Leaks Show ATF Lied to Persecute Polymer80

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Internal ATF documents obtained by the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), once again and, to no one’s surprise, has completely reversed its own internal guidance in order to prosecute Polymer80, a company that manufactures gun parts and other non-firearms such as 80% frames and receivers.

ATF Raids Polymer80

In December of 2020, ATF raided the headquarters of Polymer80, claiming the company was illegally manufacturing and distributing firearms, failing to pay related taxes, shipping firearms in interstate commerce, and not conducting background checks for sales of its popular “Buy, Build, Shoot” or BBS kits.

These Buy, Build, Shoot kits include an unfinished “80%” handgun frame—which ATF has explicitly said does not constitute a “firearm” or the “frame or receiver” of a firearm under federal law—along with the remaining parts necessary to manufacture and assemble a functioning firearm.

Polymer80 obtained permission from ATF to sell a “compact” size 80% frame back in 2017. In its approval letter, ATF listed six frame “[m]achining operations or design features not yet present or completed” and stated that the compact P80 frame was “not a ‘firearm’ as defined by the GCA” or Gun Control Act of 1968.

After receiving a favorable ATF classification for its “compact” size frame, Polymer80 then sought approval from the ATF to sell virtually the same product, only this time as a slightly bigger “full size” 80% frame. ATF documents obtained by GOF-GOA tell the rest of the story.

In February of 2018, ATF refused to “render a classification” on the full-size Polymer80 frame, claiming that Polymer80 had not submitted a complete product. Of course, ATF only needed to classify the 80% frame, and had no statutory grounds for its refusal to do so. Still, ATF claimed that the 80% frame was “simply a component of a larger product” (including Polymer80’s jig, drill bits, and frame pins) even though the frame itself lacked the same six “[m]achining operations or design features” as the ATF approved compact model.

ATF’s Flawed Legal Theory

Why did ATF demand that Polymer80 submit a complete “standard pistol frame kit” instead of just an 80% frame? Oddly, ATF’s classification (or lack thereof) letter references not only the definition of “firearm” found in 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(3), but also the definition of a “handgun,” found in Section 921(a)(29)”:

“a ‘handgun’ is defined as ‘a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand’ and ‘any combination of parts from which a firearm . . . can be assembled.’”

ATF’s letter to Polymer80 claims that, while a P80 frame may not be a firearm by itself, when combined with other parts, the package somehow might be a “combination of parts from which a handgun … can be assembled.”

To our knowledge, this is the first time that ATF has made this sort of claim, grossly misinterpreting and misapplying Section 921(a)(29)’s definition of handgun. Indeed, ATF’s Polymer80 search warrant went even further, misleadingly quoting from the statute, leaving out the words “described in subparagraph (A)” and replacing them with an “…” ellipses.

On the contrary, the full statute reads as follows:

“(29) The term “handgun” means—

“(A) a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and

“(B) any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled” (emphasis added).

Contrary to ATF’s outlandish claim, a “handgun” as defined in Section (a)(29) is not another way for an item to be a “firearm” under Section (a)(3). If that were the case, then one would expect that language would be found in Section (a)(3). Instead, both parts of Section (a)(29) require that a weapon already be a firearm under section (a)(3) before it can be further classified as a “handgun” under section (a)(29).

In other words, how can an unfinished frame, which does not meet the definition of a “firearm”, nevertheless meet the definition of a “handgun” if every “handgun” must first be a “firearm”?

The short answer is that it can’t. ATF put the cart before the horse in its zeal to crack down on Polymer80’s products.

This convoluted definitional mistake shows us what ATF’s true intent is here. The agency wanted to ban Polymer80’s products, and obviously regrets having approved of the original Polymer80 frame. Thus, rather than blatantly reverse its original letter, ATF instead decided to pretend that unregulated Polymer80 frames magically become “handguns” when combined with other parts.

But, as explained above, ATF’s anti-gun agenda doesn’t jive with the statute Congress enacted.

ATF’s Second Flawed Legal Theory

Interestingly enough, by the time ATF published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Definition of “Frame or Receiver” and Identification of Firearms, it dropped this faulty “handgun” argument based on Section (a)(29), opting instead for a different faulty argument about the Section (a)(3) definition of “firearm.”

