Rare Breed Triggers LLC has battled the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) over its FRT-15 trigger for the past few years, and American gun owners have been caught in the crossfire. The ATF has once again sent out letters to the owners of the triggers demanding they turn them over to the government for destruction.
Rare Breed Triggers claims its FRT-15 is a semi-automatic trigger, but the ATF claims it is a machinegun conversion device. According to the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), any item designed to convert a firearm to a machine gun is treated as a machine gun itself. According to the ATF, the device is regulated by the NFA, and since no machine guns made after April 1986 can be added to the registry, the ATF claims no one can legally own an FRT-15 trigger.
An FRT-15 trigger is a forced reset trigger. A forced reset trigger causes the trigger to reset after every shot, increasing the rate of fire for a firearm. The ATF claims the forced reset triggers fire automatically by a single function of a trigger. Rare Breed Triggers claim that since the shooter pulls the trigger with each shot, it does not fall under the federal definition of a machine gun.
Both sides have been fighting in court since Rare Breed Triggers was served with a cease-and-desist letter in July 2021. The ATF could not wait until the court cases were settled before attempting to recover triggers from consumers. In August of 2022, the ATF field office agents started showing up at the doors of buyers of FRT-15 triggers purchased from a GunBroker seller known as Rifleremedy2000.
The ATF collected FRTs from one of Rare Breed Trigger’s manufacturers and confiscated triggers from Big Daddy Unlimited (BDU), which sold a similar product called the Wide Open Trigger (WOT).
Last spring, the ATF made efforts to recover WOTs purchased from BDU. AmmoLand News could not determine how the ATF got a list of WOT owners, and the ATF isn’t speaking up. One thing is clear: the ATF would not stop until it could confiscate as many triggers as possible. The springtime operation targeted a different set of customers than the earlier operations.
Now, the ATF is starting a new purge of forced reset triggers, including the FRT-15 and the WOT sold directly from Rare Breed Triggers.
The ATF’s latest tactic is a letter campaign demanding gun owners turn over their forced reset triggers purchased from Rare Breed Triggers. All the letters AmmoLand News has examined reference “Red Beard Treasures.” Red Beard Treasures is an alias for Rare Breed Triggers. The ATF claims that Rare Breed Triggers shipped from the pseudonym to obfuscate the source of the triggers from the government. Rare Breed Triggers claims it used the Red Beard Treasures moniker to prevent would-be thieves from knowing what was in the packages.
AmmoLand News has not found any letters referencing packages marked as shipped from Rare Breed Triggers. Rare Breed Triggers claims the United States Postal Service (USPS) turned over customer information without a warrant. This incident wouldn’t be the first time a shipping company turned over information. Stamps.com turned over information on “Buy, Build, Shoot” kits sold by Polymer80. Although AmmoLand News cannot verify that the customers receiving letters had their information turned over to the ATF by the USPS, all evidence seems to point in that direction.
The ATF has not taken any enforcement actions against any forced reset trigger owners. For now, the ATF seems just to be happy taking possession of the triggers. Only time will tell if/when the ATF will start taking enforcement actions against trigger owners.
There are currently two cases involving Rare Breed Triggers. The government is suing the company in Brooklyn, New York, and Rare Breed Triggers is suing the ATF in Texas.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.