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April 22nd, 2022

Suppressor Academy — Great Resource for Suppressor INFO

Suppressor Academy GunsAmerica Digest silencer central

GunsAmerica Digest has a new Suppressor Academy webpage that provides host of helpful information about suppressors (aka “silencers” and “cans”). The Suppressor Academy online resource page features in-depth articles with important information for anyone considering acquiring a suppressor. The articles explain the key benefits of suppressors, how to choose a suppressor, and how to comply with Federal and state laws regulating suppressors. Below we link to four Suppressor Academy articles. Click the title for each topic to read the full-length article.

Who Can Own a Suppressor — Legal in 42 States »

Suppressor Academy GunsAmerica Digest silencer central
Photo: American Suppressor Association

Suppressors are now legal in 42 U.S. States. There are certain legal requirements for obtaining a suppressor, including paying a $200 Tax Stamp. To own a suppressor you must be legally eligible to purchase a firearm, pass a BATFE background check, pay a one time $200 Transfer Tax, and satisfy age requirements. (SEE ALL Requirements). In most (but not all) of those states you can use a suppressor for hunting. The eight (mostly blue) states which still prohibit civilian suppressor ownership are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. READ FULL ARTICLE on GunsAmerica Digest.

18 Reasons to Own a Suppressor »

Suppressor Academy GunsAmerica Digest silencer central

Suppressors serve one main purposes — to reduce the sound levels produced when firing pistol or rifle rounds. But GunsAmerica Digest editor True Pearce notes there are many other reasons to own a suppressor. A suppressor can reduce muzzle blast and felt recoil. The suppressor may prevent hearing damage that occurs through bone conduction better than earplugs and muffs because it reduces the noise energy at the source. When hunting, the reduced shot noise can help avoid spooking game. Having a suppressor also makes it easier to communicate when working as a team on a hunt. And, when compared to a muzzle BRAKE, suppressors are much less likely to kick up dust, dirt, sand, and snow when you shoot prone. READ FULL ARTICLE on GunsAmerica Digest.

You Don’t Need a Special License to Own a Suppressor »

Suppressor Academy GunsAmerica Digest silencer central

There is some confusion surrounding the laws concerning suppressors, which are now legal in 42 U.S. States. In most jurisdictions that allow suppressor ownership, no additional state permit or license is required. But you do have to comply with Federal requirements when acquiring the suppressor. You may wish to create a trust to own the suppressor — there are some important practical advantages to having a suppressor trust. The Traditional NFA Gun Trust allows multiple responsible parties, i.e. “trustees”, to legally have possession of the suppressor. Each trustee must be verified and for each suppressor owned by the trust there will be a $200 Tax Stamp. READ FULL ARTICLE on GunsAmerica Digest.

How to Choose A Suppressor »

Suppressor Academy GunsAmerica Digest silencer central

When shopping for a suppressor there are many factors to consider: price, build quality, materials, sound level reduction effectiveness, weight, ease of mounting, and ease of cleaning and maintenance. We recommend that all suppressor buyers research the options. Check the manufacturer’s reputation, check diagrams for disassembly and maintenance. There are always trade-offs. Shorter suppressors may save some weight, but if they don’t cut the decibels as well you may be disappointed. You also need to consider the caliber — will your suppressor be used on multiple firearms? If so then get one that fits the largest caliber you will shoot. READ FULL ARTICLE on GunsAmerica Digest.

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April 15th, 2022

Biden Nominates Radical Anti-Gunner for ATF Director Job

Steven Dettelbach nomination BATFE ATF director corrupt biden anti-gun candidate

On April 11, the Biden Administration nominated Steven Dettelbach as the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), subject to Senate confirmation. With Dettelbach’s nomination, President Biden revealed his intent to put an aggressive gun control advocate in charge of the agency responsible for regulating America’s firearms industry.

David Chipman, Biden’s first ATF Director nominee, failed to achieve enough support in the Senate to be confirmed. After Chipman’s shortcomings were exposed in Senate hearings, the Biden Administration withdrew Chipman’s nomination. Chipman had worked for anti-gun lobbying groups and advocated widespread banning of popular current firearms types and even supported confiscation of modern sporting rifles. When it was clear Chipman would not win Senate confirmation, Biden withdrew the nomination.

Now Biden has nominated a second ATF Director candidate who is equally objectionable.

Steven Dettelbach nomination BATFE ATF director corrupt biden anti-gun candidate

NRA-ILA Says Dettlebach Supports Radical Restrictions on Gun Rights
The NRA-ILA states: “Like Chipman, Dettelbach is a dedicated gun controller with a background that proves he would be neither fair nor objective as head of ATF. When running for Ohio Attorney General in 2018, Dettelbach endorsed gun bans, restrictions on lawful firearm transfers, and further expansion of prohibitions on who can lawfully possess a firearm. In short, it’s unclear what gun control measures Dettelbach doesn’t support.

This led NRA-PVF to award Dettelbach an ‘F’ for his positions on the right to keep and bear arms. Notably, Michael Bloomberg’s … gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety (David Chipman’s former employer) endorsed Dettelbach in his bid to become Ohio’s Attorney General.

