More Defense Attorneys Arguing AR-15 Lowers Aren’t Firearms…And They’re Winning

AR-15 rifle

In AR-15s and similar guns the piece, known as the frame or receiver, that federal regulation says is considered a firearm by itself is split into upper and lower pieces.;

Back in October, we ran a story about a California man who was charged with running an illegal firearms manufacturing operation. He got off scot-free, though, because his attorney noticed that the ATF’s definition of what legally constitutes a firearm does not include AR-15 lowers. At least, not according to the letter of the law.

The judge in the trial ruled that AR-15 lowers don’t fall under the statutory definition of a firearm.

As we wrote at the time . . .

That, no doubt, set off alarm bells from LA to DC. If the ruling were allowed to stand, that would set a very inconvenient precedent, one that would make AR-15 lowers like any other part of an AR platform rifle…just another gun part that could be made and sold through the mail to just about anyone. No serial number or background check needed.

The argument that [the defendant’s] attorney employed to get his client a very good deal will no doubt be used by defendants in future prosecutions of the same kind. It could also be used by other attorneys to try to reverse previous convictions of those found guilty on similar charges.

Read that story here.

Now it seems word has gotten out in the legal community and the argument is being used more often by defense attorneys in trials. And they’re winning. Here’s a story from the AP on the problem that ATF has on its hands.

By Jake Bleiberg and Stefanie Dazio, AP

A subtle design feature of the AR-15 rifle has raised a technical legal question that is derailing cases against people who are charged with illegally buying and selling the gun’s parts or building the weapon.

At issue is whether a key piece of one of America’s most popular firearms meets the definition of a gun that prosecutors have long relied on.

For decades, the federal government has treated a mechanism called the lower receiver as the essential piece of the semiautomatic rifle, which has been used in some of the nation’s deadliest mass shootings. Prosecutors regularly bring charges based on that specific part.

But some defense attorneys have recently argued that the part alone does not meet the definition in the law. Federal law enforcement officials, who have long been concerned about the discrepancy, are increasingly worried that it could hinder some criminal prosecutions and undermine firearms regulations nationwide.

“Now the cat is out of the bag, so I think you’ll see more of this going on,” said Stephen Halbrook, an attorney who has written books on gun law and history. “Basically, the government has gotten away with this for a long time.”

Cases involving lower receivers represent a small fraction of the thousands of federal gun charges filed each year. But the loophole has allowed some people accused of illegally selling or possessing the parts, including convicted felons, to escape prosecution. The issue also complicates efforts to address so-called ghost guns, which are largely untraceable because they are assembled from parts.

Since 2016, at least five defendants have challenged the government and succeeded in getting some charges dropped, avoiding prison or seeing their cases dismissed entirely. Three judges have rejected the government’s interpretation of the law, despite dire warnings from prosecutors.

Federal regulations define a firearm’s “frame” or “receiver” as the piece considered to be the gun itself. But in an AR-15, the receiver is split into upper and lower parts — and some of the components listed in the definition are contained in the upper half. That has led judges to rule that a lower receiver alone cannot be considered a gun.

The lower receiver sits above the pistol grip, holds the trigger and hammer, and has a slot for the magazine. By itself, it cannot fire a bullet. But by treating the piece as a firearm, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is able to regulate who can obtain it. Because authorities consider the part to be a gun, people prohibited from having firearms have been charged for possessing them.

In 2018, prosecutors said a ruling against the government would “seriously undermine the ATF’s ability to trace and regulate firearms nationwide.” CNN first reported the case and its implications.

Last month, a federal judge in Ohio dealt the latest blow, dismissing charges against two men accused of making false statements to buy lower receivers.

“Any public citizen would be concerned about this loophole that we exploited,” said attorney Thomas Kurt, who represented defendant Richard Rowold. “As a citizen, I hope the ATF corrects this. As Mr. Rowold’s attorney, I’m grateful the judge followed the law in getting to the correct result.”

The gun industry estimates there are more than 17 million AR-15-style rifles in circulation, and the National Rifle Association once dubbed it “America’s rifle.” AR-15-style weapons were used in attacks in Newtown, ConnecticutLas Vegas and Parkland, Florida.

In the case of Rowold, who is prohibited from buying or possessing firearms because of felony convictions, the government claimed that he used another man as a proxy to purchase 50 lower receivers. The 2018 indictment also charged him with having 15 lower receivers. Kurt declined to comment on why his client had the parts.

The case rested on the ATF’s claim that the components were legally firearms. Judge James Carr called that a “plainly erroneous” reading of the law and said the agency has a duty to fix the problem.

“Misapplying the law for a long time provides no immunity from scrutiny,” Carr wrote in his order to dismiss.

Federal prosecutors in Rowold’s case and several others declined to comment. An ATF spokeswoman would not answer questions posed by The Associated Press but said the agency is “keenly assessing” Carr’s decision.

The problem has attracted attention at the highest levels of law enforcement.

In 2016, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan after a judge dismissed a case in Northern California involving a man with a felony record who was accused of buying an unmarked AR-15 lower receiver from an undercover agent.

Prosecutors argued that the case against Alejandro Jimenez should proceed even if the part “does not perfectly fit” the legal definition. The judge dismissed the charges.

The decision prompted Lynch to write that if the ATF wants an AR-15 lower receiver to be considered a firearm under the law, then it should pursue “regulatory or administrative action.” But there’s no public record of the ATF taking such a step.

“I can’t imagine why no one has taken the initiative to correct this,” said Dan O’Kelly, a former senior ATF agent whose testimony has guided several defense attorneys.

Since Lynch’s letter, such prosecutions have continued to secure prison sentences.

