The quiet notice, posted to the Federal Register by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on Dec. 31, 2020, officially announced the withdrawal of the agency’s “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with `Stabilizing Braces’,” which was published in mid-December. That original 15-page guidance and request for comment drew almost 400,000 views and over 73,000 submitted comments inside a two-week period.

Most of the published comments reviewed by Guns.com were overwhelmingly against further regulation of the devices, which have been increasingly popular since 2012. Among those was one submitted by U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, who argued that short-barreled rifles should be legal without a tax stamp before questioning the motives of more rules on braces.

What is the need for such a rule? Are Americans with braced weapons committing crimes with these weapons? I have seen no such evidence. In fact, Americans who are adding stabilizing braces are making a conscious attempt to abide by the law – otherwise, they would forego the stabilizing brace and buy a standard buttstock which is usually cheaper and more comfortable. Furthermore, this appears to be designed to address the illogical fear of sporting carbines and similar weapons that “look scary,” but according to the most recent data still account for less deaths per year than blunt objects, such as hammers or clubs, or “personal weapons,” such as hands, fists, or feet.

Crenshaw was one of 90 lawmakers on Capitol Hill who wrote the ATF prior to the withdrawal of the notice, holding its proposed rule on stabilizing braces jeopardizes law-abiding gun owners across the country. The letter coincided with the agency signaling it would pull the unpopular guidance pending “further Department of Justice review.”

SB Tactical, likely the most common brace maker, estimates that over 4 million of its products have been sold alone. That does not include braces made by competitors such as KAK Industries, Gear Head Works, and others.

Default Proceed Sale Transparency Act & the So-Called ‘Charleston Shooter Loophole’

In continuing with the tradition of de-evolution of our civil liberties, we have creatures crawling out of the primordial soup of government bureaucracy, and today’s soup du jour is from the Chicago suburbs.

With a long standing tradition of respecting fundamental rights and not being corrupt, anything outta Chicagoland and Illinois, which is predominately controlled by Chicagoland, must be a homerun for citizens across the nation, or hell, call the United Nations (another entity known for their upright ways) – citizens of the world can benefit from such polices!

On December 11, 2020 the office of anti-gun politician and a buddy of Shannon Watts, Brad Schneider snuck out in a semi-quiet press release on introduced legislation to stop the so-called “Charleston Shooter Loophole”.  Schneider, a Congressman for the 10th legislative district of Illinois, goes straight for the jugular:

“Default proceed” system that allows gun sales before background check an absurd loophole.

What our fine soup covered Congressman is referencing is a provision in the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. which allows, at the discretion of the FFL, for the sale of a firearm to proceed if the NICS system is unable to return results within three business days.  This provision, which actually protects citizens from executive overreach, has not-so-eloquently been dubbed the “Charleston Loophole”.  A reference to Dylann Roof, a domestic terrorist, and his procurement of a firearm.  While Roof’s NICS background check did not return any of the disqualifier “flags”, as his criminal history had no disqualifying arrests per se, this precept has to do with a misdemeanor drug charge and possession of a recreational drug.  By federal law users of illicit drugs are barred from firearm ownership and possession.

The big push behind how the “Charleston Loophole” is painted revolves around the three-day default proceed provisions.  The logic is fairly flawed for several reasons.

First, if the hearts and minds of our do-good swamp creatures were in the right place, they’d be pushing for a provision that such misdemeanor offenses concerning possession of illicit drugs be incorporated into the halting of firearm purchase by default without interpretation, with the opportunity for appeal.

Second, when someone fills out the form 4473, they are beholden to the honor system on reporting back they are not a user of illegal drugs.

The problem with these two concepts, which really ought to be the focus of any potential reform, should reform even need to happen, neglects people’s abilities to no longer be users or addicts.  After all didn’t Barrack Obama admit to smoking Marijuana?  That admission would make him a felon if paired with those great pictures of him shooting a double barreled shotgun during clay shooting sports.  By progressive logic in this context, once an addict always an addict, no?  If we’re going to be fair and honest, then Obama should have been arrested and charged with a felony because he smoked a joint once upon a time (probably more than one if one had to guess) and had possession of a firearm.

