Letter to Biden From GOA, JSD Supply and Defense Distributed on 80% Blanks and ‘Ghost Gun’ Regulation

62

1 March, 2021

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Request on Behalf of Law-Abiding Owners of Non-Firearm Receiver Blanks and NonCommercial Manufacturers of Home-Built Firearms

Dear Mr. President:

Recent reports indicate that your administration is considering Executive Action to “require buyers of so-called ‘ghost guns’—unmanufactured non-firearms or non-commercial manufactured firearms— to undergo background checks.”¹

This report follows hot on the heels of the partisan “virtual discussion with leaders of gun violence prevention advocacy groups” hosted by your Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice and your White House Public Engagement Director and Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond.²

Gun Owners of America, Defense Distributed, and JSD Supply are collectively writing to you to advocate on behalf of the millions of non-commercial manufacturers of homemade firearms— law-abiding Americans who make up our grassroots supporters and customers. These people are engaging in lawful activities that are as old as our republic itself.

We find it necessary to remind you and your administration that, at present, there is no federal prohibition on manufacturing non-commercial firearms for personal use. “Congress did not draft the GCA [Gun Control Act of 1968] to develop a categorical anti-gun approach to firearm regulation.” Even the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) believes that the legal dispute over “ghost guns” is, “at its core, a policy dispute.”³

ATF maintained on January 11th of 2021 that “in any event, because receiver blanks do not fall within the plain meaning of the GCA’s definition of “firearm,” the consequences of that definition are for Congress to address.”⁴

Any attempt to force the federal government to further regulate non-firearms commonly referred to as “ghost guns” would therefore be both arbitrary and capricious.

Forcing ATF to adopt a new approach to the classification of non-firearms would greatly expand ATF authority beyond the GCA; it would also violate rights protected by the Second Amendment by imposing restrictions on otherwise lawful activity excluded from the GCA.

The website for the ATF provides answers to many commonly asked questions which your administration officials seem to be asking.

One such question the ATF answers is: “Does an individual need a license to make a firearm for personal use?”⁵ ATF correctly provides the following response: “No, a license is not required to make a firearm solely for personal use. However, a license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution.”⁶

We represent gun owners who are not engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms for sale but who instead legally manufacture firearms for non-commercial personal use.⁷

Further, the term “80% receiver” is a term of art used to describe an “unfinished receiver” or “receiver blank” that is not yet to a sufficient stage of completeness to be considered a firearm. The term is not found in any statute or regulation because such items are not firearms and are not regulated by federal law in any way.⁸

The ATF website⁹ also sets out the question: “What is an ‘80%’ or ‘unfinished’ receiver?” The response provided is: ‘“80% receiver,’ ‘80% finished,’ ‘80% complete’ and ‘unfinished receiver’ are all terms referring to an item that some may believe has not yet reached a stage of manufacture that meets the definition of ‘firearm frame’ or ‘receiver’ according to the Gun Control Act (GCA).¹⁰ These are not statutory terms and ATF does not use or endorse them.”

The ATF has long taken the position that “[r]eceiver blanks that do not meet the definition of a ‘firearm’ are not subject to regulation under the Gun Control Act.”¹¹ In fact, “ATF has thoroughly considered the efforts, steps, and tools needed to convert receiver blanks into firearms, along with the time necessary to do so when relevant or appropriate, going back to as early as 1983.”¹²

A “firearm” is defined as “any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.” This definition includes “the frame or receiver of any such weapon.”¹³

A “handgun” is defined as “(A) a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and (B) any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled.”¹⁴

On November 30, 2020, the ATF filed a Motion to Dismiss a complaint brought by the State of California and an anti-Second Amendment group, seeking to force the ATF classify 80% receivers as firearms.¹⁵

The ATF’s position in that case, as of November 30, 2020, is as follows: “ATF defines a ‘receiver’ as ‘that part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.’¹⁶ A receiver blank does not yet ‘provide[] housing for the hammer, bolt, or breechblock, and firing mechanism,’ and is therefore not a ‘receiver’ within this definition.”

And further, “[a] receiver blank in which no ‘machining of any kind’ has been ‘performed in the area of the trigger/hammer (fire-control) recess (or cavity)’ has no space yet that can ‘hous[e … 3 firing mechanism,’ 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, and therefore ATF’s interpretation of ‘receiver’ to exclude receiver blanks is not inconsistent with the regulation.”

