The concept of a “solvent trap” kit is about as subtle of an end run around the National Firearms Act as “bath salts” are an end run around the Controlled Substances Act.

Companies manufacture the kits ostensibly as a tool to catch solvent and other slimy materials dripping out of the barrel of your gun during the cleaning process. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see that a couple minutes with a drill (or a couple rounds of AP ammunition) would put a hole through the trap and turn it into an honest to God silencer. Perhaps not a very good one, but serviceable.

For years the ATF has said that solvent traps are legal to produce and possess, but as soon as they are re-designed to allow a bullet to pass through them the traps become illegal unregistered silencers (unless a Form 1 is approved and the silencer is registered).

Sometime around the time Donald Trump was elected the ATF appears to have changed its mind. They’ve determined that the manufacture of solvent traps is now equivalent to the manufacture of an unregistered silencer.

Companies who offer solvent trap part kits for sale were on the wrong side of the law. The ATF has been cracking down on “solvent trap” kit manufacturing companies ever since, starting with SD Tactical in January.

The latest victim of this crack down: Solvent Traps Etc, a company whose Facebook page does not do a very good job at all at that whole “subtle hinting” thing about possible uses for their products.

In a post on their page (as their website is offline) the company says the ATF raided their location while the owner was on a hunting trip. Agents seized the products and his computer (with potentially all the customer records) and charged him with a Federal crime (specific crime not specified).

This seems to be happening a lot recently.

From the controversy with the “pistol brace” open letter to pot scrubbers and even silencer wipes the ATF appears to be on a roll re-classifying items and practices that have long been accepted as legal and aggressively enforcing their interpretation of the law.

Could it be that there’s a new sheriff in town who doesn’t like gun owners and just wants to cause as much havoc as possible? Or is there something else going on behind the scenes?

Hopefully we’ll be able to figure it out before the ATF reclassifies varmint grenades as actual grenades.

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55 Responses to ATF Shuts Down Another DIY “Solvent Trap” Business, Indicts Owner for Criminal Charges

    • How many times does trump have to punch the gun world in the face before it stops crawling back into his bed? Trump is about to sell the 2A downstream to the highest bidder. Votes are the new currency and trump couldn’t care less about guns so he will trade 2A rights for wall votes or this trillion dollar bridge binge. And then there’s Russia. So keep your powder dry gentlemen. The threats are foreign and domestic.

      Lock him up! Lock him up! ….

  1. Still stupid as hell. For someone on a budget that doesn’t own a lathe, a solvent trap is a great way to go about making a form-1 silencer. No doubt most people will skim over that fact, bend down, and kiss the chains that bind them. Just keep thinking that everything that big daddy says is bad, is actually bad.

    • B-But Eric Trump is pro-gun, pro-silencer, did a Youtube with SilencerCO! B-B-But Trump’s Second Amendment Council of High Poobahs was gonna lobby for the passage of HPA!

      Fun fact; the Hearing Protection Act is the proud baby of none other than that Freedom Caucus the T-Man was bad mouthing just yesterday (and I think at like 2am this morning via Twitter)

      MAGA!! Make silencers impossible for the everyman to own again!!

      TCB

      PS-rebuttal should be something other than “they’re not trump’s regulators if they’re doing stuff I disagree with”

      • Please remind me, when was Trump’s ATF director confirmed? Right now, they are running with Obama era staffing.

        • Riddle me this….why has he not replaced the director yet? If he had time to replace the head of the EPA he could have damn well done the same at the ATF.

        • Because a new director requires Congressional approval. He barely got EPA in. Right now he has bigger fish to fry. On the priorities of anti-American bullshit, the EPA is orders of magnitude above the ATF.

        • I beg to differ on that one. I am in no, nor have I ever been in fear of the EPA kicking my door in and shooting my dog swat style.

        • How about running your employer out of business and throwing your ass out on the street? In terms of destroying the country’s economy, the EPA has done more than the ATF could dream of.

        • Okay, so you’re argument is “not Trump’s jackboots which he can totally give marching orders to or fire whenever” and “gun rights just aren’t important to him.” I’m so glad you guys nominated this dude.

          An EO telling the ATF to chill or write a formal reg (i.e. repealing two, supposedly) would take seconds of his Twitter schedule. Hell, he could tell them via Twitter for all I care.

