Last Friday, the Justice Department published a sweeping proposed rule change in the Federal Register, kicking off a 90-day public comment period. 

The rule, which aims to establish new and potentially confusing federal definitions for such terms as “firearm frame or receiver,” “firearm,” “gunsmith,” “complete weapon,” “complete muffler or silencer device,” “privately made firearm,” and “readily” as viewed by the ATF. As such, it stands to be the most sweeping change to fundamental American gun laws since 1968, moving forward with promises by the Biden-Harris administration to anti-gun groups with big pockets for progressive causes. 

The proposed rule was hailed by national anti-gun groups, who have pressured the ATF, Congress, and the White House to make it harder for Americans to produce homemade firearms, a right that pre-dates the country's founding. Going further, such groups ignore the fact that criminals can still easily make zip guns from common household items in the face of such proposed new regulations. 

"Ghost guns may be the scariest and fastest-growing gun safety threat in the country, allowing anyone to make an untraceable weapon in less than an hour,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The proposed rule to stop the proliferation of these guns is a huge win for public safety and a huge loss for any criminals or extremists who wanted to buy untraceable guns with no background check and no questions asked. President Biden’s decisive action will save lives."

Meanwhile, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is collecting comments from members to file in response to the proposed rule, had this to say: 

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) proposed rule to update the definition of a frame or receiver and related parts for the first time since 1968 is published on the Federal Register. This starts the clock on the 90-day public comment period. The change of definition is one of President Joe Biden’s gun control initiatives to regulate under the Gun Control Act unfinished frames and receivers as “firearms.” Until now, precursor parts, or unfinished receivers, were not considered firearms until they crossed the 80 percent completion threshold, requiring serialization and background checks for purchase. Building firearms in the home for personal use has always been legal and it is already a crime for a prohibited individual to possess a firearm, regardless of how it is made or obtained. NSSF will closely examine the proposed rule and seek input from our members on how this proposed rule adversely impacts their businesses, and whether the rule exceeds ATF’s legal authority under the Gun Control Act before offering public comment.

The proposal, ATF's Proposed rule ATF 2021R-05, is strongly opposed by 2A groups such as the Firearms Policy Coalition who have "one-click" take action tools online to submit comments.

Those interested in making comments have until August 19 to post feedback, which will become a public record. In general, it is advised to make polite, direct, and concise arguments explaining how the rule would impact them.