Rare Breed Trigger is a machine gun according to ATF (2023)

Rare Breed Triggers by Kevin Maxwell live up to their name and are indeed a "rare breed" in resourcefulness, design and quality.

There is another force in the rare race camp that is making waves.

Enter Rare Breed owner and attorney Kevin Maxwell. He is confident that he can face ATF in court and win his case.

His claim is simple, the Rare Breed Trigger does not turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon.

More of that in a moment.

Rare Breed Trigger is a machine gun according to ATF (1)

Bismarck Tribune interviews Rare Breed's Kevin Maxwell

According to the Bismarck Tribune:

Maxwell said in an interview with the Tribune that he believed itATFThe investigation into the trigger came after "one of their internet midgets saw it on YouTube." He disagrees with the Bureau's classification.

"I know that's not true because I know how the trigger works," he said.

Maxwell claims the trigger resets faster - ready for another shot - than any trigger in the world. An AR-15 semi-automatic rifle equipped with it could easily fire at a rate of 500 rounds per minute, but rate of fire isn't a criterion for determining whether a weapon is a machine gun, Maxwell said.

(Video) ATF Says Rare Breed Trigger Is A Machinegun

The ATF definition of a machine gun states in part that it is any weapon that "fires more than one shot automatically, without manual reloading, by a single action of the trigger".

The FRT-15 requires the shooter to pull the trigger a second time to fire another round. A gun equipped with an FRT-15 would fail if the shooter forced the trigger to stay in the firing position, Maxwell said.

Maxwell says in his complaint that ATF agents exchanged emails prior to their test that the FRT-15 was likely to be classified as a machine gun.

"They decided it was a machine gun before they could even examine it," Maxwell said.

Rare Breed is taking legal action against the ATF

Maxwell submittedcourt documentsBack in August 2021, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives said it made an error in its decision based on the definition ofwhat makes a machine gun.

In his complaint, Maxwell acknowledges that the ATF has the power to enforce federal law, in this case the National Firearms Act, known as the NFA.

However, Maxwell states that the ATF "has no authority to amend the Code ortheCode definition of what constitutes a 'machine gun'.”

Four experts, all former ATF, concluded that Kevin Maxwell's trigger system, the FRT-15, did not meet the definition of a machine gun.

Long before Rare Breed ever released their trigger, they sent prototypes to two experts. Both were former senior ATF employees.

(Video) ATF NOW CLAIMS A TRIGGER IS A MACHINE GUN!!! Rare Breed Triggers v. Garland

Kevin P. McCann, an attorney who served as an ATF resident agent in charge for 25 years, investigated the trigger system.

According to Maxwell's complaint, "McCann concluded that the FRT-15 did not fit the definition ofa 'machine gun' under federal law.”

Rare breed got a second opinion.

They sent a prototype to theInternational Firearms Specialist Academyin Dallas, Texas.

IFSA Director Daniel O'Kell, a formerATF Senior SpecialAgent und theChief Firearms Technology Instructor at ATF National Academy, also noted that the trigger was not a machine gun.

In February 2021, Rare Breed received a letter from a third expert,Rick Vasquez, another former ATF special agent and former acting chief ofdie Naturerms-TechnologieZweig.

"Mr. Vasquez also analyzed the features of the FRT-15 versus thedefinition of a "submachine gun" under federal law and concluded that themanufacturedVersion of the FRT-15 notmeet the definition of a 'machine gun'.” Rare Breed's complaint states.

In May 2021, Rare Breed received a fourth letter stating their trigger is not a machine gun. This letter was sent by Brian Luettke,another former ATF special agent with whom he spent 22 yearsATF.

According to Maxwell's complaint, Lüttke was "an instructor at the National Academy, where he teaches the applicationof the Gun Control Act and the National Firearms Act Identifications and Classificationsgen.“

Experts: The rare Breen trigger is not a machine gun

Together, the four experts have more than 100 years of law enforcement experience.

(Video) The ATF is Trying To Use After Market Trigger To Expand The Definition of A Machine Gun

They are well known to senior ATF officials because ATF has used them hundreds of times as court witnesses.

The four agents testified in criminal proceedings about what is and is not a machine gun.

Despite this overwhelming evidence, when Kevin Maxwell and his attorneys met with ATF officials, they claimed they hadn't even seen the controversial ATF test, which concluded the trigger was a machine gun.

They didn't even have a copy of the test, they said.

It's about a lot.

ATF has informed Rare Breed that they intend to pursue criminal charges if they don't stop and quit.

Maxwell will be forced to close his shop.

If he does not hand over his customer list, ATF can file criminal charges against him.