        • The EPA has absolutely nothing to do with my employer and even if it did can you really compare being put out of work to having your door kicked in for no good reason?
          I think that the priorities in this situation are completely reversed. If we have to live with the EPA for a couple of more months to logically expand and solidify our second amendment right so poor bastards like this guy who is now sitting behind bars facing federal charges for having a legitimate business for however long right up until someone officially changed an opinion. Now what do you do? How many thousands are you out? Because someone who said it was OK when you made your investment just decided out of the blue that you are now in violation and must be put away for the safety of all in society. No coal miner is going to walk into a mine a citizen and walk out into the arms of agents and get taken to jail. That’s essentially what happened here.

        • “The EPA has absolutely nothing to do with my employer and even if it did can you really compare being put out of work to having your door kicked in for no good reason?”

          I hate to tell you this but serge has you by the short hairs here.

          First off, the EPA will have absolutely everything to do with your employer if they decided that they do. You and your employer don’t get to have any input on that. They can, and sometimes will, simply write you a letter explaining to you how they’re all up in your business. You will either comply or bad things will happen. These are the guys who got a janitor, a fucking janitor, convicted of a federal felony for pouring water mixed with floor soap down a drain he didn’t even know led to a stream. The judge in that case gave the guy the lightest sentence allowable and trashed the EPA for dragging the guy into court. Well, homeslice still has a felony record and that ain’t gonna be undone.

          Secondly, the EPA has an armed enforcement division known as EPA Criminal Enforcement Division. EPA CID has conducted massive armed raids in the past. They can and will “kick your door down” and do it in full tactical kit but I can’t speak to their proclivity for shooting canines.

          As the EPA itself says of it’s own CID Agents: “EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division (EPA CID) Special Agents are fully authorized law enforcement officers empowered to enforce our nation’s environmental laws as well as any other federal law in accordance with the guidelines established by the Attorney General of the United States (18 U.S.C. 3063)…”

          Further it’s been reported by Open the Books and The Washington Times that the EPA has amassed quite a little arsenal and therefore I’m guessing they, like any government agency, plan to put it into use: “Among the weapons purchased are guns, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities”

          http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/10/epa-spends-millions-on-military-style-weapons-repo/

          So yeah, the EPA is an agency effectively outside the auspices of Congressional control and they’re armed to the teeth with a CID division that has a history of launching large armed raids for questionable reasons on which the agency will not elaborate.

          Just because they don’t get the coverage doesn’t mean they won’t boot down your door and take everything you have. They have the power to do so and they’ve shown that they’re willing to use it.

        • Im still not buying that the EPA is more of a threat to me than the ATF. I understand the power they have, and what goverment agency doesn’t have its own personal swat team nowadays? Still, the chances that the ATF show up will a bullcrap warrant are MUCH greater than the EPA.
          On a side note, why are we not truly exersizing our second amendment right and making a whole bunch of “citizens arrests” and truly draining the swamp?

        • “Still, the chances that the ATF show up will a bullcrap warrant are MUCH greater than the EPA.”

          That’s arguable. The ATF and the EPA have basically the same enforcement powers but the EPA has a much more expansive area of enforcement than does the ATF. Unless you’re manufacturing guns, gun parts, playing with explosives, growing/distributing tobacco or making alcohol you’re basically outside the province of the ATF unless you own some NFA toys.

          The EPA however can come after you for a myriad of reasons just for the fact that not every drop of rain that falls on your property stays there.

          The likelihood that either would come after you is slim but I would rate the chances that you run afoul of the EPA as greater simply because they have a much, much broader enforcement area which means there are more ways to find yourself in violation of one rule, law or diktat, one which you may not even know about. ATF rules and the laws governing the things they regulate are generally pretty obvious. I mean, it’s not like anyone can really say they didn’t know they weren’t allowed to possess explosives without a license or manufacture gin in their shed without a distillery license. Rainwater runoff or what is or what is not a wetland on the other hand can get into areas people legitimately don’t recognize are regulated, especially since the EPA has made rulings that are insane, like declaring parts of Arizona desert to be “wetlands”.

          I mean, how many people do you suppose know that “tuning” the engine of your car is a federal felony regulated under the auspices of the EPA?

  2. A true test for President Donald Trump.

    Grant the company members Immunity from prosecution or grant them Amnesty.

  3. A test for President Donald Trump.
    Grant the members of the company Immunity from Prosecution or
    Amnesty after they have been prosecuted.

    Also, after Congress passes the Hearing Protection Act,
    Congress or the Supreme Court should reverse and rescind.