This is not about Obama or Roof, but the much larger issue of progressive policies and actors that wish to decriminalize Schedule I Drugs while simultaneously strip us of our rights.  The same progressives that want to decriminalize all these controlled substances are the same ones that are using Roof’s misdemeanor drug charge as proof positive of his ineligibility to own firearms and are constantly pushing for further laws that limit the civil rights of our citizenry.  You can’t eat your cake and have it too!

Given all this information, would the abolishment of the “default proceed” provision have kept Roof from getting a firearm?  The answer to that is NO.  Even if Roof was somehow halted during the NICS process, domestic terrorists like him will always find a way to enact acts of violence (Cite Oklahoma City BombingBoston Marathon BombingAcid Attacks, and a little event where “some people did something”), and if he was that intent on getting a gun, he would have.

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ATF Pistol Brace Ruling May be a Trojan Horse for Biden Administration

America’s 700,000 owners of pistol braces received a gift from an unlikely source the day before Christmas Eve. However, the gift may be a Trojan horse.

On Dec. 23, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) announced it was withdrawing a notice and request for comments regarding stabilizing braces, titled “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with ‘Stabilizing Braces.’” These braces are devices that replace buttstocks and are designed and intended only for use as forearm supports to provide a more stable firearm platform. They are neither designed nor intended to be fired from the shoulder. This notice effectively affirms the subjective criteria ATF uses in determining whether a firearm is an NFA item or not; it is not a “new” directive.

While the ending of public comments and withdrawal of the guidance seems like a victory, the issue is still pending the Department of Justice review, according to the ATF statement. It opens up the possibility of more aggressive action being taken by the incoming Biden administration.

The withdrawal of the guidance came hours after U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-North Carolina) and 89 other Congress members sent a letter to the ATF demanding that the bureau “immediately take action to correct this injustice.”

The “injustice,” as we previously reported, was that the proposed guidelines were confusing to owners as well as vendors and could potentially lead to felony charges.

“We would like to thank the NRA members, gun owners, and members of Congress who stood up for the Second Amendment rights of all Americans,” a press release from NRA-ILA stated. “And, special thanks to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congressman Hudson for taking the lead in pushing ATF to rethink its arbitrary and unhelpful ‘guidance.’”

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This is very interesting. It looks like someone at the Department of Justice told ATF to stop their shenanigan flip-flopping. At least for the time being.


(Billing Code: 4410-FY-P)
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Docket No. 2020R-10W
Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with “Stabilizing Braces”; Withdrawal of Guidance
AGENCY: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Justice.
ACTION: Notice; withdrawal. Continue reading “”

COVID BILL PASSES, CRAMMED WITH ANTI-GUN PORK

Congress this week sent the mammoth Fiscal Year 2021 omnibus spending bill to President Trump, and gun control advocates are celebrating the millions in appropriations it contains to fund their issues.

The $1.4 trillion omnibus bill – perched on a raft of another nearly $1 trillion in additional COVID relief pitched to fight the virus and aid suffering Americans – includes spending taxpayer dollars to research “gun violence” as a health care issue and encourage the use of controversial gun seizure orders on Veterans.

Buried in the 5,593-page bill is a $25 million allocation to the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health “to fund research on firearms safety and gun violence prevention,” as noted by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who has long championed such spending.

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OSD 96: The frog jumps out of the pot
A debate is won in how it’s defined.

Last week’s newsletter — “OSD 95: Schrödinger’s gat — the ATF and Polymer80” — closed like this:

The flip side to that coin, though, is that norms work to stabilize a relationship. And relationships are two-sided. So when one side unilaterally throws out the norms, now both sides of the relationship are destabilized, and therefore suddenly hard to predict. For the past few years, manufacturers (particularly in the pistol brace and 80% receiver industries) have tried hard to play ball with the ATF. With the ATF suddenly signaling that it doesn’t want to play anymore, we’ll see what manufacturers —and customers — do.