Neither 3D printed gun files nor unfinished receiver blanks constitute “firearms” or “handguns” because they are not “firearms.”

Additionally, an unfinished receiver sold as a kit with other unregulated gun parts is not a “combination of parts from which a firearm […] can be assembled” because the unfinished frame must first be manufactured before it can be assembled.

And no amount of additional unregulated parts sold alongside an unregulated unfinished receiver blank can magically transform a non-firearm into a “firearm” or a “handgun.”

In the aforementioned case, ATF even acknowledged¹⁷ the “ancillary rights” protected by the Second Amendment, including “‘a corresponding right to obtain’ the ‘necessary’ arms and ammunition, including through means such as purchase, private transfer, and private, noncommercial assembly or manufacture.”¹⁸

It is imperative that your administration respect the Bill of Rights amended to our Constitution and refrain from infringing on the rights of gun owners—whether enumerated or ancillary.

Disregarding our Constitution, rule of law, and longstanding regulatory precedent, anti-gun politicians and lobbyists may demand the federal government abuse Title 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(29) to arbitrarily regulate “ghost guns.”

But implementing such ludicrous requests could result in a solid block of aluminum or polymer packaged together with other unregulated firearms parts being considered a handgun under the statute, even though it would require milling or molding into a functional firearm frame before assembly.

It is in part because of its longstanding policy, ATF must not adopt an entirely new interpretation of the application of federal law to 80% receiver blanks.

So-called “ghost gun” owners and manufacturers reasonably fear the consequences of arbitrary criminalization through potential Executive Action.

ATF investigations and raids are conducted by armed federal agents. When this occurs at private homes, the person who answers the door may be the person who bought or manufactured the arbitrarily criminalized material or may be the wife or husband or child or parent or grandparent of the purchaser, who has no idea why armed federal agents are demanding that unregulated firearms parts be immediately located and surrendered.

The vast number of persons purchasing non-firearm receiver blanks or manufacturing homemade firearms are law-abiding American citizens who enjoy “do-it-yourself” projects and want to take on the challenge of attempting to manufacture a firearm, as has been legal under federal law literally since the ratification of the Constitution.

It is certainly possible that law enforcement raids on homes, wherein government officials demand that property be surrendered, will lead to intimidation, threats, abusive treatment, and even weapons being pulled on American citizens by ATF agents. This will result in serious mental, emotional, and, in a worst-case scenario, bodily injuries and death of law-abiding American citizens.

The ATF agents tasked with enforcing any new Executive Action may likewise face unnecessary danger, as they could trigger actions in reasonable defense of self, family, and home, by persons who are known to be law-abiding gun owners. In many states, homeowners may use deadly force to repel unlawful invasions, and no bureaucrat or lobbyist can be certain how these armed encounters will occur or how dangerous or even deadly they will be.

ATF should not be permitted to go door-to-door rounding up “ghost guns” or regulate any nonfirearm receiver blanks without the passage of any new laws and based only on the authority of ATF to re-classify—on the fly—unregulated items that are popular within the shooting community. Operating arbitrarily, your administration and the ATF should not engage in the partisan and reckless business of making lawful items unlawful, making lawful companies guilty of felonious behavior, or making lawful purchasers at risk of being visited by armed government agents. Certainly such action should not be taken against property that the ATF itself said was lawful to manufacture, sell, and possess.

Yours in liberty,

Aidan Johnston
Director of Federal Affairs Gun Owners of America

Jordan Vinroe
President JSD Supply

Defense Distributed

 

 


