Polymer80 was at the center of controversy as the Biden administration took aim at privately manufactured firearms (PMF). The number one maker of unfinished pistol frames in the world stopped selling its products after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) final rule surrounding what the Biden administration calls “ghost guns” went into effect on August 24th, 2022.
When Biden announced the ATF’s new rule redefining firearms, he held up a Polymer80 kit and demonized the popular products. Many view the new rule as an attempt to put the company out of business.
Polymer80 will no longer sell the complete unserialized kits to try to comply with what it calls the new “unconstitutional” rule. Before the ATF’s new rule, Polymer80 sold kits with an unserialized 80% frame, a jig, drill bits, rear rails, pins, and a locking block. After the rule went into effect, those kits are now considered firearms. It would be illegal to sell the kits without the frame being serialized and the buyer filling out a federal background check form (ATF Form 4473). Those style kits must also now be shipped to a federal firearms licensee (FFL) to complete the transfer.
Instead: Polymer80 will have three (3) build-you-own gun-kits options for buyers.
The first option would be for the buyer to purchase the unserialized 80% frame, pins, rails, and locking block without the jig or drill bits. The drill bits can be purchased at any hardware store. There are plenty of jigs floating around the community that a builder could get their hands on, or the buyer could simply print their jig using a cheap 3D printer. Online retailers place Ender 3 printers for sale for $199 and less at various times throughout the year.
The second option is for buyers to purchase the classic kit with one big exception. The frame will be serialized. The gun owner will need to have the kit sent to an FFL and pass a background check to complete the transfer. The paperwork might turn off some buyers who see this as defeating the purpose of buying a Polymer80. Others still like the challenge of building a firearm from an unfinished frame, and except for the widely available lower parts kit, this kit has everything a builder needs to complete the frame.
The third option is what Polymer80 calls a “Build Back Better” kit. The kit’s name is a shot at President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. This kit has everything a builder needs to produce a working firearm. This option gives the user everything in the serialized kit, but it also includes a slide assembly and an upper parts kit.
Most companies will not sell unserialized frames because it is a legal gray area. Several companies that AmmoLand News spoke to said they do not plan on returning the product to their lineup on the advice of their counsel.
Polymer80 seems sure that it can legally sell the frames. The Polymer80 announcement will test the waters and maybe clarify some of the rule’s ambiguity.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.