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Suspension of Honey Badger Ban an Opportunity to Find Out Who Authorized It

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

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U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Last Friday, October 9, 2020, our attorneys received a letter from ATF Chief Counsel Joel Roessner ‘temporarily suspending the Cease and Desist letter’ associated with the Honey Badger Pistol by Q®,” Q, LLC announced.

“The letter states that the suspension, ‘will remain in effect for a period of sixty (60) days . . . unless withdrawn or extended by ATF.’  The stated purpose of the suspension is to allow the Department of Justice (‘DOJ’) an opportunity, ‘to further review the applicability of the National Firearms Act to the manufacture and transfer of the model ‘Honey Badger Pistol’ firearm.’”

It also provides an opportunity to get to the bottom of who exactly at ATF has been behind the move before the suspension is withdrawn. That’s because my attorney, Stephen Stamboulieh, filed a Freedom of Information Act request on my behalf asking for documents that could reveal who authorized the determination that the  National Firearms Act had been violated and that Q, LLC, and thousands of gun owners could be considered in criminal violation.

The window of opportunity could close before the 20-business days ATF has to respond to the FOIA have passed if Joe Biden wins the election on November 3. That’s because certain facts, and the absence of certain information, have led to the speculation that the move was made by entrenched ATF employees seeking to demoralize gun owners by having “Trump’s ATF” enact another negative ruling against them.

That’s a potential I raised in an October 9 Firearms News piece, “Will President Trump Let ATF Continue to Rule by Unchecked Diktat with Honey Badger ‘Reclassification’?” That the order came out of the Boston Field Division was the first indicator that seemed curious. Did “leadership” sign off on the Honey Badger decision?

An exclusive insider-sourced AmmoLand report by John Crump concluded “Rogue ATF Leadership Targets the Honey Badger & Gun Voters Before the Election,” and noted:

“ATF Acting Director Regina Lombardo, who is not President Trump’s pick to lead the ATF, is a career bureaucrat. AmmoLand News’ sources inside the agency say she is not loyal to the president. Several independent sources have stated that Lombardo has a narrower definition of the Second Amendment than President Trump & the rest of America. Sources also tell AmmoLand News that Associate Deputy Director Marvin Richardson, another career bureaucrat, has an ax-to-grind against pistol braces and believes they violate the NFA but doesn’t think that they have the political capital to make a move against the millions of accessories under a Trump presidency.”

A subsequent AmmoLand report by Dean Weingarten observed:

“The Boston Field Office of the ATF issued the Honey Badger Cease and Desist letter. They claimed the Firearms and Technology Division determined the firearm is a short-barreled rifle. It is not clear if Lombardo and/or Richardson approved of the letter before it went out.  In a well-run Bureau, such a sensitive item would not be sent out without approval from the top brass.”

I explored that lack of clarity in my Firearms News piece by consulting with friend and colleague Len Savage, firearms designer, expert witness, and President, Historic Arms, LLC:

“As to the Honey Badger Issue specifically: Why is a field office making national policy for ATF and why was this not a release from HQ or Firearms Enforcement Programs?” Savage questions. “Has anyone asked for ‘Correspondence Approval and Clearance Form’ (ATF form 9310.3A)?

“It will have every ATF official who signed off on this nonsense…Perhaps somebody should ask to see it?” he continues. “Also, there should also be a ‘ATF Report of Technical Examination’ (ATF form 3311.2)?

“This form should be the basis of any determination and if there is not one to support the ‘Correspondence Approval and Clearance Form,’ well them somebody made this up out of whole cloth and those somebodies signed off on it before it was sent out,” Savage concludes. “It not hard to find out, it’s getting anybody to give a damn.”

I give a damn and we’ll see if it’s hard to find out. Hence this latest action.

“Please see attached FOIA,” Stamboulieh wrote to ATF in a Thursday email.  “It is also being sent by fax.”

Now we see if they respond timely, claim a Covid delay, or balk at sending altogether if a pending new regime allows it. Here’s what we sent them:

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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