In April, for instance, an Oklahoma man was charged with illegally possessing a firearm after police who pulled him over found loaded high-capacity magazines and the lower receiver of an AR-15-style rifle in his truck.

Jason Scott Pedro, a 37-year-old with a felony record for domestic violence, was sentenced in November to seven years in prison.

There’s no evidence in court records that Pedro’s lawyer challenged whether the lower receiver was rightly considered a gun. The attorney did not respond to requests for comment but has filed a notice of appeal.

“I think the criminal defense bar has kind of let their clients down for letting this go on for all these years,” Halbrook said.

In one case, an ATF expert testified that the same principle could apply to many other firearms. Prosecutors worry that more rulings against the government could allow people prohibited from having guns to purchase weapons piece by piece with no regulation or background check.

Franklin Zimring, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, is skeptical of that claim and said the same behavior could often be prosecuted under state laws.

The AR-15 is a popular model for gun enthusiasts to legally build at home. The rifles are sometimes constructed out of partially machined receivers, often called “80% receivers,” which can be bought and sold without background checks and need not have serial numbers because they are unfinished.

If federal officials want to maintain control in this growing do-it-yourself gun market they need to first establish functional regulation of lower receivers, said Kristen Rand, legislative director at the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center.

“From a public safety standpoint,” she said, ”this is very important and isn’t just an in-the-weeds legal definitional problem.”


  1. avatar Red says:

    Why people hate lawyers in 3,2,1…”“Any public citizen would be concerned about this loophole that we exploited,” said attorney Thomas Kurt”

    1. avatar Rick the Bear says:


      “…about this error in writing the law that…”


      1. avatar burley says:

        Agreed. The error in writing the law was writing it in the first place. I had this document around here somewhere…
        *shuffling noises*
        …here it is, The Constitution!
        …it says here…
        “…shall not be infringed…”
        Yep, there it is, doesn’t matter if it’s a firearm or not. The gov SHALL have nothing to say about it. It’s time we restored the Rule of Law in this land.

    2. avatar Imayeti says:

      99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name!

      1. avatar Erik in AZ says:

        ATF hasn’t fixed it as addressing it would vacate tons of court decisions and provide a period of free for all during the public comment 60-day period. Isn’t it grand!!!??

        1. avatar Big E says:

          Putting these sh!t-birds on the horns of a dilemma is delicious.

        2. avatar Matt says:

          Actually it is 120 day minimum. 30 days in the federal register, 90 day comment period and then it can be put in place assuming OMB immediately approves it at the end of the comment period. Then possible lawsuits challenging it. Though I doubt any judge would put an injunction on enforcing it during trial.

          At a minimum good luck on any successful prosecutions if the ATF admits by publishing the notice of proposed rule making that their definition has been wrong, at least during that period while everyone is waiting for the regulation to go in to effect. Over the counter lowers, and probably frames for a number of other guns too for 4 months. Probably within 2 weeks every manufacturer will be sold out of all inventory that might fall under the “loophole”

    3. avatar Robert Kling says:

      Your point would work a little better if in the same article it was not made clear it was lawyers that found the “loophole,” lawyers that argued it to other lawyers (judges), and those lawyers (judges) agreed with the other lawyers and set the defendants free.

  2. avatar American Patriot says:

    From a public safety stand point we should deport all liberal demorats to the socialist land of choice.

    1. avatar Dan W says:

      The Pacific ocean is nice this time of year and has plenty of room.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        Yes, but the sudden addition of all those Democrats would contribute to the “trash island” amassing in the middle of the Pacific.

        1. avatar MyName says:

          Fish need food, though.

        2. avatar Flying Fish says:

          My Name,
          As a pescatarian, that option would be destructive to my diet.

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    Time to buy some AR lowers😅

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Time to buy some MORE lowers.


    2. avatar Mike J says:

      Some 80% AR lowers, for cash.

    3. avatar JD says:

      I think you should be thinking about buying lowers and uppers. All the atf has to do is make both the gun. You technically need both with all their internal parts to be able to fire a round. I wouldn’t put it past the pricks to overnight just change the law. Like they’ve done or tried in the past.

      1. avatar Mercury says:

        That’s exactly what they’ll do, now that this is getting attention as a defense. They’ll make a “rule change” that rewrites the NFA and it’ll be years before SCOTUS takes a conviction appeal over it. The good news is this is still a no-win scenario for gun grabbers. The language is cut and dry on whether a non-monolithic reciever counts as a gun when not assembled and there are only three justices currently sitting (one of whom will likely not live long enough to write an opinion on it) who are so partisan as to opine in favor of an agency blatantly rewriting an act of Congress. The fact is that uppers will very shortly become legal firearms by order of the BATFE(aRBF) and will at some point — well before any possibility of the demographic shift caused by mass immigration resulting in a law passing the Senate — end up with the Supreme Court striking down and reversing convictions over the posession of either reciever part. This will, of course, essentially break the Wickard v. Filburn jurisdictional hook used to ban in-state commercial gun manufacturing operations and, until a majority of states are overwhelmed by foreign leftist voters, mean anyone can make and sell a two-part reciever (at least in rifle form) firearm to anyone in their state again. Interesting times.

      2. avatar Hannibal and the Elephants says:

        Just as Governor Soprano is trying to legislate: he wants each and every part of a firearm to be “THE” firearm. Serial numbers on everything he decrees.
        We need to be careful with the lower receiver issue before they decree that each and every part is the firearm together and/or in isolation.

        1. avatar Mercury says:

          That would be even bigger nonsense on the face of it than claiming the upper and lower each meet the NFA definition of firearm (when in reality neither do.) It wouldn’t survive scrutiny in any but the most leftist-corrupt federal courts, and if it somehow does, well too late, jackboots. Register away, the boog already started.

