
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Uh...guys? The ATF is a TAX COLLECTION agency. It answers to the Department of the [u]Treasury[/u], NOT the DOJ. Ashcroft has no more control over the ATF than he does the IRS.
Link Posted: 5/7/2001 3:31:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By Centauro97: garandman, Do you know who has the facts on this issue? Where'd you get your information? Was the Tapco brake really pre-approved by ATF? I've seen the ATF letter for the Wilson brake, does Tapco or DSA have a similar one? Dave
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I spoke with DSA and there is a lawsuit pending, so they are understandably tight lipped about everything. Off the record, DSA gave me most of the info I put into the letter. Other tidbits came from Buddie at Tapco, via Discussion Boards like this one - FAL Files, namely. They both told me they had gotten a pre-approval from BATF, but considering the circumstances, they aren't likely to produce a letter, if one exists, and let me have a copy of it right now.
Link Posted: 5/7/2001 3:45:11 AM EST
Treasury may own ATF, but DOJ would handle the prosecution. If DOJ doesn't buy the story, maybe they'll clue ATF in that they're FOS.
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