Ohio voters wisely rejected Dettelbach and his gun control promises in 2018. But, Dettelbach’s unpopular views on the Second Amendment put him in line with the most anti-gun presidential administration in American history.

It will once again be up to gun owners to make clear that a failed anti-gun politician has no more place at the head of the ATF than a failed anti-gun lobbyist. Please contact your U.S. Senators… and respectfully encourage them to oppose Dettelbach’s nomination.”

Dettlebach Supports Ban on Modern Sporting Rifles
The National Shooting Sports Foundation added: “NSSF is committed to a thorough examination of Dettelbach’s record and qualifications. Dettelbach has previously stated support for bans on Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs), or AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, universal background checks, which are unworkable without a national firearm registry that is already forbidden by federal law, and extreme-risk protection orders, or so-called ‘red flag’ laws, without protections for Due Process considerations.

Dettelbach … a recent partisan candidate for public office, supported gun control during his campaign [and was] endorsed by the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, for his support for policies restricting Second Amendment rights.”

COMMENTARY: Dettlebach is a Staunch Enemy of the Second Amendment
We concur that Dettlebach is not a candidate who respects the Second Amendment. If appointed to head the ATF, Dettlebach can be expected to push for policies that will negatively affect the rights of all American gun owners. Dettlebach will likely seek to impose a de facto national gun registry (a digital database of gun owners), make background checks more difficult, and put more restrictions on semi-auto pistols and rifles.

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April 13th, 2022

ATF Announces New Biden Orders Banning 80% Receivers

Biden ATF ghost guns 80% receivers Second Amendment

Through Executive action, without new Federal legislation, the Biden Administration, acting through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is moving to ban the direct sale of unfinished firearm frames and receivers which could be built into functional guns with some additional work and components. (Top photo from GunsAmerica Digest.)

This week, the Biden administration announced the final ruling for ATF 2021R-05, “Definition of ‘Frame or Receiver’ and Identification of Firearms”. Among its provisions, the ruling will effectively eliminate the distribution of “80% Kits” and require FFLs and gunsmiths to serialize such kits upon acquisition. The rule will go into effect 120 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

“This ruling will have significant regulatory and operational impacts on FFLs, gun owners and the entire firearms industry,” said Phil Milks, Orchid LLC VP and FFL Law Lead Attorney. “It’s imperative firearm manufacturers and retailers review the ruling in detail and evaluate their manufacturing, serialization and recordkeeping processes to ensure compliance when the new regulations go into effect. We urge FFLs to contact Orchid to learn more about this ruling and how it may affect their firearms business.”

New ATF Ruling Covered at Upcoming 2022 Firearm Industry Conference
The ATF’s new policies on unfinished receivers will be the focus of a seminar at the 2022 Firearms Industry Conference (FIC), April 26-27 in Atlanta, Georgia. At the FIC seminar/discussion, ATF executives will review the new ruling and take questions. Agency personnel will also be available during scheduled breakout sessions and private FFL/ATF meetings. The seminar/discussion will be hosted by Orchid LLC and the Williams Mullen Firearms Industry Group.

Biden ATF ghost guns 80% receivers Second Amendment

“With ATF executives in attendance, we believed it was important for attendees to have an opportunity to hear from and engage with their leadership in open dialogue,” said Orchid CEO, Jon Rydberg.

Over 20 ATF executives will attend FIC 2022, including:

– Marvin Richardson, Acting Director, ATF
– Tom Chittum, Acting Associate Deputy Director, ATF
– Alphonso Hughes, Asst. Director, Office of Enforcement Programs & Services
– Andy Graham, Deputy Asst. Director, Office of Enforcement Programs & Services
– Marianna Mitchem, Chief, Firearms & Explosive Industry Division
– Curtis Gilbert, Deputy Asst. Director (Industry Operations), Office of Field Operations
– Andrew Lange, Chief, Office of Regulatory Affairs

“The Firearms Industry Conference is critically important, especially this year, to the firearms industry”, said Chuck James of the Williams Mullen Firearms Industry Group. Held April 21–27, FIC 2022 features virtual and in-person sessions led by Federal agency personnel, firearms industry leaders, and subject matter experts. Sessions are broken intro three tracks: Firearms Industry Law & Finance, FFL Compliance, and FFL Technology. FIC On-Air™ will be held online April 21–22, followed by FIC Workshops on April 25, with the main FIC event on April 26–27 in Atlanta. To register for FIC 2022, visit orchidadvisors.com/FIC.


This article is based on a news release by Orchid Advisors and FFL Law consultants.

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March 17th, 2022

How to Legally Acquire and Register a Suppressor

Suppressor silencer purchase regulations state map BATFE

So you’re thinking of buying a suppressor (aka “moderator”, “silencer”). You can’t just get one off the shelf at Walmart. Acquiring a suppressor requires filling out paperwork and paying a Federal $200 Tax Stamp. Plus there is typically a pretty long wait. However, the good news is that suppressor ownership is now legal in 42 of the 50 American states — that’s 84%! For most American adults, getting a suppressor is legal, provided the buyer passes the required background checks (explained below). The 42 “suppressor-friendly” states are shown as RED in the illustration below.

