For those of you who do not remember, Bill Akins designed a replacement stock for the Ruger 10/22, had it vetted and approved by the BATFE, went into production and then for reasons unknown the BATFE went bananas and told him and his customers to pound sand. No compensation, truly bad interpretation of existing law and just general lunacy all around.
Complete link here:
“While the ATF might not like it, they’re stuck with the laws that Congress passed,” he said. “They have no policy-making authority outside of the boundaries of the laws.”
Akins, 55, said the issue boils down to fairness.
“They arbitrarily changed their mind and didn’t offer any compensation,” he said.
ATF officials wouldn’t comment on the pending litigation, but a spokesman said the agency stands behind the decision to outlaw the Accelerator.
Drew Wade said the ATF initially approved the device after test-firing a prototype Akins sent the agency in 2003. He said the prototype malfunctioned when it was tested and analyzed by a senior technician from the ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch.
But the agency approved the Accelerator anyway, saying in a letter it did not meet the criteria for a machine gun and, as a concept, was allowable under federal law.
“FTB has concluded that your submitted device is not designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun,” ATF officials wrote in an August 2005 letter.
Wade said the agency reversed its position after someone who bought a fully functioning Accelerator requested another test-firing. This time, it worked.
Shortly after, federal regulators issued a new ruling, concluding the Akins Accelerator was a machine gun prohibited under the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Besides mailing in all recoil springs in stock and his customer list, the agency demanded that Akins send an affidavit to each customer to account for all of the devices sold. The recipients had to sign the document and return it to the ATF with the removed springs.
Wade wouldn’t comment on the rationale for the ATF’s reversal of its ruling.
The Accelerators, made of injection-molded plastic, sold for about $1,000 each. They came with tools and instructions on how to attach the device to a semiautomatic rifle.
Similar to a Hellfire, which attaches to the trigger guard and has been on the market for decades, the Accelerator was based on the target-shooting practice of bump firing.
Once the trigger is pulled, the Accelerator’s spring mechanism takes over, and the trigger reciprocates at high speed, using recoil resistance to imitate automatic fire. Most of the devices were made for a Ruger 10/22, but Akins intended to make them for other rifles, too.