1 See https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/23/biden-gun-safety-pandemic-471064
2 See https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/02/10/readout-of-the-white-housesmeeting-with-gun-violence-prevention-advocacy-groups-2/
3 See State of California, et al. v. ATF, et al.; Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-06761-EMC, Docket No. 29. Defendants’ Reply in Support of Their Motion to Dismiss 1.
4 See State of California, et al. v. ATF, et al.; Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-06761-EMC, Docket No. 29. Defendants’ Reply in Support of Their Motion to Dismiss 9.
5 See https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/does-individual-need-license-make-firearm-personal-use
6 C.f. 18 U.S.C. § 922(o), (p) and (r); 26 U.S.C. § 5822; 27 CFR § 478.39, 479.62 and § 479.105.
7 C.f. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(22)
8 See https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/are-%E2%80%9C80%E2%80%9D-or- %E2%80%9Cunfinished%E2%80%9D-receivers-illegal (last access 12.12.2020).
9 See https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/what-%E2%80%9C80%E2%80%9D-or-%E2%80%9Cunfinished-receiver
10 See https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/gun-control-act
11 See https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/are-%E2%80%9C80%E2%80%9D-or- %E2%80%9Cunfinished%E2%80%9D-receivers
illegal
12 See State of California, et al. v. ATF, et al.; Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-06761-EMC, Docket No. 29. Defendants’ Reply in Support of Their Motion to Dismiss 9.
13 See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a) (3) (A)
14 See 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(29)
15 See State of California, et al. v. ATF, et al.; Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-06761-EMC, Docket No. 29.
16 See 27 C.F.R. § 478.11.
17 id. (quoting Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco, 746 F.3d 953, 967 (9th Cir. 2014))
18 See Bezet v. United States, 276 F. Supp. 3d 576, 605 (E.D. La. 2017) (restrictions on ‘the use of imported parts to assemble a firearm . . . likely impinge on the rights of law-abiding, responsible citizens . . . to acquire’ firearms), aff’d 714 F. App’x 336, 341 (5th Cir. 2017)[.]”

62 COMMENTS

    • An appropriate letter to Jim Crow Gun Control joe et al…

      Dear Jim Crow Gun Control joe biden.

      First off tough guy…Iran is not someone your incompetent democRat behind can take behind the gym without the full support of the American People. If you have not noticed the American People are dealing with Covid, bad weather, blackouts and waiting for you and your self serving demonic ilk to get the pork you want first then throw the scraps to the American People.
      The exact opposite stand alone Stimulas Bill to assist the American People First was requested by POTUS DJT. You can thank RINO and I mean RINO mitch maconnell for beating around the bush for months, all done to hand you the POTUS DJT idea and demand for a stand alone $2000.00 direct payment to hurting Americans. The stalling allowed you to steal POTUS DJT idea and take it to Georgia and use it as your own to sucker votes. You and your self serving ilk beat around the bush and sat on your rich, filthy, stinking butts and pissed on the American People who were doing good to eat beans.

      Second…Gun Control in any shape or form is rooted in racism and genocide. That fact says a whole lot about you and your demented ilk joe. After all every brand of criminal and tyrant have one thing in common…They need unarmed victims in order for their diabolical plans to succeed.

      It all goes hand in hand with such things as election fraud. Like Gun Control targeted Black Americans so did election fraud. Why when you were a twinkle in your father’s eye joe if a Black American ran for office rest assured the Klan would be there to slander and libel the Black candidate, count the votes and if that did not work there were other unpleasant methods generally used by mob families. My money says if no cameras were present during Clarence Thomas and people were not watching rest assured you and your sorry gutless lynch mob democRat ilk would have used such tactics. Ain’t dat right, joe?

      Let’s cut the chase joe. Little ol’ me is calling you out. Let’s go behind that gym. You bring your racist and nazi based Gun Control agenda and I’ll bring my American Flag, My Constitutional Rights and I will fight to the death to protect them. You up to getting your punkazz handed to you? LMK.

      Debbie W.

      • Debbie W: The free shit $2000 hand out will cost productive Americans many times that amount. Government has no money save what it steals…er, taxes….from productive citizens or borrows from Hunter Xiden and Big Guy Xiden buddies in China. All will have to be re-paid by productive citizens. The $2000 free shit will cost several times that amount as about 47% of Americans pay no taxes, so productive citizens will have to pay back the free shit hand out for several non-productive citizens.

        Furthermore, I can’t enter or drive by a business that does not have “HIRING” signs prominently displayed. If people are hurting so bad……go get a damn job and become a member of the productive citizens class.

        First American Revolution over taxation without representation.
        Second American Revolution over taxation by representation….plus a plethora of other tyrannical acts.

        • “about 47% of Americans pay no taxes“

          Total bullshit, every American pays taxes, some more than others.

          And research shows that the wealthy pay less in taxes, as a percentage of their income, then middle class and low income Americans.

          Really, repeating Republican talking points makes you look stupid.

      • When my reading of the first few sentences of a post suggests that the remainder of the tomb might well be utterly political and, therefore, most likely unreasonable and unbalanced, I just tune out.

        Oh, I never apologize for moving on.

  1. This should “trigger” an interesting response.

    Or maybe just a yawn in the White House.

    Oh……where is the signature block for a leading representative of NRA?