  4. “the company says the ATF raided their location while the owner was on a hunting trip.”

    Is the owner’s name Henry Bowman?

  5. Wonder how long until the BATFEaRBF starts issuing dictums to automotive oil filter manufacturers.

    “Swear to god agent Joe, those extra filters are for the car, no constructive intent here, and what about that hacksaw?”.

    • The threaded adapter to fit filter to barrel is the missing link that will get you in trouble,.
      Ebay has dozens of people (and federal agents too, probably) selling the adapters..
      I wouldn’t touch one if I found it in the street.

      • That would be a logical assumption, however this is not a bureaucratic agency that arbitrates within the realms of logic. Silicone tubes, epoxy, JB Weld & threading dies could all be construed as being part of some conspiracy to get around the law, when using the ATF’s tortured logic. Hell even a pillow constituting a suppressor part wouldn’t be surprising given their track record.

      • Oddly there is no rule against threading a barrel to a common oil filter pitch/size. Oh, the contradiction…

      • “Ebay has dozens of people (and federal agents too, probably) selling the adapters..
        I wouldn’t touch one if I found it in the street.”

        I have toyed with the idea of picking one up, but *NOT BEFORE* I had a signed Form 1 with a stamp attached to it all nice and legal in my hand.

        (BTW, that company is about 10 miles from where I am.)

    • I think the adapters as well as the filters are now both required to be serialized (or is the can considered a “wipe” which is now non-user-servicable?) Though maybe adapters are now non-regulated since the ATF specfically said the tube/sheath of a can is the serialized part (though all parts are still regulated)?

    • I’m personally most worried about “why’s the end of that silencer unscrew, boy? You replacin’ internals on the sly without a license, huh?”

  6. This is what happens when you define law by “policy” and obfuscation. What was is one day given the nod of approval can the very next, turn you into a felon.

    This is what is the problem. Allowing a non-lawmaking org without oversight and holding them to process who can make “rule of law” via mere policy. It needs to stop.

  7. I called my congressmans office asking about when the HPA might come out of committe and the idiot who answered the phone had no clue what I was talking about. When I explained it to them the attitude was complete indifference. We are going to get nothing from this administration except to maybe be reminded how much worse it could be.
    This should be a non-issue. Even in Europe they have moreceived common sense than us when it comes to supressors. F the ATF!

    • Number-seven most viewed on the Congress website, and yet it’s being ignored, or at best the reps are completely oblivious. Where *do* they get their action-item list, I wonder…

  8. If a piece of pipe with end caps is regulated, am I now required to get a form 1 before I buy a black iron pipe nipple at Home depot?

    • Who knows? They might decide to regulate them as “Destructive Device” parts, i.e., Pipe Bomb.
      Believe it or not, you CAN LEGALLY build one. Form 1 and such.
      But you need to have a FFL10 or a Federal Explosives Manufacturer License.

  9. This is the problem with our slide away from Common Law to Statutory Law. Under Common Law, the solvent trap manufacturer has committed no crime because they have not harmed anyone and there is no victim. Under Statutory Law, government can quite literally deem anything to be “illegal” … such as making a tube with threads at one end that mate with common threads on firearm barrels.

    We are nothing more than slaves to the ruling class if our nation runs under statutory law. Granted, pretty much everyone has a MUCH better life than the African slaves of the late 1700s. We are still slaves nonetheless and our government masters can demand our money and lives at any moment. Just ask the person who was operating that firearm solvent trap business.

    • Unfortunately, the aspects of Common Law that respect precedent are what is trapping us now. Never mind that things like AR lowers with holes engraved on them or silencer baffles with predrill holes are functionally incapable of fulfilling the function requirements of the law, the ATF has been assuring us they are indeed finished items or indistinguishable for many years and court cases. Not to mention, there is ample precedent for a judge to slavishly adhere to the interpretations of regulators vs. common sense or even the original statutory language & intent so long as it was written vaguely.

      Were precedent given very low respect compared to the plain statutory language, we would indeed be hearing arguments found in “shall not be infringed” as opposed to “commerce clause” and would be far closer to our original practice of the law, or would have properly modified our system via law and amendment. I find it very odd that our system of law was so beholden to ancient, pre-Revolutionary practices, considering we had otherwise rejected entirely the Old World systems of governance. Heck, even the old style court systems if you consider the insistence on jury trials for issues of significance. But somehow the magistrate edicts of some jerk serving under Henry the First or whomever in eras past were put on a pedestal. Probably just all the lawyers involved in our founding trying to keep themselves in a job (their education in precedent isn’t all that useful if it’s been rejected)

  10. But yet I can go to gun shows and those idiots who sell oil filter adapters can have them screwed on to actual firearms with filters installed and nobody says boo.

