Gun Tests readers who own AR-style pistols need to keep a close watch on a recent regulatory change the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) made to Q LLC’s Honey Badger pistol.
Firearms manufacturer Q LLC, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, announced on October 6, 2020 that the company was issued a Cease and Desist letter by BATFE reclassifying the Honey Badger AR-pistol as a short-barreled rifle covered by the National Firearms Act (NFA).
The ATF’s August 3, 2020 letter ordered Q to immediately cease production of the Honey Badger AR-pistol and perhaps other company products unless they are registered on an ATF Form 2, declaring that Q is manufacturing and selling NFA products.
From the Q LLC release:
On August 3rd, 2020, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) issued Q® a formal Cease & Desist letter, notifying us that ATF has taken the position that the Q Honey Badger Pistol is a short-barreled rifle (“SBR”) regulated under the National Firearms Act (“NFA”). In response, Q has ceased all production of the Honey Badger Pistol, and submitted a comprehensive letter to ATF and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) stating why we disagree with this classification. Additionally, we have provided recommendations on how to address the firearms already in circulation. Q is seeking solutions that best protect you, the individual, and Q’s distribution network from falling out of compliance with ATF regulations, and federal law. At this time, Q has not received any definitive guidance from the ATF.
In the meantime, Q encourages possessors of the Honey Badger Pistol to take these proactive measures until a resolution is reached between Q and ATF.
- Complete one of the following:
- Remove the barreled upper receiver from the lower receiver and dedicate it as a replacement for another AR-style pistol or registered short-barreled rifle; or
- If you do not possess another AR-style pistol or registered short-barreled rifle, remove the barreled upper receiver from the lower receiver and temporarily transfer it out of your possession by, for example, transferring it to the dominion and control of another individual; and
- Once the previous step is completed, you may file an ATF Form 1 to register the lower receiver as a short-barreled rifle. Upon Form 1 approval, the firearm may be reassembled.
Failure to complete option a or option b could result in prosecution and is subject to a $10,000.00 fine and up to 10 years imprisonment.
If you are concerned with this situation – as Q is – we urge you to contact the Department of Justice (ATF’s parent agency) by using the below OneClickPolitics link.
Even if you don’t own a Honey Badger, this determination by ATF puts many firearms owners in danger of federal prosecution. Since 2012, ATF has repeatedly found that firearms with pistol stabilizing braces, like the one equipped on Q’s Honey Badger pistol, are not “designed, made, and intended to be fired from the shoulder,” and are therefore not subject to regulation under the NFA. Now, with no notice or opportunity for public input, ATF appears to be reversing course, according to the NRA.