The big issue here isn't whether ATF recognizes practical shooting as "legitimate" sports...the issue is that the "sporting purposes" clause itself is BS from the ground up.
I'm paranoid of course, but I can't help wondering what the real game is here...there are a lot of Saigas out there in 3-Gun, for self-defense and just because they're fun to shoot (and there will be a damn sight more over the following weeks as sales ratchet up to "bubble" levels!). It doesn't seem rational to me that even an agency as consistently dense as ATF would create such a massive poo-poo blast with a national election next year.
Many have noted that the Saiga as imported doesn't have any of the Evil List of non-sporting elements...however, I think I'm correct in that there are provisions prohibiting the assembly of an imported gun into a non-importable configuration...at least I think that's what 922(r) says.
I think there's a bigger picture here...ATF has been circling shotguns as a category like a pack of vultures for the last 18 months...I suspect they have some play in mind, and this ridiculous "study" is a step along that path. It may have to do with how BHo is going to try and play us in the next few weeks. I have always feared a wave of Executive Orders outside the purview of Congress. Remember that BHo is a basketball player -- ATF sets him up, tosses him the ball and Barry takes the shot.
Having read the study a couple of times now, the only shotgun that comes to mind as "unimportable" is indeed the hapless Chinese Winchester '97 Trench Gun clone, because of it's deadly bayonet lug, and I'm not sure whether that variant is still in production (Chinese '97 clones go primarily to the cowboy action shooting market, and the Trench Guns aren't in demand...and no, you can't have mine!).
Again, ATF has always been an agency in search of a mission. It's just no fun to bust untaxed cigarette smugglers, and you'll never get a fawning Katie Couric interview that way! The best way for ATF to "clarify" it's mission is to figure out a way to make more law-abiding Americans into criminals.
The "sporting purposes" clause is a legacy of the bad old days, and rather than argue what it means, we need to take up the cause of eliminating it all together.
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