Wednesday, July 28, 2021

BATFE & Texas H.B. 957

As with the Texas Constitutional Carry, the number of questions surrounding the new Texas Suppressor law have been numerous! I, too, have been wondering about what the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE or more commonly "ATF") thought of and, more importantly, how they would respond to the passage by the Texas Legislature and signing by the Texas Governor of Texas House Bill 957 (aka "Firearm Supressor Regulation"). Today, the ATF transmitted an open letter to all Texas based Federal Firearms Licensees, reminding us of our obligations and responsibilities, and informing us of the BATFE position on the new Texas law that goes into effect on September 1, 2021.

Bottom line for the Federal entity that provides oversight for FFLs nationwide is that H.B. 957 DOES NOT supercede existing federal laws and regulations concerning the manufacture, sale and/or possession of a firearm supressor.  Shocking, right?

Although the purpose of this open letter is stated as a "reminder of obligations", it is clear that Texas FFLs are now on notice that should a federally licensed dealer/manufacturer subordinate federal law and regulations in favor of state law regarding supressors, doing so could put their licenses at risk of being revoked.

So, while Texas law enforcement entities have not voiced their take on the prospective challenges of the new law, don't be surprised if FFL's, who rely on their license for their income, ask to see the federal Tax Stamp for your supressor.