There has been much notice taken lately that judges are having a bit of trouble with the ATF’s interpretation of the law by which AR lower receivers are firearms in and of themselves. By itself, without an upper, the lower can’t discharge a round. You can insert a loaded magazine and pull the trigger all day to no effect.
Personally, I always thought the lower-is-a-firearm rule to be legally and logically wrong, so I’m glad to see judges are now noticing and deciding the same. But this raises another question, one which I haven’t seen anyone else address.
Per the ATF’s current exercise in whimsy, this is a firearm.
As judges are now saying, though, it isn’t a firearm after all.
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.
An AR lower clearly doesn’t meet that definition. While it houses the hammer, it doesn’t provide or housing for the bolt or breechblock and it isn’t threaded to receive the barrel.
But . . .
Per the ATF, this is also a firearm. But without a slide, that thing above no more meets the legal definition of a firearm than an AR lower does.
So the question is, if an AR lower isn’t a firearm under current law, why is this thing a firearm?
Just an idle question. Discuss it amongst yourselves.