Suppressor silencer purchase regulations state map BATFE

States Where Suppressor Ownership is Allowed
These 42 states allow private ownership of suppressors: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY. Note: Even if you live in one of the states listed, you should still verify that owning a suppressor is legal in your area. Some states may have municipal- or county-based restrictions.

“Suppressor ownership [has] boomed in the 21st century. Thanks in part to companies like Silencer Central that streamline the purchasing process, the number of registered suppressors has grown from 285,000 in 2010 to over 2.6 million in 2020.” — GunsAmerica Digest

States Which Prohibit Suppressor Ownership
The eight states which prohibit suppressor ownership are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. These states are shown in GRAY in the map.

Qualifications to Obtain a Suppressor

To legally obtain a suppressor, you must fill out Federal Forms and pay a $200 fee to the ATF. You must also pass BATFE background checks and otherwise comply with Federal and state laws. States can regulate suppressor ownership or use, so be sure to check the laws in your area. On the federal level, the process to acquire a suppressor is regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934. According to the American Suppressor Association, to own a suppressor in the United States you must:

1. Be at least 21 years of age to purchase a suppressor from a dealer.
2. Be at least 18 years of age to purchase a suppressor from an individual on a Form 4 to Form 4 transfer (contingent on state laws).
3. Be at least 18 years of age to possess a suppressor as a beneficiary of a trust or as a member of a corporation (contingent on state laws).
4. Be a resident of the United States.
5. Be legally eligible to purchase a firearm.
6. Pass a BATFE background check with a typical process time of 8 to 10 months.
7. Pay a one time $200 Transfer Tax.

suppressor silencer true pearce gunsamerica digest hearing protection

That fifth requirement, “be legally eligible to purchase a firearm”, involves a list of factors. The prohibitions are set forth in the “prohibited person” list found on ATF Form 4473.*

PURCHASING TIP: ATF Announces New e-Form 4 Platform for Suppressor Registration

Hunting with Suppressed Firearms

Some 39 of the 42 states that allow suppressors also permit the use of suppressors when hunting. However, three states which allow suppressor ownership DO prohibit the use of suppressors while hunting or shooting game. These states, all in the Northeast, are: Connecticut, Maryland, and Vermont.

There is an informative article on the NRA’s American Hunter website regarding suppressor use for hunting. The article, What Hunters Need to Know About Suppressors, answers common questions about licensing, tax stamps, and suppressor types. The article explains the history of the $200 tax stamp which must be paid when acquiring a suppressor:

“Why the Tax? In 1934 … the federal government, while battling gangsters such as Al Capone, heavily restricted silencers with passage of the first National Firearms Act. Hoping to gain an advantage on criminals that often had better weapons than cops, the Feds placed a mandatory ‘sin’ tax on silencers that was so high it would effectively ban their purchase by all but the wealthiest individuals. In 1934, $200 was the equivalent of $3,500 today. The $200 tax still stands despite no evidence that a simple metal tube is capable of causing crime.” — American Hunter

The American Hunter article also discusses how well suppressors actually reduce noise. User should be aware that the sound level of a large, centerfire hunting cartridge will still exceed 130 decibels (dB) on average, even with a typical suppressor (silencer) in place. For that reason, we recommend that hunters continue to wear ear protection even when they shoot suppressed.


Persons prohibited from acquiring a firearm, under Federal law, are those who fall into on or more of categories listed below. Prohibited individuals include any PERSON:

— Who was convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
— Who is a fugitive from justice;
— Who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U.S.C. § 802);
— Who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
— Who is an illegal alien;
— Who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
— Who has renounced his or her United States citizenship;
— Who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
— Who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

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September 10th, 2021

David Chipman Withdrawn as Nominee for ATF Director

ATF David Chipman Nomination BATFE Second Amendment Foundation

Recognizing that a confirmation vote was likely to fail, the Biden White House has retracted the nomination of David Chipman to head the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). An aggressive anti-gunner, Chipman has advocated the banning of AR-15s and other popular semi-auto rifles. There were concerns about the handling of his own, issued firearms when he worked for the ATF, and his statements as a paid anti-gun activist were extreme and worrisome. Chipman is currently a paid gun control lobbyist who has worked for Bloomberg’s Everytown, as well as the gun control groups Brady United and Giffords Law Center.

Sen. Mitch McConnell was pleased that the Biden Administration retracted the “terrible nomination of David Chipman”. McConnell noted that it was “absurd that a vocal opponent of Americans’ Constitutional rights was ever picked to run ATF. This is a win for the Second Amendment and law-abiding American citizens.”

Sen. Steve Daines concurred: “I’ve been opposed to David Chipman leading the ATF from the start. He’s an anti-Second Amendment, gun-grabbing radical that should not lead the agency that regulates firearms.”

“The defeat of David Chipman is a victory for all Americans who value the right of self-defense,” said Young Americans for Liberty spokesman Eric Brakey, who added: “Chipman has called for a total ban on private ownership of commonly-owned firearms — like the AR-15[.] President Biden should have never nominated this rabid activist on the payroll of Bloomberg-funded anti-gun groups to lead the ATF in the first place.” And the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb stated: “This is a great grassroots victory for the Second Amendment.”

