ATF Reduced Receiver Dilemma Recalls Stalin-Era Axiom on ‘Crime’


Stalin (L) and Beria (R): Show me the man and I will obtain you the crime. (USSR photo)

U.S.A. – -( “A California man sold illegal AR-15s,” CNN Wire Service reported Saturday. “Feds agreed to let him go cost-free to stay clear of hurting gun handle efforts.”

“For extra than a year, Joseph Roh illegally manufactured AR-15-style rifles in a warehouse south of Los Angeles,” the report explains. “But 5 years following raiding his business enterprise and indicting him, federal authorities quietly reduce a deal with Roh earlier this year and agreed to drop the charges.”

It is fair to wonder what in the planet is going on, particularly contemplating all the players involved. It is also fair to say that following reading the whole report that what is viewed as “lawful” and “unlawful” becomes damn close to not possible to figure out after deviation from the uncomplicated elegance of “shall not be infringed” is permitted.  It is uncomplicated to get lost in all the twists and turns involving so-named “80-% receivers” and “build parties” and upper and reduced receivers. It is much easier nevertheless to get lost in the “law,” and that term is utilized ironically—the dangers and penalties are there, but the guidelines that can invoke them are truly absolutely nothing extra than regulation devoid of representation.

Arcane determinations about what “legally” constitutes a “firearm” by means of ATF “classifications” make even the government query how some prosecutions can be carried out devoid of jeopardizing other individuals. If fed enforcers, with close to-limitless sources and armies of lawyers, can not proceed with certainty, how the hell are citizens supposed to know what they can do vs. what will outcome in their lives becoming destroyed?

The point is, this is not the 1st time this concern has come up. Back in 2008, ATF ruled:

“ATF has reconsidered its classification of the reduced assembly of the FNC rifle as the receiver. The upper assembly of the FNC rifle is extra effectively classified as the receiver.”

And in an “our bad” moment, ATF added”

“To the extent this ruling is inconsistent with any earlier ATF classifications, they are hereby superseded.”

Gilda Radner’s Emily Litella character comes to thoughts.

That ruling prompted firearm designer Len Savage to note and ask:

“According to the criteria that ATF applied to figure out the ‘upper” is the ‘receiver’ according to the law for an FNC, If the very same criteria had been applied to the AR-15 / M-16 the ‘upper’ ought to be the ‘receiver’ not the reduced. Would this influence the NFRTR if the ATF ever does apply the very same criteria at some point to the AR-15/M-16?”

It is hardly just this concern exactly where ATF’s inability to choose a story and stick to it has brought on cluster****s of epic proportions. Cases  in point:

A 2009 interpretation that pistol grip shotguns are not shotguns designed an unforeseen legal concern for owners of such firearms. As NFA Owner’s Association observed, “it is challenging to comprehend how existing law would not classify such as firearm as a Destructive Device.”

Which indicates registration on the NFRTR would be expected. But there’s no way to do that retroactively.

And then there’s ATF Ruling 82-eight, which held that “SM10 and SM11A1 pistols and SAC carbines are machine guns as defined in Section 5845(b) of the Act” except that it would only apply to these manufactured following June 21, 1982. My supply tells me “Approximately 50,000 had been manufactured prior to the reduce-off.”

Then once more, how is that any extra absurd than machineguns manufactured following May well 19, 1986, becoming banned from “civilian” possession and transfer?

Considering the fact that we’re speaking offensive absurdities, who remembers, in addition to declaring a shoestring to be a machinegun, the time ATF ruled Chore Boy pot scrubber pads had been NFA firearms? Or Airsoft guns becoming seized for the reason that the agent who attempted to insert a magazine backward insisted “With minimal function, it could be converted to a machine gun”?

And do not get me began on my legal, then illegal, then legal once more and now illegal Akins Accelerator bump stock.

“There’s no way to rule innocent guys,” novelist and Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand wrote. “The only energy any government has is the energy to crack down on criminals. Effectively, when there are not sufficient criminals, a single tends to make them. A single declares so several factors to be a crime that it becomes not possible for guys to reside devoid of breaking laws.”

Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s head of secret police, chillingly place that into practice:

“Show me the man and I will obtain you the crime.”

That positive is a far cry from the government’s mandate to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of various journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a lengthy-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a consistently featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.


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