          Such a rule would also have unmanageable consequences such as making anything which can be readily converted into any firearm part out of any gun legally being a firearm. When coat hangers become grounds for federal charges, then we’ll really see the meaning of political polarization.

    4. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Time to buy some AR lowers

      … with a drop-in auto sear.

  4. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    All guns need to have serial numbers even if built at home as when the owner dies or if the gun is stolen or sold it then becomes a ghost gun which is not traceable. No other civilized society tolerates such insanity as its a conduit to the underworld of drugs and violence and murder and all untraceable.

    Only psycho’s, criminals and drug lords and the para military lunatic fringe want such weapons legal.

    1. avatar gene says:

      The United States is unique within the world. If you want likeness elsewhere in the world, then move.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        Yes its unique insanity and lawlessness. Tell me do you run drugs for a living?

        And it is you who need to leave so we can have a civilized country to live in. You are a danger to everyone in the country by promoting ghost guns for murder and assassination.

        1. avatar GS650G says:

          Get lost, dweeb.

        2. avatar Andy says:

          Well look here folks, we got us another one of them left leaners that wants to blame the gun and not the criminal that has their finger on the trigger. FYI there hi-speed, the founders didn’t say a damn word about serial numbers in the 2A. Matter of fact, serial numbers WERE NOT required by .gov until the 1960s, therefore, your argument is baseless and meaningless.

        3. avatar Salty says:

          Better dangerous liberty than safe tyranny…. and no, they don’t have to be serialized. But clearly facts and reason are lost on you

        4. avatar Jon in CO says:

          Any documentation for your assumption that “untraceable” guns have led to murder or assassination?

          Didn’t think so. Do you actually stop and read what you write before you post, or, just possibly, THINK about it? Serial numbers aren’t preventing crime now. Neither are background checks, “prohibited” persons acquiring or possessing.

          Proof laws don’t work? Go ahead and give me a national count on how many speeding tickets are given out every year. You’re right, let’s add more red tape, regulation, laws, and bureaucracy, that’s sure to make “a safe place to live”. Damn you’re stupid.

        5. avatar Mercury says:

          If I ran coke for a living, I’d just keep my illegal untraceable gun with the drugs. Do you maybe see the problem with making a law just to prevent career criminals from comitting more crimes? They’re already breaking laws of the highest order. Why would they care if you throw another one on the pile?

        6. avatar arc says:

          In general, people like to be civilized. However, as long as we have governments and psychopaths that want to control everyone else, nations have never and will never be civilized.

          We have better technology, but there is nothing new under the sun.

    2. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      Serial numbers don’t mean a lot. There isn’t much interest in prosecuting straw purchasers which is really a shame. The leftists wanting to empty the jails of anyone who’s an actual criminal while making criminals of the law abiding is utterly insane.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        This has nothing to do with straw purchases it has to do with untraceable guns. There is the difference. Even Straw purchases can often be traced.

        And yes straw men should be prosecuted and when crimes are committed that result from that straw purchase you are 100 per cent wrong as they are indeed prosecuted.

        try again your smoke and mirror reply fell flat on its face.

        1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          Your little democrat buddies won’t prosecute those cases, because that means convicting Blacks.

          And as yet more of you little democrat buddies have told us, convicting Blacks is clearly racist and must be stopped at all costs…

        2. avatar Ginder12 says:

          So, vlad just for the sake of argument let’s say in 1967 I bought 10 firearms from the classifieds in my local newspaper paid cash and all are still functioning. Ghost guns? Should I be a good citizen and report myself. Turn them in to the state because they are icky and untraceable. You’re an idiot.

        3. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          to Grinder with 12 metal shavings in his head

          “”””””””””””””””””””””””””So, vlad just for the sake of argument let’s say in 1967 I bought 10 firearms from the classifieds in my local newspaper paid cash and all are still functioning. Ghost guns? Should I be a good citizen and report myself. Turn them in to the state because they are icky and untraceable. You’re an idiot.++++++++++++++++++++++

          Sorry oh retarded one. When a law is passed at the Federal Level that makes it a Federal crime not to go through a dealer to sell your guns don’t try and bullshit anyone. You damn well better follow the law or if the guy that buys a gun off you and commits a crime and they let him plea bargain if he rats on you he will be out of prison before you will. Now am I getting through that thick cranium of yours. Is this getting to complicated for you????

        4. avatar Salty says:

          See this is where leftards and reasonable people disagree. Leftards say, lets create bureaucracy and build a case and reform this career criminal… reasonable folks say, I’m gonna carry a gun and if a career criminal needs dealt with I will deal with it at the scene instead of letting some poor granny get robbed and raped. Thus saving tax payer money. Bonus!! And the bad genes go away. And then you (if your weren’t in the socialist states picket) could broadcast it on tv and say look! Play stupid games get dedded

        5. avatar ExiledinCA says:

          @Vlad – I would like to know what benefit that “tracing the gun” has? In 99.99% of cases it will be traced back to a legally purchased gun that was stolen, or a gun stolen from a gun shop or while in transit by common carrier.

          How does this help the police? I think they already know that criminals don’t buy guns legally, so I am sure they are shocked that the guns are all stolen. It is theater (“look, we are doing something”) just like the TSA. You need to quit believing what you learned from watching cop shows on TV. What a maroon.

    3. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Yeah, we need to find a way to serialize gasoline. And matches and kitchen knives and just about anything else that could be used for some nefarious purpose. Hell, how many people have been smothered by pillows in the last fifty years.

      1. avatar doug says:

        At least one US Supreme Court Justice….

        1. avatar Butch says:

          And I believe the pillowcase had “HRC” embroidered on the edge.