  2. Uhmmmm… Who’d you say you are? Why are you bothering me?…… What was the question?.. Where the hell is my prompter?… MOMMY!!….
    Respectfully, GFY
    Joseph R Biden (aka “Creepy Uncle Joe” aka “The BIG Guy”) POTUS…

  3. “Probably won’t get to the White House after CCP looks it over, has a good laugh and tosses it in the “circular” file…”

    Maybe they sent it via snail mail, bypassing CCP review?

  4. “We find it necessary to remind you and your administration that, at present, there is no federal prohibition on manufacturing non-commercial firearms for personal use.”

    Simple –

    Wait until the eventual mass-shooting, and in the immediate outrage, peel off 10 RINOS and outlaw the home-manufacture of firearms.

    Since it will take years to be struck down by the SCOTUS, that provides a window to ‘program’ (read, ‘brainwash’) the public into believing home manufacturing of firearms is illegal. And in that time frame, the 80-percent companies will have folded.

    Q.E.D…

    • A simple restraining order from a gun friendly judge (yes they do exist) can hold it til SCOTUS shuts it down or sends it back (most likely) to the lower courts..

  5. Tyrants crave, DEMAND, absolute control of everything and everyone. This is just one thing, albeit a very important one.

  6. I just want to let you all know that I’m coming out of the closet and I’m looking to hook up with the first man with AIDS that will give it to me.

  7. People need to ask themselves 2 simple questions: Is defense of Freedom worth dying for; and is it worth killing for? Many have answered yes to both, and many have answered no to both. What is your answer?

  8. Someone will read it. They will give it a cursory glance and document that it was read. It will go into a folder somewhere. They will only remember it when it is time to tell the masses how dangerous we are, evidenced by the letter, and how we must be reeducated.

  9. “People need to ask themselves 2 simple questions: Is defense of Freedom worth dying for; and is it worth killing for? Many have answered yes to both, and many have answered no to both. What is your answer?”

    I remain utterly and passionately neutral on all important matters.

  10. Unfortunately I feel that at the White House (as well as they have in any political institution all over the world) they have a dedicate special printer using paper soft enough to be used to…, for this kind of letters.

    Them politics, this way will give this letter the attention it deserves with their best part…

  11. A “firearm” is defined as “any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.”

    By that definition, all modern firearms are excluded from these laws and regulations as modern propellants are not explosives. Therefore, these laws and regs only apply to black powder guns! 😉

  12. “By that definition, all modern firearms are excluded from these laws and regulations as modern propellants are not explosives. Therefore, these laws and regs only apply to black powder guns! ”

    One does wonder why that argument has not been put forward at trial.

    • Same reason that any G agents or authorities or State G enforcement actors are not getting immediately arrested and prosecuted and convicted of felony violations for even attempted deprivation of our rights under USCC 18-241-242. The system is politically corrupted beyond repair. Including the Courts!

      But this was a good move by GOA and fellow Patriot organizations and I just thanked them for it by getting a lifetime membership and will donate to any future actions against these rights violators. If everybody did this, we’d slow them down enough to regroup and beat ’em at the draw.

      Also, this letter is similar but more polite and reasonable, than a cease and desist order.
      But with the veiled assurance that GOA and Polymer 80 and others could and would file a devestating class action suit against these issues at the first sign of any targeted intrusions against any purchasers of these parts which in no way are considered to be ‘firearms’ by definition in and of themselves, and the atfe’s own admission until they actually meet the full clear requirements.

      So clear, in fact, that if We wanted to pre-empt ANY further pursuit of Biden’s agenda to use Alphabe agencies as Gestapo terrorists, This could be expanded to include a recent judge’s agreement with the defense council on a case where the guy was charged with some sort of firearms violation but argued that the actual completed lower receiver was NOT a firearm as described in the above 68GCA definitions because it did not meet all four requirements of a workable gun without the upper receiver. So Technically, as with the powder/explosive technicality which is not that stong but certainly arguable in court, An AR is not a legally defined ‘Firearm’ without both the upper and the lower connected as one.

      Or Conversely, if you had the lower in your house and no uppers at all on your property so as to preclude any facilitated or easily assembled parts by construct, your completed AR lower by itself IS NOT even a Firearm as defined by Law! So that could be added to a restraining law suit against.

      Not all judges are bad, but many are simply ignorant of a lot of law until they are tuned up on it in court. So when this judge agreed with the defense, That AR lowers by themselves were NOT by themselves firearms by law, the lawyers for the agency freaked and quickly opted for a deal to hope it was kept quiet so as to avoid a real pandoras can of worms with people finding out.