Maxwell, who is also an attorney, could lose his law license and his business.

In his lawsuit, Maxwell is seeking a court order barring ATF from enforcing its cease and desist letter.

(Video) The ATF Has Declared A Trigger Is A Machine Gun & Thousands Are Now Felons

He also wants a letter from the court stating his trigger is not a machine gun.

Maxwell is also seeking attorneys' fees, court costs and "such other relief as this court, in its sole discretion, deems fair and reasonable."

Similar video:Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm explains what to do if you own a Rare Breed FRT-15 trigger.

Jerry Miculek gegen Rare Breed Trigger



The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) recently investigated devices commonly known as "Forced Reset Triggers" (FRTs) and found that some of them were "firearms" and "machine guns." within the meaning of the National Firearms Act (NFA) and "machine guns" within the meaning of the Gun Control Act (GCA).

These particular FRTs are marketed as replacement triggers for AR firearms. Unlike traditional triggers and binary triggers (sometimes commonly referred to as "FRTs"), these FRTs do not require shooters to pull the trigger and then release it to fire a second shot. Instead, these FRTs use the fire cycle to eliminate the need for the shooter to release the trigger before firing a second shot. In contrast, some after-market triggers have similar components, but also include a disconnect switch or similar feature to ensure the trigger must be released before a second shot can be fired, and may not be machine guns.

Both the NFA and GCA regulate machine guns. “Machine Gun” is under 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b) and 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(23) as—

Any gun that fires, is designed to fire, or can be readily restored to fire, will automatically fire more than one shot without manual reloading by a single action of the trigger. The term also includes the frame or casing of such a weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts that make up a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are owned or controlled by a person. (Emphasis added.)

ATF's investigation found that some FRT devices allow a firearm to automatically eject more than one shot with a single, continuous pull of the trigger. Because of this, ATF has come to the conclusion that FRTs that work in this way are a combination of parts that are dedicated and designed to convert a weapon into a machine gun, and therefore ATF has these devices as a "machine gun" in the Classified according to the NFA and GCA.

Accordingly, ATF's position is that any FRT that allows a firearm to automatically eject more than one shot with a single, continuous pull of the trigger is a "machine gun" and, accordingly, the GCA prohibitions on possession, the transfer and transportation is subject to machine guns under 18 U.S.C. Sections 922(o) and 922(a)(4). They are also subject to registration, transfer, taxation and ownership restrictions under the NFA. See 26 U.S.C. §§ 5841, 5861; 27 CFR 479.101.

(Video) ATF Makes Up "Law" Saying FRT Triggers Are Machine Guns

Under 26 U.S.C. Section 5871, any person who violates or fails to comply with the provisions of the NFA may be fined up to $10,000 per violation and imprisoned for up to 10 years. Further, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. Section 5872, any machine gun possessed or passed on in violation of the NFA is subject to confiscation and forfeiture. Under 18 U.S.C. Section 924(a)(2), any person violating Section 922(o) is subject to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 per person or $500,000 per organization.

Based on ATF's determination that the FRTs functioning as described above are "machine guns" under the terms of the NFA and GCA, ATF intends to take appropriate remedial action with respect to sellers and owners of these devices. Current owners of these devices are encouraged to contact ATF for more information on how to dispose of the property. If you are unsure whether the device you possess is a machine gun as defined by the GCA and NFA, please contact your local ATF office. You can consult the local ATF office website for office contact information.



Is the rare breed trigger ATF approved? ›

The ATF, upon learning of the trigger, sent Rare Breed a cease and desist letter explaining that the ATF determined the FRT to be a “machine gun” and was, therefore, being illegally made, sold, and possessed by many Americans.

What does the ATF consider a machine gun? ›

The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5845(b), defines a machine gun to include any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

Are binary triggers considered machine guns? ›

A bump stock essentially allows a semi-automatic weapon to fire a continuous stream of ammunition even though the trigger might only be pressed once. Furthermore, binary trigger weapons are not considered fully automatic. Therefore, they do not fall under the category of machine guns.

Are Rare Breed Triggers against the law? ›

The trigger must be pulled by the shooter to fire another shot. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has made the determination that the action makes the rifle a controlled item under the National Firearms Act (NFA), therefore, they are considered machine guns and illegal to sell or own.

Can I still buy a FRT-15 trigger? ›

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) wants Rare Breed Triggers to stop selling its FRT-15 trigger. In July 2021, ATF Rare Breed Triggers issued a cease and desist order and ordered the company to stop selling its popular FRT-15 trigger.

Are forced reset triggers machine guns? ›

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.

What is not considered a firearm by the ATF? ›

Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.