    • I’ve been going to gun shows since 1978 or so and I’ve never seen anything like that, if you did it was probably an ATF sting operation.

      • I’ve only been going to shows for the last 3 years, about 2 or 3 times a year, at different venues near Charlotte, and everyone of them has 1 or 2 booths with the adapters and oil filters timing right next to it.
        Granted the filters are unmodified, and they never claim to be anything other than filter traps, they are there.
        I get a kick out of the people that ask them if it’s a suppressor, and the guy trying to make a sale tip-toeing around how it’s really illegal, but hey it’s your call.

  11. This is the problem, 18 U.S.C. sec. 921(a)(24) “The term ‘firearm silencer’ or ‘firearm muffler’ means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.”

  12. I know of one company that still sells threaded tubes, Stainless, Carbon Steel, Aluminum and Titanium.
    They do NOT sell end caps, freeze plugs other parts that could be used in a suppressor.
    You can get inside/outside threaded (like a MagLite tube) or inside/inside threaded that take a MagLite battery endcap.
    Google “threaded maglite tubes” and it should be the 3rd hit.

  13. “The concept of . . .”

    Entrapment, CAN include the B.S. POS way the ATF promulgates rules, and the shifting sands it creates ARE WHOLLY THE PURPOSE OF INFRINGEMENT, so as to keep you far back from the edge of [F all of you and your BS] “established legal limits” and “parameters’.

    CIRCLE FILE THE ATF AND THE GCA, JAIL THE SIGNERS, STRIP THEIR KIDS OF ALL ASSETS AND PEACE AND QUIET.

  14. The whole idea of using “solvent traps”, oil filters and 2 Liter pop bottles as suppressors is just asking for trouble in the form of a lose your gun rights felony. Unless you are a prohibited person or a black helicopter conspiracy nut you need to either fill out a Form 1 to make a piece of shit solvent trap into a suppressor (current Form 1 wait times seem to be only about 6 weeks) or just plop down some good money, get the photos and fingerprints, fill out the Form 4 and send in your $200. If you can pass a NICS check for a regular firearm you will be approved for a suppressor… current wait time is about 8-11 months for Form 4’s.
    Do you have any idea how serious of a charge it is to be caught with an unregistered NFA item? And for those of you with a felony record, do you know what the sentances for a felon or other prohibited person to be in possession? There will be a PTR Petition To Revoke probation if you are on probation and you will be in jail for all the years that were previously suspended. Even if it’s your first felony it will be a firearms related one and you will probably never get to own a firearm again, let alone a relatively easy to buy suppressor… He’ll, they sell them at Sportsman’s Warehouse….
    Don’t be stupid, it’s not worth it.

  15. Panty-waist Crybaby whiners. Quit wetting the bed over this. There’s more than one swamp to drain and hes been in office under 90 days.

    Remember that it was the Trained Gorilla in Chief who appointed the current ATF, not Trump.

    Obozo’s lackeys still run the ATF and they are trying get some statist jack boot measures through before he sets his sights on them.

    You all will quit belly aching when the HPA and national reciprocity passes. Meanwhile I’m just happy he’s causing tree hugging prius driving LGBTWTFBBQ pansies some real pain. Killing the EPA can’t come soon enough. And I hope Gay PTSD is a “pre-existing condition” in Plan B lol.

  16. Just quit being cheap and buy a real suppressor from a reputable company through the legal process. It sucks waiting so long and it’s expensive but then you are not worried about this crap. Not to mention the Maglite suppressors are garbage anyways. Whenever you try to operate on the edge of the law you should expect these things to happen. It will always be a back and forth game. People will try to use loop holes to make illegal toys and the ATF will try to close the loop holes and make you purchase your toys the proper way. It’s bullshit that the ATF rewrites laws/regulations at will to fit their agenda but just stay inside the law and have no worries. Most of those companies were including instructions on how to make the suppressor(how to make the pieces of metal illegal) which highlights everyone’s intentions. Never a good idea.

  17. There are more patriot constitutional oath keepers than ATF. There are no ATF regs that are legal under the constitution.

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