This is an open letter from Bill Akins of Akins Accelerator - the original article
was posted Dec 27th 2007 on Red's Trading Post' Web Site. We reproduce the content here for you but we have omitted a few video items which can be seen by going to the Red's site link
The Tampa Tribune
ran the following on his story.
My fellow Americans.
Let me draw your attention to a process known as bump firing which is exactly what my stock allows you to do except my stock stays stationary whereas in bump firing the entire firearm including the stock moves.
Bumpfiring uses no devices of any kind. It is a skill or knack as it were, that the shooter learns. Before I go into it, I would like to mention that if you read the illegal BATFE 2006-02 ruling that bans my accelerator device, that same ruling actually bans the process of bump firing and therefore any semi automatic capable of bump firing. Read the 2006-02 ruling at the BATFE website, then come back here and look at what I am about to show you.
To bump fire, you hold the weapon very loosely with your right hand and put your finger against the trigger without actually pulling it yet. Then you pull forward with your left hand concentrating on keeping forward tension on your left hand. By doing so you pull forward on the weapon and push the trigger against the right hands trigger finger which fires the gun, which recoils allowing your finger to actually stay in contact with the trigger but allows the trigger to come back forward and reset, but remember, you are keeping forward pressure with your left hand on the fore end of the stock again pushing the trigger into your trigger finger. Actually according to the BATFE ruling, the hellfire and tac trigger should be more illegal than my device since both those devices have your finger RIDING the trigger back and forth and never releasing from it, whereas my device causes your finger to completely disengage from the trigger for each shot. So why are two rapid fire devices that clearly fall within the new BATFE ruling allowed but mine is banned? Politics. Here's a few links to videos showing bump firing without any kind of device at all. (These within original article).
This is the exact same thing my device does except the firearm does it within a stationary stock whereas in bump firing the whole firearm and stock assembly moves. However it is the same under Federal law as my device, and SHOULD be the same under the illegal BATFE ruling as my device, i.e. banned equally as my device has been banned. But the BATFE selectively enforces their new illegal ruling. Why? Because if they equally enforced their bogus ruling against the technique of bump firing, they would have to ban all semi automatic weapons, which is actually what their new 2006-02 ruling does. It bans my device, the hellfire device, the tac trigger and the process of bump firing with no device.
Yet the BATFE only enforces their ruling against my device. Here is a video of the Hellfire, gat trigger and tac trigger all in one video (Within original article). Judge for yourself. Ignore the gat trigger since it is a crank fire device like a mini gatling gun crank and not pertinent in this legal instance. Just look at the hellfire and the tac trigger. Both have been approved by BATFE as not being machine guns while mine does the same thing and is called a machine gun. The hellfire has been approved for something like 25 or 30 years.
Here is a link to another site - http://www.notpurfect.com/main/semifull.html - that explains about the tac trigger and hellfire devices which explains how they are simply aids that make bump firing easier, just like my device does. Scroll down til you see "Non NFA devices" the hellfire looks kind of like a clothes pin spring. Its the bigger pic with the red piece and spring. Tac trigger is shown installed in trigger guard. These devices do the same thing mine does. No difference other than my stock is stationary.
But you see, they have been legal for decades and Sullivan couldn't ban them without it being obvious BATFE was rewriting the law against something previously approved for decades that according to Federal law is legal just as my accelerator device is legal under federal law. I am the new guy with only two prior years of approval so they do not have as much egg on their faces by banning mine. Sullivan needed a political bone to throw to his democratic anti gun grabbing friends such as Kerry, Kennedy and the Brady group who are all supporting his confirmation. Now do you understand? This is political. Otherwise why is the hellfire and tac trigger not banned when they operate the same way my device does according to the BATFE rulings words. The danger of this ruling is that although most people do not realize it, this ruling actually bans bump firing in any form and any semi automatic firearm capable of bump firing. That is almost all semi automatic firearms. Do you see where this could lead? I challenge you to research the hellfire and tac trigger and bump firing and read the BATFE 2006-02 ruling and you will see I am correct. The average person and even the shooting public largely has no clue of the danger and significance of this illegal ruling that could lead to banning all semi automatic firearms.
Here's some more links to help you also....
Don't take my word for it, look at everything I have provided you though and once you have freshly read the BATFE ruling, ask yourself how the hellfire and tac trigger and the no device process of bumpfiring is any different from my Akins Accelerator under both Federal law and the new illegal 2006-02 BATFE ruling. You will find that they aren't.
