ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

18 U.S.C. 921(a)(4):
DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE

26 U.S.C. 5845(f)(2):
DESTRUCTIVE DEVICE (Nonsporting shotgun having a bore of more than one-half
inch in diameter)

The registration
period for the USAS-12, Striker-12, and Streetsweeper shotguns will close
on May 1, 2001.

ATF
Ruling 2001-1

Pursuant to ATF Rulings
94-1 (ATF Q.B. 1994-1, 22) and 94-2 (ATF Q.B. 1994-1, 24), the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) classified the USAS-12, Striker
12, and Streetsweeper shotguns as destructive devices under the National
Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53. The NFA requires that certain
"firearms" be registered and imposes taxes on their making and
transfer. The term "firearm" is defined in section 5845 to include
"destructive devices." The term "destructive device"
is defined in section 5845(f)(2) as follows:

[T]he term 'destructive
device' means . . . (2) any type of weapon by whatever name known which
will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the
action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels of which
have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or
shotgun shell which the Secretary finds is generally recognized as particularly
suitable for sporting purposes; . . .

The USAS-12, Striker
12, and Streetsweeper shotguns were classified as destructive devices
pursuant to section 5845(f) because they are shotguns with a bore of more
than one-half inch in diameter which are not generally recognized as particularly
suitable for sporting purposes.

Pursuant to 26 U.S.C.
7805(b), ATF. Ruls. 94-1 and 94-2 were issued prospectively with respect
to the making, transfer, and special (occupational) taxes imposed by the
NFA. Thus, although the classification of the three shotguns as NFA weapons
was retroactive, the prospective application of the tax provisions allowed
registration without payment of tax. ATF has contacted all purchasers
of record of the shotguns to advise them of the classification of the
weapons as destructive devices and that the weapons must be registered.
ATF has registered approximately 8,200 of these weapons to date.

Held, the
registration period for the USAS-12, Striker-12, and Streetsweeper shotguns
will close on May 1, 2001. No further registrations will be accepted after
that date. Persons in possession of unregistered NFA firearms are subject
to all applicable penalties under 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53.

Date signed: February
2, 2001