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ATF Makes Up Its Own Rules, Designates Pistol a Rifle

The maker of the Honey Badger Pistol had to send out a notice to all customers after the ATF decided to change the status of one of their most popular guns.

Dear Customer:

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[1]. 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.

1. Complete one of the following:

A: 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

B: 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

2. 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.

Additionally, we encourage you to reach out to the White House and ask President Trump to halt and rollback ATF’s efforts to issue arbitrary and capricious decisions affecting millions of legal gun owners.

  • White House Comment Line:
    • (202) 456-1111 / Email

Residents from the following states and districts should reach out to their congressional representatives to let them know what they think of ATF’s actions:

  • Kansas – Sen. Jerry Moran (R) – Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) which is responsible for funding the ATF.
    • (202) 224-6521 / Email
  • South Carolina – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) – Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for ATF oversight.
    • (202) 224-5972 / Email
  • Ohio 4th District – Congressman Jim Jordan (R) – Ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over 2nd amendment issues.
    • (202) 225-2676 / Email
Q takes extreme care to remain in compliance with federal law, and we share your frustration with this development.  We apologize for this situation and want to assure you that we, in conjunction with SB Tactical® and the National Rifle Association (NRA®), are doing everything in our power to resolve this matter amicably for all parties involved.


Adam Johnson, CEO

Customer builds are temporarily closed due to the ATF designation.

Q, the maker of the Honey Badger Pistol, responded with their own letter to the ATF.


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One thought on “ATF Makes Up Its Own Rules, Designates Pistol a Rifle”

  1. Short of removing firearms from ATF jurisdiction, the next best solution would be to appoint a pro-gun person as head of ATF. Look at crime statistics per the FBI. Most homicides are not committed with SBRs, SBSs, MGs, silenced firearms, bump stocks, or anything else the fevered minds of the regulators imagine. But control of you is the goal, not crime prevention.