It has been an adage passed throughout time by warriors and brilliant minds of strategy and tactics which says, “You must know your enemy as you know yourself in order to defeat them.” This is not the exact verbiage but, a summary and amalgamation of their wisdom. In order to find victory on the battlefield you must intimately know and understand your opponent. It does not mean you agree with their philosophies or ideologies. It is a tool to see their flaws and inherent weakness in their plan and logic. I think this is rarely applied to full context when it comes to the erosion of our 2nd Amendment rights. Especially, in concerns of the actions the ATF takes in infringing upon our rights and where it will all lead.
We must understand our enemy in order to defeat our enemy. So, I wanted take a closer look into the actions that the ATF has currently been taking towards the Constitution and more specifically the 2nd Amendment. So, we can further understand their game plan. The ATF has recently taken an aggressive approach in diminishing our rights to keep and bear arms in this nation. They are attempting to circumvent the Constitution through laws and policies.
The ATF has been empowered by the Biden Administration which seeks to band the vast majority of the firearms in this nation. While limiting the ones you can own. They seek to make the price of firearm ownership steep and legal documentation to own them tedious. Therefore discouraging new firearm ownership. While taxing the current owners heavily. Yet, that is not the biggest goal of this Administration. The goal of this Administration is to create an official or ad hoc registry by using the National Firearms Act (NFA) as its vessel. All, you have to do is look at the grains of sand as they turn into a heap. Let’s take deeper look into the ATF’s intent.
Over the past six to nine months dating back to October 2020, the ATF has taken aggressive and decisive action against the 2A industry and community.
Case: ATF vs. Q Rifles
First, the ATF began with bullying of Q Rifles in regards to the brace they sell with the Q Honey Badger Pistol. This was the ATF laying down the ground work for banning stabilizing braces. They sought to do this by saying the Q brace didn’t meet the definition of a “stabilizing brace”. This lead to an assault by the ATF against Q Rifles to cease and desist manufacturing and selling of the Q brace under the threat of legal action.
When this occurred the firearms community joined together in solidarity in defense of Q Rifles against the ATF. The community knew it was tactic of bullying by the ATF on Q Rifles. The main goal was to set precedence within the law that these braces are deemed illegal and making the gun fall into a different category. Transforming it from an AR Pistol to an short barrel rifle (SBR) by doing so requiring it to be registered under the NFA.
Also, during this time the ATF released their proposed rule change on how they will classify “stabilizing braces” in the future. This was met with harsh opposition from the community and the proposed rule changed was withdrawn.
Then, within that time period Q Rifles was giving a 60 day cease and desist letter. That letter from ATF to Q Rifles stated that a determination was to be giving after the election concerning their brace. As, for now that was the first instance in recent times the ATF has acted aggressively. We will return to stabilize braces later in this article.
ATF vs. Polymer80
Next, in December of 2020, the ATF raided and ceased documents from Polymer80 in regards to their Buy, Build, Shoot kits. The ATF stated the point of the raid was to procure information on their build kits because they have been determined to be a firearm by the ATF. During that raid and seizure the ATF procured the Polymer 80 build kits, documentation, and sales transactions form Polymer80. Another reason the ATF claimed on their warrant to the federal judge for the raid was because the kits had been sold to person(s) prohibited from possessing a firearm.
The selling of the Buy, Build, Shoot kits was not illegal by any stretch of the imagination. Under federal law you are allowed to build a firearm in your home for personal use. So, there is no reason that Polymer80 should have been raided by the ATF. For the ATF to claim that it is illegal then these people would have to be manufacturing firearms to sell to a consumer. Then, the ATF has the ability to pursue those individuals because the are acting as FFL. Yet, the build kits by Polymer80 are clearly advertised to be built for personal use. So, it’s not way that it could be misconstrued as anything else. Also, people know manufacturing a firearm without the proper paperwork and licensing has stiff federal penalties. No, one in their right mind would risk that to make some cash.
Included, in the affidavit for the raid the ATF tired to claim that it was a firearm because it came complete with all your components needed to complete the build. Yet, the firearm cannot function as it is shipped. There is no physical way that those Buy, Build, Shoot kits can be assembled and able to operate as you receive them. Machining of the frame has to be done to accommodate the pins and the slide. From there it has to be assembled. You also have the potential to mess up the frame. Making the weapon inoperable. Leaving you with firearm parts until you can get a replacement frame. So, it is a completely false and asinine idea to say those are firearms ready to be assembled and shot as is.
ATF vs. Diversified Machine
Also, in December of 2021 the ATF raided Diversified Machine who was selling Form 1 suppressor parts to consumers. Again, you are legal allowed to posses the parts to a suppressor. Soon, as assembly of the suppressor starts without proper documentation it becomes a crime.
Understanding that Diversified Machine’s website warned about the potential federal crime of making an unregistered suppressors and warned people against such activity. The company would also ask for verification of a trust or that your Form 1 paperwork currently being processed by the ATF. Diversified Machine would advise customers not assembly until their Form 1 paperwork was completed.
As, we see Diversified Machine did everything within the confines of the law and was shutdown. Then, in March of this year the ATF seized their website. Completely shutting down the company.