Immediately following Chipman’s nomination, Gottlieb said it had the smell of political patronage to the Giffords Law Center gun control lobbying group. He also accurately portrayed the nomination as a declaration of war on gun owners’ rights. “We predicted Joe Biden’s pick would ignite a political firestorm, and it did”, Gottlieb recalled. “The President has been so wrong on so many issues, and the Chipman nomination ranks right up there[.]”

Gottlieb continued: “We’re proud of the grassroots effort to defeat this foolish Biden scheme to put an acknowledged extremist gun ban advocate in charge of ATF[.] This is a major defeat for the billionaire elitists who bankroll the gun prohibition movement.”

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms declared that the withdrawal of anti-gun lobbyist David Chipman’s nomination to head the ATF is “a much-deserved defeat for the gun prohibition lobby and Joe Biden”.

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July 7th, 2021

9mm Pistols Are Most Popular Handguns in USA

Pistol Production usa decade 2010 2020 ATF 9mm Luger 9x19mm handguns statistics Smith Wesson Sig Sauer

What is the most popular pistol chambering in the USA? It is the 9mm Luger (aka 9x19mm Parabellum). And nothing else is very close. Four out of every 10 pistols made from 2010-2020 were 9mms. And the percentage of 9mm is on the rise. In the year 2010, 27.9% of all handguns produced were 9mms. But in the year 2019, 9mm pistols represented 56.8% of all handguns made in the USA. For the entire decade, 9mm pistols made up 42.8% of all pistols produced domestically (15,111,566 of 35,315,097).

Pistol Production usa decade 2010 2020 ATF 9mm Luger 9x19mm handguns statistics Smith Wesson Sig SauerBased on data collected by the ATF, we can compare production numbers for the entire decade 2010 through 2020. During this 10-year span 15,111,566 9mm pistols were produced. That’s roughly twice as many as the next largest category, .40 up to .50 caliber, with 7,661,896 produced. Americans also liked their .22-caliber handguns, with 4,605,411 “up to .22″ handguns produced.

According to Shooting Industry Magazine: “9mm pistols were the most prolifically produced caliber in the 2010s. Thanks to the ATF’s Annual Firearms Manufacturing & Export Report (AFMER) … we’re able to able to quantify the scope of [the 9mm caliber’s] dominance.”

Pistol Production usa decade 2010 2020 ATF 9mm Luger 9x19mm handguns statistics Smith Wesson Sig Sauer

Smith & Wesson is Now America’s Top 9mm Pistol Manufacturer
Among 9mm pistol producers, Smith & Wesson (S&W) tops the field, with the M&P line leading the way. In second place is SIG Sauer, followed by Ruger (3rd), and Glock (4th). Notably, Glock seems to have lost market share over the past decade. S&W produced nearly four times as many 9mm pistols as Glock.

This YouTube Video Compares the SIG P365 and the S&W Shield

SIG Sauer made a big jump in the last decade: “The second-largest 9mm producer, SIG Sauer grew at an impressive rate during the 2010s — no doubt led by its P320 Modular Handgun Series and high-capacity, micro-compact P365.” (Shooting Industry.) Notably, SIG Sauer also secured the U.S. Military contract for the M17/M18 9mm pistol.

Pistol Production usa decade 2010 2020 ATF 9mm Luger 9x19mm handguns statistics Smith Wesson Sig Sauer

Click Photo for Field Test Comparison of Three Popular 9mm Carry Pistols:
Carry 9mm pistol gunsamerica digest sig sauer glock smith wesson

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May 10th, 2021

ATF Proposed Rule Will Redefine Firearm “Frame or Receiver”

ATF firearm rule change receiver frame

On 5/7/21, the U.S. Attorney General signed ATF proposed rule 2021R-05, Definition of “Frame or Receiver” and Identification of Firearms. The goal of the proposed rule is to ensure the proper marking, recordkeeping, and traceability of all firearms manufactured, imported, acquired and disposed by federal firearms licensees. This proposed rule would among others, provide new or amend previous definitions of terms related to or about “firearm frame or receivers” and “frame or receivers.” SEE ATF website.

» Download the Proposed New ATF Rule (PDF)

ATF requests comments on the proposed rule, Definition of “Frame or Receiver” and Identification of Firearms, from all interested persons. ATF specifically requests comments on the feasibility of implementing the new definition of firearm “frame or receiver” in 27 CFR 478.11 and 27 CFR 479.11, and related definitions and amendments that ensure the proper marking, recordkeeping, and traceability of all firearms manufactured, imported, acquired and disposed by federal firearms licensees.

ATF also requests comments on the costs or benefits of the proposed rule and on the appropriate methodology and data for calculating those costs and benefits. To submit comments CLICK HERE: Frame or Receiver Submit Comment Page

Official Summary of New Fiream Frame or Receiver Rule

ATF firearm rule change receiver frame

You May Submit a Comment
ATF is receiving comments on the proposed rule for 90 days from the date the proposed rule is posted in the Federal Register. You may submit comments by mail, fax or the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov.