In the NPRM, ATF most recently argues that:

“Weapon parts kits such as these are ‘firearms’ under the GCA because they are designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.”

But this ATF claim is just as ridiculous as the last. How can Polymer80’s Buy, Build, Shoot kit be “readily… converted” into a functioning “weapon” without the 80% frame first being manufactured into a completed “frame”? And once it’s a finished frame, it’s already a “firearm” even before it’s assembled into a functional weapon.

In other words, an unfinished frame is manufactured into a “firearm” long before it becomes a complete “weapon,” meaning the addition of parts in a “kit” have literally nothing to do with when a Polymer80 becomes a firearm. Again, ATF’s logic defies reality and the text of the statute Congress enacted.

ATF’s 180 Degree Reversal on Firearm Parts Kits

But enough with the legal mumbo jumbo. Not only does ATF’s attack on Polymer80 violate the clear statutory text, but also ATF’s claims about Polymer80’s BBS kits are diametrically opposed to previously issued classification letters, which promise that it is perfectly legal to sell kits exactly like Polymer80’s Buy, Build, Shoot Kit.

As documents obtained by GOA/GOF show, in an August 16th, 2006 letter to a redacted company, ATF approved the sale of do-it-yourself gun “kits,” stating:

“your incomplete receiver was previously examined… and was classified as a non-firearm. Selling this item as a “kit” with blueprints, parts, etc., will not change this classification.”

Indeed, ATF agents saw fit to include “etc.” in their classification, insinuating that nothing—no matter what—you put in a “kit” along with an unfinished “frame or receiver” will change that classification.

This letter demonstrates that ATF’s attack on Polymer80 is a sham. The American people need look no further than this ATF classification letter to understand that Polymer80 was set up. Polymer80 did nothing wrong when they sold Buy, Build, Shoot kits and ATF’s own internal documents and interpretive guidance proves it.

ATF’s Reversal Leads to Absurd Results

ATF has completely reversed its prior interpretation of federal law about what constitutes a “firearm,” manufacturing a convoluted, nonsensical definition in order to persecute Polymer80. Where does that leave gun owners?

In a recent April 30th, 2021 letter, also obtained through the GOA/GOF FOIA request, ATF was asked to determine whether a 24-ounce metal water bottle is a firearm. Along with the water bottle, the requester submitted a sheet of paper explaining how a person theoretically could take the water bottle, purchase additional parts including a barrel and grill lighter, and turn the water bottle into a functioning firearm.

You might think that, in response, ATF would have simply stated the obvious – that this is a water bottle, not a firearm. Well, you would be wrong.

After conducting a technical examination of the water bottle, ATF reported that it “cannot classify whether the submitted [water bottle] is, or is not, a “firearm” as defined in the GCA or NFA.”

What???

According to ATF’s absurd reasoning, if a water bottle “was possessed with all the parts and instructions necessary to complete it into a weapon … this combination of parts could be considered a kit … and a firearm under the GCA or NFA.”

As a result of its silly new rules, ATF now finds itself unable to decide whether a water bottle is a gun. This is hardly what Americans deserve from an agency tasked with regulating their constitutionally protected rights. If ATF can justify banning water bottles, then how is an AR-15 or a Glock safe from the sticky hands of the government?

This article was written by Aidan Johnston, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America. Follow Aidan on Twitter @RealGunLobbyist.


Gun Owners of America

Gun Owners of America has previously supported the right of members and staff to carry firearms on Capitol Hill for self-defense, as GOA supports the rights of all law-abiding citizens to carry firearms in their workplace. Gun Owners of America is a grassroots organization representing more than two million gun owners nationwide and is dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise.

