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ATF Final Ruling 2021R-05F | Complete Breakdown thumbnail image

ATF Final Ruling 2021R-05F | Complete Breakdown

80 Percent Arms   |   Aug 25th 2022

Legal Disclaimer: The information in this blog is not legal advice. We are not lawyers. While we endeavor to keep all our blogs updated with the most accurate information, gun laws are ever changing and they can change quickly with little to complex differences in new legislation. Therefore, while we try our best to provide complete information, we acknowledge that everything you’re reading below may change (or already has changed).

Do not rely solely on the information provided by us or on this website for your purchase decisions. To ensure that you, the buyer, are acting in accordance with all federal, state laws and local ordinances, please be sure to do your own research and consult an attorney if necessary. 

Updated: 8/25/2022


Updated: 4/26/2022 - The Federal Register has published the "official version" of the 2021R-05F on their website meaning that that 120 day countdown begins on 4/26/22 making the effective date August 24th, 2022. 

Disclaimer: To get started, we want to share a small disclaimer. We are dedicated and proud supporters of everything 2nd Amendment, but we are not lawyers. Before you take what you read here and run with it, you will want to double-check the official statements from the White House, Department of Justice, ATF and or the Federal Register. Make sure you are up to date on any special regulations that may apply to you and your situation. Gun laws are always changing and always do your part to stay up to date with the newest and current laws.

This information is provided as a service to the public. It is NOT intended to be taken as legal advice and should never be considered as such. Make sure to do your own research as you and you alone are responsible for your own actions.

This is a developing situation and we intend to update via our blogs and newsletter to stay as accurate and current as possible. If you see a clear discrepancy or mistake with any of our information, feel free to let us know so we can review it. Thank you and stay safe!


On April 11th, 2022, President Biden held a large press conference at the White House announcing the finalized ruling of the ATF’s new proposed rulemaking 2021R-05F which stands to change the entire 80 percent and firearms industry as we know it. This rule was written with the purpose of banning 80 lower receivers and 80 lower jigs in just 120 days from the publish date. In the meantime, you are still allowed to purchase these products.

We are working with our legal team to fight this unprecedented rule that completely hijacked our legal system and bypassed the formal process of how legislation should be created. We will be mounting a robust legal challenge to this executive overreach, and 100% of every dollar spent on our website in the coming months will help cover the very significant legal costs involved with taking on the federal government in court. Please check back often for updates to our site and keep up with our upcoming blogs.

How You Can Help Right Now

To join us in the fight against the Biden Administration and ATF's tyranny you can certainly buy more 80 lowers up until the new regulations go into effect on August 24, 2022, and that will significantly help us in the fight against this tyranny from the federal government. We thank you for your past support and for your continued support during this battle. Please also consider financially supporting other organizations that are on the legal frontlines fighting for your 2A Rights.

Of course, there’s always getting in touch with your elected officials. Be it your congressman or woman, senator or a local mayor — only you can hold them accountable as a voter. Just don’t be surprised if you receive a templated, automatic response from their office. 

Primary Information Sources

There’s a lot of information for all sides so what we’ve done is create the most comprehensive and complete breakdown you’ll find online on this topic and related news. First, know where to find the official documentation and releases from the government. This section also serves as a timeline for how events surrounding the new rule unfolded over the past year. 

GOA Sues ATF — (August 25th, 2022) Gun Owners of America sues the ATF again, but this time with the partnership of 17 state attorney generals to challenge the constitutionality of the new ATF rule. 

August 24, 2022 | the ATF Rule went into effect. Two out of three court cases that were challenging the rule were denied an emergency injunction. One court case remains. At this time, the situation is still evolving - We are confident that the ATF will be beat and we are still shipping 80 lowers. 

2021R-05F — The final rule version signed by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

White House Fact Sheet — Released April 11, 2022

Federal Register — A Guide to the Rulemaking Process.

Federal Register Summary of 2021R-05 — This is where everyone submitted over 290,000 public comments in response to the proposed ruling between May 21 and August 19, 2021.

ATF Summary of Final Rule 2021R-05F — Now that the rulemaking has been officially finalized, notice that the rule’s name designation has now added the letter ‘F’ at the end of it.

ATF Releases Schedule for NPRM — To understand and see the build up to what we’re currently dealing with today, see our 80 Percent Arms Blog that tracked the key events leading up to today.

TL;DR on 2021R-05F

It’s a lot of information to digest, we know. Take your time slowly studying all of this and familiarizing yourself with the current situation that we’re in. The main point to note is that there are a lot of legal definitions that will change the way firearm parts are regulated.

Namely, 80 percent lower receivers and frames (the ATF refers to them in this document as partially complete, disassembled, or nonfunctional frames or receivers, including frame or receiver parts kits) would have to be serialized and require a background check in order to be legally sold to consumers. Similar to how most handguns bought from a gun store will show the serial number engraved on the frame, barrel and slide - upper receivers for all AR platforms will have to be serialized as well (unless they are mated with a grandfathered lower). This means that future purchases would require background checks for even just an upper - which could invite further regulation soon after for complete upper receivers.

Thankfully handgun slides are safe and will not require serialization so buying aftermarket slides for your pistols or GST-9 MOD1 builds would not be affected.

