ATF To Rewrite The Definition Of A Lower Receiver: Lower Receivers Are Not Firearms

PappyM3

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This is a huge problem. The definition of a firearm doesn’t correspond to modern firearms.

BUT! It is not up to the ATF. It’s up to Congress. Laws are laws.
ATF will make a “common sence” suggestion to congress and they will jump all over it ! It will be a feel good story and we will all be so much safer😊👍 yuk
 

strangenh

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Under the US Code of Federal Regulations, a firearm frame or receiver is defined as: “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.”
[...]
Its part of the reason they deemed that bolt action uppers that could be attached to an AR Lower suddenly had to be serialized.....because they actually DO meet the definition of a "firearm"
[...]
If the AR upper met the above definition then the ATF would have already issued a response .....but it doesnt because the firing mechanism is contained within the lower......while the bolt/breechblock and part that recieves the barrell is the upper
Now you put it out there broken down by part, it occurs to me - AR lowers are really "50% receivers," as are the uppers, making the 80% kits really "40% receivers." I'm definitely going into a store next week and asking if they have any complete 50% upper receivers and complete 50% lower receivers for sale. [thumbsup]

(Except they probably will still be sold out.)
 
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AHM

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No offense to OP, but this video is total f*cktardery. Some crazy old dude with coke bottle glasses puts up a video and we suddenly take it as gospel? “Experts” convince courts all the time of bullsh!t. It doesn’t mean the ATF is going to do anything.
Very good point. I didn’t even watch the video, because of the guy. All commentary should be taken as discussion of possible actions. I highly doubt he has any inside connection to ATF leadership decisions.
Don't judge a book by its cover.
The guy has hundreds of gun videos on his "Lead Therapy" channel going back as far as 2012, I haven't yet seen any comments calling him a crackpot. I think there's a chance that he may know a thing or two that we don't.
On the one hand, I didn't moan about the OP's video blogger
because I just knew that five minutes later someone would
trot out that he's the most respected opinion in the gun world since Zumbo,
and what the hell kind of noob was I
for not recognizing him from his silhouette alone?

On the other hand, I was about 3/4 of a notch away from giggling hysterically
the whole time I watched that little video, because the poor guy's vocal register
and general aspect reminded me of someone who's invented a new game.


As to the video's content:

We are told that the Feds were previously losing AR-15 serialization prosecutions.

And then the "ex-ATF agent" not only monetizes that particular expert testimony spiel
(like the first lawyer to convince a judge that radar guns or breathalyzers can be inaccurate,
so spring my speeding/drunken client because reasonable doubt),
but advertises the win.

We are told to infer that ATF can see the hand writing on the wall,
and knows the bottom is about to drop out of the non-serialized lower prosecution market.

Because after all, when just one trial judge writes a snarky smackdown
of one particular charge, that means that no Hawaiian judge
and no appeals court anywhere else can possibly hold a different opinion,
and hang some other defendant with it, let alone the exact same defendant
on prosecution appeal.

We are also meant to infer that the ATF never prosecutes anyone else
for any other offense, and with the bursting of this one weird legal bubble,
they can never prosecute anyone anywhere for anything else;
especially not 80% (<= see what I did there?) of the same defendants.

Maybe I'm just missing how this criminal charge is the gateway to all other Federal gun crimes...

31806ba1a7a5616d626cb810dc9ea29bbe54ecc1c23e912d588a49224da806f3.jpg
You've made me realize that all the pessimists are overlooking the possibility that
elements of the Deep State are at each others throats,
because each thinks that they should be in charge when the dust settles.
 

jpk

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If you're referring to stripped uppers, I'm not seeing many out there for sale, but there are TONS of complete barreled uppers available with or without BCG. Every day I get email flyers from PSA and CDNN with a whole slew of differently configured uppers for sale. Yeah, the price has gone up, but there doesn't seem to be any shortage.

I'll use BCM for illustrative purposes because they're pretty much on the money as far as quality/value


Virtually all complete uppers are out of stock



No rifle length barrels to be found


No stripped upper recievers either

Scoot on over to Joe Bobs

Pretty much the same landscape


PSA does in fact have their own in house brand/manufacture of uppers in stock.....but the majority of whats in stock are pistol/sbr length options


Most barrel orders that vendors have placed are pushing 6 months back log and no sign of delivery in sight.....with some of these dem states pushing for shut downs again its only going to cause more problems for supply chain
 

kevin9

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If I'm reading it right, firearm "receiver" and "frame" are defined by regulation, not directly by law. That means the ATF can change them via an administrative rule-change process, no legislative action is required. My guess is, best case, ATF will adjust the regulatory definition of a firearm frame or firearm receiver to fit their heretofore working definition, and possibly closing the "80% receiver loophole". Worst case is Congress will attempt to fix it by law, which will likely turn any vaguely receiver or frame shaped chunk of material into a firearm.