Does ATF know what guns I own? ›

ATF does not maintain a federal gun registry, therefore, records are not kept on the sales of firearms, private sales or information on individual purchasers,” an ATF spokesperson told ABC News.

What are the three types of machine guns? ›

Machine guns can be further categorized as light machine guns, medium machine guns, heavy machine guns, general purpose machine guns and squad automatic weapons.

Is it legal to have a binary trigger? ›

A binary trigger increases a weapon's firing speed. Unlike a bump stock, it is legal in most states. It allows a firearm to shoot one bullet when the trigger is pulled and one when it releases. A 30-round magazine can be emptied in about three seconds.

Are binary triggers an NFA item? ›

Weapons with a binary trigger are not considered “machine guns.” They do not function like bump stocks, and they don't qualify as “fully automatic.” This means binary triggers are not NFA items.

Is a binary trigger considered semi-automatic? ›

Binary triggers are semiautomatic triggers that feature two modes of firing, semiautomatic and binary. The semiautomatic setting in a binary trigger is just like any other semiautomatic trigger. When someone shoots a firearm in semiautomatic, a single round fires for each pull of the trigger.

Can you still buy FRT triggers? ›

Rare Breed Triggers. The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) wants Rare Breed Triggers to stop selling their FRT-15 trigger. In July of 2021, the ATF served Rare Breed Triggers with a cease-and-desist order, ordering the company to stop selling its popular FRT-15 trigger.

Who is the owner of rare breed triggers? ›

Federal officials say Rare Breed Triggers owner and attorney Kevin Maxwell's entire argument is based on his interpretation of the phrase "single function of the trigger" -- an analysis they say courts have rejected.

Is a binary trigger a forced reset trigger? ›

Unlike traditional triggers and binary triggers (sometimes referred to generally as “FRTs”), the subject FRTs do not require shooters to pull and then subsequently release the trigger to fire a second shot.

Can you buy full auto trigger? ›

U.S. laws make possession of all the necessary trigger and action parts that perform the “full-auto” function illegal. Even if you possess the parts and never install them, you can still be prosecuted for having them and the “intent” to covert a firearm.

Are forced reset triggers banned? ›

Last week, the ATF sent a surprising and vague letter to firearm retailers telling them that some FRTs are now considered machine guns under federal law and are therefore illegal to possess or sell under National Firearms Act (NFA) and Gun Control Act (GCA) regulations.

Are full reset triggers legal? ›

Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have now determined that some forced reset triggers (FRTs) are considered to be machine guns under federal law. ATF made the revelation on Thursday in an open letter to federally licensed firearms dealers.

Can a gun be discharged without pulling the trigger? ›

It is important to realize that just because a firearm goes off, doesn't always mean someone pulled the trigger. Poorly designed rifles, shotguns, and handguns can fire a round even when the trigger has not been pulled. The most common unintended discharges occur when the firearm is bumped or the safety is moved.

Does the military use single stage triggers? ›

Since the introduction of the M16 rifle to the US Military in 1964, the single-stage trigger has been the most widely used AR trigger.

How many types of firearms are identified by the ATF? ›

ATF issues nine types of federal firearms licenses and five types of explosives licenses and permits.

Does the ATF consider a pellet gun a firearm? ›

27 CFR 478.115(d)(5). Sporting shotgun parts other than firearm frames or receivers or barrels. Air guns, pellet guns, starter guns and flare guns provided they are not firearms as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3) and do not have tear gas dissemination capability.

Can ATF take your guns? ›

ATF has the authority to seize and forfeit firearms, ammunition, explosives, alcohol, tobacco and other assets used in criminal activity under the Department of Justice's Asset Forfeiture authority.

How many firearms can I own? ›

Applications in terms of sections 13 and 15 collectively may not exceed four firearms. The licence, which is issued in terms of this section, is valid for 10 years, unless it is cancelled or terminated in terms of the Firearms Control Act, 2000.

What is the new ATF receiver rule? ›

The new rule modernizes the definition of a firearm and makes clear that parts kits that are readily convertible to functional weapons, or functional “frames” or “receivers” of weapons, are subject to the same regulations as traditional firearms.

Does ATF have any power? ›

The ATF also regulates, via licensing, the sale, possession, and transportation of firearms, ammunition, and explosives in interstate commerce. Many of ATF's activities are carried out in conjunction with task forces made up of state and local law enforcement officers, such as Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Did the ATF classify a shoelace as a machine gun? ›

(Former ATF official Robert E. Sanders) noted that ATF once issued a letter ruling saying a 14-inch shoestring was a machine gun because it could be used to convert a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic weapon. The letter was later rescinded.