One effect: this is likely to accelerate technology and business practices that are fundamentally ungovernable. You can model reliable, stable norms essentially as “incentive to play ball with the system” — it’s not all peachy, but hey, you get predictability. Getting rid of that incentive isn’t the end of the game, it’s the beginning. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

The piece was about 80% receivers, but we framed it broadly like that because we figured there’d be more ATF kerfuffles soon. But we didn’t figure on it being quite so soon. Three days later, news came out that the ATF was restating its position on braces. It’s too early to know what the exact effect will be, but at least some pistol brace configurations which today don’t raise an eyebrow are going to start being treated as SBRs by the ATF.

The temptation here is to start litigating the specifics of each pistol brace design. The ATF even mentions that in their statement, listing things like length of pull, the surface area of the back of the brace, and what kind of sight picture you can get when using the brace at arm’s length.

But to dive into that debate is a) to grant the underlying premise of the law being enforced here (the NFA of 1934), and b) to let that law define the rules of what is right or wrong. Let’s take those one by one.

First, (a) is self-evidently a fairly barbaric anachronism. This is a law from 1934, and it’s casually pro-imprisonment in a way that today is usually considered embarrassing. The premise of the law is simple: a 16” barrel is fine, but a 15” barrel without ATF permission is punishable by 10 years in federal prison. Would you grant that as a starting point for a discussion?

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How Does ATF’s Vague Pistol Brace Guidance Contradict Itself? Let Me Count the Ways

By now we all know about ATF’s proposed “Objective Factors” document by which the agency intends to determine the classification — pistol or short barreled rifle — of a stabilizer brace-equipped pistol. Also by now I hope we have all left a public comment as well as contacted the White House and our representatives to make our opinions heard.

With that done, let’s take a deep dive into each “objective factor” listed in ATF’s draft guidance document to see how they hold up under scrutiny. I think we’ll find that, rather than being “objective,” each factor is objectively subjective. They are so vague, in fact, that it provides the opposite of any sort of guidance and assures nothing but fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the firearm industry and consumers and effectively gives ATF carte blanche to enforce “violations” however it chooses.

Perhaps worse, or at least most insulting, much of the alleged guidance found in the document contradicts ATF’s own rulings and practices, past and current.

While I can’t envision much of any of this holding up in court — ATF’s track record on pistol brace-related prosecutions thus far is 0-1 — none of us wants or can afford to be the test case. Should it comes to pass, though, here are some arguments refuting each and every one of ATF’s proposed determining factors for brace-equipped firearm classification.

All quotes below unless otherwise cited are directly from ATF’s draft “Objective Factors for Classifying Weapons with Stabilizing Braces” document. Any emphasis in said quotes (bold lettering) was added by me:

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‘Defund‘ ? How about Delete.
I see nothing in the Constitution, nor the 2nd amendment that authorizes their existence, especially vs. “..shall not be infringed


Gun grab sparks ‘Defund ATF’ movement

They are the strongest opponents of defunding the police, but now, conservatives are carving out an exception ⁠— the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Long considered anti-gun, the agency has provoked alarm with Second Amendment advocates due to the agency’s recent targeting of gunmakers, including a raid this month on a producer of so-called “ghost guns” and this week’s targeting of AR-15-style pistols.

With President-elect Joe Biden poised to unleash new gun control measures, fears are heightened that ATF will be the tip of the spear.

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Polymer80 is just the beginning

Something is afoot that has likely been in the works for a long time. Let’s wind back the clock to mid-June when Congressman Gaetz claimed that there was a secret plan within the ATF to reclassify pistol braces as stocks. Some people panicked. Some dismissed it as a politician chasing clout. Most simply took in the information and waited to see what would come of it.