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April 23rd, 2021

Don’t Get Caught Short — Make Sure Your Barrels Are Legal Length

short barrel barreled rifle shotgun NSA tax stamp ATF legal brief guncollective.com

The Legal Brief is a feature of TheGuncollective.com that focuses on firearms rules and regulations. In this Legal Brief video, Attorney Adam Kraut explains key State and Federal regulations governing firearms, and explains how to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.

This five-minute video explains barrel length rules for rifles and shotguns, and also explains the best (and most fool-proof) methods to measure your barrel. In addition, the video explains how to measure firearm overall length. A rifle or shotgun which is less than 26 inches overall can also be classified as a “Short-barreled” rifle/shotgun subject to the NFA. NOTE: Under federal law “If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock EXTENDED”.

Highlights of LEGAL BRIEF Discussion of Barrel Length and Firearm Overall Length

The ATF procedure to measure the length of a barrel is to measure from the closed bolt or breech face to the furthest end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device. ATF considers a muzzle device that has been permanently attached to be part of the barrel and therefore counts towards the length.

How to Measure Barrel Length: Drop [a] dowel or rod into the barrel until it touches the bolt or breech face, which has to be closed. Mark the outside of the rod at the end of the muzzle crown (if you don’t have a permanently attached muzzle device) or at the end of the muzzle device if it is permanently attached. Remove the rod and measure from the mark to the end of the rod. That is your barrel length[.]

Remember, if the barrel length is less than 16 inches, it is possible that the firearm could be a short barrel rifle (if you are building a rifle or it is already on a rifle) and if the barrel length is less than 18 inches, it is possible the firearm could be a short barrel shotgun (again if you are building a shotgun or it is already a shotgun). Both of these firearms would be subject to the purview of the National Firearms Act and would require the firearm to be registered accordingly.

How to Measure Overall Length:The overall length of your rifle or shotgun may also classify it as a Short Barrel Rifle or Short Barrel Shotgun. The overall length of a firearm is the distance between the muzzle of the barrel and the rearmost portion of the weapon measured on a line parallel to the axis of the bore. … If the rifle has a permanently attached muzzle device, that is part of the overall length. … If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock extended.

READ FULL ARTICLE on Ammoland.com.

Links for this episode:

ATF Method for Measuring Barrel Length and Overall Length:
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/atf-national-firearms-act-handbook-chapter-2/download
Firearm – 26 USC § 5845: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845
Firearm – 27 CFR § 479.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/479.11
Short Barrel Rifle – 18 USC § 921(a)(8): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Rifle – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11
Short Barrel Shotgun – 18 USC § 921(a)(6): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Shotgun – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11

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December 29th, 2020

ATF Rescinds Official Notice about Pistol Braces

AR16 AR pistol arm brace BATFE ATF guidance ruling retraction

The NSSF reports that on December 23, 2020 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rescinded its Notice of “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with Stabilizing Braces” that was published on December 18, 2020. One of the reasons for the change was the massive amount of comments on the proposed rule change. Over 48,000 comments were posted on the Federal Register, the overwhelming number of them critical of the ATF’s proposed policies on pistols with braces.

AR16 AR pistol arm brace BATFE ATF guidance ruling retraction

NRA Instructor and gunwriter John Crump noted:

“After tens of thousands of comments left by gun owners over the ATF’s proposed guidance over pistol braces, the agency pulled it from the [Federal Register].

The agency released the proposal and gave the public two weeks to respond. Many in the gun world believed that the ATF chose to release the document right before the Christmas holiday, hoping that the gun community wouldn’t notice it until it was too late. The American people did notice. Every firearms publication ran non stop coverage of the confusing and nonsensical proposal. YouTubers of all sizes encouraged people to write comments to the government about the new guidance.

Even the politicians got involved in rebuking the ATF’s power play. North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson and 89 other Congress members signed a letter urging the ATF to reverse course[.]”

What was the main problem with the ATF’s “guidance” firearms with braces? Fundamentally it was vague, confusing, and overly complex. With so many factors listed, the “guidance” would have permitted the ATF to require registration of virtually any brace-equipped pistol based on a complex collection of factors, some quite subjective. That wasn’t good policy and gun owners saw the problem. We need clear, definite, objective standards for what is allowed and what is not.

The NSSF concurred: “NSSF has long requested the ATF to publish objective criteria by which firearm manufacturers can readily produce firearms equipped with arm braces in compliance with the law. To date, the criteria is subjective and open to interpretation on a case-by-case basis. The guidance proposed by the ATF last week did little, unfortunately, to clear the ambiguity that exists with subjective criteria.”

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December 19th, 2020

ATF Issues Notice Regarding AR Pistols — Factors to Consider

ATF BATFE short-barreled rifle AR15 regulations

Do you own an AR-platform pistol, or are you considering purchasing one? Then you should read the Special Notice issued on 12/18/2020 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) concerning features of these firearms. Basically, the ATF is considering reclassifying many of these guns as “short-barreled rifles” because the attached braces effectively function like a rifle buttstock. For decades short-barreled rifles have been a registered item under ATF rules requiring an application and tax stamp. The ATF is now looking at multiple factors to consider the status of AR Pistols. These factors are listed in the ATF’s recent Special Notice: Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces”.