With regard to silencers, the requirement to be serialized on the outer tube was further emphasized potentially due to the increasing popularity of solvent traps and DIY suppressor builds in recent years. Essentially, the ATF wants to make sure gun owners are going through them and filing the proper Forms to comply with the National Firearms Act.

Lastly, the definition of gunsmith was seemingly clarified that it would not require licensed gunsmith dealers (Type 01) to be relicensed as manufacturers (Type 07). Additionally, the original ATF Ruling 2010-10 would not be superseded.

2021R-05F Complete Breakdown

This is our complete breakdown of the 2021R-05F which as the ATF’s document reads… will completely upend the firearms industry as we currently know it. We’ve often talked about Hong Kong, Australian and Canadian history of gun confiscations, buybacks, the loss or lack of the right to own or make firearms in our newsletter. Allowing this ruling to go completely unchallenged would be the gateway for a worst case scenario to happen in our country as well for 2A rights.

Below we’ve broken down the complete 364 page document from the ATF and given additional information to explain what each section in the document is talking about and have refuted some points as well. You can expect us to have additional blogs doing a deeper dive on some of these subjects below.

2021R-05F Brief Summary

ATF’s own summary reads as: “The DOJ is amending the ATF regulations to remove and replace existing regulatory/legal definitions of what a ‘firearm frame or receiver’ and ‘frame or receiver’ is because the current regulations fail to capture the full meaning of those terms.”

DOJ is also amending the following ATF definitions (due to advancements in firearms technology):



-Complete weapon

-Complete muffler or silencer device

-Multi-piece frame or receiver

-Privately Made Firearm

-What parts would be considered as “readily convertible”

Effective date: 120 days from April 26th AKA August 24th, 2022

Table of Contents (Pages 2-4)

A couple things to note about their table of contents is that there are more federal codes being revised that were talked about in the document. However, it isn’t mentioned in the table of contents. The document was strategically designed to be long and difficult to completely understand.

Executive Summary/Costs and Benefits (Pages 5-11)

In this section, the ATF justifies why we need any of this new regulatory action at all. Their main argument is that current laws do not aptly regulate firearms that have supposedly changed drastically since the Gun Control Act of 1968 was first enacted due to technological advancements.

Background Information (Pages 11-32)

Expect several repetitions of the same or similar information throughout the whole document. In this section some information is repeated from the previous section but it basically presents some brief definitions again along with a timeline of events since 2021R-05 was first proposed as a new rule for the DOJ to consider. Another justification for these new rules is that as many as 45,240 privately made firearms had been recovered by law enforcement and reported to the ATF over the past six years. That’s a convenient metric for the ATF to use when the agency started in 2020 to include normal guns that were bought and not built with their serial numbers scratched off as “ghost guns” as well.

Presents First Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Pages 32-55)

Although one of the last sections of this document already includes the finalized definitions of the NPRM, this long section presents the definitions that were initially suggested back in May of 2021.

Analysis of Comments and DOJ/ATF responses to them (Pages 56-291)

Thanks to many firearms enthusiasts and industry professionals’ comments to the Federal Register, the ATF had hundreds of thousands of comments and issues to sincerely consider. In this section, some clarity is offered to a select amount of questions although many of the comments that were selected are basically being refuted by the ATF’s responses.

Final Rule and Definitions (Pages 291-305)

Extra definitions can be found here which are not mentioned in the beginning of document:

-Importer’s or manufacturer’s serial number

-Marking requirements for firearms


-Record retention

-Effect on prior ATF rulings and procedures


Statutory and Executive Orders Review (Pages 305-319)

Along with changes to several federal codes not listed in the table of contents, these are the executive orders and statutes that were referred to in this section.

Executive Order 12866: Concerns regulatory impact requiring cost benefit analysis of any significant regulatory changes. Was originally signed by President Clinton.

Executive Order 13563: An update and affirmation to the regulatory impact analysis (from EO 12866) originally signed by President Obama.

Executive Order 13132: Concerns federalism and was signed by President Clinton to guarantee the Constitution’s division of governmental responsibilities between the federal government and the states. It also furthered the policies of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

Executive Order 12988: Concerns Civil Justice Reform and was signed by President Clinton.

Regulatory Flexibility Act — was originally passed in 1980 to establish a principle of regulatory issuance for agencies to follow. To achieve this, agencies were required to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and explain the rationale for their actions in order to be given serious consideration.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 — Originally passed because the small business community expressed that there were too many federal regulations which were complex and too expensive to implement. Under this act, small businesses were given assistance in understanding and complying with regulations. Small businesses were given a voice with regard to development of new regulations and the penalty for failing to comply with certain regulations was also reduced.

Congressional Review Act — A tool that Congress can use to overturn certain federal agency actions. This tool was gained through the enactment of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act in 1996.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 — In an effort to reduce the burden of paperwork required by the federal government imposed on private businesses and citizens, this act imposed some procedural requirements on agencies that wished to collect information from the public.

Part 447 - Importation of Arms, Ammunition and Implements of War (Pages 320-364)

-Includes new definitions once more

-Appendices with figures and visual examples

-More federal codes revised

-Firearms Importer or Manufacturer Acquisition and Disposition Record

-Armor Piercing Ammunition Importer or Manufacturer Disposition Record

-Firearms Collector Acquisition and Disposition Record