In October, it was revealed that the ATF had issued a cease and desist letter to Q regarding the proprietary brace featured on the Q Honey Badger pistol. The reaction to this letter was much the same as that to the Gaetz statement, albeit with a bit more seriousness as this time the ATF had actually taken action.

Less than three weeks ago, Ammoland’s John Crump published an article on how documents procured through a FOIA request indicated an effort within the ATF to attack SB Tactical over those braces which had not been submitted for formal review, but still were advertised as using “ATF approved” technology (two rubber flaps fastened with a velcro strap). Due to the letter’s age, most of the concern in the gun community dissipated fairly quickly, but some anxiety still remained.

Last Thursday, the ATF raided Polymer80’s headquarters in Nevada, seizing evidence and records, alleging that the company’s “buy, build, shoot” kits were technically firearms. According to the complaint filed against Polymer80 by the District of Columbia alleges that although they may not be firearms under the federal definition, the AR-style lowers and Glock-style frames were firearms in DC. This raid was followed by more visits by the ATF to retailers who sold these kits demanding customer information, and as reported by The Firearms Blog, the agency has even begun visiting those who purchased the kits, threatening that they would conduct a search with a warrant if the kit was not surrendered immediately.

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Pistol Brace Creator Talks w/The Gun Collective about ATF Flip Flopping

There’s several problems with ATF’s proposed arm brace regulation.

They call the method they’ll use to determine whether a brace is a brace or a stock (thus a rifle) by some ‘objective design features’ but by golly, I don’t think that words they keep using means what they think it means.

The objective design features ATF considers in determining whether a weapon with an attached “stabilizing brace” has been “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder” include, but are not limited to:

Type and Caliber. The type and caliber of firearm to which the stabilizing brace or similar item is installed. A large caliber firearm that is impractical to fire with one hand because of recoil or other factors, even with an arm brace, is likely to be considered a rifle or shotgun.

Weight and Length. The weight and length of the firearm used with the stabilizing brace. A firearm that is so heavy that it is impractical to fire or aim with one hand, or so long that it is difficult to balance the firearm to fire with one hand, is likely to be considered a rifle or shotgun.

Length of Pull. The “length of pull” refers to the distance from the trigger to the point at which a stock meets the shoulder. This is a measurement for rifles and shotguns used to accommodate shooters of different sizes. Because an arm brace need only reach the forearm, the distance between the trigger and the back of the brace is generally expected to be shorter than the distance between the trigger and the back of a stock on a weapon designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder. This measurement is not necessarily determinative of the intent of the manufacturer but is used in making an evaluation of the firearm. If a brace is of a length that makes it impractical to attach to the shooter’s wrist or forearm, then that may demonstrate that it is not designed as brace but rather for shoulder fire.

Attachment Method. The method of attachment of the stabilizing brace, to include modified stock attachments, extended receiver extensions, and the use of spacers. These items extend the distance between the trigger and the part of the weapon that contacts the shooter, whether it is a stock or stabilizing brace. Use of these items indicates that the weapon is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder because they extend a stabilizing brace beyond a point that is useful for something other than shoulder support.

Stabilizing Brace Design Features. The objective design features of the attached stabilizing brace itself are relevant to the classification of the assembled weapon, and include:

○ The comparative function of the attachment when utilized as a stabilizing brace compared to its alternate use as a shouldering device;

○ The design of the stabilizing brace compared to known shoulder stock designs;

○ The amount of rear contact surface area of the stabilizing brace that can be used in shouldering the weapon as compared to the surface area necessary for use as a stabilizing brace;

○ The material used to make the attachment that indicates whether the brace is designed and intended to be pressed against the shoulder for support, or actually used on the arm;

○ Any shared or interchangeable parts with known shoulder stocks; and

○ Any other feature of the brace that improves the weapon’s effectiveness from the shoulder-firing position without providing a corresponding benefit to the effectiveness of the stability and support provided by the brace’s use on the arm.