ATF BATFE short-barreled rifle AR15 regulations

Here is text taken from the ATF’s notice in the Federal Register. Take heed — this is only a partial section of the document. You should read the FULL DOCUMENT (PDF Version).

ATF has observed that the development and production of firearms with arm braces has become more prevalent in the firearms industry and, relatedly, that requests for classifications for this kind of firearm design have also increased. Therefore, ATF is publishing this notice to aid the firearms industry and public in understanding the objective design features that FATD (Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division) considers when evaluating firearm samples submitted with a stabilizing brace or similar attachment.

The objective design features ATF considers in determining whether a weapon with an attached “stabilizing brace” has been “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder” include, but are not limited to:

Type and Caliber. The type and caliber of firearm to which the stabilizing brace or similar item is installed. A large caliber firearm that is impractical to fire with one hand because of recoil or other factors, even with an arm brace, is likely to be considered a rifle or shotgun.
Weight and Length. The weight and length of the firearm used with the stabilizing brace. A firearm that is so heavy that it is impractical to fire or aim with one hand, or so long that it is difficult to balance the firearm to fire with one hand, is likely to be considered a rifle or shotgun.
Length of Pull. The “length of pull” refers to the distance from the trigger to the point at which a stock meets the shoulder. This is a measurement for rifles and shotguns used to accommodate shooters of different sizes. Because an arm brace need only reach the forearm, the distance between the trigger and the back of the brace is generally expected to be shorter than the distance between the trigger and the back of a stock on a weapon designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder. This measurement is not necessarily determinative of the intent of the manufacturer but is used in making an evaluation of the firearm. If a brace is of a length that makes it impractical to attach to the shooter’s wrist or forearm, then that may demonstrate that it is not designed as brace but rather for shoulder fire.
Attachment Method. The method of attachment of the stabilizing brace, to include modified stock attachments, extended receiver extensions, and the use of spacers. These items extend the distance between the trigger and the part of the weapon that contacts the shooter, whether it is a stock or stabilizing brace. Use of these items indicates that the weapon is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder because they extend a stabilizing brace beyond a point that is useful for something other than shoulder support.
Stabilizing Brace Design Features. The objective design features of the attached stabilizing brace itself are relevant to the classification of the assembled weapon, and include:

— The comparative function of the attachment when utilized as a stabilizing brace compared to its alternate use as a shouldering device;

— The design of the stabilizing brace compared to known shoulder stock designs;

— The amount of rear contact surface area of the stabilizing brace that can be used in shouldering the weapon as compared to the surface area necessary for use as a stabilizing brace;

— The material used to make the attachment that indicates whether the brace is designed and intended to be pressed against the shoulder for support, or actually used on the arm;

— Any shared or interchangeable parts with known shoulder stocks; and

— Any other feature of the brace that improves the weapon’s effectiveness from the shoulder-firing position without providing a corresponding benefit to the effectiveness of the stability and support provided by the brace’s use on the arm.

Aim Point. Appropriate aim point when utilizing the attachment as a stabilizing brace. If the aim point when using the arm brace attachment results in an upward or downward trajectory that could not accurately hit a target, this may indicate the attachment was not designed as a stabilizing brace.
Secondary Grip. The presence of a secondary grip may indicate that the weapon is not a “pistol” because it is not designed to be held and fired by one hand.
Sights and Scopes. Incorporation of sights or scopes that possess eye relief incompatible with one-handed firing may indicate that the weapon is not a “pistol” because they are designed to be used from a shoulder-fire position and are incompatible for the single-handed shooting that arm braces are designed and intended.
Peripheral Accessories. Installation of peripheral accessories commonly found on rifles or shotguns that may indicate that the firearm is not designed and intended to be held and fired with one hand. This includes, but is not limited to, the installation of bipods/monopods that improve the accuracy of heavy weapons designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder; or the inclusion of a magazine or drum that accepts so many cartridges that it increases the overall weight of the firearm to a degree that it is impractical to fire the weapon with one hand even with the assistance of a stabilizing brace.

The ATF concludes: “These factors are based on known stabilizing braces and similar attachments. No single factor or combination of factors is necessarily dispositive, and FATD examines each weapon holistically on a case-by-case basis. …. Moreover, in addition to the objective design features of a submitted sample, FATD also considers the marketing of both the item and the firearm to which it is attached, compared to the manufacturer’s stated intent when submitting an item.”

CLICK HERE for BATFE General Notice in Federal Register Regarding AR Pistols

AR-Platform Pistols — Current Options on the Market

ATF BATFE short-barreled rifle AR15 regulations

If you are interested in learning more about AR-platform pistols with short barrels, PewPewTactical.com has published a useful article entitled: Six Best AR-15 Pistols [2020 Complete & Build List]. That article quickly covers the legal status of such firearms, at least before the recent ATF Guidance document:

So, what exactly is an AR pistol? If you want the complex legal definition of a pistol Check ATF’s Website.

“The short version is: An AR Pistol is an AR-15 that was built from the start to be a pistol — it also has a barrel less than 16 inches in length and does not have a stock. Generally, an AR-15 Pistol will have a stabilizing brace instead of a stock, but that isn’t required.”