Yes, there might be a window of opportunity of some sort for some until the rule or law is changed, but it's not obvious what it is, particularly for those whose state has their own codified definition of a firearm.
 

kevin9

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No, its defined in US law previously posted and its why they havent done so and solved this problem already
Not as I read it. You quoted a regulation (afa. Code of Federal Regulations [CFR]), not a law, earlier. Here's the law that defines a firearm to include a frame or receiver, but it does not appear to define "frame" or "receiver":
...(3) The term “firearm” means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.

Be glad to change my mind on this point, if/when given a cite to an actual federal law (US Code) vs. a regulation (CFR).

Regardless, my fundamental prediction still remains; it's highly unlikely this will be a good change for gun owners.
 

omega42

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ATF cant fix this issue.....only a rewrite of law can fix this issue.

Anything ATF says or does is just posturing to try to get congress to address the definition of what a firearm is

Congress 🤣

Endlessly changing regulations can be used to moot court challenges while still hobbling natural and legal rights.
 

The5thDentist

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After watching the video Reptile posted, and reading Dan O'Kelly's article, a receiver has to have four components to make it a receiver. An AR lower only has two. It took four court cases for federal judges to finally rule that ATF's opinion is just that, and an AR lower is not a true receiver, and therefore not a GCA firearm.
Definition of a receiver is defined by law. Not ATF opinion.

So for now, a lower is just a part that isn't a firearm.

MY non-attorney opinion: if the ATF reclassifies ARs according to the definition of the law, then the upper and lower would beed to be assembled into a firearm to satisfy the definition of either a receiver or a firearm. Thanks, Mr. Stoner!

One thing is for sure. If we want real change, we need to run for office and actually fix the laws, become judges that will rule on these cases, and stop living in fear.
 

AHM

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BTW guys, I'm late to the party.

Q: Did ATF originally fixate on the lower
because that was where the giggle switch lives?

After watching the video Reptile posted, and reading Dan O'Kelly's article, a receiver has to have four components to make it a receiver.
"Four components".

27 CFR § 478.11 - Meaning of terms.
Firearm frame or receiver. 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.​

This afternoon it seems to me that it's a slightly crappy editorial job.

Some laws written "A, B or C, and D, and usually E" mean "(A or B or C) and D and usually E".

This law probably means "A and (B or C) and D, and usually E", eh?

I also note that "firing mechanism" is mentioned nowhere else in that subsection -
not used, let alone defined, in that subsection. Maybe the meaning is obvious to everyone,
or maybe it's a blank to be filled in by case law.
 

Zappa

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I'll use BCM for illustrative purposes because they're pretty much on the money as far as quality/value


Virtually all complete uppers are out of stock



No rifle length barrels to be found


No stripped upper recievers either

Scoot on over to Joe Bobs

Pretty much the same landscape


PSA does in fact have their own in house brand/manufacture of uppers in stock.....but the majority of whats in stock are pistol/sbr length options


Most barrel orders that vendors have placed are pushing 6 months back log and no sign of delivery in sight.....with some of these dem states pushing for shut downs again its only going to cause more problems for supply chain

So the problem looks to be caused more by a shortage of barrels than of upper receivers.
 

PappyM3

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So the problem looks to be caused more by a shortage of barrels than of upper receivers.
Stripped uppers are hard to come by too. You can get them if you sign up to be notified of in-stock status, but the vast majority are sold out everywhere.
 

Zappa

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Stripped uppers are hard to come by too. You can get them if you sign up to be notified of in-stock status, but the vast majority are sold out everywhere.

I said that in post #55, it seems that whoever has them are building them out and not selling them in stripped form.

As far as what's considered a receiver and what isn't, the ATF seems to be confused because their definition doesn't fit all the possible configurations. It's generally accepted that the serialized part is the "receiver". On an AR, it's stamped on the lower, but on an Uzi it's on the upper.
 
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groundscrapers

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I said that in post #55, it seems that whoever has them are building them out and not selling them in stripped form.

As far as what's considered a receiver and what isn't, the ATF seems to be confused because their definition doesn't fit all the possible configurations. It's generally accepted that the serialized part is the "receiver". On an AR, it's stamped on the lower, but on an Uzi it's on the upper.
same for the scar
 
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Not unless John Roberts pulls an Obamacare/bubba clinton.....


Nothing about the lower meets the federal definition which is why ATF is freaking out and has had to drop cases against people making lowers without a manufacturers license.....

They screwed the pooch decades ago by declaring that the lower is the part that needed to be serialized

Its part of the reason they deemed that bolt action uppers that could be attached to an AR Lower suddenly had to be serialized.....because they actually DO meet the definition of a "firearm"

Its also part of the reason why there are no AR upper recievers to be found on the market.....cuz folks are gobbling them up out of fear of looming change......

If the AR upper met the above definition then the ATF would have already issued a response .....but it doesnt because the firing mechanism is contained within the lower......while the bolt/breechblock and part that recieves the barrell is the upper

Only a change to federal law can fix this

Funny how they determined the complete opposite with FAL receivers... the upper receiver is the part that is considered a "firearm" and needs to be serialized,
yet by their own definitions, FAL and AR receivers are identical WRT the way they are designed and constructed.
 
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