Nov 5 2010 A finding letter appears that you have seen in my last post
Nov 23 A new FAQ appears on BATFE's website
Q: Does the ATF regulate the sale and possession of air guns? Is an air gun classified as a “firearm” under Federal law?
The term “firearm” is defined in the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(3), to include (A) any weapon (including a starter gun), which will, or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon…. Based on Section 921(a)(3), air guns, because they use compressed air and not an explosive to expel a projectile, do not constitute firearms under Federal law — unless they are manufactured with the frames or receivers of an actual firearm. Accordingly, the domestic sale and possession of air guns is normally unregulated under the Federal firearms laws enforced by ATF.
We caution that ATF is not charged with enforcement or oversight of the firearms laws of States or localities. To determine possible restrictions on air guns where you reside, we recommend that you contact the office of your state Attorney General, the State Police, or other State/local law enforcement authorities for further guidance.
Now, I am not a lawyer, but a very hard working one had this to say about it,
( plain English, not legalese, version)
"In other words unless you build an airsoft on a firearm receiver the airsoft guns are ok as imported. If you actually build your airsoft into a functioning firearm you have a whole different but individual problem."
Although I made repeated attempts, ATF has not contacted me back.
Is this the end of story for Airsoft and the BATFE
I would be a Pollyanna to say yes.
Just like the fights for real steel firearms in the US, it is a daily ongoing fight.
I will be joining the ASTM next week as this is one of the only ways that consumers and users of items in the USA can have a voice.
I want to thank the legal staff at the NRA for all their help
and being interested enough in our "toys" to care.
I also want to thanks Thumpy's house of airsoft, popular Airsoft and Arines for getting the word out.
To recap, from Nov 5th to Nov 12th GBBR m16's were firearms. From Nov 12th till the 22ed they might have been. Now on Nov 22ed they are not, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.
I hope now I can just do some reviews and tell jokes, I like that much better