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ashort

All I can say is I am really disappointed in what this country is turning into. No turned into. Wow and these are the law enforcement agencies that are supposed to protect us and our rights. Now at this point who is supposed to protect us from them. I guess we as a nation need to invent a Cop to Police the Cops. if the government can make an illegal law enforcement agency where they do not even have the power to do so according to the constitution. then why can’t We The People create a law enforcement agency. To… Read more »

Deplorable Bill

I wish I could say I am surprised the atfe would lie about something but I am not. When you have a group of treasonous, tyrannical, terroristic, murderous, communist thugs who are backed by the U.S.government thinking they would lie (again) is not far fetched. Thinking they would set someone up or changing the rules in order to effect an attack on them is not irresponsible or unreasonable or un warranted. These are all things that EVIL PEOPLE DO. The atfe should be disbanded and their agents, along with anyone who has helped them or empowered them, should be arrested… Read more »

George

Every ATF agent should read Unintended Consequences and think about it.

Wild Bill

Good book, I have it on my shelf. The detailed history makes it worth the price!

Tionico

The P 80 folks should sue the ATF agents who have been personally acting agasintthem sue in official and personal capacities. As part of the evidence agasitnt them, subpoena the lot of them, sit each one down at a place on a long table, place one of the seized kits in front of each agent, then demand they assemble the kits into a working firearm, without leaving the room or bringing in any specialised tools. Small thin nose pliers, screwdriver, small tap hammer, etc Nothing more. One video camara on the other side of the table recording the entire process… Read more »

Wild Bill

The Federal Tort Claims Act will protect them from personal law suit.

Tionico

These clowns are not even worth the air they breathe, let alone wheir outrageous paychecks, wasting OUR tax money. I’d like to see what they would say about an eighty gallon propane tank being a firearm. Why? Because I was one “readily converted”” to BE a functioning firearm. It ws gimbal mounted, had a spud and valve to enable it to be filled with a standard shopair compressor. Top valve was replaced wiht a larger one inch valve, standard screw type, which then necked up into a shot of two inch steam pipe, threaded on bottom end where it attached… Read more »

Wild Bill

Tax on it as a destructive device, but, yes, we have the Right to own that, too.

Bill

Good Luck ever getting rid of the BATFE. Ford didn’t, Reagan didn’t, Bush didn’t, Bush#2 didn’t and Trump didn’t. So much for the track record of the supposed “gun Friendly” republican part!y!

musicman44mag

Very good point but I think the reason why is because it extends beyond silencers, bump stocks, 80 percenters etc. A revamp of what their job is would be much better because we do need an agency to track down terrorists and people doing straw purchases and monitoring gun sales and stores IMO. (Sorry). As far as how long a barrel is or if it has a suppressor on it or not should not be part of any equation. Some would extend that to fully auto too and I would argue that but if the current president is willing to… Read more »

Wild Bill

Tracking down terrorists is SUPPOSED TO BE the Fat Boy Institute.
Straw purchases and the statute that makes it a crime is unconstitutional.
Really monitoring gun sales? Why is that necessary?
Fully automatic firing weapons get you the Stingers, Javalins, and TOWs that negate the rotary and fixed wing assets that the President is going to use against you.

swmft

laws rockets too ,take out the armor plastic fantastic

musicman44mag

God you guys are up to date and smart on what is available. I find robots and AI what I spend my time studying. I am concerned about fighting enemy’s I cannot see because they are in another country or a robot that will die but not cost a life leaving others to operate or build more destructive machines with no real cost to flesh and bone. It’s all amazing but scary at the same time. Too bad we make things for war that could be used for good instead. For instance. The disabled person who has to pay to… Read more »

Wild Bill

Those weaps are used for good. We kill our countries enemies with them. That way you can make your own decision to mow your disabled neighbor’s lawn.

Wild Bill

Yes, LAWs, too!

musicman44mag

I knew my statement was not going to be popular but I am taking into consideration the point that we have had multiple republican presidents and the ATF is still here and that fact that cannot be denied. Looking at it from that standpoint only, which is the current situation and hasn’t changed, the only possibility to correct what is wrong is to castrate the bull to make it milder and then train him to see things your way in his docile demeanor. ATF will be easier to manipulate to the point that it is a nothing organization doing it… Read more »

Wild Bill

Allowed to have them?! Allowed!? WE HAVE TH RIGHT!
You can not buy a Stinger or Javelin from the government only because they won’t sell it to you. In a civil war, we will get them by ambushing our enemies and taking them.
The government will use its entire inventory to subdue us, if they decide to.

musicman44mag

Thanks for the clarification on who the president will attack and which weapons you think we should have. I say allowed because we can’t run down to our local gun shop and pick one up because they won’t permit it. There are a lot of things today that they feel they allow us to do and that reasoning is supported because they rule us, we no longer rule them. Our government is no longer by and for the people. Our government is now by and for the government.

