seizure

For a while now we have known that the ATF has had an interest in airsoft guns which they claimed could be turned into real firearms.  We discussed it extensively in the following three posts:

Well it looks like our “calling out” of the ATF to prove their case, finally got a response.  The results are what I expected, but hoped would not be the case.

The ATF response letter, dated May 19, 2010 (Click to enlarge):

I know nothing about airsoft rifles at all, but the letter is apparently regarding the JG M4 airsoft rifle (a copy of the Western Arms M4 GBB design). I am not sure if the WE TTI M4 shipment that was confiscated in Tacoma is still under investigation.

What does this letter mean for the (thousands of?) American kids who own these airsoft rifles? My guess is that if they do not destroy them immediately they will be violating federal law and their parents who are responsible for them could face long prison sentences, and/or substantial fines.

How are the majority of the owners of these airsoft rifles even going to find out that they are in violation of federal law? Who knows…

Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.  Why was this not decided as soon as the first shipment of these airsoft rifles hit our shores? Making people into criminals after the fact is not fair.

What do you guys think?

Hat Tip: ArniesAirsoft via Tim

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Laredo TX – Acting on a tip, police pulled over a truck on Saturday. Inside, they discovered 147 new AK-47 rifles, still in their boxes; 263 high-capacity magazines; 53 bayonets; and 10,000 rounds of ammunition — enough for a small army.

The full story (Banana clips and all) – HERE

LOL bayonets!

Reminds me of this video on drive-by bayoneting, which is no doubt an epidemic:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO6pjHiVEVA[/youtube]

Also, I have a question for those who might know.  Is ammunition that hard to come by in Mexico, that it needs to be smuggled as well?

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I was thinking some more about that recent ATF airsoft seizure and came up with the following…

For your information, per provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, an unlicensed individual may make a “firearm” as defined in the GCA for his own personal use, but not for sale or distribution.

The GCA, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), defines the term “firearm” to include the following:

… (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may be readily 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 silencer; or (D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.

Source – ATF.gov

Another paragraph of interest…

Individuals manufacturing sporting-type firearms for their own use need not hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs). However, we suggest that the manufacturer at least identify the firearm with a serial number as a safeguard in the event that the firearm is lost or stolen. Also, the firearm should be identified as required in 27 CFR 478.92 if it is sold or otherwise lawfully transferred in the future.

Source – ATF.gov

So… According to the ATF’s citations of the Gun Control Act and U.S. Code, you can make your own firearm and you do not need a FFL.

The ATF does not specify what material you have to use, and it does not put any restriction on making a firearm out of an object that previously had another use.  Hell, if you wanted to make a firearm out of a toaster, from what I understand you definitely could.

By that rationale, if you buy an airsoft gun that “Needs Machining” to complete its transformation to fit an AR-15 lower parts kit, is it not only considered a firearm once you complete it?

If you cannot drop a lower parts kit in those airsoft receivers without any machining then I think that is a VERY good argument that they are not firearms, and should never have been confiscated.

32 COMMENTS