Move Over 80% Lowers!

80% lowers have been around for a while now. In some areas like California if you finish one, you have to apply for a serial number, pay a fee, and then engrave the finished lower.

The term 80% lower or frame comes from a BATFE determination that it isn’t a firearm if it is only 80% finished. Thus, there is no NICS check on an 80% lower or frame and it can be mailed to you. Given it was a determination by BATFE, you know it can be changed at any time.

Here is an alternative.

You say it is only a chunk of 6061-T6 aluminum. Not so fast. According to the manufacturer, it is the 0% billet AR-15 lower receiver. It helps to have your own CNC machine or a Bridgeport milling machine. I guess you could go all Khyber Pass and finish it strictly with hand tools. Both methods are beyond my level of skill so I’m stuck with off-the-shelf lowers from Aero-Precision, Anderson, or Spikes.

The manufacturer, 80% Arms, adds that they are restricting sale to the USA only.

While these weapons are not regulated under ITAR yet, we still don’t want these dangerous things to get into the hands of the wrong people, like Kim Jong-un. Therefore, shipping of 0% lowers is strictly limited to USA only. 

Well played, sirs, well played.

Would A Local TV Station Obfuscate GRNC’s Position On 80% Receivers? Duh!

A volunteer for Grass Roots North Carolina was interviewed by Felicia Bolton of Raleigh’s CBS 17 television station about “ghost guns” for the second part of their two-part story.

If you read what was attributed to Marc Erickson, you’d think GRNC was anti-80% receivers.

Some gun rights advocates like the director of Grass Roots North Carolina Marc Erickson stated these weapons do pose some concerns.

“I represent lawful gun owners. Lawful gun owners don’t have to make their own firearms,” said Marc Erickson.

He also stated that he believes the law should remain the same and the focus should be on prosecuting violent offenders.

“What concerns me is that violent people obtain firearms one way or another and are allowed to pursue their violent actions,” said Erickson.

Of course there is more to the story as the alert from Grass Roots North Carolina below points out. Being quoted out of context or having the meat of your argument edited out is the risk you play when dealing with the media. They want sound bites that make their point. It is why whenever you are being interviewed you should have your own recorder. Even better is to have someone with you taking video of the interview so you won’t be “Couric’ed” as Katie Couric did to the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

From GRNC:

CREATIVE EDITING
OBFUSCATES TRUTH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release date: May 24, 2018

In a heavily edited interview on CBS 17 yesterday, a GRNC volunteer’s remarks were taken out of context to imply that Grass Roots North Carolina opposes the sale of 80% lower receivers. That assertion is false. The position which the reporter avoided relaying was as follows:

“If gun ban advocates are worried about 80% lowers, they should be truly alarmed by the prospect of people using 3-D printers to make guns in their basements, because each underscores the fallacy of gun control; namely, that you can somehow control the behavior of violent individuals by restricting their access to potential implements of mayhem. Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, it isn’t working for drugs, and it won’t work for guns.”

In Gun News From The Sub-Polar Region To The North

The Canadian Firearms Blog is reporting that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Director of Firearm Regulatory Services has decreed that 80% AR lowers are prohibited. The rationale given is that they can be converted into M16 lower receivers. This prohibition also extends to receiver flats for the AK-47/74 and AMD-63/65.

From the memo issued by Robert J. O’Reilly of the RCMP:

Receiver blanks are firearms since they are nearly completed receivers and fall within the adaptability clause of the firearms definition in Section 2 of the Criminal Code. In other words,
a receiver blank is considered a
“barrelled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death in a person,
and includes any frame or receiver of such a barrelled weapon and anything that can be adapted for use as a firearm”. As such, they are subject to the firearms-related regulatory and enforcement provisions of the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code, including licensing and registration.

Depending on their properties, receiver blanks can fall into any one of the three firearm classifications: non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited. 

The memo goes on to say that individuals have no legal authority “to possess or acquire prohibited receiver blanks”. The memo contains a table listing many of the most common receiver blanks and their classifications under Canadian firearms law. The only receiver blank that is listed as “non-restricted” are ones for the Ruger 10/22. The rest are either prohibited or restricted.

The Canadian Firearms Blog goes on to report some hearsay evidence behind the RCMP’s decision and the reaction within the Canadian firearms community.

A user on a popular Canadian firearms forum on Reddit, who wished to remain anonymous, has reportedly spoken with RCMP firearms techs in Ottawa, stating they had explained that their interpretation is “so long as the blank (in whatever state it may be in) can be ‘easily’ turned into a firearm, it’s a firearm, and since machining is ‘easy’ that any completion of the receiver is enough.”

This decision by the RCMP has drawn considerable criticism, with some expressing concern that, by the verbiage used in the memo, any unmilled piece of alunimium or polymer in the size or shape of an AR-15 receiver can be affected, and some fearing that this is the foundation to reclassify AR-15s as a whole.

I feel for our Canadian gunny friends. While I have neither the skill nor the inclination to complete an 80% lower, I understand the appeal especially if you live in either Canada or California.  I doubt that they are going to get any relief from these onerous regulations in the immediate future given their respective governing parties.