With the May 1st deadline looming, I decided to send in an email to the BATFE’s working group for the pending ban of certain shotguns. You can do likewise by sending your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s what I wrote:
I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the current shotgun importation ban now under consideration. I am a member of the United States Practical Shooting Association and I use shotguns for competition that are designed with many of the 10 features that are being considered as criteria for banning a shotgun from importation. Telescoping stocks, pistol grips, extended magazines, compensators and additional mounting rails are critically important in our sport. To say these guns serve no sporting purpose is to deny practical shooting as a sport in general. This may be convenient for your current purposes but it is wrong. The working group cannot use potential repercussions as a reason for denying facts. Namely that practical shotgun shooting is a highly popular sport thereby making many of the shotgun features under consideration “generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.”
I won’t even get into the underlying need for a “sporting purposes” clause, but I will say that your group’s assessment that practical shooting is training for military and/or law enforcement shooting is a startling non sequitur. Who are you to decide which sport is legitimate and which is not? There is nothing in the statute upon which to claim this distinction. Even so, you could also say it is similar to civilian self-defense training, but those points are entirely irrelevant. Sporting purposes are just that: the guns themselves are entirely legal to buy, own and shoot and they are in fact used broadly in practical shooting. It really is that simple.
I would therefore ask that you folks put politics aside and simply weigh the factual statements on their own merits.