I really thought you would like the castration comment.

Wild Bill

Ok, I see, but our Rights are still not a matter of allow or permit.

USMC0351Grunt

Track down straw pirchases? You mist have forgotten about Fast and Furious?

swmft

1986 act was reagan not pro gun at all

Russn8r

Also backed the Brady Bill.

swmft

brady got shot at the same time as reagan was his press secretary

Russn8r

I know. No excuse for violating everyone’s rights.

Russn8r

The solution is to bounce RINOs in primaries, not vote 3rd Party. “Libertarians” are purely general-election spoilers, ensuring DemCom wins. DemComs are a lot less gun friendly than Rs. And “Libertarians” want to flood the USA with folks who vote overwhelmingly DemCom. They would amnesty invaders and abolish borders & limits on legal immigration. I put “Libertarian” in quotes because Big L Party “Libertarians” are not true libertarians – who know that borders & limits on immigration are essential to property rights and sovereignty. Big Ls are effectively globalists and their polices are directly & indirectly socialist-redistributive-destructive.

Oldvet

Pretty sure that was the case with pero . Didn’t he help get clinton elected that way ?

Russn8r

Yep. Although Perot could’ve won if he hadn’t pulled out & jumped back in like a flake. Perot probably wouldn’t’ve run at all if RINO Bush hadn’t disgusted conservatives – lying about taxes & spending, banning “Assault Weapon” imports etc. Bush didn’t mind defeating himself since the globalist Bush crime family is tight with the globalist Clinton crime family. Both are tight with Newsmax owner Chris Ruddy, who backed ¡JEB! & “gave” $1 million to the Clinton Foundation. Wonder what the quid pro quo was.

Last edited 1 month ago by Russn8r
Russn8r

I see the LEO sock-vote posse is online.

Don

NO ONE will get rid of the ATFE. They are a tax collection agency that brings in billions of dollars each year.

AJChwick

“Leaks Show ATF Lied to Persecute Polymer80”
Jackbooted thugs, as they have been called, do what thugs do … Lie, Cheat, and Steal.

Wild Bill

And have a long history of it. I remember when I was in HS, a highway patrolman in Ill. or Ind. was accused of having a full auto firearm without paying the tax. The defense attorney, in open court, forced the ATF lab tech to admit that the firearm would not go full auto until he modified it.
That was in 1974! So ATF has been at the lie, cheat, defraud the courts, and steal game for a long time!
Oh, and welcome to the site!

The Crimson Pirate

Lawfare.

When laws are unjust disobedience is virtue.

Bill

I pray that the ATFs rules are or will be, on appeal. They are simply doing what is politically expedient under Biden! This is nit law, but personal decision!

Montana454Casull

If we ever get a real president maybe he or she would have the backbone to do away with the unconstitutional BATF and thier deceptive practices . The poser we have now not only lacks a spine but he also is a brainless wonder ! Let’s go Brandon #FJB

Wild Bill

I am hoping for deterioration health, before he is impeached. That way we only have to impeach Kamala.

Norm

Impeach the VP first and replace her with an intelligent person. Keep her away from the first seat. Then FJB can decline further into uselessness and we won’t have the cackler as pres.

swmft

I dont think progressives would let us put a independent or republican in, so where are you going to find intelligent democrat? ,kind of an oxymoron dont you think?

musicman44mag

LOL, love that one.

Tionico

oxymoron fits well, but it is easier and quicker to just leave off the “oxy” part. Fits better, too.

totbs

Except that Speaker of the House is next in the line of succession.Currently, it’s a three-fer…

swmft

mid terms should get rid of her

musicman44mag

That is something I will definitely pray for.

