ATF Confiscating Drop In Auto Sears

By Jeff Knox

Registered Drop In Auto Sears, RDIAS
Registered Drop-In Auto-Sears, RDIAS ; ATF says this is a machinegun because it can be used to convert a gun into a machinegun – but it only works in guns that ATF says are already machineguns,,, So this device is illegal because it can convert a machinegun into a machinegun. IMG : Quarterbore.com
FirearmsCoalition.org
FirearmsCoalition.org

Manassas, VA –-(Ammoland.com)- Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or ATF, have begun confiscating gun parts known as drop-in auto sears, or DIAS.

A DIAS is a simple toggle device which, when installed in an AR-type rifle, along with several other critical fire-control parts, can convert a semi-auto AR into a full-auto assault rifle. 

The devices were originally unregulated, but in 1981 ATF declared them to be machineguns if possessed in conjunction with the other parts needed to make a conversion, but the agency made their new determination apply only to DIAS’s manufactured after November 1, 1981.  Now ATF is apparently using the records of a man who openly sold the devices for decades to track down purchasers and take their property as contraband – with the real possibility of then prosecuting those people.

One of the reasons gun owners tend to be completely opposed to the passage of any new gun laws – no matter how innocuous or reasonable seeming – is the erratic history of interpretation and enforcement of the current gun laws.  This is also why I cringe every time I hear someone who supposedly supports gun rights – from politicians to the head of the NRA – calling for the feds to “enforce the laws already on the books.” The fact is, the gun laws that are already on the books are a labyrinth of confusion and booby-traps full of open-ended mandates, ambiguous definitions, and unbridled bureaucratic discretion.  Many innocent people have had their lives and livelihoods completely destroyed when federal agencies have decided to “enforce the laws already on the books.”

The law that was on the books up until 1981 said that a DIAS was just a chunk of metal unless it, along with at least 3 other “full-auto” parts, was actually installed in a gun without prior ATF approval.  Then in 1981, ATF bureaucrats, at their own discretion and under their own authority, redefined them as machineguns, but in their decree, they included the following exception:

“With respect to the machinegun classification of the auto sear under the National Firearms Act, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 7805(b), this ruling will not be applied to auto sears manufactured before November 1, 1981.  Accordingly, auto sears manufactured on or after November 1, 1981, will be subject to all the provisions of the National Firearms Act, and 27 C.F.R. Part 179.”

For the following 30+ years, it was widely understood that any DIAS manufactured prior to November 1, 1981, was “grandfathered”  and not subject to the rules regulating machineguns, and that it could be legally possessed so long as the possessor did not also possess either an AR15 rifle into which the auto sear could be installed, or the other necessary M16 conversion parts.  The belief in the legality of DIAS possession was so prevalent that a variety of sources continued publicly selling drop-in auto sears that they claimed were manufactured before ATF’s arbitrary cutoff date.  Such DIAS’s were widely known as “Pre-81 Drop-In Auto Sears” and were routinely advertised in various firearms publications and on-line auction sites.

In 1986, the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act was passed with an amendment forbidding the future civilian transfer of any machinegun manufactured after May 19, 1986.  There was also a provision strengthening the definition of machinegun to include any part designed or intended exclusively for the purpose of converting a gun into a machinegun.  These two provisions meant that possession of a DIAS – even without a gun to put it in or the other needed parts – was a felony, and that a DIAS could only be legally registered by someone specially licensed to manufacture machineguns for the military and law enforcement – and then could only be possessed by a military or law enforcement agency.

The belief that pre-81 DIAS’s were exempt continued in spite of a ruling in 1998 from the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit which declared that the ATF did not have the authority to “grandfather” or exempt pre-81 DIAS’s.  That determination was not widely reported, nor was there any apparent effort on the part of ATF to enforce the ruling.  In May of this year, the determination of the 7th Circuit was echoed, and expanded upon by judges in the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.  I wrote a column at the time warning that not only DIAS’s, but a variety of other firearms and devices that have long been understood to be fully legal, are actually completely illegal (at least in those Circuits) and that the owners of these devices everywhere are in jeopardy.

The fact that the same conclusion has been reached in two different Circuits means that it is very likely that the other Circuit Courts will follow the same line of reasoning and reject any claims of exemptions based on prior ATF determinations.

Now it appears that ATF might be endeavoring to expedite that process as I am aware of attempts by the agency to locate and confiscate pre-81 DIAS devices in the jurisdictions of both the 1st Circuit and the 3rd Circuit.

