10 votes

Feds raid 'ghost gun' maker whose products they say are linked to 'hundreds of crimes'

17 comments

  1. [3]
    no_exit
    (edited )
    Link
    Definitely concerning (the raid, not 'ghost guns'), the ATF is also reportedly looking into re-classifying certain configurations of braced pistols as short-barrel rifles, which would then require...

    Definitely concerning (the raid, not 'ghost guns'), the ATF is also reportedly looking into re-classifying certain configurations of braced pistols as short-barrel rifles, which would then require registration under NFA rules.

    5 votes
    1. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      I think what this will come down to is they'll either stop selling the total kit together or split the 80% receivers and the finishing kit into two different companies. The pertinent portion of...

      I think what this will come down to is they'll either stop selling the total kit together or split the 80% receivers and the finishing kit into two different companies. The pertinent portion of the firearm definition being "readily be converted to expel a projectile..." is the key here as they're selling a full kit with all parts needed and instructions on how to use it. If you sold some plumbing parts, various chemicals, and some instructions that outline how to turn those chemicals into something that burns at a rapid rate you'd rightly be investigated for selling a kit to make a pipe bomb.

      The reclassification of the pistol braces is a long time coming in my opinion. Everyone knows they're used as a stock, the ATF even said they're fine so long as you don't shoulder it and use it as intended (bracing against forearm), they've always sucked and suck even more when treated as an actual stock and so each iteration has become more and more stock-like in order to push the envelope and make sales. It was inevitable for the brace makers (and the people defiantly shouldering it) to get a response when they kept poking the bear. Facts are facts, it's a loophole, loopholes get closed.

      However their re-classification has several issues, not just the illegal comment period, such as the incredibly vague and open to interpretation (likely by design) wording of how they determine what is a stock and what is a brace. However the tiniest light at the end of the tunnel is the waiving of the $200 tax stamp needed to register an SBR for people that already have a brace-equipped "pistol". A good portion (the vocal minority) of people that have the braces are because they "don't want to be on a firearm registry" and disagree that SBRs should be on the NFA (a debate for another day), but I'd be willing to wager a much larger group just don't want to pay the $200 tax to have an SBR.

      6 votes
    2. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      An update, the ATF (for reasons unknown but I'm willing to at least bet part of it being the comment period given for the re-classification violated federal law that requires 90 days of comment...

      An update, the ATF (for reasons unknown but I'm willing to at least bet part of it being the comment period given for the re-classification violated federal law that requires 90 days of comment period, they stated 14 days in the notice) has withdrawn the notice: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/general-notice/sb-criteria-withdrawal-notice-12-23-20pdf?fbclid=IwAR1Sa6QgU9MQCBTrUOxp5mi4g5cZRv0bBqK-eYHdB-OpUz0tjW2_qtiGV0M

      1 vote
  2. [13]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    There was actually criminality tied to a mass-produced plastic gun? I'm actually surprised it was somehow able to exist long enough to become this notorious. I went to the site to check it out,...

    There was actually criminality tied to a mass-produced plastic gun? I'm actually surprised it was somehow able to exist long enough to become this notorious.

    I went to the site to check it out, and it's pretty crazy that you can put one of these together for less than $400, it seems. Fortunately, at least in my native California, you are still subject to an eligibility check for ammo, but it's fascinating. I was expecting disclaimers like "THESE ARE NOT FIREARMS, BUT FULLY ACCURATE ENTHUSIAST REPLICAS" but they're straight up selling gun parts.

    5 votes
    1. papasquat
      Link Parent
      It's plastic in the same way that a Glock is. The frame is polymer. The receiver, barrel, and slide are all metal. Handguns built like this have been around since since the early 80s, and are the...

      It's plastic in the same way that a Glock is. The frame is polymer. The receiver, barrel, and slide are all metal. Handguns built like this have been around since since the early 80s, and are the most popular design for handguns nowadays.

      8 votes
    2. [11]
      AugustusFerdinand
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Surprised in the sense that you believe they were flying under the radar? 80% receivers are a known item to the ATF, most of the companies that produce them send them to the ATF to get an...

      I'm actually surprised it was somehow able to exist long enough to become this notorious.