Wild Bill

The problem with that is that the President would get to choose the replacement, … or rather the Biden handlers would get to choose the replacement.
Some how they both have to go before they do more damage to the world.

Oldvet

I may be miss remembering but I believe I read that the speaker of the house did not have to be a congress person to be elected . I’m thinking who ever I was reading was touting electing Trump to the speaker after the mid terms . Anyone know for sure ?

swmft

supreme court justice does not have to be a lawyer but good luck with that

Oldvet

No I was talking about speaker of the house

Buckshot

You are correct. There is nothing in the relevant section of House rules saying the speaker has to be a member of the House.Just that they are chosen by members of the House.

Oldvet

Thanks

Wild Bill

Might have been some goofy Norska.

Tionico

Don’t even bother to impeach.Take after her by way of the US COnstitution.. the qualifications for President remove her from ability to soserve. Her parents were NOT US citizens, either one, at the time of her birth. One was a British USubject, being born and raised and citizen of Jamaica, the other was born raised and a citizen of India. Neither of those places sound lie American places of birth. That was NOT Jamaica, New York, nor India Oklahoma. Thus she, not being a Natural Norn Citizen, cannot sit as Presaident. Interestingly that alaw does not seem to apply to… Read more »

Wild Bill

Drew her first breath … where?

Oldvet

WB… If memory is correct neither parent was a citizen . Don’t know how the anchor baby would play in.

Wild Bill

Jus Soli. The “Law of Soil”. One is a citizen of the country upon whose soil you were born.

Don

But Harris WAS born in the USA, and that counts. Her parents nationality doesn’t matter.

Desert Rat

It doesn’t matter where she was born. The determining factor is that her parents were not U.S citizens at the time of her birth. If Biden finally drowns in his own drool, she cannot ascend to the presidency. For that reason she is not technically eligible to be V.P. either but don.t expect the Dem/commies to let that interfere with their plans to destroy this country. The Republicans are no champions of the Constitution either or Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindahl would not have made a run because they are not eligible. Kamala is proof though… Read more »

Wild Bill

I am pretty sure that if Harris were born on U.S. soil, then she meets the “natural born citizen” requirement. Please see Article II, section 5, U.S. Constitution.

Orion

and you are correct.

Wild Bill

Thanks O.

Wild Bill

Unfortunately not, but you correctly describe the way that it should be. Jus Sanguines only.

Wild Bill

You are quite correct. It is a law that the U.S. should get rid of, and just go with Jus Sanguinus.

swmft

kind of wonder if he disappears from site so they can load a zipdrive with new stupid stuff on it so he seams to be alive

Last edited 1 month ago by swmft
musicman44mag

Makes me think of an episode of Star Trek where the furor was dead and they had him in a room doing a speech but there was a large microphone in front of him where you could not see his mouth move.

swmft

Disney has gotten better at animatronics

musicman44mag

Lol, you are hot today. Thanks for the laugh. You are making me think of the person on this board, cant remember who, that keeps calling others sock puppets. Every time I see that I think of obiden with someone’s arm up his XXX making his lips move. LOL

Wild Bill

He’ll be on you, now,

Oldman

He is not out of bed yet..But it is coming soon to a theater near you…LOL

swmft

i like disney analogy better, dont need to wear gloves , all i see with sock puppets is the shoulder gloves the vets wear to help in birthing

musicman44mag

It amazes me how far the vet can go up a horses XXX to feel around if they are pregnant or not and feel for blockages. That’s how we found out my horse had a tumor. What’s scary is that the horse can drop its hind end and break their arm.

Tionico

episode of Star Trek where the furor was dead

this cracked me up. I’m sure you meant “fuhrer” as in rotten old Adolf. But “furor” works very well in this case. Thanks for the good laugh.

While Joey nor the Kamelnose are anything approaching a “feurher” type, they both are “furors”. And they both tend to make manyo of us
fur-ious.

musicman44mag

Lol, I didn’t catch that but you caught my drift. Loved the play on words at the end. Good deal.

Bill

Never Happen!

Bill

Good idea! #3 in the line of succession is …….Nancy Pelosi!

musicman44mag

I almost went the same direction and posted the same statement as you but then I re-read it and figured if we had a new VP and then uncle joe croaked we would the VP become president. Pelosi would only come into play if both the current liar and thief and the VP were gone at the same time.