Do you need a Class 3 for a machine gun? ›

An FFL can buy a gun anywhere as long as they have the appropriate licenses. For instance, on 01 FFL just can't buy an NFA device unless they also have their Class 3 license. Also, and this is very important, even with a Class 3 license, you can't rush out and buy a machine gun.

What is a nickname for a machine gun? ›

M60 Machine Gun – “The Pig

To this day, it serves in limited roles with numerous American forces. As far as nicknames go, “The Pig” might be the most appropriate.

Is a rare breed trigger the same as a binary trigger? ›

Unlike traditional triggers and binary triggers (sometimes referred to generally as “FRTs”), the subject FRTs do not require shooters to pull and then subsequently release the trigger to fire a second shot.

Are frt15 triggers legal? ›

The ATF informed Rare Breed in July that the forced-reset trigger met the qualifications to be deemed a machine gun under federal law, making the FRT-15 illegal to sell or own. A machine gun can fire multiple rounds while pulling and holding the trigger.

Do you need a tax stamp for a binary trigger? ›

BOTTOM LINE: The ATF has declared that FRTs are now subject to the GCA and NFA, and thus require the same tax, stamp, and paperwork as other NFA items such as SBRs or suppressors.

What makes a gun a NFA firearm? ›

The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) requires the registration, with the federal government, of fully-automatic firearms (termed “machineguns”), rifles and shotguns that have an overall length under 26 inches, rifles with a barrel under 16 inches, shotguns with a barrel under 18 inches, and firearm sound suppressors ...

Are binary triggers legal federally? ›

This essentially means you have multiple rounds sent downrange per each pull or action of the trigger, so since a binary trigger uses two actions to fire two shots, this is not by definition a machine gun. Federally, these are legal.

What is considered an NFA firearm? ›

NFA firearms include machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, heavy weapons, explosive ordnance, silencers and "any other weapon" (AOW), such as disguised or improvised firearms. Title I weapons, or GCA firearms, are standard rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

What is a super semi-automatic trigger? ›

The SSA is a non-adjustable, precision, two-stage trigger and allows precise and accurate trigger control throughout a variety of conditions and usage requirements. The SSA's two-stage design allows the trigger to be light enough for accurate and precise shots, but forgiving enough for frenetic close in work.

Are there guns that aren't semi-automatic? ›

Common guns that aren't semiautomatic, on the other hand, include bolt- and lever-action hunting rifles, as well as certain types of revolvers.

Can you make a binary trigger full auto? ›

You will have the same cardinal directions for SAFE/SEMI/FULL they just add Binary to the 6 o'clock position. According to Sun, Binary mode is reached by rotating the selector up from safe. You cannot continue to Full Auto from Binary.

What is the deal with Rare Breed Triggers? ›

ATF determined that Rare Breed's FRT-15 trigger “is a combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun,” the letter stated. The bureau after an examination of the trigger classified it as a machine gun under the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act.

Who is the owner of Rare Breed Triggers? ›

Rare Breed Triggers owner and attorney Kevin Maxwell is suing the Justice Department and the leaders of several federal agencies based on his interpretation of the phrase "single function of the trigger."

What does D rare breed mean? ›

noun. /ˌreə ˈbriːd/ /ˌrer ˈbriːd/ ​a variety of farm animal that only exists in small numbers, especially one that is traditionally farmed in a particular region.

Where is Rare Breed from? ›

Production. Portions of the film were shot in the Coachella Valley, California. Train scenes were filmed in the Red Hills area near Jamestown in Tuolumne County, California, utilizing the famous Sierra Railway 3 locomotive.

Where is Rare Breed firearms located? ›

Rare Breed Firearms is in Las Vegas, Nevada. featuring our Samurai on the cover. seizures. Intelligent adults are not worried one bit.

When was Rare Breed MC founded? ›

Established in 1989 by four police officers and four city workers, Rare Breed strives to promote itself as a positive organization for African-American riders. “We were trying to start a club that would be looked at as a brotherhood rather than just a motorcycle club,” cofounder K.W.


1. Rare Breed Triggers Responds With Their Own Letter To ATF : FRT-15 Not A Machine Gun​
(2a Edu)
2. 🔴 ATF Response To Rare Breed Trigger
(CRS Firearms)
3. Big Daddy Unlimited asserts Rare Breed Forced Reset Trigger is a machine gun in court docs.
4. What is up with the Rare Breed FRT-15 Trigger? Is it a machine gun?
(John Crump News)
5. Is the ATF Arresting People Who Purchased Rare Breed Triggers?
(Washington Gun Law)
6. ATF Charges American FRT Trigger Owner For Illegal Possession Of A Machine Gun 🤨
(Mrgunsngear Channel)
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