SIG Sauer slaps lawsuit against ATF for misclassification of muzzle brake
Apr 15, 2014 10:09 PM EDT
According to a report on Guns.com, gun maker SIG Sauer has sought legal action against federal agency the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in the hopes of challenging the ruling of its SIG MPX gun. According to court documents filed by SIG, the ATF inaccurately classified the muzzle brake that was designed for the gun in question as a silencer despite the fact that the part does not function like one. SIG argued that the part was made specifically for the MPX to reduce the felt recoil of the gun by correctly directing the propellant gases that are perpendicular to the axis of the bore.
The MPX, which debuted at the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade show along with the gun maker's other silencers and silencer-ready firearms, was compliant with regulations of the ATF as dictated by the country's Gun Control Act. Because of the advancements made on the MPX model, the muzzle brake also doubles as an internal part for a silencer. Guns.com said that the only thing that would make the muzzle brake into an integral silencer is a cover.
Chief Earl Griffin of the Firearms Technology Branch for the ATF explained to SIG about how the federal agency arrived to its ruling in a written decision dated August 2013, of which part of it read, "The submitted item is designed and constructed as a silencer component commonly referred to as a ‘monolithic baffle stack.'"A monolithic baffle stack is a silencer core that replaces traditional individual baffle and spacer parts with a solid unit that may contain a series of baffles, spacers, ports, or expansion chambers. Welding it to a barrel does not change its design characteristics or function."
SIG appealed a few months later and submitted results of a series of tests that supported the gun maker's claims. However, Griffin reiterated the agency's ruling in a February response and said that the ATF will not be amending their findings.
Aside from the ATF, US Attorney General Eric Holder is also named as the defendant in the lawsuit, and has 60 days beginning April 15 to respond to SIG's lawsuit, Guns.com said.