I received this email from a fellow who has studied the internal workings of the ATF for many years:
To: Mike Vanderboegh, et. al. (Redacted)
Sent: Thu, Nov 18, 2010
Subject: SAR and pistol grip shotguns
(Redacted) said somebody told him to check out the latest SAR (Small Arms Review) for some stuff on "Pistol Grip Firearms." From what I can see (attached), the only thing is what amounts to a copy of the 2009 FFL Newsletter information. No analysis, just straight This Is What ATF Says.
This whole Destructive Device issue is easily the hugest single regulatory fuckup in the history of ATF. The only other fuckup that even comes minimally close, and really not hardly at all, is that double-barreled sawed-off shotguns that were at least 12" but less than 18" in length had a $1 transfer tax (rather than $200) from 1938 to 1954 because the language to provide a $1 tax for the Marble's Game Getter Gun included the phrase "two attached barrels," so it by mistake also applied to certain sawed-off shotguns. The Congress let that one rock along for some 16 years. But since there was the registration requirement, which people didn't like, there was probably not wide manufacture of sawed-off shotguns, given the $200 "making" tax and manufacturer's license fees.
While President Obama and some of his retinue may want to bite off the "Pistol Grip Firearm"/Destructive Device issue and ram it home, it is difficult for me to think that the supporting bureaucracy or bureaucracies are or would be at all happy about that, because they are the face the public will see, and the public will hate them. One thing all LE, be it federal, state or local, HATES are laws that can't be enforced. There a millions of "Pistol Grip Firearms" in the hands of millions of law-abiding people who will NOT understand why the Government has suddenly made all those guns illegal. They will see it for what it is, an attempt to round up guns and disarm people, and render them vulnerable in their homes. Think of all the people who own shotguns of all kinds for defensive reasons, because they don't like handguns or deem them effective or because they think their kids are going to mess with them. A shotgun is a time-honored firearm that has legitimate sporting and defense purposes. . .
(T)onight I talked with an old friend (who knows nothing about guns; I tried to explain the pistol grip shotgun issue to her, and she said; "A shotgun is like a .22, correct?"). But I put it in King's English and she glommed onto it immediately, as only women can.
"The Government is all about being in control," she said. "The Government wants to control what kinds of cars we drive, what kinds of tomatoes we eat, where we can grow food --- now they're trying to make it harder for people to buy and own guns. They don't like the idea of people having guns, because guns are used to overthrow governments, and could be used to overthrow them."
She also thinks "Obama is highly intelligent, and he's doing this on purpose, he knows exactly what he's doing. If he can't get the Congress to take people's guns away, he'll get the agencies to do it."
This is from straight Middle America. From somebody who could give a care less about guns. She sees a broader picture, and the pistol-grip shotgun issue as one more piece of evidence.