A few days ago, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) agents raided Polymer80 with a host of manufactured accusations. ATF claimed that the gun kits maker failed to stamp serial numbers and perform background checks while selling its “Buy Build Shoot Kit.”
Other accusations reported by the WSJ include failing to pay taxes, illegally manufacturing and distributing firearms, and shipping guns across state lines. CNN reported that ATF had recently determined that Polymer80’s gun kit was a firearm.
However, Polymer80 disputed ATF claims by releasing letters showing that the ATF had initially determined that its receivers were not sufficiently designed to be considered as firearms. After Polymer80 submitted its FP940C Blank Glock-type receiver, the ATF responded conclusively that it was not considered a firearm.
“To reiterate the conclusion of FTISB’s evaluation, our branch has determined that the submitted Polymer 80, Incorporated Glock-type receiver blanks incorporating the aforementioned design features are not classified as the frame or receiver of a weapon designed to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, thus each of these items are not a firearm as defined in the GCA, 18 U.S.C § 921(a)(3)(B),” ATF’s letter read.
If the receiver was not considered a firearm, then Polymer80 was not expected to conduct any background checks, and its sale was thus not regulated. Neither was the component subject to Pittman-Robertson tax or required to have a serial number. However, with an erratic ATF, things are seldom as straightforward as they seem.
Polymer80 also submitted AR-15 pattern receiver casting, which the ATF determined was not a “firearm receiver” or a “firearm.” Polymer80’s GC9 Blank and “WARRHOGG Blank,” also failed to qualify as firearms.
However, selling the “non-firearm” receivers alongside other parts, as Polymer80 does with its “Buy Build Shoot Kit,” is now considered as selling a firearm by the ATF. It seems that the ATF is changing the definition of a firearm without following any legislative, legal, or public process. The ATF insists that federal courts have ruled that selling receivers alongside other parts constitutes selling a firearm.
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