SIG and ATF set timeline to settle lawsuit over muzzle device

A timeline has been set for gun maker SIG Sauer to settle a dispute with federal regulators for classifying its product as a silencer instead of a muzzle brake.

Although a date for a ruling has not been scheduled, both SIG and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agreed on deadlines for final arguments, according to court documents obtained by Guns.com.

Both parties will submit a motion for summary judgement on Jan. 9, they have until Feb. 9 to object, and then until March 1 to reply to the objection.

Neither party anticipates going to trial, but they left the option open and if they decide to go that route, trial would start six months after their pretrial conference on Dec. 16.

SIG filed suit against the ATF in April after several back-and-forths with ATF’s technology branch. In both circumstances, the agency has continued to support its initial ruling that the item in question — the muzzle of the SIG MPX carbine — is the internal component to a silencer and should be regulated per the National Firearms Act.

The New Hampshire-based gun company has also stuck to its guns, claiming that the item does not suppress the sound of a gunshot. However, early marketing efforts described the item as silencer-ready, meaning the owner can easily convert the item into a silencer once he or she follows necessary legal steps.

Although some view this case as a way to challenge NFA regulations, SIG sees it as challenging a regulator that overreaches how it interprets and enforces legal definitions.