Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When Does It Become a Gun?

So, it's not a gun yet.  In fact, it's not a receiver yet.

But it could be.  And it's polymer, which won't show up as metal on a scanner.

Still, the bullets would show up, and so would most of the rest of the gun.  This is not really a legitimate seizure here.

Or is it?  I have to admit ATF is in kind of a tough spot here, trying to enforce a vague law.


Jason Hord said...

This is not a legitimate seizure in my mind. You can buy 80% complete AR-15 lower receivers that have no serial number on them without the need to use an FFL. And this is all ATF-approved.

As with the polymer variant, machining is required to turn these into fully-functional lower receivers. I'm guessing the fact that it is polymer is what is concerning to the ATF, but how is that any different than the myriad of polymer pistols that are the standard today? They still require other very hard, very metal parts to function.

Tom said...

M sympathizes with the ATF because their statute is vague. My own sympathies run the other way.

TM Lutas said...

If the description of the search and seizure is correct, that they were actually after the customer list instead of what was on the warrant, this is an illegal government operation.

What you're looking for is what should be on the warrant. What is on the warrant should be what you are looking for. When there is a mismatch between the two, it's a 4th amendment violation. It doesn't seem too complicated for me.

The hard part is demonstrating that what was alleged is actually the truth.