    4. avatar Erik in AZ says:

      TrackIng guns does not prevent a single crime. A serial number only assists investigators track down the Original legal owner IF THE FIREARM WAS LEFT AT THE SCENE OF THE CRIME. The original owner is not necessarily the criminal, as guns are stolen, lost by federal agents quite often, etc.

      US law does not require homemade guns to have a serial number, and manufacturing your own firearm at home has been legal for over 200 years.

      So, suck it.

      1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        I would also like to see the number of crimes that were prevented from having serial numbers. The ATF ( after the fact ) is a useless entity and reminds me of the Gestapo.

      2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        To Erik

        “”””””””””””””””””””””””””TrackIng guns does not prevent a single crime””””””””””””””””””””””””

        Really are you that knuckle headed????

        Keeping criminals and nut cases does indeed prevent crime and serializing guns and making it mandatory to transfer them to another owner sure as hell does keep guns out of the hands of criminals and nut cases. The Brady Bill every year denies thousands of purchases and if the NRA had not watered it down by preventing it from vetting second hand purchases we would have one of the most useful tools that law enforcement could use to prevent nut cases and criminals from getting guns.

        1. avatar Andy says:

          Wait a minute! Didn’t you just say in a previous post that “When a law is passed at the Federal Level that makes it a Federal crime not to go through a dealer to sell your guns don’t try and bullshit anyone.” Federal law does not require any private sale to go through a FFL transfer. Hell, a sales receipt is not required; recommended, but not required. What does apply is what state a person lives in may require that or more stipulations to said private sale. So Vlad, in your attempt to bullshit us, did you not just bullshit yourself?

        2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          To Andy

          Have someone explain my posts to you your reading comprehension is at about the zero level.

        3. avatar Huntmaster says:

          Vlad: You shouldn’t be so rough on Andy, Your writing ability is right around zero also.

        4. avatar Bill in ILL says:

          Vlad, reading your almost incomprehensible posts only prove one thing: you have no idea what you are talking about and you are making a fool out of yourself by continuing to comment.

    5. avatar Renault says:

      You’re free to move to Mexico where gun control has made it a gun free, drug free, crime free paradise 😂

    6. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Thank you, it is learned opinions such as yours that have motivated me to improve my skills and set of tools needed to make whatever I want regardless of what silly laws get passed.

    7. avatar Greg Merrill says:

      Psycho’s, criminals and drug lords and Me.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        Law enforcement will be paying you a not so social call soon. chuckle.

        1. avatar Bill in ILL says:

          You are dreaming, it is you who is in dire need of being red flagged.

    8. avatar Vlad's a fag says:

      Verbal diarrhea in every comment. Find a country that accepts you commie.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        High pwrserge. You did not think you would fool us did you.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          Did you really just misspell the short form of “hello”? How the hell even…never mind. Of course you did.

    9. avatar Southern Cross says:

      In the US serial numbers on firearms were not mandatory until sometime in the 1960s. Most did it to account for the numbers made in accounting processes. Militaries did it for inventory control.

    10. avatar UpInArms says:

      ” All guns need to have serial numbers even if built at home ”

      I have no problem with stamping an arbitrary number on to a gun, as long as I don’t have to tell anyone what it is or have anyone tell me what it needs to be. In which case, why bother?

    11. avatar MyName says:

      Can you cite a crime that was prevented by a serial number?

      No worries, I’ll wait.

    12. avatar Sian says:

      Hey troll.

      Find one crime that a gun trace on a legally purchased firearm prevented or solved.

      Firearms tracking serves one purpose: Punishing the original owner.

    13. avatar 12gaReason says:

      You are an ignorant moron!!! Was this country a drug gangland before 1968.. or 1934?
      Serial numbers were not required by law in the US until the 1934 National Firearms Act reqired them on machine guns and handguns. The 1968 Gun Control Act required them on newly made rifles and shotguns.
      Get educated before you start yapping w/ ur nonsensical trap !!

    14. avatar Big E says:

      All your speech should be subject to a 14 day cooling off period before being vetted and approved prior to posting. Come to think of it you should have to pay some fees and pass multiple psych evaluations and back-ground checks before speaking out.

      Please cease comment until you’ve complied with this common-sense proposal.

    15. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      You are ignorant of history.

      Before the 1968 GCA, there were many .22’s and shotguns that had no serial number from the factory. There are many mass-produced guns, by reputable companies, that were made without serial numbers. Remington, Marlin, Mossberg and many others made guns without serial numbers.

      We had no crime waves as a result of this lack of serial numbers.

    16. avatar SmithWesson says:

      Your logic is flawed, and it is the same as many gun-control people — because the rest of the “civilized world” controls their citizens of gun right, US should learn and follow. You forget one thing: US is the most powerful, the most advanced, and the most liberal country in this world. We lead the world in MANY MANY aspects. This means US has been doing something right, among which LIBERTY of the people is perhaps the most important. So, US does not need to learn what other countries do. If anything, it is the rest of the “civilized world” that should learn from the US to free their people. Why don’t you find one country that is better than the US? You can’t, because if you can you would have moved.

    17. avatar Cloud says:

      F**k off fascist.

    18. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Actually, quite a lot of trust folk who stree well versed in the subject want exactly that.

      1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

        I give up on autocorrect.

    19. avatar burley says:

      Obvious Troll is obvious. Please don’t feed the trolls.

    20. avatar Justsomeguy says:

      Regarding your proposals. The answer is no,

    21. avatar DiWA says:

      “All guns need to have serial numbers”

      Why? They’ll work just as well without them.

  5. avatar smitty says:

    Vlad Tepes = Troll
    And your on every damn thread.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      Yes and everyone that disagrees with you is a troll. Sorry there is something we call the 1st Amendment which all you right wing Nazi’s hate with a passion. Strange you scream about second amendment rights and in the same putrid breath try to destroy 1st amendment rights. Sorry you either believe in all the Constitution or none of it. If I had my choice between living in a country with either second amendment or 1st amendment rights the 1st amendment rights are far more important. But that is way over your head I am sure as paranoia clouds your logic.