Thousands of people are now at extreme risk for possessing Drop in Auto sears that ATF has explicitly told them it is legal for them to have.

Confiscations of drop-in auto sears could be just the tip of the iceberg, as ATF could start going after other “grandfathered” items such as open-bolt MAC and KG type pistols, Browning “G Series” Light Rifles, and certain other guns and devices.  Anyone who owns one of these devices should seek qualified legal counsel immediately.  Anyone who is contacted by ATF inquiring about such devices should refer them to counsel and also contact The Firearms Coalition to let us know about it.

As I have said before, while the rhetoric surrounding gun control always talks about targeting criminals and public safety, the reality is that enforcement of these laws is always aimed at regular gun owners whose only crime is believing that they are committing no crime.

The target of gun control isn’t criminals, it’s us.  The objective of these laws is to make us criminals and make lawful gun ownership too difficult and dangerous to attempt.

About:
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org

  • 32 thoughts on “ATF Confiscating Drop In Auto Sears

    1. From looking at the picture above, the drop in auto sear looks fairly simple. Maybe something that can be produced with the new 3D printer technology, or easily turned out as an “80%” part on a CNC machine.
      Flood the market. Render the BATFEces artitrary decision useless. Scare the Big Gubbment gun grabbers out of their panties.

      1. I only have one thing to say. The Fed’s can’t control their own activities. They handed millions in Machine Guns over to the gun Cartel that’s to the sliminess of Eric Holder. Read about his past and Obama’s and you’ll see why we have a statue of MLK being patronized even to the point of being a Deity. Here we have a ma that ran with a Black Panther Type group. He was responsible for holding up a section of the Columbia U area for over a week carrrying of all things in NYC but a pistol and he gets a position Attorney General. How many machine guns do you think went into the Banditos hands. I know a few weeks ago a farmer on the border in Texas held up and was killed by the Freako Bandito’s. The police were able to take him down and when they checked the serial number it was one of the weapons handed over by Holder. So as far as I’m concerned if your protecting me and giving millions away to the criminals, and I don’t believe just the Jumpin Beans dipped into the pot. I believe Negro activists that were linked to Holder and Obama go a cut and now you expect me to lay down my arms so you can mow down my family just because they are white, brother your stupider then Obama & Holder look together. We have politicians in are congressmen, senators, all walks of political careers that haven’t a clue how a fire arm works. What needs to be done is Us Red Blooded Americans are sick and tired of the Bull Shit! Over the winter of 14-15 I call upon our Veterans firstly and even call upon active duty to dump taking orders from a C&C who has done nothing more than dereliction of his duties by going around the backs of our House and Senate to use a dictatorial means to by pass the the proper way to pass a bill according to our constitution. The last draw is the challenge for pushing an Amnesty Bill which I don’t see being approved by House and Senate. I do see his Narcissistic over inflated ego over ride the law as he’s done before and that would be in the spring. Plenty of time to organize a lethal single party. Maintain and organize a single party so we can get things done in the Government run buy some one who grew up on the gang ridden streets of one of the worst Negro Ghetto’s. The only thing left was a small community where I lived in a 3 story row house. 1st Floor was occupied and used as a Chinese Laundry. We lived on the second floor. I shared one bedroom with my 2 brothers and my sister got her own of course.The third floor my Grandfather and my Grandmother and my Fathers Brother lived there. They ran a Bar and Grill. My Grandma did the cooking and we hired some chef for special occasions like Thanksgiving. Being the neighborhood was Italian for the most part the meal included Antipasta and we’d start with Pasta in Marinara sauce.My Grandma unfortunately passed away when I was 5 years old. I always had certain powers to look into the future. I did see it as it was happening from home. They wouldn’t let kids in the hospital. My Grandfather was a great man. he took it well. We still had the lot where we kept the horses because we had a Taxi with Horse and Buggy and we had a Grocery food store and my Grandfather would deliver. His Mothers husband died before I was born. He was always trying to be an entrepreneur. He was not related to my Grandfather or his Brother and was dead before my birth. He was always looking for legit ways to turn a buck. My Grandfather would never mention his real Fathers name in Italian but in English he would.I asked him what Italy was like. He would say it was nice and his Father had lambs but that’s as far as the topic got before he’d change the topic. Well his Mother stayed in the Apartment over the bar with her 2 sons to protect her.She came from a long line of high ranking Army Officers and were always close to the Kings. I have done genealogy but some names were kept secret. My Great Grandmother was proud of the Sword that hung on the wall in our small living room. It was quite old and designed to honor him for carrying out a mission that the King held close to his heart. You see Italy was ran by small Kingdoms. Many were simply passed down for hundreds of years while others were bestowed to them for carrying out a difficult battle like the one my GreatGreatgreat Grandfather carried out at the request of King Vittorio Emanuele. Italy was an Ununited Nation. They had what was called Feudalism. Each small Provence was ruled by a King who the people worked for. They would even go to battle with one another if there was the smallest of disagreements between the towns they would go to War. The people were at the MERCY of the King. If he needed more money he would raise the taxes. There was a bold leader who grew up as a peasant and didn’t like the idea of taxing the food from the peasants plates. The King of all of Italy did not like the great disparity between the Kings and his people. Out of this turmoil was one man who was ready to put his life on the line. He found a large amount to follow him. They only wore red Shirts. A pretty good target but a sign of being brazen. The leaders name was GARIBALDI and the followers were known as the RED SHIRTS. When he found out about this Rebel Army he called my Great, Great, Great Grandfather. He said he wanted him to bring as many men he needed to succeed the battle. He then said take all of the Guns and ammo. They took cannon and anything they needed. The battle went on day and night. Teh King worried he’d loose but he fought on as a brave King would. He even sent his son to the rear ranks but he insisted to be on the Front line. It wasn’t long after he was wounded in both legs. He was treated. The Physicians could only say it was a miracle. They said that the Lord gave them all winning strength and they kneelet for now the could pass the Resurgemente. Meaning now the King of the entire Italia ran the country and no longer would those not selected be chosen on merit and not puppet behavior. The story of how my Grandfather is much like a legend but every word is documented truth.My Grandfathers Step grandfather told both boys that they were to never tell anyone or our family or we would all be sent back to Italy including us 4 grandchildren and my Mother who is Norwegian. I had and still dream frequently of these spurs that edge me on and go on until the story is complete. I would have to stop now because the hour grows late. I wish there was some way to know if you want me to go on in the future as your leader? If I had your support I know you would see the Lord in my soul. You can comment I don’t care if the servers start to sweat. So right to me because this story has more aspects with my Dad and his Brother as well as me and.
        PART I AND MY FAMILIES WINNING RESURGEMENTE -A NEW NATION FOR WE THE PEOPLE!