ATF Proposed Definition Change Of A Firearm
In April of this year news was leaked that the ATF was proposing a new definition on what a firearm is and what a consider a receiver of a firearm. This was a two pronged assault. First, it sought to re-define what a firearm is. Second, it looked to make Polymer80 builds and to make personal firearm manufacturing a highly regulated process and in many ways turn the practice of doing so illegal.
First, the ATF sought to expand the definition of what a firearm is. The definition that the ATF says is currently in place is too narrow and does properly cover modernization of firearm builds and technology. In their rationale in order to properly police these weapons they must expand the definition of what a firearm is to stop the illegal trafficking of arms. Which ties into the claim they made that Polymer80 kits constitute as firearm because of the parts involved. Even, though it won’t work as currently shipped to the customer. Also, that your within your legal rights to manufacture a firearm for personal use.
Second, the wanted to expand what is a receiver on a firearm. They want to classify both the upper and lower receiver as firearm. So, you would have to do a background check for your upper and lower since all parts would be classified as a firearm meant to be regulated.
This proposed rule change has been hit with moderate resistance from the firearm industry and community. These proposed new rules have the ability to drastically reshape the firearms industry and greatly limit our ability to keep and bear arms in this nation.
ATF vs. Stabilizing Brace Redux
Just a little over a week ago the ATF proposed a new rule change on how stabilizing braces would be categorized. In the proposed new rule the ATF is attempting to: (1) limit what is consider a stabilizing brace for an AR Pistol (2) define what is a brace that is designed by shoulder (3) create a point system to decide what is a stablizing brace and what is an short barreled rifle (sbr)
First, the ATF is trying to limit the definition of what is consider a stabilizing brace snd what it isn’t. The bureau believes that the definition of a stabilizing brace is too permissive. Allowing for a stabilizing brace to be considered legit even though it does not function as a proper stabilizing brace. The ATF believe that definition should be more rigid and narrow and should pertain to the original approved designed of stabilizing brace by the ATF.
Second, with the narrowing of the classification by the ATF it will make certain AR pistol fall into SBR category.,With that transition to and SBR it would have to be regulated under the NFA. Which would force millions of Americans to register their rifles as SBRs. If the rule change happens it will turn potential millions of Americans into criminals until they register their firearms.
Third, the ATF seeks to create worksheet 4999, that assigns a numerical value to determine if a weapon has an stabilizing brace or a brace designed to be shoulder.
The point system will be broken down into two categories: Section II (Accessories) and Section III (Configuration of the weapon).
In both sections there will be criteria that gives more or less points based upon features and presentation. For section II those factors are: accessory design, rear Surface area, adjustability, and support.
Factors in section III are: length of pull, attachments, stabilizing brace configuration, and peripheral accessories. These factors are on a point system. Four or more points in each section will classify your firearm as an SBR. Which would need to be registered by the NFA. Four or less it would be consider a stabilizing brace for your AR pistol.
This is being met with intense blacklash from the firearms community in regards to stabilizing braces. The ATF has been unclear and indecisive on their policies in regards to the stabilizing brace. Making hard to understand what is legal and illegal. The ATF makes a determination on braces and changes course again. This is also currently up for comment on the proposed rule change.
As, we can see with all these cases is that the ATF is looking to set a legal precedence to shift firearm policies that are currently in place. The ATF is attempting to limit the scope of what you can legal own and what they deem needs deeper federal regulations. All, the cases stated here today are all precursors meant to strengthen those objectives. They wanted to see how the community would react and who would support their measures politically. The attack on Q Rifles, Polymer 80, Diversified Machine, and the proposed new policies was only the beginning of laying the foundations on what they seek to create.
The more they can deem illegal to own and regulate the ATF will. There end game is to limit what you can own and use the NFA as an ad hoc registry for firearms. Since they can legal create one per a Supreme Court ruling. Since the law will not assist their objectives they choose to circumvent the law through other means. Their goal is simple and clear: (1) deeper regulation and restriction of our rights to keep and bear arms. (2) Make the price of gun ownership expensive to discourage new ownership. (3) Burdening current owners with complex, expensive, and convoluted processes to stay in compliance with federal regulations. This is their endgame and goal.
As, a community we must understand our enemy to be better prepared to fight them. We must stand on a unified front and hold the line. If we back off, trip, or falter we will doom ourselves to tyranny and oppression by that of men and governments. As, I stared before, “You must know your enemy as you know yourself in order to defeat them.” So, let’s learn.
Hello, everyone and welcome to The Loadout Blog. The purpose of this website is to share educate, inform, and build a lasting culture around firearms. I want to create a hub of reliable, cohesive, and relevant material for today's shooter. I am seeking to appeal to all demographics so from the novice, to experienced, along with LE and military communities. I am here to be transparent and honest on all matters discussed or chronicled on this site. I will post content once a week at minimum or more often if time allows.
Now, a little bit about me. I served six years in the Marines Corps as an 0311. I was in 2nd BN 4th Marines, 5th Marine Reg, 1st Mar Div. I was in Golf Company while in 2/4. I was deployed twice during my time in. I did one deployment to Afghanistan and my second was on apart of 31st MEU. I departed the military in September of 2015. I currently work as an RSO at a local range in Vegas.
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