ATF’s New ‘Ghost Gun’ Rules Are as Clear as Mud

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s’ (ATF). Finalized the “ghost guns” ruleCody Wilson surprised, the head Ghost Gunner. CNC mills are used to turn incomplete firearm receivers into finished firearms. These firearms have no serial numbers, and can therefore be called ghosts. As he expected, there would be an exclusion on the so-called 80 percent receivers. This would mean that his Ghost Gunner 3 which can transform a piece of metal into an AR-15 rifle receiver is the only remaining option. The new rules took a great deal of his time to understand and were able to target the very basic needs of the DIY market.

Well, maybe. Some industry professionals are unsure what the rules actually mean. Manufacturers, vendors, and anyone trying to define legality face huge difficulties.

Wilson said over the telephone that it looked like there was still room to sell 80 percent receivers. Wilson also mentioned how determination letters were still available. They are not grandfathering these determinations, however. [about the legality of existing products]They are saying everyone has to submit again.

Wilson thinks they want to keep the Polymer80 Kit from evolving again. It’s clear. This reemphasis is more about Polymer80.

In its April 11th “The White House” speech, the White House implied that such a focal point was being considered.Fact SheetThe rule was published before publication.

The new rule was announced at the press conference by the president. It appeared that the display included a Polymer80One of these kits ReasonMark McDaniel Used to build a gun in 2018.. But such all-you-need-minus-a-few-parts kits aren’t the only way to go. Separately, I purchased an aluminum AR-15 receiver and jig as well as parts needed to build a rifle by drilling, milling and assembly. Project featured in an additional ReasonArticleIn 2021. Another option is to use one Wilson Ghost Gunner machine. You could also use readily available designs to create a firearm using 3D printers. Then there’s the multitude of people who can make whatever they like using standard tools in their home. These approaches are legal at federal level, according to ATF’s plain reading.

According to the document, “ATF maintains and will continue to maintain that an incomplete frame or receiver is not a receiver or frame if it requires performing certain machining operations such as milling the fire control cavity from an AR-15 blank or billet, or indexing that operation), because it might not be complete to house the relevant fire control components.” 

ATF states that any partial frame, receiver or template could be indexed to show where it is to drill or combined with another partially completed frame or receiver. Unfinished receivers, minus clear markings and accessories, would still be viable. Ghost Gunner is a unique advantage. Wilson sees a gap in the ATF’s stricter regulations, but states with tighter laws than Wilson do not believe are at risk.

I would suggest that they keep an 80 percent market space, and not allow anyone to purchase a basic kit. Then the Zero-Percent conversation turns into a discussion about state levels on 80s. New Jersey, Connecticut, and other placesWilson explained to me that the feds have ban unfinished receivers. Wilson said, “I assumed that the feds would shut that door. I am just shocked to discover that they are not.”

Not everyone is sure that ATF rules will allow the 80 percent existing receiver market to keep operating. The reason is that the ATF rules dump their old guidance on unfinished components and creates new terminology without testing. Federal bureaucrats are left with a lot of interpretation to do.

“You gotta remember that that’s in their Q&A section,” Matthew Larosiere, policy counsel attorney with Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), cautioned me by phone about the language that seems to leave space for partially complete frames and receivers. The rule refers to partially finished receivers that can be’readily manufactured’ or converted into complete firearms.

Larosiere pointed to the fact that “readily” is a different word. This is because we only have one definition: incomplete receivers, who are not ‘fairly efficient’,’reasonably quick’, and ‘easy’ to turn into firearms, are considered firearms. We don’t know their current position. We do know that all prior guidance regarding incomplete frames and receivers has been canceled by them. Larosiere stressed that the ATF included in their holistic definition of “readily convertible frames or receivers” the availability of instructions, tools and parts from the same vendor.

“The purpose of these rule-makings should be to clarify the law,” said he. “And I don’t think there is any clarity here.”

Everyone can find something. DoesConsensus: New gun rules will eventually be challenged in the courts. According to the ATF, “Based upon the opposition received to this rule there is a reasonable probability that it will face litigation challenges.” Wilson and Larosiere agree that there will be a “lot of people” who sue. Due to the fact that people who have a deep understanding of firearms laws and other applicable laws can give different interpretations of government language, it is likely that courtroom drama will be necessary in order for someone to figure out exactly what these words mean.

ATF’s final rule takes effect 120 day after it was published in the federal register. It also mandates permanent records retention by licensed gun dealers, rather than allowing disposal after 20 year as previously. The mark requirements are modified to allow for serial numbering and predicts that there will be a greater market for privately-made firearms. This rules update has left a lasting legacy. It issued hundreds of pages worth of firearms regulations, leaving experts in the field confused and unsure of their interpretation.