ATF Changes May be Coming — And You Must Consider State Laws As Well
However, PewPewTActical notes that: “The ATF is reevaluating its stance on stabilizing braces. Pew Pew Tactical is monitoring the situation and will update our readers if there are any legal changes in the future.” And… the article further cautions: “Double check your state law before embarking on this kind of build, what federally qualifies as a ‘firearm’ or ‘pistol’ might be an ‘assault pistol’ in your state.” SOURCE: PewPewTactical.com

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September 14th, 2020

Don’t Get Busted — Learn the Gun Laws in All 50 U.S. States

Gun Laws by State PewPewtactical.com Pew Pew Byran Ciyou attorney book

Gun Laws by State PewPewtactical.com Pew Pew Byran Ciyou attorney bookWill you be traveling to other states this winter? Are you concerned about the laws that might apply when you are transporting firearms across state lines? Or are you puzzled about the requirements for obtaining a carry permit in your own state? If you have any of these questions, you should definitely get expert guidance on State statutes and regulations controlling firearms. To do that, you can purchase Attorney Bryan Ciyou’s Gun Laws by State reference book. This is worth the money, and the $20 cost also includes access to an online legal database and other services.

Free State Law Summaries Online
If you don’t want to spend the twenty bucks, there is a FREE alternative. There’s a very helpful set of State Law Summaries on the web, presented by PewPewTactical.com. Despite the silly name, the PewPewTactical website has an abundance of information that is particularly beneficial for pistol shooters and CCW holders.

One of the best features of PewPewTactical.com is the Gun Laws by State online reference guide. We looked through four of these State Law Summaries and were impressed by the depth of the coverage. But we caution — if you have specific legal questions, particularly with recently-enacted statutes, you should consult a licensed attorney for your state (or the state to which you will travel). In addition, many of the State Law Summaries have not been updated for a year or two. But they are still a good place to start. Below are links to state law articles from PewPewTactical.com. To access any State summary, simply click the State name below:

Gun Laws by State — FREE Summaries

CLICK state name to access each article.

Alabama Gun Laws

Alaska Gun Laws

Arizona Gun Laws

Arkansas Gun Laws

California Gun Laws

Colorado Gun Laws

Connecticut Gun Laws

Delaware Gun Laws

Florida Gun Laws

Georgia Gun Laws

Hawaii Gun Laws

Idaho Gun Laws

Illinois Gun Laws

Indiana Gun Laws

Iowa Gun Laws

Kansas Gun Laws

Kentucky Gun Laws

Louisiana Gun Laws

Maine Gun Laws

Maryland Gun Laws

Massachusetts Gun Laws

Michigan Gun Laws

Minnesota Gun Laws

Mississippi Gun Laws

Missouri Gun Laws

Montana Gun Laws

Nebraska Gun Laws

Nevada Gun Laws

New Hampshire Gun Laws

New Jersey Gun Laws

New Mexico Gun Laws

New York Gun Laws

North Carolina Gun Laws

North Dakota Gun Laws

Ohio Gun Laws

Oklahoma Gun Laws

Oregon Gun Laws

Pennsylvania Gun Laws

Rhode Island Gun Laws

South Carolina Gun Laws

South Dakota Gun Laws

Tennessee Gun Laws

Texas Gun Laws

Utah Gun Laws

Vermont Gun Laws

Virginia Gun Laws

Washington Gun Laws

West Virginia Gun Laws

Wisconsin Gun Laws

Wyoming Gun Laws

Washington, D.C. Gun Laws

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May 22nd, 2020

ATF Approves Updated Form 4473 for Background Checks

FBI NICS Forum 4473 firearms background check form new

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is set to release its newest version of the Form 4473. The Updated Form 4473 is used by all Federal Firearm License (FFL) holders to record pertinent information from persons seeking to purchase a firearm or firearms prior to the FFL performing a background check via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) or state-approved point-of-contact law enforcement agency. FFLs may start using the new Form 4473 immediately. The FBI intends to start shipping these new forms in July 2020.

CLICK HERE to View Draft May 2020 Revised Form 4473 »

IMPORTANT: Use of the updated Forum 4473 becomes MANDATORY as of November 1, 2020, for paper applications (not using the FBI E-Check system).

The May 2020 Form 4473 includes several changes from the previous version, including:

— The warning at the top of the form includes information about illegal exportation.

— Information on the firearm/s to be transferred is now Section A, which must be completed before the transferee completes Section B.

— The Citizenship information (Country of Citizenship and US-issued alien or admission number) has been moved to precede the prohibitor questions.

— The “County” block has been changed to “County/Parish/Borough” to accommodate Louisiana and Alaska, respectively.

— The “Sex” box has been revised to include a third option of “Non-Binary”. [Comment: Really? And how does this prevent crime? Thank you SJWs.]

— Item 26b, which previously applied to situations in which the identification document did not show the current residence address of the transferee, has been updated to include situations in which the identification document does not include the full legal name of the transferee.

— New item 26c has been included for the recording of official military orders establishing permanent change of station.

OTHER Changes: A detailed summary of ALL Form 4473 changes has been prepared by Orchid Advisers, which provides ATF and ITAR compliance services to manufacturing, distribution, and retail FFLs.

