WASHINGTON, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)- A new proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) on unfinished firearms frames was leaked onto the internet.
Stephen Gutowski on his newly launched “The Reload” website reports that it obtained documentation (embedded below) that shows the ATF plans to deal with so-called “ghost guns.” AmmoLand News sent this document to our ATF contacts. Although they could not verify the legitimacy of this exact document, everything appeared to be formatted correctly and includes changes AmmoLand News has reported on in the past. Our sources believe this document to be authentic.
AmmoLand News also reached out to Gutowski and asked him if he could provide proof that the documentation was real. He stated that he could not give up his sources but was confident that the document is legit.
“I obtained the document through a source, but no good journalist ever reveals their confidential sources who provide important information the public deserves to know at risk to themselves or their livelihood, as you know.” Gutowski told AmmoLand News.
“I can say that I am confident in the authenticity of the document.”
According to the report, any random part that the user could “readily” convert into a firearm would be subject to ATF regulations. As in the past, the document doesn’t define what the term “readily convertible” means. This term could be that any block of metal could be “readily convertible” into a firearm. In fact, the document shows that the ATF used a court case where it took the user eight hours to covert a kit into a gun. The document does highlight the need for a complete machine shop, and qualified workers to complete a firearm would not fall under the proposed rules.
The document would mean new 80% AR-15 lower receivers, chunks of metal, would need a serial number and require the buyer to obtain a background check before the seller could transfer it because it could be “easily” convertible with “readily available” tools. The document demonizes the modern sporting rifle by highlighting that Eugene Stoner originally designed the rifle for military use.
The document defines a frame or receiver as “a part of a firearm that provides housing or a structure designed to hold or integrate one or more fire control components, even if pins or the attachments are required to connect those components to the housing or structure. Any such part identified with a serial number shall be presumed, absent an official determination by the Director or other reliable evidence to the contrary, to be a frame or receiver. For purposes of this definition, the term “fire control component” means a component necessary for the firearm to initiate or complete the firing sequence, including any of the following: hammer, bolt or breechblock, cylinder, trigger mechanism, firing pin, striker, or slide rails.”
The document makes claims that in the past four years that so-called “ghost guns” have been used in 325 homicides. Their definition of homicide includes justified killings as in self-defense. It does not separate out murders from the total homicides. Even if all 325 homicides included in the report were murders, this number is incredibly small. There are approximately 17,000 murders per year in the United States and that averages out to 46 murders per day. The reported small number they are trying to tie to so-called “ghost guns” highlights that there is not a problem.
Gun Owners of America is already gearing up for the fight. AmmoLand News spoke to the Director of Federal affairs for GOA, Aidan Johnston.
“This leaked document proposes rule changes that are extremely concerning to gun owners and the centuries-old practice of making a firearm at home,” Johnston told AmmoLand News. “Gun Owners of America stands ready to fight these absurd “rules” — A.K.A infringements — at every turn.”
The documentation does state that it will not contradict any previously issued determination letters. AmmoLand News could not determine if that means currently sold unfinished frames and receivers with letters would be exempt from the new regulations. If this is the case, companies would be allowed to continue selling their current product but would not be able to introduce any new products. The document also would require the serialization of the barrel and other parts.
A bombshell in the same document is a plan to loosen regulations on suppressors by removing the requirement for manufactures to serialize individual suppressor parts. Only the outside container will need to be serialized if the ATF puts the new regulation into effect.
While the language seems to make it easier to manufacture silencers by reducing the number of parts needed to be serialized. What it also does is ban 80% silencers aka solvent traps. From the document page 26:
“These new definitions would clarify for manufacturers and makers of complete muffler or silencer devices that they need only mark each part (or specific part(s)previously determined by the Director) of the device defined as a “frame or receiver” under this rule. However, individual muffler or silencer parts must be marked if they are disposed of separately from a complete device unless transferred by qualified manufacturers to other qualified licensees for the manufacture or repair of complete devices (see Section II.H.9of the preamble).4”
More on this breaking story to follow.
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About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.