      1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

        ^^^ Found the regressive leftist trying to rewrite history.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        vlad. Either you believe in all the constitution or none of it. 2a protects 1a.

        And you are a fascist troll.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          And you JWM flunked civics and history.

          Britain has freedom of speech and very strict gun laws and most Britain’s are very happy it is this way. They have not had a school shooting since 1982. Now oh genius of the out house gang try and lie your way out of this one.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Your very own words just a comment or two above, vlad. “Either you believe in the whole constitution or none of it.” And then to keep the insanity going you bring in england.

          You’re a pathological liar vlad. Remember, i’ve seen your facebook. You are a drop out from Kent State and likely haven’t hit 30 yet.

          You are a fascist who claims to be a socialist. I see no difference in the two. They’re equally evil. But the fact that you are the one while claiming the other proves you’re a pathological liar you even lie to yourself.

        3. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          Hey JWM

          You dodged my question on Britain and its not having any school shooting since 1982. Now since you cannot debate or answer with any level of intelligence in regards to the question at hand you resort to name calling. Kids in school do that JWM.

        4. avatar jwm says:

          vlad. Look at all the name calling you’ve done in just this thread. And dodged the statement about the constitution. England? Who cares what a backwards 3rd world country with a queen says or thinks?

        5. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

          “Britain has freedom of speech and…”

          No, it doesn’t.

          Here’s the proof –

          “Britain Turns Offensive Speech Into a Police Matter
          The nation that gave the world John Milton and his cry for the “liberty to utter” is now at the forefront of shutting speech down.”

        6. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          Wrong Geoff

          ====================“Britain has freedom of speech and…”

          No, it doesn’t.==============

          “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””“Britain Turns Offensive Speech Into a Police Matter
          The nation that gave the world John Milton and his cry for the “liberty to utter” is now at the forefront of shutting speech down.”++++++++++++++++++++++

          We are speaking of today not at the dawn of history. Britain is a civilized country and unlike the lawless U.S. of Hey they do not tolerate hate speech. It leads to the rise of people like Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. They learned from History while we are still shitting in the out house and putting up with Trump and his blatant racism.

        7. avatar Someone says:

          So, no right to keep and bear arms in Britain and their all important free speech means you are free to say what is allowed, but nothing else. Got it. Sounds lovely…for someone like you, Drac.

      3. avatar Greg Merrill says:

        Nowhere did he says you couldn’t be a troll, that you couldn’t enjoy your first amendment rights.

        He was just pointing out you are a turd burglar.

        1. avatar Mort says:

          Lol… I have read plenty enough of Troll Dracula’s silly posts to accept that he or she is indeed a bona fide troll (who, incidentally, has every right to say whatever nonsense he or she wants to; plus, it’s entertaining…)– but, my goodness, what is “turd burglar?”

          I have this standard cartoonish vision in my mind of some short, fat guy with a stubbled chin, in a black & white horizontally pinstriped shirt, wearing a “Zorro” eye mask, and a black tweed beret… clumsily sneaking over the fence into people’s backyards and picking up dog poo and putting the treasure in a burlap sack… while shiftly looking side to side…. 🤣 wtf

          Is that what a “turd burglar” is? Is that what you are, Vlad the Troll? (🤔 Or, does he have it wrong… are you more of a “turd Dracula,” impaling poo on kebab sticks and sucking them with your fangs…?) It’s a heavy accusation, I know.

          Anyway… I ask in the interest of public safety (read, Demanding Moms subtitles: “common sense gun safety against gun violence”). Because if you are a “turd burglar,” and you keep sneaking into people’s backyards to steal their turds (or suck them, whatever…), then you’re likely to get shot soon enough. And that’s not helpful to anyone… especially if its a group of you weirdos, and then it gets logged as a “mass shooting” by USA Today “Gun Violence” tracker or some other nonsense….

          Just, do society a favor… stop burglaring turds, man. Find a better hobby. I dunno… guns and the shooting sports are always growing– give it a whirl. And take off that stupid mask. And maybe brush your teeth.

          Be safe. Mort (actual/AZ)

          PS– I’m glad we could have this conversation. Puts a little perspective on the table about what’s truly important here, what with Constitutionally-protected guaranteed civil rights being red-herring’d all day with these goofy hysterical, alarmist “concerns” about rifle parts and the US mail being a “problem.” As long you aren’t “turd burglaring,” I’d say we’re making honest, civilized progress.

        2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          to greggy and big brother Mort.

          The other kids are home from school its time to play with them. And that includes your big brother who is even nuttier than you, Mort, who has a fetish for turds that is obvious. Since Mort likes smelling them I will send him a few of my own. Have fun.

      4. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

        Being identified as a troll does not impede your 1A rights in anyway. Why are you trying to impede Smitty’s 1A rights to call you a troll? You call many people names, did Smitty hurt your feelings?

        What part of the political spectrum advocates violence against those who offer speech they disagree with?

        Reasonable people understand that these “common sense ” gun laws are anything but common sense. Placing a serial number on a homemade firearm does nothing to prevent a crime. Believing it does so is the epitome of a special type of ignorance.

        Your points about wanting safe storage laws and the such fall in that special type of ignorance. These laws fail to address the criminal act and the individual who commits the act. The punishment is not applied to the perpetrator but to the victim. That fails the test for common sense.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          “””””””””””””””””””””””””””” Placing a serial number on a homemade firearm does nothing to prevent a crime. Believing it does so is the epitome of a special type of ignorance.”””””””””””””””””””