Aim Point. Appropriate aim point when utilizing the attachment as a stabilizing brace. If the aim point when using the arm brace attachment results in an upward or downward trajectory that could not accurately hit a target, this may indicate the attachment was not designed as a stabilizing brace.

Secondary Grip. The presence of a secondary grip may indicate that the weapon is not a “pistol” because it is not designed to be held and fired by one hand.

Sights and Scopes. Incorporation of sights or scopes that possess eye relief incompatible with one-handed firing may indicate that the weapon is not a “pistol” because they are designed to be used from a shoulder-fire position and are incompatible for the single-handed shooting that arm braces are designed and intended.

Peripheral Accessories. Installation of peripheral accessories commonly found on rifles or shotguns that may indicate that the firearm is not designed and intended to be held and fired with one hand. This includes, but is not limited to, the installation of bipods/monopods that improve the accuracy of heavy weapons designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder; or the inclusion of a magazine or drum that accepts so many cartridges that it increases the overall weight of the firearm to a degree that it is impractical to fire the weapon with one hand even with the assistance of a stabilizing brace.

These factors are based on known stabilizing braces and similar attachments. No single factor or combination of factors is necessarily dispositive, and FATD examines each weapon holistically on a case-by-case basis.

Because of changes in design or configuration of a weapon or attachment, as well as future changes in technology, this list is not exhaustive and other factors may become relevant to a weapon’s classification.

 

A few of the biggest problems I see are:

The measure of extension of the brace is based on how long a reasonable forearm is, so are they planning on using the longest known forearm? The further from your wrist, the better leverage you have when shooting braced one-armed.

“… too heavy to practically shot one-handed” is another very subjective metric. There are very strong people in this country, who are also depending on the Constitution to protect their right to bear arms. Are these reviewing agents going to take into account the current weight and physical ability of the owner of every single gun?

The idea that some  will be seen as “too big to be reasonable shot one-handed” is completely vague and undefined, so again it falls on the agents reviewing a given firearm to decide if it is small enough. Could Dwayne Johnson manage a braced 458 SOCOM pistol? Probably. So what about a ‘normally built’ or ‘slightly built’ person and one in 5.56 NATO? Or 9mm or…….

On almost the exact same note, one of the  “objective” measures is the question of magazine capacity, which rests on whether or not a person could reasonably shoot it one handed, such as when using a 100-rnd drum. We’re getting into some weird territory here. Is the ATF suggesting that they are going to not only review and classify each and every firearm, but then even further classify it as paired with the ANY magazine that fits it?

It’s one thing to subject manufacturers to submit each model for inspection, but among the subjects under scrutiny, the AR-15 in particular is very frequently home built. Is the ATF going to individually accept and test and send back each one? Absolutely not. Any subject’s citizen’s comments should mention this absurdity.

All of the above as seen by any sane person can only be incredibly subjective, not to mention downright vague.

This is a ‘We know it when we see it’  method of Law Enforcement and is ripe for arbitrary enforcement of whoever happens to be on their – excuse me – shit list to be made an example of . Exactly the type of goobermint that Ayn Rand wrote:
“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for me to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed or enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt.”

ATF Decision Could Lead to Biggest Gun Registration, Turn-in Effort in American History
Agency’s vague AR-15 pistol standards could affect millions

New guidance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) could put millions of Americans in legal jeopardy.

The ATF published a notice Thursday that could require millions of AR-15 pistols and similar firearms—which are designed with braces that strap on to a shooter’s forearm—to be either registered, turned in, destroyed, or dismantled. But the standards laid out for determining the devices’ legality, such as caliber or weight, provide no objective measures, and the agency said it may also use undisclosed factors to judge the legality of the devices. Continue reading “”

New ATF Power Play Could Impact Millions Of Gun Owners

The proposed rule change won’t be officially published until Friday, but a draft document of the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives’ new plans for pistols with stabilizing braces has been published to the Federal Register, and gun owners, Second Amendment activists, and manufacturers of the devices are already crying foul.