Wild Bill

We just have to take the House and Senate from the marxist socialists in this next election. McCarthy becomes Speaker and third in line, then impeach and convict whomever is P and VP.
If things keep going as they are our capital will be Peking.

musicman44mag

I know that, what I don’t know is how are we going to stop them from cheating especially when judges refuse and the supreme court doesn’t see the writing that is clearly on the wall.

swmft

problem is judges that wont protect us

musicman44mag

or follow the constitution just like the person the left is trying to confirm now.

Wild Bill

All it would take is a memo because Congress did not create the BATFE. A memo from the Sec Treas created ATF so a memo can take them out.

Son of Waylon

This was a experience to enjoy at home, things were all good……until these gang affiliates and other degenerates found out about these, and started using them for crimes!!!! You can thank these turds for this

Wild Bill

Yeah, and now criminal gangs are coming into CA. on tourist visas to commit thefts and then go home! Criminals around the world have heard about CA and NY not prosecuting criminals. How bad does it have to get?

swmft

what visas?you know better than to think they would bother with that wb. They fly to mexico cross border are flown to city of their choice at our expense set up ebay and other sites to sell what they steal and send the money home through the big banks

Last edited 1 month ago by swmft
Wild Bill

Well, I only mention it because the smash and grab group that were caught, yesterday, were all from Chile and came in to this country on US State Dept issued tourist visas.
But, yes, millions of criminals are coming into our country with no documents at all. FJB and get back to building that wall.

swmft

it would be funny if it weren’t so sad

Last edited 1 month ago by swmft
swmft

there was a group of zetas that robbed jewelry suppliers in florida when obummer was president they were supposed to be in us for training visas were for actual soldiers ,if i remember right they were kidnapped and killed dumped on street in Cozumel

Doc

I purchased a supressor for my Daniel’s Defense SBR in 2020 through a very well known and reputable company. I am still waiting for the “Tax Stamp!” I can see why now as the ATF is more concerned with chasing ghosts (pun intended) then doing the work they are commissioned to do. I only hope the Stamp arrives before the thing has to go into my estate. I would at least like to see it assembled before they “pull the plug” on my breathing machine.

DIYinSTL

What month? It’s been over 9 months for me and I don’t dare show my face at a school board meeting until my stamp comes in.

musicman44mag

Crazy

musicman44mag

They have your money, they have your name. Nothing else in their opinion needed. It’s on there records until you need to prove that you have been approved then they will have lost it or it will have never existed.

swmft

they are too busy attacking form 1 people to look at commercial stuff

Wild Bill

Don’t tell the ATF that, then they will wait you out.

musicman44mag

Man, awaiting approval again. Is jackassness a new catch word?

swmft

I think so. the thing I dont get a gun out of a water bottle ? All I could figure a silencer would be too obvious, see how stupid they really are

Last edited 1 month ago by swmft
musicman44mag

If this is not political, I don’t know what else is. It’s an 80 there for it is not a pistol. Obiden comes in. Oh, we are changing the definition so it is so vague and convoluted we can turn it into anything we want and apply it in the same manner. Why, because we need the government bucks to support our agency, obtaining more employees and pensions. The complete kit, minus the work, is a firearm is complete and udder jackassness. If so, put it together and fire it without doing the machine work and stop saying you can… Read more »

Wild Bill

Changing definitions or the argument is a common ploy.

Green Mtn. Boy

A agency that is not Constitutional authorized making rules that is the domain of congress and enforcing a un Constitutional law, what could go wrong.

swmft

the idiocy is beyond me , we need a president that will have a national televised speech where he presents this and signs papers dissolving atf on air no warning and directs justice department to investigate and arrest anyone who violated title 18

Wild Bill

And take away their Gov phone, badge, and office keys.

swmft

and car, how wrong is it they are paid more than average people and get all these perks too. once upon a time government jobs did not pay, they only had benefits, now they are driving US to poorhouse

Last edited 1 month ago by swmft
Wild Bill

Yes, and GOV!