          And you have a special kind of retardation.

          Read my above post about serial numbers and vetting of all guns. You cannot lie your way out of it when you face the truth. Every industrialized nation on earth vets all gun purchases and as I said in the above post try and lie your way out of the fact the Britain has not had a mass school shooting since 1982 when they went civilized and we have them every other week. Care to lie your way out of that one?

        2. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

          Vlad, there are no lies in my post. You can repeat til the end of time that assertion, it won’t make it true.

          Are you asserting that Britain was not civilized prior to 1982? I think that would come as a surprise to them and the rest of us.

          We have a long list of prohibited persons, and yet even in States that require all transfers to have background checks, prohibited persons still get firearms. Very few of these prohibited persons make their own firearms. And if they did, Haynes v. United States, 390 U.S. 85 (1968), would preclude them from the requirement to serialize their firearm to transfer them. A good attorney could make the case under this ruling.

          These “civilized” Countries you so much want to emulate are not founded on the same freedoms as this Country is. Nor does their draconian firearm laws keep violence at bay. Britain has knife control as well. Should we also emulate that? Yet criminals are still committing violence regardless of the laws. Seems we should focus on the criminals who are committing the violence and not the means they are using?

          You mention the amount of denials of the background checks, you fail to mention how many are in error, how many are later allowed to proceed and not one serious researcher has shown they are effective.

        3. avatar WBP says:

          There’s no way this dude isn’t troll lmao

      5. avatar Patrick Henry says:

        You do realize that NAZI stands for national socialist right? Or are you really that stupid to think that somehow NAZI equals right wing? Well…I guess I answered my own question.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          Only a Moron like yourself that flunked history would call the Nazi’s anything else be Far Right Wing Racists just like yourself. Go back to school you flunked out of even the basics of History.

          Ever hear of protectionism it fits you to a tee.

        2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          correction I meant to type Projectionism not protectionism

      6. avatar Andy says:

        Hmmm. Right wing Nazis…oxymoron. Vlad…just a moron.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:


          Nazi equals Right Wing racist, bigot, immigrant hater, refugee hater, xenophobe, intolerant of other cultures, races and religions. I am sure your comfortable with that. And none of that ever pertained to Liberals and Socialists. As a matter of Fact Hitler persecuted Socialists and attacked Russia because of their Socialist Government. And Hitler did everything in his power to trash Socialism in Germany including attacking union rights, privatizing government programs and institutions. Exactly what your party the Republican Gangster Criminals have been trying to do for years.

          And Andy equals a denier of his political ideology and is a projectionist.

        2. avatar DiWA says:

          Vlad, “Nazi equals Right Wing…”, Naziism is inherently leftist, as is Fascism.
          You have much to learn, padawan underling.

      7. avatar Robert says:

        The First Amendment protects your right to say what you want. It also protects others right to saywhat they want
        So you are free to say stupid statements and we are free to point out how stupid those statements are.
        We all need a laugh. Thank you.

      8. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        to JWM

        ==================vlad. Look at all the name calling you’ve done in just this thread. And dodged the statement about the constitution. England? Who cares what a backwards 3rd world country with a queen says or thinks?================

        You do realize educated people are laughing at your statement. England was a civilized county centuries before we even existed.

        Still waiting genius for you to answer my question about school shootings and how civilized countries like Britain but a stop to it while people like you claim to have all the answers while the killing goes on and on. I did not even mention Germany that also put a stop to it too. You lose genius as usual.

        1. avatar Void says:

          They traded for knife and acid attacks paired with pedo grooming. So civilized much culture.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          vlad. How would you know what educated people are laughing at? You’re a drop out.

        3. avatar Someone says:

          Drac, First amendment protects free speech (among other things) from laws passed by the Congress. No mention of any restrictions on private blogs.

          US Government has no business regulating private gun trade. It is not empowered to do so by the Constitution. On the contrary, it is strictly prohibited by the Second amendment, which forbids infringements on our RTKBA. It doesn’t mention any exceptions.

          Serial numbers can’t stop any crime. They don’t help to solve any crimes either. (Criminals file out or drill out serial numbers.)
          Mandatory serial numbers can be only useful for registration. And any registration is sooner or later used for confiscation.

          What makes you think we give a flying f..k about what “every industrialized nation on earth (sic)” does? This is America! You want to live like a European? Move to Europe! Enjoy your pure parliamentary democracy! And leave us, who love this Constitutional Republic alone.

        4. avatar DiWA says:

          “…about school shootings…”

          As if that happens a lot.

  6. avatar Stuck in NJ says:

    Vlad (Putin, is that you?), you said, “All guns need to have serial numbers even if built at home as when the owner dies or if the gun is stolen or sold it then becomes a ghost gun which is not traceable.”

    LOL, are you saying that when the gun owner dies, he becomes a ghost, and his gun becomes a ghost gun? LOL, time to call Ghostbusters! The gun might jump out at you from behind a curtain and shout, “BOO!” The only way to prevent legal guns from becoming scary, spooky, haunting “ghost guns” is to banish them by an exorcist priest engraving a serial number on them, that’s what you’re saying?

    People have been making their own guns at home, legally, for centuries.

    Engraving serial numbers on guns doesn’t stop them from being stolen.
    Do you seriously think that thieves intent on stealing a gun will stop and say, “No, we can’t steal this gun, because it would take too long to file off the serial number, two whole minutes! We’d better put that gun back and keep burglarizing houses until we find a gun with no serial numbers.”

    FYI, serial numbers aren’t a “Lo-Jack” device. They don’t magically allow stolen guns to be traced and their movements monitored! Name one crime that has been prevented by serial numbers on a gun. You can’t, because there are none. Engraving numbers on a gun doesn’t stop crime, and it certainly doesn’t stop guns from being stolen. Gun theft is illegal, whether or not the gun has a serial number or is a spooky-sounding “ghost gun.”