      As a sidebar, I don’t know why the Alphabet boys and girls would even do these sort of ‘Minority Report (Tom Cruise movie) investigations and risk everything in their lives? But of course, it’s mainly the management, who announces tactical protocol, which includes the head of atfe, under the anti-gun proposed AG.

      But if they ‘accidentally’ kill one citizen or get one of their people killed in the ‘illegal’ no probable cause or even reasonable suspicion to even investigate, let alone confiscate their kits or whatever, then that would pretty much be the end of some careers. And doubtless, enhance a sudden outrage in all gun owners of America. Because these newly appointed administrative gun grabbing directors are forgetting that it’s not just the regular police that are persona non gratis among most of the younger citizens these days, but also the Feds.

      Good article!

  13. Actions speak louder than words. Dems know this, and they know we refer to ourselves as “law abiding”, so they’ll just make it a law. End.

    • This is why I stopped referring to myself as law-abiding. They’ll hem you in with laws until you can’t abide any more, and then they’ll say “see, we always knew you were a criminal!”

      Instead, I define myself as a peaceful man.

      Of course they’re redefining peace now, too. All you have to do is have an unapproved thought or say something they don’t like, or just exist outside the hive, and they’re all, “Come see the violence inherent in the system!” Whatever.

      The fact remains that my own peacefulness — or any sudden lack thereof — is MY choice, not theirs.

      • “You can’t truly call yourself “peaceful” unless you’re capable of great violence. One not capable of great violence is merely a harmless victim.” Borrowed from somewhere I regrettably failed to document.

  14. I don’t know why they wasted their time. Dems don’t care about the law, so a reasoned argument isn’t going to convince them. They care about feelz. They feelz guns are bad, so they can make laws and regs to restrict them. Dem judges will feelz the same and not rule against it.

  15. Listen here, Fat, I don’t work for you! I’ll take you out back behind the woodshed and whip some sense into you white supremacists!

  16. “Afraid of commitment, Sam?”

    Not at all. I am just no good at apologies; doan wanna o-finn’ no body.

    Besides, “commitment” is way over-rated (and expensive come special occasions).

    When the goin’ gits tough…..I am nowhere to be found.

    • I see.
      “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you,
      and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” Sam Adams

    • lack of diplomacy cost trunk some swingers.
      it is not required of turkish deborah, but absence of decorum can induce cringespasms.
      and sometimes that’s good, depending…

  17. It’s all about YOU, isn’t it. We’re done. Don’t bother replying to this or any other post I might make in the future.

  18. “It’s all about YOU, isn’t it. We’re done. Don’t bother replying to this or any other post I might make in the future.”

    I am truly surprised: you have been had by the Chair Force. Thought you were joining in on the absurd.

  19. You are not supposed to have firegunms that cannot be traced and taken away. Its America after all, land of the free
    BTW, Dont hide your gunm under the rice, it’s the first place they look.

  20. OK OK , NICE TO BE ABLE TO TRACE WEAPONS , TO CRIMINAL THAT USES ONE IN A CRIME . HOWEVER I THOUGHT IT WAS THE KID DOWN THE BLOCK
    WITH THE UNREGISTER SLING SHOT THAT CAUSED ALL THIS .
    JUST WANT MAKE MONEY REGISTERING WEAPONS . WHAT NEXT REGISTER KNIVES , CLUBS ,
    REGISTER IDOTS BRAINS , ITS THE CRAZIES CAUSING IT .

    • Most gunms Criminals use will be traced back to a legal gunm owner.
      The registration farce to stop crime is Not about crime stopping.

      • The registration farce to stop crime is Not about crime stopping.

        No it’s about being able to prosecute the legal gun owner from whom the weapon was stolen for some trumped up bullshit complicity in the crime committed with his or her stolen firearm..

  21. It reads like it was written by and for lawyers. He will ignore it, if he ever gets presented with it. Hell, I didnt even read it all and I am very pro gun.
    He really doesn’t care about your freedom or mine. He just cares about pleasing his owners.

  22. Registration is an early necessary step toward confiscation, which is a stepping stone to eliminating opposition. Gun control is all about protecting tyrants from Patriots. It’s a re-run from all around the world.

  23. 100% firearm registration. No manufacture of firearms without a license. Existing homemade firearms must be serialized and registered. Uncle Sam will provide a number for you to stamp on there.

    This is the plan. The letter is very informative and amazingly well written, but amounts to pigeon cage liner in the eyes of the Left.

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