      Surprised in the sense that you believe they were flying under the radar? 80% receivers are a known item to the ATF, most of the companies that produce them send them to the ATF to get an "determination letter" that effectively certifies that their unfinished receiver is unfinished enough to not be a firearm. Polymer80 most did the same and the ATF knew such. The issue seems to be the sale of a "kit" that has all the pieces together instead of selling the unfinished receiver and the pieces necessary to make it a functioning firearm separately.

      I went to the site to check it out, and it's pretty crazy that you can put one of these together for less than $400, it seems.

      Why is that crazy?

      Fortunately, at least in my native California, you are still subject to an eligibility check for ammo, but it's fascinating.

      Why is that fortunate?

      I was expecting disclaimers like "THESE ARE NOT FIREARMS, BUT FULLY ACCURATE ENTHUSIAST REPLICAS" but they're straight up selling gun parts.

      Why would you expect it to be a lie about replicas or that they're selling gun parts (which is completely legal as the only part of a gun that is considered a firearm is the finished receiver)?

      3 votes
      1. [10]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        Surprised that it is so easy for anybody to go to a one-stop shop to build a full firearm for less than $400. Usually when building things from their parts they cost a ton more money than buying...

        Surprised in the sense that you believe they were flying under the radar? 80% receivers are a known item to the ATF, most of the companies that produce them send them to the ATF to get an "opinion letter" that effectively certifies that their unfinished receiver is unfinished enough to not be a firearm.

        Surprised that it is so easy for anybody to go to a one-stop shop to build a full firearm for less than $400. Usually when building things from their parts they cost a ton more money than buying it complete.

        Why is that fortunate?

        It's a barrier to somebody who shouldn't have a gun to getting ammunition. Of course, where there's a will, there's a way.

        Why would you expect it to be a lie about replicas or that they're selling gun parts

        Because I expected a shady operation, which it doesn't seem to be.

        5 votes
        1. [9]
          AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          Ah, well in these cases it's the registration itself that makes it expensive. Polymer80 didn't have to go through all the legal hoops and extensive testing (I'm sure they tested some, just not to...

          Surprised that it is so easy for anybody to go to a one-stop shop to build a full firearm for less than $400. Usually when building things from their parts they cost a ton more money than buying it complete.

          Ah, well in these cases it's the registration itself that makes it expensive. Polymer80 didn't have to go through all the legal hoops and extensive testing (I'm sure they tested some, just not to the extent that Glock did) of the actual manufacturer and so saved money on development there and can pass it on to the consumer. Kinda like a Shenzhen market copy sort of thing.

          It's a barrier to somebody who shouldn't have a gun to getting ammunition. Of course, where there's a will, there's a way.

          Laws only effect the law abiding, so all the eligibility check does is slow down people that already follow the laws from getting what they're allowed to have. What if you had to have your vehicle inspected, license, registration, and insurance verified every time you refueled your car?

          Because I expected a shady operation, which it doesn't seem to be.

          Why did you expect it to be shady though?

          3 votes
          1. [8]
            knocklessmonster
            Link Parent
            Probably to do with the headline and some of the early mild hysteria surrounding technologies like 3d-printing. Not really equivalent because you don't use your car to shoot gasoline.

            Why did you expect it to be shady though?

            Probably to do with the headline and some of the early mild hysteria surrounding technologies like 3d-printing.

            What if you had to have your vehicle inspected, license, registration, and insurance verified every time you refueled your car?

            Not really equivalent because you don't use your car to shoot gasoline.

            2 votes
            1. [6]
              AugustusFerdinand
              Link Parent
              While true, the right to a firearm is enshrined in the constitution while the right to automotive transportation is not, so let's stick with the question at hand. What if you had to have your...

              Not really equivalent because you don't use your car to shoot gasoline.

              While true, the right to a firearm is enshrined in the constitution while the right to automotive transportation is not, so let's stick with the question at hand.

              What if you had to have your vehicle inspected, license, registration, and insurance verified every time you refueled your car?

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                knocklessmonster
                Link Parent
                Maybe they should? And have to pay taxes for transporting less than the vehicle's occupancy. We put restrictions in place because people misuse firearms, so why not do the same for cars, and...

                Maybe they should? And have to pay taxes for transporting less than the vehicle's occupancy. We put restrictions in place because people misuse firearms, so why not do the same for cars, and invest in better public transportation? Considering the amount of damage to the environment individual car ownership seems to be doing to the environment maybe we need to discourage misuse of automobiles.