I anticipate that some people will say to me that in the process of bump firing, the shooter is consciously pushing with his left hand against the fore end of the rifle's stock and there is no spring involved (unlike my Akins Accelerator which uses a spring to bring the trigger back into contact with the finger to function once for each shot fired) and therefore the shooter's body (left hand) is acting as the force to counteract the recoil and push the trigger back against the trigger finger to fire the firearm, and that this makes it somehow different from my device which uses a spring to push the trigger back into contact with the trigger finger for the trigger to function once for each and every shot fired. This argument's premise would be that the shooter has to consciously push forward with his left hand against the fore end of the rifle stock to bring the trigger back into contact with his trigger finger on his right hand, and therefore that the shooter's body is responsible for bumpfiring rapidly instead of a spring as in my accelerator rifle stock.
I have analyzed this and can refute that argument. For instance in a letter from Richard Vasquez of BATFE's tech branch dated Oct 13, 2006 to a citizen answering what comprises "bumpfiring", Richard Vasquez said this... "As long as you must consciously pull the trigger for each shot of the "bump fire" operation, you are simply firing a semi automatic weapon in a rapid manner and are not violating any Federal firearms laws or regulations."
As you can see BATFE now in contradiction of Federal firearms law equates "pull" of the trigger to be the same as "function" of the trigger. This is not correct since Federal law says "function" not "pull". Some firearms push or rotate the trigger so "pulling" a trigger is not the only way to "function" a trigger and Congress recognized this when they wrote the law. BATFE also arbitrarily made up a requirement here that you must "consciously" pull the trigger. Federal firearms law does not use the word "consciously" or state that a trigger must be "consciously" functioned. Again, this is something BATFE made up that is not in the Federal firearms law.
In that same letter from BATFE Richard Vasquez said...."Regarding the installation of various aftermarket parts; modifying fire-control components; installing Tac, Hellfire, or Hellstorm trigger; (Mr Vasquez is susposed to be a firearms tech expert yet he calls these "triggers" when they are not "triggers" at all but add on devices that attach to the trigger guard to put spring tension on the factory triggers) or attaching rubber bands to triggers to facilitate easier "bump fire" operations, you should be aware that any modifications which permit a weapon to fire automatically more than one shot by a single function (he got the word right this time, "function" not "pull" as he earlier stated) of the trigger could result in that weapon being defined as a machine gun."
So Richard Vasquez of the BATFE's technical branch said in a Oct 13, 2006 letter that installing Tac, Hellfire or Hellstorm aftermarket trigger attachment devices could result in the host weapon being defined as a machine gun by the BATFE. If this is true, then why hasn't BATFE contacted the manufacturers of Tac, Hellfire and Hellstorm trigger attachments to inform them to cease and desist manufacture and sales as BATFE did to my corporation when their illegal ruling banned the Akins Accelerator?
Now, keeping the above Oct 13, 2006 BATFE letter in mind along with the 2006-02 BATFE ruling in mind consider this....
Take your 22 caliber semi auto outside. Now load and chamber it and point it vertically towards the ground and loosely support it so it doesn't move around. Now place your finger against the trigger and let the gun fire due to gravity pulling the trigger against your finger. The recoil will bumpfire the gun without you "consciously" pulling the gun forward as you would normally be doing with horizontal bump firing. Now the 22 is dancing up and down on your finger bumpfiring downward without any "conscious trigger pulling" or "conscious" pulling forward by your left hand on the forearm on your part whatsoever. Does this make your 22 a machine gun? The BATFE ruling's wording says it does. You aren't "consciously" pulling the trigger are you? No, gravity is and you are guilty according to the BATFE ruling of having a weapon or device that once you first "consciously" "pull" the trigger (by releasing it and letting gravity and recoil take over) it initiates a sequence of automatic fire that continues until the finger is removed or the magazine is empty aren't you? See how the BATFE ruling outlaws bump firing and your semi auto 22 with this ruling even if they do not selectively enforce it? So much for the BATFE made up garbage about "consciously" "pulling" the trigger when neither "consciously" nor "pull" either one are words used in the Federal firearms law.