In the ATF’s proposed rule change, the agency outlines several supposedly objective factors that will determine whether a handgun equipped with a pistol stabilizing brace is considered a pistol or a short-barreled rifle that must be registered under the National Firearms Act.

The problem is that while the ATF outlines what those many factors are (caliber; weight; length; attachment method; and even after-market accessories like scopes and sights, to name a few), the agency doesn’t provide gun owners with any specifics that would take the guessing out of whether or not the ATF would consider the gun a pistol or an item that must be registered under the National Firearms Act. For example:

Appropriate aim point when utilizing the attachment as a stabilizing brace. If the aim point when using the arm brace attachment results in an upward or downward trajectory that could not accurately hit a target, this may indicate the attachment was not designed as a stabilizing brace.

The draft proposal is full of weasel words like “may,” “might,” and “likely,” but fail to provide gun owners with a clear standard and set of rules that can be followed. In fact, the ATF adds that “no single factor or combination of factors is necessarily dispositive, and FATD examines each weapon holistically on a case-by-case basis. Because of changes in design or configuration of a weapon or attachment, as well as future changes in technology, this list is not exhaustive and other factors may become relevant to a weapon’s classification.”

How are gun owners supposed to know if their gun is now considered an NFA item by the ATF? They can’t, because the ATF makes those determinations on a case-by-case basis. If, however, the ATF decides that you’re in possession of an unregistered NFA item, you could be facing a decade in federal prison. Continue reading “”

Grand County (Colorado) Coroner Raises Concern On Deaths Among COVID Cases

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Grand County coroner is calling attention to the way the state health department is classifying some deaths. The coroner, Brenda Bock, says two of their five deaths related to COVID-19 were people who died of gunshot wounds.

Bock says because they tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 30 days, they were classified as “deaths among cases.”

“It’s absurd that they would even put that on there,” she said. “Would you want to go to a county that has really high death numbers? Would you want to go visit that county because they are contagious. You know I might get it, and I could die if all of a sudden one county has a high death count. We don’t have it, and we don’t need those numbers inflated.”

The state health department says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires them to report people who’ve died with COVID-19 in their systems because it’s crucial for public health surveillance.

Colorado provides death data related to COVID-19 in two ways:

  • Deaths due to COVID-19:
    • This is based on CDC coding of death certificates where COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death.
  • Deaths among COVID-19 cases:
    • This reflects people who died with COVID-19, but COVID-19 may not have been the cause of death listed on the death certificate.

CDPHE explains that they are required to report deaths among COVID-19 cases to the CDC.

“This information is required by the CDC and is crucial for public health surveillance, as it provides more information about disease transmission and can help identify risk factors among all deaths across populations,” stated CDPHE on its Frequently Asked Questions page.

 

[Well Regulated] Polymer80 is just the beginning

Something is afoot that has likely been in the works for a long time. Let’s wind back the clock to mid-June when Congressman Gaetz claimed that there was a secret plan within the ATF to reclassify pistol braces as stocks. Some people panicked. Some dismissed it as a politician chasing clout. Most simply took in the information and waited to see what would come of it.

In October, it was revealed that the ATF had issued a cease and desist letter to Q regarding the proprietary brace featured on the Q Honey Badger pistol. The reaction to this letter was much the same as that to the Gaetz statement, albeit with a bit more seriousness as this time the ATF had actually taken action. Less than three weeks ago, Ammoland’s John Crump published an article on how documents procured through a FOIA request indicated an effort within the ATF to attack SB Tactical over those braces which had not been submitted for formal review, but still were advertised as using “ATF approved” technology (two rubber flaps fastened with a velcro strap). Due to the letter’s age, most of the concern in the gun community dissipated fairly quickly, but some anxiety still remained. Continue reading “”

Gun Owners of America is aware of the situation and believes the ATF’s goal is to build a list of gun owners and punish the kits’ sellers. Gun Owners of American Senior Vice President Erich Pratt views this action as just one more overstep of the ATF.

