Feds: Forced-reset triggers are machine guns under US law

March 24, 2022 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are notifying gun dealers that some forced-reset triggers, which allow guns to fire rapidly with a single continuous pull of the trigger, are considered machine guns under federal law and subject to strict regulation.

The notification was being made Thursday in an open letter from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to federally licensed firearms dealers. It spells out how investigators have determined the triggers to be “conversion devices,” making the weapons machine guns.

The Biden administration has been working to strengthen gun regulation, step up its fight against gun violence and tackle rising violent crime rates in the country. The Justice Department has already announced it is taking a hardline approach to gun dealers who break federal law and has established several strike forces in cities to help stop firearms trafficking.

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In the new letter, the agency said its examination of the devices in question determined that they “allow a firearm to automatically expel more than one shot with a single, continuous pull of the trigger.”

The ATF says using the triggers, some of which sell online for around $400, mean that the weapons are being turned into machine guns under federal law, and as a result would be subject to strict regulation for possession, transportation or transferring the devices.

The determination applies only to forced-reset triggers that allow guns to fire more than one shot with a single trigger-pull and not others on the market that require the trigger to be released before another shot can be fired.