ATF Raid On Polymer80 – A Sign Of Things To Come? (Updated)

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that ATF agents raided 80% lower maker Polymer80 yesterday.

From the WSJ:

Federal agents on Thursday raided one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of ghost-gun parts, a sign that federal law enforcement is cracking down on kits that allow people to make weapons at home.

The raid target, Nevada-based Polymer80, is suspected of illegally manufacturing and distributing firearms, failing to pay taxes, shipping guns across state lines and failing to conduct background investigations, according to an application for a search warrant unsealed Thursday after the raid took place.

The probe focuses on Polymer80’s “Buy Build Shoot Kit,” which includes the parts to build a “ghost” handgun. The kit, which Polymer80 sells online, meets the definition of a firearm, ATF investigators determined according to the warrant application. That means it would have to be stamped with a serial number and couldn’t be sold to consumers who haven’t first passed a background check.

The story goes on to note that there were no arrests and no charges have been filed.

Bear in mind that the ATF has previously determined that 80% lowers were not firearms and that Polymer80 has a determination letter to that effect.

One has to wonder if ATF is really concerned about the sale of parts kits or are they trying to curry favor with the probable Biden Administration in an effort to get their budget increased?

Mind you there are plenty of other places where you can purchase the necessary parts to finish out an 80% lower. I even thought about doing one until I started adding up the cost and concluded it just wasn’t worth it.

UPDATE: The Firearm Blog is reporting that ATF is now actively going after Polymer80 customers and forcing them to surrender the Buy Build Shoot Kit. The alternative offered to the owners of these kits is for the ATF to come back and raid their house with a warrant.

I think we know what they means. Your dog is shot, your kids are terrorized, your house is torn apart, your neighbors are scandalized, and everything will be shown in the 6pm new because media will have been alerted to be on the scene of the raid.

The ATF receipt as sent to TFB is below:

From The Firearms Blog

6 thoughts on “ATF Raid On Polymer80 – A Sign Of Things To Come? (Updated)”

  1. Remember the case from October ’19 that the BATFE dropped because the judge said that even if someone completed an 80% AR lower that they hadn’t manufactured a gun?
    https://bearingarms.com/cam-e/2019/10/12/feds-dropping-weapons-charges-keep-bad-regulations-books/
    Which built on a case from 2016 that was pretty much the same.

    The takeaway from that was that the laws BATFE is using to determine what a gun is don’t describe those lowers. Now I realize this is a semi auto pistol and not an AR, but the law says the receiver is, “That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.” The only thing most polymer pistols have that sounds like it applies is a “firing mechanism”. I’d think a lawyer could argue a striker fired pistol doesn’t have a hammer or a bolt or breechblock, and all the polymer pistols I’ve seen (admittedly few models) don’t have the barrel threaded into anything.

    BATFE is saying taking a bunch of parts that aren’t a gun and selling them together in a plastic box makes it a gun, totally ignoring the work involved in completing the 80% receiver. They seem to be saying the convenience of buying the parts together makes it all a gun.

    I want to see this laughed out of court, and BATFE penalized for wasting the court’s time.

    1. Legal language can often be read expansively… The NE state supreme court held that a set of aluminum knuckles found in a construction worker’s lunchbox were illegal, despite the language of the law only outlawing “brass or iron” knuckles.

      My favorite picture of this P80 nonsense is an ATF agent showing one example from an evidence room that “had no serial number”… Holding it with the Glock factory stamped number on the slide and barrel clearly visible.

  2. When the ATF realizes that they are going to lose the case, they will drop the charges and the court will throw it out for mootness. Then the ATF will do it again. And again. Using the tax dollars paid by the companies they are targeting. The punishment is the process.

    1. When the Supreme Court decided Roe v Wade, the way they got around the issue of mootness because the woman would have a baby and it would be starting preschool by the time the case was heard, was via the idea that it was “Capable of repetition but evading review.”

      Dropping the charges — Wasn’t this done with General Flynn? (“How can you sue us for damages? We dropped the case.”).

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