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      To Stuck in Ignorance.

      You not only delusional you are a damn idiot as well. Let me spell it out for you Genius brain. When the receiver was completed the gun would be registered and recorded just as the Manufacturer must do. The Manufacturer keeps his records unless he goes out of business while the home owner would have to register his gun with the Federal Government. If the gun was sold it would then be the owners ass if he did not transfer ownership or at least have the prospective buyer pass a background check. It all would depend on how the law was written.

      As far as stolen guns that is exactly why we need a Federal Law that demands safe storage. The average robbery even on a gun store is smash and grab and the more difficult it is to steal a gun the less likely the robbery will be successful or even attempted. Crooks know that many homes and business are wired right to the police department or to a monitoring agency which will call the police.

      Now you Moron what part of this do you not understand. If not have your wife read this to you and explain it all to you. I am sure she would agree as most women are able to think logically which is more than I can say for you.

      1. avatar Kroglikepie says:

        Wait, if crooks have no problem stealing from gun stores with more security than a home could ever have, then what logic do “Safe Storage” laws have?

        1. avatar Your better says:

          Obama pajama boy from Ohio aka Soyboy “Vlad “ …

          Heller already ruled on mandatory storage laws. They are unconstitutional. Can’t force a citizen by law to lock up a gun, as it renders said firearm useless for home defense.

          It is settled law. All states that pass mandatory unsafe storage are breaking the law.

          Have your mommy read this to you and explain it in small words you might be able to comprehend.

        2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          to Krog like cow pie

          ++++++++++++++++++++Wait, if crooks have no problem stealing from gun stores with more security than a home could ever have, then what logic do “Safe Storage” laws have?+++++++++++++++++++++

          Wake up genius most gun stores do not lock up their guns when they close and many do not even have bars on the windows its that ridiculous. Smash and grab is so easy a grade school kid could clean out most gun stores in a few minutes with nothing more than a hammer and a burlap sack. Its been done over and over again.

        3. avatar Kroglikepie says:

          Vlad, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Again. Still.

          Your image of easy to pilfer guns does not match the reality of insurance best practices.

          When someone drives a truck through your front door and brings power tools to open a safe, all the ‘Safe Storage’ laws in the world are null.

        4. avatar Someone says:

          Don’t look for logic in gun grabber’s posts.

      2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        to Your better (off ignorant)

        Safe storage laws are not in conflict with Heller in any way.

        And no, safe storage laws do not prevent people from using guns for home protection. They can carry them on their person or put a handgun in a small desk safe right by their bed. Touch a few buttons and its out in less than one second. Your bullshit about safe storage laws holds no water and I practiced safe storage religiously when I had kids and my kids never got accidentally shot in comparison to the average hill jack that let his kids or kids that came over to play blow their brains out or cripple themselves for life. Really are you than ignorant? Well the answer is obviously yes.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          You don’t have kids, vlad. If you did they were taken by your baby mama or the .gov when they figured out just how mentally damaged you are. You’re not old enough to have adult kids. Period.

          I believe you are a prohibited person. How many times have you been involuntarily committed for tests? You are very obviously suffering from a raft of mental illnesses.

      3. avatar I am the Grouch says:

        the name calling by this jerk is getting pretty annoying……… something about it TTAG……he may have free speech but you have the right to refuse service….he has been on here all day with his crap

      4. avatar Bill in ILL says:

        Are you posting from a mental hospital Vlad? You seem quite insane with all you insults, cursing, lies and failed history claims.

      5. avatar michael oharrow says:

        Vlad, submitted for your consideration
        how to build your own 9mm sub machine gun
        its really easy to do and with parts available from any hardware store
        really hard to trace too

      6. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        In an above comment he is crying about name calling, then calls other posters multiple names.

        Also types out his beliefs that serial numbers will reduce crime, then adds the caveat “if we have safe storage laws”. So again he wants to punish the person who purchased the gun originally, and not the criminal. Got it.

  7. avatar Hannibal says:

    At some point it stops being a “loophole.” No one is fixing it, it must not be a problem.

  8. avatar C says:

    This makes me genuinely concerned that the BATF will start classifying upper receivers as firearms.

    1. avatar Rincoln says:

      They do whatever they want anyway. They arbitrarily designate pieces of plastic as machine guns. It’s time for that lawless, criminal organization to be stricken down in the courts.

  9. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Lawyers defending “lower receiver” type cases should move to have their hearings as soon as possible. A regulation is so much easier to change than enacting actual legislation. With the Chevron decision, the BATFEE can clarify and interpret the definition in such a way as to not put prior convictions at risk of re-litigation/appeal.

    1. avatar DiWA says:

      It would also be great for something to happen legalwise that would discourage Peduto-like manouvers, as well.

  10. avatar Ed P. says:

    1) Bump stocks are machine guns.
    2) Hear ye! Hear ye! By royal proclamation: While possession of a lower is not considered a firearm, IF an upper AND lower are found, whether assembled or not, the two parts found would be considered a firearm.

    My reasoning for 2) is identical to anybody found in possession of parts for an auto-sear or suppressor.

  11. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Wanted to take a moment and say how much I appreciate Vlad Tepes and his variations; they are great time savers.

    I subscribe to about 40 different threads on TTAG. That’s a lot of reading. Vlad and his gang reduce the amount of time needed to read the commentary and postings on TTAG. When VT and the gang appear as comment initiators, or the subject of comment replies, such entries gain an immediate DELETE. Not having to slog through hundreds of minutes that cannot be recovered, I can move rapidly to submissions that might have real value.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      In other words your afraid to face the other side of the story because you are afraid to get into the conversation. Yeah I get the real meaning of your post.

