December 27, 2022
On December 27, 2022 the ATF issued an open letter to Federal Firearms Licensees clarifying Final Rule 2021R-05F. This rule is related to partially complete Polymer80, Lone World, and similar semiautomatic pistol frames. The rule essentially required that 80% lowers be serialized because they are “firearms” and allowing them to be produced without serial numbers was leading to “ghost guns.” Final Rule 2021R-05F went into effect on August 24, 2022.
Final Rule 2021R-05F attempted to define what a firearm was and was not, despite the ATF not having the constitutional authority to do so. The Gun Control Act defined what is and is not a firearm and did not give the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this regulatory authority. Yet now, the ATF is trying to claim this authority for themselves. This is another example of the executive branch usurping the legislative power of Congress.
After Final Rule 2021-05F went into effect in August, it became apparent that the rule only addressed the selling of complete kits and that companies could sell the 80% lowers without jigs, tools, equipment, instruction, or other materials needed to complete the 80% lowers.
According to the clarifying open letter issued on December 27, 2022, the ATF is now saying that even 80% lowers:
“have reached a stage of manufacture where they “may readily be completed, assembled, restored, or otherwise converted” to a functional frame. This definition of “readily” applies to each and every classification of a partially complete frame or receiver under this Rule, whether sold alone or as part of a kit. Therefore, even without any associated templates, jigs, molds, equipment, tools, instructions, guides, or marketing materials, these partially complete pistol frames are “frames” and also “firearms” as defined in the GCA and its implementing regulations, 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3)(B) and 27 CFR 478.12(a)(1), (c).”
This is just another example of the unconstitutional assault on our second amendment rights coming from the ATF and Department of Justice.