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Design of AR-15 could derail charges tied to popular rifle

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Aim1, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

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    From the article: "For decades, the federal government has treated a mechanism called the lower receiver as the essential piece of the semiautomatic rifle, which has been used in some of the nation's deadliest mass shootings. Prosecutors regularly bring charges based on that specific part.


    But some defense attorneys have recently argued that the part alone does not meet the definition in the law. Federal law enforcement officials, who have long been concerned about the discrepancy, are increasingly worried that it could hinder some criminal prosecutions and undermine firearms regulations nationwide.

    "Now the cat is out of the bag, so I think you’ll see more of this going on,” said Stephen Halbrook, an attorney who has written books on gun law and history. “Basically, the government has gotten away with this for a long time.”


    Screenshot_20200113-233738_AP News.jpg


    https://apnews.com/396bbedbf4963a28bda99e7793ee6366
     
  2. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    So every time you take a slide off a pistol it is no longer a handgun by their method of thinking??? The bolt, firing pin, etc missing makes the serial number part NOTa firearm?? Who do they think they are trying to convert over to that group think. The BATFE has definitions and regulates ready made recievers per the law. And 80%ers are just a fancy paperweight according to BATFE. They are trying to force all the parts to be numbered. Another one of the thousand cuts of the antis if this were to gain traction. Need to overturn these rulings or at least stop them in the future.
     
  3. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Their real intent is to get more of the parts to be declared as a firearm requiring them to have a serial number and transferred through a FFL dealer. By doing so they hope to limit the ability we currently enjoy with ordering parts and having them delivered to our door.

    Our enemies are shrewd and should not be underestimated.
     
  4. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    BINGO! We have a winner. No more calls please.

    You're exactly right on this one. They know that the existence of 80% lowers has the ability to totally undermine all of their gun control schemes-at least in the current iterations of the laws. This is why Pennsylvania is trying to treat them as actual firearms now. If they can serialize and track other major components (e.g. barrels, upper assemblies, etc.) on 4473 forms, they can rein in the 80% lowers as well.

    Think about it, if you have to buy your upper assembly components or at least your barrel (almost no one is going to be able to make a proper rifle barrel in their garage) from an FFL, which is on his bound book, using a 4473 and a NICS check, then there is no need to buy an 80% lower.

    This is all about knowing about, and their being able to account for, everything and their ability to legislate and exercise authority over everything.
     
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  5. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    From the article: "the lower receiver alone cannot be considered a gun." Can you imagine? Only a complete rifle is an actual gun. No more buying serialized, complete lowers. You'd still have to deal with the illegality of possessing a firearm with no serial number.
     
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  6. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Be careful what you wish for. If this reasoning prevails, we could end up with both the lower and the upper being serialized and regulated.
     
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  7. Aim1

    Aim1 Member

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    That would suck if you bought them from separate companies or times.

    Heck, even one manufacturer who made both but had to make matching serial numbers.
     
  8. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    So the article laments not being able to charge crimes to humans that have not broken any laws yet. If you are caught speeding with a rifle barrel or magazine spring in your car, they are sad they can’t charge you with a felony.

    Ridiculous. Like tattoo licensing. No number on your tattoo? Needs to come off then. Numbers got blurry over time? That sucks, oh well, out comes the belt sander...

    Why is it that you say what you say, how you say it?

    No one is wishing for this but the Freedom hating Antis.
    If some new law is passed, it will be oppression by force, not some wishful thinking gone wrong.

    You need to get out of the beltway more often. The PolitikSpeek is starting to take hold...:)
     
  9. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    I think that a smart defense attorney found a legal “flaw” that he exploited to defend his client - nothing more. The language of the law will require modification to include the AR design and life will go on.
     
  10. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

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    I think there could be trickle down ramifications for several other similar gun designs including some handguns like a 1911 etc.
     
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  11. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    My Ruger Mk II's pistols are serialized on the BARREL:, so the lower receiver is therefore not a firearm!:)
     
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  12. hq

    hq Member

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    The interpretation can be a slippery slope both ways. Before 1998 a sufficiently disassembled gun wasn't a gun at all around here. After that, the barrel and bolt were legally considered a gun. Nowadays - in case of an AR - it's lower, upper, barrel, barrel extension, bolt, bolt carrier etc. and any of them is "a gun" in legal terms.

    Not that I have a problem with preventing unsavory characters from obtaining or possessing firearms or their parts, but the hot water that may result in forgetting even an undeclared, legally owned AR bolt in your check-in luggage when you're traveling by air is way out of proportion.

