AR-15 Design May open legal loophole

garandman

Instructor
NES Member
Rating - 88.9%
8   1   0
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
14,707
Likes
4,911
Location
Dorchester MA / Sullivan County NH
Couldn’t find a related thread via search.


“A subtle design feature of the AR-15 rifle has raised a technical legal question that is derailing cases against people who are charged with illegally buying and selling the gun's parts or building the weapon.

At issue is whether a key piece of one of America's most popular firearms meets the definition of a gun that prosecutors have long relied on.

For decades, the federal government has treated a mechanism called the lower receiver as the essential piece of the semiautomatic rifle, which has been used in some of the nation's deadliest mass shootings. Prosecutors regularly bring charges based on that specific part.

But some defense attorneys have recently argued that the part alone does not meet the definition in the law. Federal law enforcement officials, who have long been concerned about the discrepancy, are increasingly worried that it could hinder some criminal prosecutions and undermine firearms regulations nationwide.
 

fshalor

NES Member
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Messages
3,350
Likes
2,057
Location
Portland, ME
I sort of laughed at this crap when I started building them a while ago. The lower is just a hammer, spring and release system.

So is a claw hammer and a nail. Or a really good rock. If these laws weren't made by idiots, the barrels would be the only thing which would be serialized and require a background check and 4473.
 

Rob Boudrie

NES Member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
36,536
Likes
13,989
I sort of laughed at this crap when I started building them a while ago. The lower is just a hammer, spring and release system.

So is a claw hammer and a nail. Or a really good rock. If these laws weren't made by idiots, the barrels would be the only thing which would be serialized and require a background check and 4473.
The hammer/sprint/release system are NOT part of the "lower" if by "lower" you mean the part of the AR15 that meets the current federal definition of a rifle.
 

42!

NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 100%
7   0   0
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
6,998
Likes
4,411
The reporters seem to have a grasp of the AR design or had good sources. Someone deliver this to the State AG's orifice please.
If by state you mean MA, "Firearm" is defined differently on a MA state level. Unlike the Fed definition, in MA a firearm needs to be able to fire for it to be a firearm. So on a state level, a stripped lower is not a firearm, but on a Fed level it is.
 

Knob Creek

NES Member
Rating - 100%
75   0   0
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
7,980
Likes
2,922
Location
South Coast Mass
If by state you mean MA, "Firearm" is defined differently on a MA state level. Unlike the Fed definition, in MA a firearm needs to be able to fire for it to be a firearm. So on a state level, a stripped lower is not a firearm, but on a Fed level it is.
Not that it would make any difference to Healy but this decision by the court would seem to affirm the Massachusetts designation as a non-firearm.
 

jpk

Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
19,228
Likes
13,448
The hammer/sprint/release system are NOT part of the "lower" if by "lower" you mean the part of the AR15 that meets the current federal definition of a rifle.
the inverse is also not true....the "upper" doesnt meet the legal definition of a firearm wrt serialization either which is why the feds dropped a case against someone recently
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
1,460
Likes
997
Location
Down the rabbit hole, somewhere in Paradise.
The hammer/sprint/release system are NOT part of the "lower" if by "lower" you mean the part of the AR15 that meets the current federal definition of a rifle.
That "definition" could change tomorrow, at the whim of BATFE. They define a piece of machined steel the size of a quarter (auto sear) as a "machine gun"!
 

jpk

Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
19,228
Likes
13,448
That "definition" could change tomorrow, at the whim of BATFE. They define a piece of machined steel the size of a quarter (auto sear) as a "machine gun"!
No it cant

there is a statutory definition adopted by congress and signed into law by the president

the ATF cannot just wave its magic wand and rewrite/over ride what congress passed.......

Any change requires both houses of congress to pass new language and for the president to sign it into law......but new language is going to have a great many downstream/unintended consequences (burdens) so new language will result in massiive discussions/arguments/conflicts so dont count on it happening soon/easily

THIS is why the feds dropped a case that challenged the law on these criteria instead of losing the case and establishing a precident
 

Mesatchornug

NES Member
Rating - 100%
7   0   0
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
Messages
1,823
Likes
1,875
Location
Medford
I'm on my phone, so can't search.

There is a thread on here, I think it's related to Ares, or maybe to the guy that was doing the build parties in...CA?
 

FiremanBob

NES Member
Rating - 100%
4   0   0
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
3,825
Likes
8,092
The Ohio judge's ruling is quite clear, and based on a careful reading of the statute. According to this precedent, an AR-15 lower receiver is not a firearm. Now, in order for that precedent to become settled, someone somewhere is going to have to get prosecuted for selling unserialized lowers, get convicted, and then fight it up to the federal Circuit level and perhaps SCOTUS.

Who wants to go first?
 

Boris

Son of Kalashnikov
NES Member
Rating - 100%
21   0   0
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
19,255
Likes
15,093
Location
Back from Motherland
I'm on my phone, so can't search.

There is a thread on here, I think it's related to Ares, or maybe to the guy that was doing the build parties in...CA?
it wasn't Ares, some dude was nabbed for letting people finish 80% in his shop and apparently charges was brought against him on manufacturing, so his attorney had argued that AR receiver is technically not a receiver. I've seen the thread, just not sure if it was on NES.

This is not really new. AR180 was originally classed as upper being a receiver. On SAR80, it still is. On AR180 lower is now the "receiver", but there are lowers in the wild from the early days when it "wasn't a receiver."

Also on AKs ... originally AK trunnion was classed as the receiver and on AK shotguns ... it still is, actually.


ATF absolutely f***ing will rewrite shit and people are going to take without lube. Where are we going with this, "firearms components" will start getting serialized and registered.Brace for this shit.
 

bfm

Rating - 100%
14   0   0
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
7,447
Likes
5,896
Location
Somerville
I'm on my phone, so can't search.

There is a thread on here, I think it's related to Ares, or maybe to the guy that was doing the build parties in...CA?
 

jpk

Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
19,228
Likes
13,448
Why not? Maura did.
Because its against the law in a very profount and flagrant manner that the courts cannot ignore.....its no different than the slap down that the ATF got under Oblunder when it attempted to reclassify M855 as AP in direct contradiction with the statutory definition that was similarly passed by congress and signed into law by POTUS.......
 
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
16,094
Likes
9,701
Location
Southern NH
No it cant

there is a statutory definition adopted by congress and signed into law by the president

the ATF cannot just wave its magic wand and rewrite/over ride what congress passed.......
What they can do and what they have lawful authority to do are not the same thing. The ATF can and has changed the meaning of things at their whim.
 

jpk

Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
19,228
Likes
13,448
What they can do and what they have lawful authority to do are not the same thing. The ATF can and has changed the meaning of things at their whim.
And when in the last 20 years have they not been beaten down by the courts for flagrent violation of written statute consistent with the example discussed?
 

FiremanBob

NES Member
Rating - 100%
4   0   0
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
3,825
Likes
8,092
And when in the last 20 years have they not been beaten down by the courts for flagrent violation of written statute consistent with the example discussed?
Sure, but when in the last 20 years did legal defeats change their behavior?
 
Top Bottom