My above description of a 22 caliber rifle vertically bumpfiring show how the Oct 13, 2006 letter from Richard Vasquez of the BATFE tech branch, along with the illegal 2006-02 BATFE ruling (both of which violate and contradict Federal firearms law), amounts to the BATFE declaring that the Akins Accelerator, the Tac trigger attachment device, the Hellfire trigger attachment device, the Hellstorm trigger attachment device, bump firing in general and all semi automatic weapons capable of bumpfiring to be machine guns. This may be a bit much for a non technical person to understand all the mechanics of, but for those who do understand the mechanics and realize what the 2006-02 BATFE ruling says, along with what Richard Vasquez's letter says, this is what the BATFE is doing. They are contradicting Federal firearms law and making up their own illegal agency regulations that have no standing under Federal law. The evidence is clear. Let me say this again.....
WHETHER THE GENERAL PUBLIC, THE FIREARMS COMMUNITY OR EVEN THE BATFE SO CALLED 'EXPERTS' THEMSELVES REALIZE IT, THE LETTER FROM VASQUEZ ALONG WITH THE BATFE 2006-02 RULING, BANS ALL RAPID FIRE DEVICES THAT AID IN BUMPFIRING, BUMPFIRING ITSELF AS A NON DEVICE TECHNIQUE AND ALL SEMI AUTOMATIC FIREARMS CAPABLE OF BUMPFIRING. This is what anti gun, anti second amendment, acting director Michael J. Sullivan has authorized.
Whether or not the BATFE will selectively enforce their illegal 2006-02 ruling against these devices and semi automatic weapons in general is irrelevant. The BATFE has selectively enforced it against me and could enforce it against the other devices and all semi automatic weapons whenever they want to according to their illegal 2006-02 ruling.
Pres, Akins Group Inc.
A Comment from "Mike"
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you REALLY need to learn how to read an ATF letter. As bureaucrats, they are big on CYA and not admitting anything they don't have to.
The key phrase in every letter they've sent you is "you should be aware that any modifications which permit a weapon to fire automatically more than one shot by a single function [redacted]of the trigger could result in that weapon being defined as a machine gun."]
That doesn't mean, "this is legal or illegal." That means, "We can't answer your question, but if you do something like X, we'll nail you."
I've heard this from various agencies all the time on different ideas.
Then, you need to understand what the "trigger" is. If I tape an AR's trigger down while it is on safe, then switch from safe to fire, it will fire. For purposes of that operation, the safety has become the trigger--the device that fires the weapon. Just because a part is named a "trigger," or a "firer" or even a "george" does not determine what it is for legal purposes. What does it do? If it causes the weapon to fire, it's a trigger.
In your brilliantly conceived device, you turned the stock into the trigger. One pulls on the stock and holds it.
If I were to chuck your device, and a 10-22 with a Tac Trigger into a vise, and pull hard on each, the Tac Trigger equipped model would fire ONCE. Yours would fire repeatedly. You've closely duplicated the mechanism of the 1919 Browning--a recoil-operated auto. It's akin to sticking a power drill on the crank to a Gatling. A "mechanical bump fire" is an automatic weapon.
I wish this were not the case. Unfortunately, it not only is, but you are never going to convince a court otherwise. ATF has managed to nail people who DIDN'T violate the law. You inadvertently did violate it, and haven't been jailed, and need to count yourself lucky.
Attached is a link to a proper ATF letter. Unless the letter says, "You may do exactly as described and it's legal," it's not approval, only "advice."
Look for that phrase, Bill: "as long as it XXXX and doesn't XXX it would be legal" isn't permission. It's a warning.
PLEASE watch for it. You're obviously definitely onto something, and I want to see you succeed with a future design, not wind up in jail.
Please note how detailed the letter is. Please note that even then, they don't say the proposal is legal...only that IF DONE TO A CERTAIN TYPE OF WEAPON IT WOULD BE.
If your mechanism was exactly the same as a Hellfire, you'd be in violation of their patent. Your device is better. Unfortunately, that better crosses a line.
Read the letter for the Tac Trigger, or for various stock mods. At some point, they say, "this device does not violate XXX" No, "as long as," no "Be aware that," no weaselwords. "This is legal."
I've seen your ATF correspondence. None of them said that.
In an ideal world, both you and Ryan will come out clean and get back to business. I think Ryan's got a chance and I'm doing what I can to publicize the issue. Unfortunately, I'm not as confident in your case.
I'll be the first to cheer you, and buy your product, if you win a ruling. In the meantime, I'm very glad you're not in jail. I'm looking forward to your next design, because I'm hoping it will be a winner.
December 28, 2007