The special filehandle that iterates over command-line filenames in @ARGV. Usually written as the null filehandle in the angle operator <> . Note that currently ARGV only has its magical effect within the <> operator; elsewhere it is just a plain filehandle corresponding to the last file opened by <>. In particular, passing \*ARGV as a parameter to a function that expects a filehandle may not cause your function to automatically read the contents of all the files in @ARGV.
So what you posted won't work. I don't know of any way reproduce the same function with a passed parameter, although I suspect a tied file handle would be the best way to do so.
Re^2: Referencing the null file handle, <>
It works for me; that is, (on my particular systems with the particular versions of Perl I'm using,) passing \*ARGV to a (trivial) function that expects a filehandle certainly does cause it to read the contents of all the files in @ARGV, even if I have reassigned @ARGV since the last read from <>.
So, I'm now intrigued by that "may not" there. What are the conditions where it doesn't work? Is it platform-based? version-based? phase-of-moon-based...?