      1. avatar Void says:

        Conversation involves dialogue not dictation. One of the things you learn when you finish your degree.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          And you and he subscribe to neither.

        2. avatar Void says:

          Yet again ranting into something. Go back to school you can still turn it around.

      2. avatar Bill in ILL says:

        Your side of the story is filled with lies, conjecture and BS, nothing more, nothing of value.

  12. avatar Tinted Bear says:

    “found loaded high-capacity magazines”

    To the newly installed leftists in Virginia any magazine that can hold over 10 rounds is high-capacity.

    I suspect most AR & AK owners(and LEOs) consider a 20 round mag as small, 30 as typical and anything larger as high-capacity.

    Without actual round counts ‘High-capacity’ in this context is meaningless and used solely to inflame.

  13. avatar Bruce says:

    I don’t think that going through APACNotice and Comment to create a new regulation is going to work. The problem is that the statute says that a firearm requires certain things. The problem is that in an AR-15 (AR-10, etc) those functions are split between the upper and lower receivers. You buy a lower receiver, and it doesn’t mount a barrel, thus not a firearm. You buy an upper receiver, and it doesn’t have a trigger mechanism, etc. neither has all of the functions required by statute for a firearm. Formal regulations, such as those proposed, can augment and clarify statutes, but cannot contradict them, and that is what would be required here.

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Formal regulations, such as those proposed, can augment and clarify statutes,…”

      It is not prudent to underestimate federal employees on a mission. You may think them universally stupid, but they are quite cunning, devious, and determined. Plus, they have the federal courts with them (see Chevron decision).

  14. avatar IN Dave says:

    Great we can simultaneously hear that this was a loophole that was created by the gun industry to circumvent the law. And hear that the AR isn’t covered by the 2nd amendment because it’s not an gun. But until that time can anyone tell me what the penalty is for having a unregistered, fully automatic,…um…not a gun…..asking for a friend who owns a dilapidated boat??

  15. avatar Poortown says:

    Vlad is actually Bloomberg practicing for a rehearsed debate

  16. avatar Why says:

    Vlad: The next gun control activist to go on a shooting rampage for the cause. Thinking his “virtue commenting” will cause authorities to overlook him. But I’m not buying

    1. avatar Void says:

      That is a mildly unsettling prospect. I am willing to bet he is a prohibited person whose firearm knowledge is counterstrike deep. From his rants on the topic I would guess he lacks the ability to build something so he would likely need to go for theft or straw purchase. But thought experiment aside I more pick up on lonely frustrated and angry. Guessing there was a failure to develop or advance somewhere. Dime store profile attempt for the night.

  17. avatar Getfreight says:

    The big problem I see is has multiple possibilities. It opens the door to too many bad outcomes.

    1 – If not the lower, what part(s) will they consider the “Firearm”? How will that affect existing AR’s and their owners?
    2 – OR, it opens up an “emergency” need to rewrite the regulations “quickly for the children”. While they are “fixing” something that ain’t broke, what other minor changes or adjustments will they make in the specific law that outlines these definitions. I can see that going very badly for everyone.

    Then how can those changes or adjustments be manipulated with new laws, or how does that new definition redine the existing laws? We all know it will be done to further strip our rights away. It is opening Pandora’s Box at this point.

    This becomes a negotiation where neither side trusts the other. No one seems to be acting in good faith, even the politicians that are supposedly Gun Rights advocates. So how is additional unknowns a good thing?

  18. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Good point, if the serial number isn’t on it it’s not a gun.

  19. avatar StopIrritaringTheBATF says:

    This is wrong. The lower receiver is most definitely the serialized firearm per the law.
    Let me ask you. If it’s ruled not, what will be? You better hope this goes nowhere or it will be worse you idiots.

    1. Not according to the ATF’s website which quotes the relevant portion of US Code defining a firearm:

      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. 27 CFR § 478.11.

      See here:

      An AR lower doesn’t have a bolt or breechblock and isn’t threaded to receive a barrel. Therefore, under current law, it can’t be defined as a firearm.

      1. avatar Steven says:

        By your interpretation of the regulation, a M1911 frame (as well as that of almost every other semi auto pistol ever produced) is not a firearm, either. It carries only the trigger, sear, and hammer, just like the AR-15 lower receiver. Striker-fired pistols don’t even have the hammer but no one is claiming that a Glock frame shouldn’t be considered the regulated component. This is a really dumb argument that no judge should have fallen for. Fortunately, BATFE can eliminate this confusion with little more than a comma.

        1. avatar MyName says:

          Why would we want the BATFE to correct it – The more their regulations are viewed as arbitrary, capricious and unenforceable, the better.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “By your interpretation of the regulation…”

          Interpretation not required. The language is the template. Place your firearm part against the template. Does the firearm part qualify IAW the written law?

          BTW, judges have already “fallen” for the plain language of the regulation.

  20. avatar LibertyToad says:

    As always, they have redefined “loophole” as something that was not intended. Idiots.

  21. avatar pcb_duffer says:

    It seems to me that what it’s going to take is someone (or maybe a small handfule of them) who (a) has an FFL and (b) has a recent terminal diagnosis. He or she or they would sell lower receivers, all cash, no records. When the BATFE came for them, invoke your other Constitutionally guaranteed rights for the advice of counsel and against self incrimination. A lot of people will cough up the $ to help fund their defense, all the way to the SCOTUS as necessary. With a little planning, it could be done in a jurisdiction that’s actually freedom loving.

  22. avatar Travis Britt says:

    Vlad Peepee in the Teepee….Hey, bud, waazzuppp? Did ya’ learn those idiots some smarts? Next…

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