News| Intel Brief

Last week, information was circulating on social media that TommyBuilt Tactical had received a letter from the ATF. Prominent voices within the firearm community such as Garand Thumb and others mentioned the news in their story or as an actual post. The post that was going around was a video of Tommy of TommyBuilt destroying his very first T36 lower receiver.

TommyBuilt had received a letter from the ATF informing him that his T36 receivers for his G36 clones was now consider a machine gun. To be in compliance with the ATF revised classification the T36 receivers had to be destroyed.

The community was in an uproar over the injustice that had occurred to TommyBuilt in regards to this reclassification by the ATF. The firearms community showed unity in supporting and speaking out against these arbitrary reclassifications. Jon and Genevieve from The Gun Collective spoke to Tommy on The Gun Cast Podcast.

During, that podcast Tommy enlightened the listeners and viewers of what occurred between his company and the ATF. Also, how T36 receiver was classified as a machine gun receiver.

Everything from here on out will be the summary of the interview and timeline of the events. To get the whole scoop go check out The Gun Cast Podcast on the matter.

Interview Summary

History Of TommyBuilt Tactical

TommyBuilt started with making conversions of SL-8 into clone correct G36 rifles. That was the main source of his business SL-8 conversions to G36s and UMP clones as well. In 2018, TommyBuilt Tactical began making TommyBuilt T36’s. The T36 build went through all the paperwork and was approved by the ATF.

Questions of Legality By The ATF

Over a year later in the summer of 2019, the ATF calls Tom and advises him they want to see a T36 pistol. The ATF now believes that TommyBuilt T36 receivers are now a machinegun receiver.

He doesn’t have one available. He offers to send another T36 instead but, the ATF specifically wants a T36 pistol. From their he advises the ATF he can have one in a week. A week later Tommy completes the T36 pistol build. He contacts the ATF letting them know he has a build ready to be inspected. The ATF arrives at his shop and advises him an importer is looking to bring in HK 243s. HK 243 is the civilian compliant European version of the G36. Also, the HK 243 is considered a machine gun by the ATF and unable to own.

After, that short discussion with the ATF, Tommy presents an SL-8, G36, and T36 with cutaways and pictures. He demonstrates a G36 barrel, BCG, and trigger pack won’t fit in SL-8 or his T36 or vice versa. Also, that the lower receiver will not mate with a full auto upper. The ATF attempts the same and are unable to get the parts to fit or receivers to mate.

The ATF agents agree it’s not the same as the HK 243. Tommy is advised that he is solid and able to still sell his TommyBuilt T36 rifles. Then, out of nowhere in August 2020, the ATF informs TommyBuilt that his T36 receiver is now classified as a machine gun receiver.

TommyBuilt Vs. ATF

Over the following weeks and months Tommy attempts to find out why his T36 lower receiver is now classified as a machine gun. He inquires if there was an report made from the ATF technology department. He was informed there was but he has no access to that material. The only way he could get access to that report was through the courts.

An ATF agent who was his point of contact advised him that the tech department literally forced in the barrel and bolt carrier pass the upper receiver built in internal stops. Next, modified a G36 lower to accept a T36 trigger pack. Again, by force. From there they modified a T36 receiver to mate with the upper receiver of a G36. After doing all of this they were able to fire the weapon. It is in unknown how effectively the weapon fired.

After being informed by the ATF agent on what happened, Tommy sought legal counsel to get access to said report. TommyBuilt was never given access to that report. So, Tommy through his lawyer asked the ATF what would needed to be changed on his T36 receiver to remove the machinegun classification. Initially, the ATF didn’t even know what needed to be changed so it didn’t meet the machinegun classification. Over time the ATF advises TommyBuilt that it needs a sear block in the new version of the receiver.

Tommy is unclear why his T36 receiver needs a sear block when the SL-8 doesn’t require one. Which is the platform the T36 is built off of. From there TommyBuilt conducts R&D and testing to see if a sear block is even feasible for his T36 receiver. During that R&D, TommyBuilt sent CAD designs, 3D printed a sear block, and sent videos of his progress to the ATF.

TommyBuilt finally sends in the prototype T36 receiver for review. ATF takes its time with the prototype and informs TommyBuilt that the new T36 receiver is good. They include a 14-page report of their analysis and give Tommybuilt permission to make the new receiver with the sear block.

What Happens Now?

The ATF originally wanted to confiscate and destroy the T36 rifles already in customers hands. Which would have effected 1,200 or more potential customers. TommyBuilt forged an agreement with the ATF to have customers send in their old T36 receiver and he would upgrade them with the new receiver. TommyBuilt is charging customers $225 for the upgrades. TommyBuilt is doing this upgrade at a financial lost to him but, a way for everyone who bought a T36 to keep it.

What do you think about the ATF classification of T36 as a machinegun? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks For Reading

If you enjoyed this post, hit that like button, share it a friend, and subscribe. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or comments. Please feel free to drop a comment. Be Humble. Train until only savagery remains and stay deadly ladies and gents.

Leave a Reply