        1. Man your a retard . You remind me of drug dealers on meth that won’t shut up . Your not that interesting and nobody cares about your life story skank!

    2. Like the author, it makes me cringe to here, ” enforce the laws already on the books.” The best thing is to catch the criminals and not the good guys. A good guy is always a good guy, no matter what he owns. As former military & law enforcement, someone hunting with 5 shells in a shot gun was no big deal to me. He can feed in a shell after each time he fires anyway and that is a dumb law. Now some criminal killing people with 5 in the chamber is a big deal. There is a fine line between common sense and stupidity. A hunter out there, needing 5 quick shots to feed his family is not hurting anyone. Common sense to me was always, most gun laws are made for criminals. If someone is out there doing something in the gray area and not intending to hurt anyone, I didn’t see it as a crime. Our jails are full. We need to make sure they are full with bad guys and not half the good guys. We do nothing for society when we lock up the wrong people and nothing gets accomplished. You only piss off a good guy for life and make an enemy you can ill afford. I would not work in today’s law enforcement because I was the Andy Griffith type.

      1. I couldnt agree more.prohibition only tends to increase the profitability of putting weapons into the hands of the people it is supposed to prevent possessing them.

    3. ALL gun laws are anti-constitutional and should be repealed. Anti-2nd amendment creep! ATF, DHS, should be defunded and inactivated. I agree with B.Woodman!

    4. “Reasonable” regulations stand as the most serious threats to our liberties. Free speech zones … carry permits … Firearm owner identification cards … ATF regulations … ad nauseum.

      Every instance of a government’s abusive act directed toward a citizen or group of citizens of that government has been deemed justified and has been accomplished by “due process” through the implementation of “reasonable” regulations.