FBI NICS Forum 4473 firearms background check form new

Expected Delivery Dates and Pre-Order Links
Use of the May 2020-approved Form 4473 will be mandatory for all FFLs beginning November 1, 2020. FFLs may use supplies of their current Form 4473s (October 2016 version) until that date. The new Form 4473 and continuation sheets are available for preorder in both English and Spanish. FFLs can expect their preorders to begin shipping in late July 2020. In addition, ATF expects to ship 50-quantity starter packs of the new Form 4473 to all FFLs in late July 2020, and the agency intends to have an updated eForm 4473 up and running during that same time period for those FFLs utilizing the FBI’s NICS E-Check system instead of the paper Form 4473.

CLICK HERE to Pre-Order Revised FBI Form 4473 »

NSSF has ordered both Spanish and English overlays for the new Form 4473 and we will notify our members when they are in stock and available through the member portal. These overlays, which complement an FFL’s compliance best practices, help improve accuracy and completion of this critical form and are available free to NSSF members.

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June 23rd, 2019

Don’t Get Barrel-Busted! Federal Barrel Length Requirements

short barrel barreled rifle shotgun NSA tax stamp ATF legal brief guncollective.com

The Legal Brief is a feature of TheGuncollective.com that focuses on firearms rules and regulations. In this Legal Brief video, Attorney Adam Kraut explains key State and Federal regulations governing firearms, and explains how to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.

This five-minute video explains barrel length rules for rifles and shotguns, and also explains the best (and most fool-proof) methods to measure your barrel. In addition, the video explains how to measure firearm overall length. A rifle or shotgun which is less than 26 inches overall can also be classified as a “Short-barreled” rifle/shotgun subject to the NFA. NOTE: Under federal law “If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock EXTENDED”.

Highlights of LEGAL BRIEF Discussion of Barrel Length and Firearm Overall Length

The ATF procedure to measure the length of a barrel is to measure from the closed bolt or breech face to the furthest end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device. ATF considers a muzzle device that has been permanently attached to be part of the barrel and therefore counts towards the length.

How to Measure Barrel Length: Drop [a] dowel or rod into the barrel until it touches the bolt or breech face, which has to be closed. Mark the outside of the rod at the end of the muzzle crown (if you don’t have a permanently attached muzzle device) or at the end of the muzzle device if it is permanently attached. Remove the rod and measure from the mark to the end of the rod. That is your barrel length[.]

Remember, if the barrel length is less than 16 inches, it is possible that the firearm could be a short barrel rifle (if you are building a rifle or it is already on a rifle) and if the barrel length is less than 18 inches, it is possible the firearm could be a short barrel shotgun (again if you are building a shotgun or it is already a shotgun). Both of these firearms would be subject to the purview of the National Firearms Act and would require the firearm to be registered accordingly.

How to Measure Overall Length:The overall length of your rifle or shotgun may also classify it as a Short Barrel Rifle or Short Barrel Shotgun. The overall length of a firearm is the distance between the muzzle of the barrel and the rearmost portion of the weapon measured on a line parallel to the axis of the bore. … If the rifle has a permanently attached muzzle device, that is part of the overall length. … If the rifle or shotgun has a collapsible stock, the overall length is measured with the stock extended.

READ FULL ARTICLE on Ammoland.com.

Links for this episode:

ATF Method for Measuring Barrel Length and Overall Length:
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/atf-national-firearms-act-handbook-chapter-2/download
Firearm – 26 USC § 5845: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845
Firearm – 27 CFR § 479.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/479.11
Short Barrel Rifle – 18 USC § 921(a)(8): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Rifle – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11
Short Barrel Shotgun – 18 USC § 921(a)(6): https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
Short Barrel Shotgun – 27 CFR § 478.11: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/478.11

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May 10th, 2019

Rules of Firearms Gift Transfers — How to Stay Out of Trouble

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12th, and Father’s Day is just a month away. Perhaps you’re thinking about giving your parent(s) a firearm for sporting use or self-protection. While gifting a gun is allowed in most jurisdictions, there are important state and Federal laws with which you must comply. And while Federal laws cover the whole country, the rules on firearms gift transfers vary significantly from state to state.

Bottom line here — you need to know the law BEFORE you deliver that shiny new firearm to a family member, close friend, or relative.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on an NSSF Article.

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

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December 23rd, 2018

What You Need to Know about Firearms Gift Transfers

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on an NSSF Article.

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). Perhaps you’re considering giving a a first rifle to your grandson or perhaps a carry pistol to a spouse. When making a gun gift to a friend or family member, however, there are some very important legal considerations. Also the rules on firearms gift transfers vary from state to state. Bottom line here — you need to know the law BEFORE you deliver that shiny new firearm to a family member, close friend, or relative.

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

Intra-Family Transfers and Antique Arms
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even intra-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.

Regulations on Firearms Shipping to Third Parties
When you intend to transfer a gun, there are important rules on interstate shipping*. Generally speaking, you can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms. Also check your state laws on transfers.


*Different rules may apply to shipping to parties IN-STATE or shipping firearms to yourself in temporary care of others. Always consult your own state laws, but here are some FAQs copied directly from the ATF.GOV website:

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