U.S. Department of Justice

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Martinsburg, WV 25405

www.atf.gov OCT 2014



Mr. Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes & Associates 1350 I Street NW Suite260

Washington, D.C. 20005Dear Mr. Barnes:

This refers to your letter of May 27, 2014, to the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regarding the classification of the PIEXON JET PROTECTOR JP-4 liquid irritant dispensing device. TwoPiexon JP-4 devices, twenty practice cartridges, andtwenty irritant cartridges were enclosed. Theitems and correspondence were submitted onbehalf of your clients, Piexon AG (Switzerland), and U.S. Persona] Defense Products, LLCof Phoenix, Arizona.

As you are aware, the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), defines the term

"firearm"to include the following:

...(A) any weapon (including a startergun) which will or is designed to or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the actionof an explosive; (B) theframe or receiver of any such weapon; (C) anyfirearm mujjler or silencer;or (DJ any destructive device.Such term does not include an antique firearm.

Further, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)( 17){A) defines the term "ammunition "as "ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets,orpropellant powderdesignedfor use in anyfirearm.,,

In addition, the National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C.§ 5845(a),defines "firearm" as-

...(1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (2) a weapon madefrom a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overalllength of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (3) a rifle having a barrelor barrels of lessthan 16 inches in length;

(4) a l...'eapon made.froma rifle if such weapon as modified has an overalllength of less than 26inches or a barrelor barrels of less than 16 inchesin length; (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e); (6) a machinegun; (7) any silencer(as defined in 18 US.C. § 921); and (8) a destructivedevice. The term ''firearm" shall not includean antiquefirearmor any device (other than a machinegun or destructive device)which, although designedas a weapon, the Secretaryfinds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics isprimarily a

collector's item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.

The NFA, § 5845(e), defines "any other weapon" as-

...any weapon or devicecapable of being concealed on theperson from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, a pistolor revolver havinga smooth bore designedor redesigned tofire afixed shotgun shell, weaponswith combination shotgun and rifle barrels12 inches or more, Less than 18 inches in length,from which only a single discharge can be madefrom either barrel withoutmanual reloading, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored tofire. Such term shall not include a pistolor revolver havinga rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to befired from the shoulder and not capable offiring fixed ammunition.

Finally, 27 CFR Section447.21 (The U.S. Munitions Import List), enumerates the items subject to impott controlsas defense articles.CATEGORY XIV-TOXICOLOGICALAGENTS AND EQUIPMENT AND RADIOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT, includes the following:

(a) Chemical agents, including but not limitedto lung irritants, vesicants, lachrymators, and tear gases (except tear gasformulations containing 1% or less CN or CS), stemutators and irritant smoke, and nerve gases and incapacitating agents.

Piexon, AG, in Aarwangen, Switzerland, manufactured the submitted device(s). The JP-4 is designed to dJscharge a liquid irritant, containing 1.5-percent Capsaicin, from the four polymerchambers, each ofwhich isdesigned to accepta 14mm Piexon cartridge (14mm x 109mm).

Below are the stated specifications of thisdevice, asconfirmed by FTISB:

Product name Manufacturer Length

Height Width

Weight (empty) Weight (loaded) Range



-Piexon AG, CH-Aarwangen.

-7-1/2 inches.

-5-3/4 inches.

-1-5/8 inches.

-15 oz

-21 oz

-Approximately 5 feet (minimum), 21 feet (maximum).

-4, 14mm Piexon cartridges, each with a marked capacity of "2x 10 g."

-Practice cartridges have green plastic tipsand contain water, glycerin and food grade dye.

-Irritant cartridges have orange plastic tips and contain 1.5% Capsaicin.


The FTISBevaluation included attemptsto load conventional ammunition cartridges- these attempts were unsuccessful , confirming thatthe JP-4 is not designed to utilize conventional rimfireor centerfire fireann ammunition. In addition, the JP-4 frame is not compatible with conventional firearm barrels, anddoes not constitute theframe or receiver of a fireann.

In closing, the PIEXON JET PROTECTOR JP-4, as examined herein, does not constitute a "firearm" asdefined in the GCA or a "firearm" or "any other weapon" as definedinthe NFA. These items may be importedinto the United States without an ATF Form 6. Also, the 14m.mPiexon irritant and practice cartridges designed for this device do not constitute "ammunition" as defined in the GCA.


These determinations are relevant to theJP-4 device and 14mm Piexon cartridges as submittedand examined by our office.Any alterations or modifications would subject the device and cartridges to further review.

Wethank you for your inquiry and trust the foregoing has been responsive to your request for an evaluation. Please contactour office to arrange the return of the JP-4 samples and the practice cartridges, aswell as the appropriate disposition of the irritant cartridges.



Acting Chief, FirearmsTechnology Criminal Branch