      Every dang one of us has got to learn to say, “I’ve had Enough! I refuse to comply!” The feds do not have enough jail cells or thugs to force compliance.
      [W3]

    5. hi jeff, thank you and everyone who gave me help with my dias problem i did speak with the lawyer you sugesteted but i found one close to me and very inexpensive, when i talk with him this week i will ask if its ok to give out his info on the site he has amost simple solution , thanks again tom

      1. If you’re really worried about having your DIAS then simply stop telling everyone about it, and throw it out in the trash. Problem is solved. It really is that simple.

    6. I can’t begin to tell you how sick this makes me, all gun bans are a complete infringement of of rights. I’m a law abiding citizen with a full time job and a productive member of our once great society. I feel these gun bans are just obscene. If I want to buy an assault rifle or parts like drop in auto sears I should be allowed. A guns a gun!!! Regardless if it has full-auto capability. I feel I need to step up and be heard. The only way to be able to even be within throwing distance of one is dealer samples or join SWAT or the military. I’m tried of this BS!!!

      1. I totally agree with you David. Tired of even having to see this kind of crap in the news, on the web, et al. Some day everything will be made right.

        1. That day may be coming sooner than you thought. These bureaucrats should start looking behind them because the swamp they work in is starting to drain out. I would hate to see them loose their high paying jobs and huge pensions but worse things have happened to those of us who are not government employees. The people rule in America. These g-men are about to re-learn that. I really hope it does not hurt them too much. Well, maybe just a little. Stay tuned folks. Plenty will be happening very soon.

    7. I noticed everyone read it but noone is bringing up the fact that this is part of the NRA’s fault.
      Most gun owners are tricked or berated into believing they are fighting for your rights….. They are fighting for nothing expect to get richer. It sickens me to see gun shop owners and friends throw tons of money at the so called NRA only to see countless more gun laws passed. State after state falls to government gun grabs while more and more law abiding owners join and throw money at the NRA in a long lost hope that there is still something they can do for them. The NRA may have been formed with good intentions but the road to hell is paved with the same thing. Their stickers and hats they sent out are nothing more than markers for gun owners. There are plenty of small groups that are doing and have done more in the past 10 years for gun owners than the NRA has in its whole of years. I urge people to find and support a local gun rights groups and drop these over paid under worked lobbyist that are responsible for helping the government right more gun rights laws by making you believe they are the only ones fighting for your rights. NRA is to gun rights as the NAACP is to civil rights.

    8. I ordered one of the auto sears, 3 weeks ago, haven’t got it yet. Maybe I should send it back when it comes in, and not open the package . I do not want to go to jail for a hobby. Looks like if it was a federal crime to own them. how can a person make and sell them and not get arrested ? Maybe we are getting the Chicken Little complex.

    9. Reference the picture of the golden looking DIAS. A registered DIAS is a registered machine gun. It can legally be installed in any number of AR-15 host type guns because no modification to the serial numbered receiver is required. There’s nothing all that special about it. The same is true for lightning links, FNC sears and other devices made and registered before ’86 that can be used to make certain specified guns fire full-auto. The device is not illegal because it doesn’t convert anything – by definition, the RDIAS IS THE MACHINEGUN!

      1. Here’s where you’re wrong. . . What you say actually makes sense, and that’s wrong, because Government. Boom I just burned your petunias!

        1. I work for the Government myself and so does my brother. right before I started the job he told me “one thing you got to know about the government is that if it makes sense you’re doing it wrong” which confused me at first but I now understand what he was saying and what you said reminded me of that

      2. Don’t forget about the UZI slotted bolts that IMI used to make. These slotted uzi bolts were just drop in type of conversion items that transformed any semi-auto UZI into a full auto UZI SMG model. Functioned in theory similar to the DIAS for AR rifles. Nowadays though the last time I saw a registered slotted UZI bolt for sale on GunBroker.com it was selling at over $11,000 bucks and had over 40 bids on it. I don’t own an UZI but if I did I’d try to get one of those FA bolts. I have only seem a handful of them ever for sale even when I had my gun shop. They were still full and far between.

    10. Hi how are you I would like to order the following item;
      Product Drop-In Auto-Sears ,I am a member of NCRRA in Ottawa,Canada
      how much is it cast $ To canada.please don’t hesitate to contact me
      ;
      thank you

      Haydar Al-assadi

    11. Study the history of the English colonies on the North American continent that happened on April 19th, 1775. The day soon cometh that this “history” shall repeat itself. As the good book says, “Let those who have been warned warn their neighbors”. Keep yer powder dry folks……

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