Well, first off, let me say, it’s not a new ruling. It’s the same position that ATF has always taken regarding PGO firearms that fire a fixed shotgun shell that have NEVER had a buttstock attached to them—they’re NOT shotguns! They’re simply firearms. As such, they don’t necessarily need to have 18″+ barrels on them to remain out of the purview of the NFA.
It just goes to show you how stupid gun regulations really are. There seems to always be a work-around, and now the industry is looking to exploit those work-arounds to give consumers what they want.