                2 votes
                1. AugustusFerdinand
                  Link Parent
                  If we're going by misuse, we should probably require personally identifiable usernames and taxation for all online interaction, after all there are people that misuse the privilege of internet...

                  If we're going by misuse, we should probably require personally identifiable usernames and taxation for all online interaction, after all there are people that misuse the privilege of internet access to commit crimes, harass, etc.

                  2 votes
              2. [3]
                emdash
                Link Parent
                Is it? I'm aware of the second amendment, but I'm not very familiar with state law regarding weapons in the United States, but aren't there limits and bans on numerous categories and classes of...

                the right to a firearm is enshrined in the constitution

                Is it? I'm aware of the second amendment, but I'm not very familiar with state law regarding weapons in the United States, but aren't there limits and bans on numerous categories and classes of weapons and associated paraphernalia? Wouldn't these laws be unconstitutional at a federal level? And on the contrary—doesn't the second amendment basically allow the ownership of small tactical nuclear weapons? What defines "arms"?

                Granted, I'm not American—so I don't necessarily appreciate the severity of your constitution as much as many Americans do (in fact, I would go so far as to call it an outdated, arbitrary piece of paper).

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  AugustusFerdinand
                  Link Parent
                  It is. State laws are challenged pretty regularly and it's a slow process to get to the Supreme Court if it ever makes it there as frequently the laws are struck down at the state court level and...
                  • Exemplary

                  Is it? I'm aware of the second amendment, but I'm not very familiar with state law regarding weapons in the United States, but aren't there limits and bans on numerous categories and classes of weapons and associated paraphernalia?

                  It is. State laws are challenged pretty regularly and it's a slow process to get to the Supreme Court if it ever makes it there as frequently the laws are struck down at the state court level and never go further. So while there are bans on various firearms, features, and accessories and the SC has state that the 2nd Amendment does not bar states themselves from regulating firearms, outright bans are unconstitutional. For example DC attempted to ban all handguns, this was struck down by the SC.

                  There are bans on civilian ownership of newly made machineguns, restrictions on guns of certain lengths, suppressors, and so on. There are ATF bans on things like shoelaces, coat hangers, and springs as well, it's just dependent on usage. The ATF aren't going to prosecute you for wearing shoes, but if you wrap it in a certain way around a certain gun the shoestring itself, per the ATF, is a "machinegun". States have adopted this methodology as well with making laws that state certain features/design decisions make what would be an otherwise normal weapon into an "assault weapon". If you're interested I can go into detail some of the truly random things that make something illegal both at state and federal levels.

                  Wouldn't these laws be unconstitutional at a federal level? And on the contrary—doesn't the second amendment basically allow the ownership of small tactical nuclear weapons? What defines "arms"?

                  Like many laws, it depends on who you ask. There are those that think any law restricting or banning any "arms" at all is unconstitutional and on the other side of the aisle are those that believe the founding fathers never thought about the fact that we can have fully automatic weapons capable of holding and firing hundreds of rounds per minute and so anything other than single shot muzzle loaders (which are completely unregulated by the way and can be mailed directly to anyone) should be banned. One side says if a citizen has the funds/skill to buy/create a nuke, then that's their right.

                  Of course normal people disagree and so does the SC with their ruling that "the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes" - a nuke has no "traditionally lawful purpose". Of course that still opens the question of what constitutes a firearm? Anything that loads from the muzzle is not a "firearm" per the ATF and is unregulated, regardless of how large the projectile may be. So anyone can lawfully own a cannon, but as soon as it is breech loading (from the back of the barrel instead of the front) it's suddenly something that needs to be regulated. So while you can purchase things like modern artillery, you'll have to jump through the background check hoops. Oh and the ammo for those is also considered a "destructive device" so you'll need to go through the tax and check hoops for each round as well. Same goes with buying things like a tank.

                  7 votes
                  1. emdash
                    Link Parent
                    This is a fascinating insight into how the interpretation of the constitution by legislative bodies is processed, on the level that an outsider like myself can understand. Thank you.

                    This is a fascinating insight into how the interpretation of the constitution by legislative bodies is processed, on the level that an outsider like myself can understand. Thank you.

                    2 votes