“Americans have been making their own firearms since the foundation of our country,” said Pratt. “And while technology advances, rights do not change. The ATF’s decision to raid or threaten peaceful businesses is the agency’s latest rogue action in a long line of abuses. Honest citizens should enjoy the right to assemble their own firearms for lawful purposes, and they should be able to do so without being terrorized by their government.”

ATF Internal Leaks Shows An Even Greater Crack Down On 80% Frames

This week ATF has shown up at multiple shooting-sports-related companies and retailer’s door to demanded customer information about those American citizens who legally purchased 80% pistol frames.

News broke late Thursday about the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF) raiding Polymer80 over its “Build, Buy, Shoot” kits.

The apparent change in the regulations according to ATF internal documents obtained by AmmoLand News shows that the agency blames the rise of crimes using built from 80% frames. The documents also claim that “Federal courts have repeatedly held that GCA’s ‘firearms’ definition applies to a collection of unassembled firearms parts, including firearms’ parts kits.’” Continue reading “”

Ghost-Gun Company Raided by Federal Agents

ATF suspects Polymer80 of breaking firearms laws, a sign that law enforcement is looking closer at makers of DIY gun kits

Federal agents on Thursday raided one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of ghost-gun parts, a sign that federal law enforcement is cracking down on kits that allow people to make weapons at home.
The raid target, Nevada-based Polymer80, is suspected of illegally manufacturing and distributing firearms, failing to pay taxes, shipping guns across state lines and failing to conduct background investigations, according to an application for a search warrant unsealed Thursday after the raid took place.
The probe focuses on Polymer80’s “Buy Build Shoot Kit,” which includes the parts to build a “ghost” handgun. The kit, which Polymer80 sells online, meets the definition of a firearm, ATF investigators determined according to the warrant application. That means it would have to be stamped with a serial number and couldn’t be sold to consumers who haven’t first passed a background check.
Polymer80 chief executive David Borges didn’t return phone calls or texts seeking comment Thursday evening.
Agents seized records and other evidence in Thursday’s raid in Dayton, close to Carson City, a law-enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said. No Polymer80 employees were arrested and no charges have been filed.
The raid by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives comes after ghost guns have been used more frequently in high-profile attacks. In September, two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were shot while sitting in their patrol vehicle by a man using a handgun built from Polymer80 parts, according to the documents. Last year, a 16-year-old killed two fellow students and wounded three others at Saugus High School in Southern California with a homemade handgun.
Thursday’s raid is the most significant action against a ghost-gun company to date, according to the law-enforcement officials, and suggests the federal government is scrutinizing the growing industry.
Homemade ghost guns have grown in popularity in recent years and can’t be traced in criminal investigations because they lack serial numbers. Law-enforcement officials say they appeal to people who can’t pass background checks.
When people buy fully made guns from dealers, the weapons have serial numbers and purchasers must go through a background check.
Approximately 10,000 ghost guns were recovered by law e nforcement in 2019, according to the warrant application. As part of the investigation, the ATF identified multiple Polymer80 customers who were prohibited from buying guns because of prior criminal convictions.
The starting point for building a ghost gun is an “unfinished receiver,” a metal or polymer piece that houses the firing mechanism. It can be purchased without a background check, because the ATF doesn’t classify the part as a firearm. Buyers can finish the receiver with a drill press or a computerized metal-cutting machine and then add the remaining pieces to complete the gun.
The ATF previously gave Polymer80 permission to sell unfinished receivers. But the Buy Build Shoot Kits, which are advertised as having “all the necessary components to build a complete…pistol” weren’t submitted to the agency for approval, according to the application for the search warrant. These kits can be “assembled into fully functional firearms in a matter of minutes,” the warrant application says.