    IMO the frame being "the gun" is not a bad principle. I've talked to Stephen a few times, more often than not over a glass of beer and very informally, and his deep, thoughtful insight in profound legal issues never ceases to amaze me. I'm sure he has several valid arguments to support the point he made here so this might be a basis for a very lengthy debate and discussion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  13. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Some people are thinking that if neither part (the upper or lower receiver) is "the gun," then no part is the gun. (Making designs such as the AR-15 totally unregulated.) I'm saying that more likely, both parts would end up being regulated. We're better off leaving the situation just as it is.
     
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Leaving the situation as it is but a clarification as to the legaly regulated part so the typical news babe might be able to understand things if one is pushed to think at all.:scrutiny:
     
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  15. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Why must the entire English nomenclature of firearms be change because of a group of ignorance, when it would be far more economical to simply educate them?
     
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  16. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Ever teach a worm to dance? You just annoy the two brain cells of a worm.:D If you can teach them and it sticks I'm all for it.
     
  17. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    No, they aren't.
    Ruger marks the receiver with the serial#, not the actual barrel. The barrel is a separate piece.
     
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  18. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    This.
     
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  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    ^^^^^^This would be a nightmare to implement at this point. No way to regulaye all those previously made uppers IMHO. Judges with unbiased common sence might be nice when ruling about 2A though.
     
  20. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    You can't clarify this in a consistent way. The regulated part of each gun has been determined over the years, on an ad hoc basis, by the ATF. For example, the FAL, HK, Thompson SMG, Ruger .22 pistol all have the upper as the regulated part, whereas the AR-15, AR-180, Daewoo, M1911 pistol all have the lower (or grip frame) as the regulated part. Browning MGs have the right sideplate as the "gun," and things like the M60 MG are totally confusing, with no single part taking the honors, but rather a whole assemblage of parts. On an M60, the location of the serial number controls, and that could be in a number of different places. (On some guns, you can replace the trunnion, on others you can replace the bottom channel, etc.) We just have to muddle through this confused situation as best we can.
     
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  21. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    It's not a matter of education, but a matter of fact.
    ATF regulations define what is or is not a firearm as well as what define receiver, rifle, shotgun, etc. Those definitions are being used in defense of persons being charged with crimes.

    All it takes is ATF rewriting the current definition of "receiver" using the rulemaking authority granted to them under federal law. All you old timers remember when bump stocks were not regulated, right?:scrutiny:
    https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations
    So, all those giddy at the prospect that AR lowers aren't really firearms.......be prepared for ATF to clarify the definition of Firearm/frame/receiver in the near future. You may not like the new definition.
    And for those thinking "huh, the US Attorney won't prosecute me because some other guys attorney made this argument that AR lowers aren't firearms..." Yeah, good luck with that. While you might make it far enough to have that argument made, you'll spend quite a bit of $$$$ in the process.
     
  22. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    Evidently I live under a rock, where are these people at?
    Are there actually multitudes that think a lower is not a firearm?

    Who are these people? Prophetic leftists? Thinking there is a problem is not the same thing as there being one.

    I read the “article”. All three paragraphs. I am not convinced.
    The fact that it took two humans to author it is laughable.

    I don’t know what other definition "the serialized piece” needs, but I’m sure it would be too ambiguous after that as well.

    (Understand that I’m not arguing against you, Tom. I just come to the ropes end at times, while they have seemingly endless amounts of rope, and yet don’t hang...:mad:)
     
  23. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    OK technically it would be the "upper receiver" to which the barrel is attached and not often removed as a separate piece.

    The Ruger manual lists the barrel and receiver as one piece assembly

    There is no serial on the frame with the fire control group as in other guns.

    Thanks for pointing out the minute clarification.

    https://ruger-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/_manuals/markII.pdf
     

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  24. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Using their logic - having an alcoholic beverage and having car keys and access to a car could be considered drinking and driving.
     
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  25. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    On nearly every gun forum when these articles make their monthly appearance.


    Yes.
    More than a few have never bothered reading one paragraph of federal law/ATF regulations.


    There are a lot of people ignorant of gun laws, not all are leftists.:what:

    Then read ATF regs and you and the judge will likely make the same conclusion.;)

    For starters, "the serialized piece" has no definition.
    ATF regs state what part(s) of a firearm must bear the serial#.

    Who is "they"?o_O
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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