ATF RAIDS Polymer 80
(Image courtesy of The Firearm Blog)
In a breaking turn of events, the ATF conducted a raid against Polymer 80 for allegedly illegally manufacturing and distributing firearms, failing to pay taxes, shipping firearms across state lines, and failing to conduct background checks. This information broke Thursday night after the search warrant was unsealed when the raid had been completed.
The ATF is specifically targeting the company’s “Buy, Build, Shoot Kit”. The kit is marketed as having “everything you need to complete a pistol at home”. The kit contains a slide, barrel, recoil guide and spring, a lower parts kit, the jig, the drill bits, and an 80% frame. The ATF is claiming, because the pistol can be completed at home in just a few minutes, it is sold as a complete firearm. This requires that they serialize the frame and must conduct a background check on the purchaser. When a company wishes to sell an 80% frame, they must send a sample to the ATF. The ATF then conducts a review of the item. When they finish their review, they give the company a “determination letter”, stating if the object does or does not qualify as a firearm according to the Gun Control Act of 1968. When Polymer 80 began selling their frame, they had to get this determination letter. Which they did.The fact that they sell the rest of the parts with the gun is irrelevant. The part that the government considers a firearm, the frame, has been determined by the ATF as a “non firearm object”. The ATF disregarding their own determination letter is ludicrous. Which therein lies the bigger issue.
The ATF largely operates on these determination letters. These letters are little more than the individual opinion of the person conducting the review. The problem with this is the ATF’s opinion is easily changed.
Biden Meets With The ATF
As we stated previously, the ATF’s opinion can change on a whim. With Joe Biden expecting to take office, he's already conducted a secret meeting the leaked with the acting Director of the ATF, Regina Lombardo. In this meeting, Biden was trying to find out what the main priorities of the ATF were going to be in the coming years. Her response was pistol braces and 80% receivers. Now, with the raid that just happened against Polymer 80, we can see that they are already starting to begin. The ATF previously went after pistol braces when they sent out cease and desist letters to several companies, Q LLC., then went public with their letter. Thankfully, the ATF backpedalled after the immense public outrage.
California Sues The ATF
With all of this going on, California Attorney General Xavier Bacerra is spearheading a lawsuit against the ATF in order to redefine what constitutes a firearm. California is claiming that the ATF violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) when they conducted their reviews and issued their determination letters. They say that the ATF’s definition of a firearm is incorrect and that California's definition of a firearm is what should be used in it's place. The APA was put in place to make sure agencies like the ATF could not make laws, however, it still allows them to make determinations and have those determinations carry “weight”. It also allows for the public to criticize their decision and even have it brought to the court. The ATF may have a big say in what is considered a firearm, but they do not make the final decision.
An owner of a large company that produces 80% lower receivers recently told journalists at AmmoLand News that their lawyers believe that after the election, the Department of Justice will choose not to defend itself in the California lawsuit, effectively changing the laws surrounding 80% lower receivers and frames.
80 Percent Arms And FPC Team Up to Fight California
With everything happening, we felt it was our responsibility to team up with the FPC to take on California. The ATF being a government agency is required to account for multiple points of view. Some of which conflict with the views of the tens of thousands of Americans who enjoy the hobby of building at home. This is why we, along with the FPC, have filed an intervention. What an intervention does is allow us to have a voice in these proceedings. We, along with our customers, will be heavily impacted by the outcome of this lawsuit and we do not believe that the ATF will represent us properly. These are the main points that are needed to prove to the court that we should be heard in this case. You can be assured that we will not stop there either. 80 Percent Arms is currently the only 80% manufacturer fighting to defend our right to build at home. If for some reason we are denied our voice, we are prepared to bring lawsuit after lawsuit to those that would try and strip off our rights.