This ruling also places dealers in a compromising position, Creamer noted.

“Through no fault of the dealer, who relied on past guidance, he’s now going to have to tell the customer who he sold a pistol to and explain the pistol he sold now makes the customer a felon because he’s in possession of it ‘illegally,’” he said.

Another source of consternation is the inconsistency in the point system established in ATF Worksheet 4999 (“Factoring Criteria For Rifled Barrel Weapons With Accessories”).

“What the ATF is ostensibly saying is, ‘We’ve created this point scheme and if you don’t meet the threshold of the point scheme, then you’re in illegal possession of a non-registered NFA weapon. However, if you do meet the threshold, we may decide it doesn’t matter and you’re trying to circumvent the NFA and therefore you’re in possession of a non-registered NFA weapon,” Creamer argued.

Similar to the Dec. 2020 Proposed Rule, this latest ruling has led to uncertainty, rather than clarity, Creamer contended.
“With this latest ruling, ATF has created confusion and distrust that will ripple throughout the industry for years,” he predicted.