The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) agents raided Polymer80, the gun kits maker, in what could be seen as renewed attempts to crack down on what anti-gunners refer to as “ghost guns.”
The unfinished firearm components manufactured by Polymer80 are used to make DIY firearms, although the parts themselves are not generally considered as firearms.
Gun control activists have been fighting against the sale of the unfinished gun parts, most notably the 80% receivers, demanding more restrictions. However, controlling such items would put millions of Americans at risk of prosecution for owning pieces of metal that are barely firearms.
The ATF suspected that Polymer80 was “illegally manufacturing and distributing firearms, failing to pay taxes, shipping guns across state lines, and failing to conduct background investigations,” according to the Wallstreet Journal.
The “Buy Build Shoot Kit” built and sold online by Polymer80 is allegedly considered as a firearm, according to the search warrant seen by WSJ. Consequently, the component should have a serial number, and buyers must pass background checks.
CNN says that the ATF "recently determined that Polymer80's kits meet the definition of a firearm under the law, even if they are not yet assembled" - another surprise decision by the ATF.
Although no polymer employees were arrested, ATF agents seized records during the raid.
However, the timing of the raid was suspicious, given renewed pressure from anti-gun groups to crack down on “ghost guns” and enact stricter gun control regulations. Polymer80 also denied the accusations in a statement posted on Facebook after the raid.
“Over the past few years, and at the present time, Polymer80 has had numerous contacts from federal, state, and local law enforcement officials across the country,” Polymer80 posted on Facebook. “In each such instance, when properly and lawfully so approached, Polymer80 has expended best efforts to fully cooperate with law enforcement.”
The company said it always has, and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement when necessary and as part of its social and legal obligation.
“This practice is consistent with Polymer80’s hard-earned reputation as an industry leader and responsible corporate citizen," Polymer80 continued. "Indeed, the company takes its legal obligations seriously, just as it does its treasured and fruitful relationships with its customers and independent dealers.”
The gun kit maker said it was monitoring the situation and would remain committed to discharging its duties and responsibilities and defending its rights.
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