AR-15 80% lower
Dan Z. for TTAG
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By Larry Keane

Shannon Watts wants to know what’s in your wallet. Even more, she wants what’s in your wallet to decide what you can buy.

Michael Bloomberg’s front woman for his bought-and-paid-for gun control group Moms Demand Action is demanding credit card companies monitor and police cardholder purchases. Specifically, she wants credit card companies to ban purchases of precursor firearm parts. Watts derides them as so-called “ghost guns” and wants to ban their sale. Her claim is that the ATF recovered 10,000 of these “ghost guns” last year, but those included firearms with obliterated serial numbers and older firearms not legally required to serialized.

Here’s the problem. It’s perfectly legal for anyone who can buy a gun to build their own at home. She’s stomping her foot and demanding that credit card companies do what tech companies are doing. She wants them to dictate law and to be the arbiters of what’s legal, of what’s allowed and what rights law-abiding citizens can exercise.

Can I Buy a Law?

Watts proposes in a Business Insider op-ed that credit card companies deny purchases of precursor firearm parts. She points to a lawsuit that her partner gun control organization Everytown for Gun Safety brought against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to force them to regulate 80 percent unfinished receivers as firearms.

She conveniently ignores that the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss in a related and coordinated lawsuit filed by Giffords and the California Attorney General. ATF will soon file for summary judgment in the Everytown case. Among the several reasons the DOJ seeks to dismiss the case is the fact that a receiver blank is not a receiver under the law.

80% AR-15 lower receiver blank
Courtesy 80% Arms

Once a firearm receiver crosses the so-called “80 percent” threshold for being finished, manufacturers are required by the law and ATF regulations to serialize the receiver because, under the law, it is a “firearm.” Everytown’s lawsuit wants to force ATF to define a “frame or receiver” as any part “that is designed, intended, or marketed to be used in an assembled, operable firearm.”

Everytown’s definition would mean that a forging or billet, a solid un-machined block of metal with no holes drilled in it, that a manufacturer would purchase from a supplier, would itself be a “firearm” requiring the raw material supplier to have an ATF manufacturing license and mark and serialized the forging or billet with its name, location and a serial number. This, of course, is not what the Gun Control Act requires.

aluminum ingot
By Everytown’s and Shannon Watts’ definition, this is a “firearm.” (Shutterstock)

As ATF explains in moving to dismiss the Giffords case, “Congress has defined “firearm” with specificity as, inter alia, “(A) any weapon . . . which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” or “(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon.” In doing so, Congress changed the prior definition to explicitly exclude “‘any part or parts’ of a firearm,” other than a receiver…. A receiver blank may not “readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” is not “designed to . . . expel a projectile” in and of itself and is not itself a “receiver.” It is therefore not a “firearm” within the meaning of the statute.”

The ATF explains that a “receiver” is “[t]hat 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” and how it determines when something is readily convertible. A forging and so-called “80 percent receivers” are clearly not readily convertible to fire a projectile and so therefore not a frame or receiver of a firearm.

Scaremongering Bogeyman

Home-built firearms have always been legal. Even before the founding of our nation, Americans were building and assembling firearms in their homes for their private use. This is perfectly legal and is the practice predominantly of hobbyists.

omg horror

The overwhelming majority of firearms in the United States are bought through retail purchases, which are completed with a face-to-face transfer and completed FBI background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This happened 21 million times last year.

Watts ignores that those who can’t buy a gun at retail also are barred from building and possessing a home-built firearm. If a person is prohibited from buying a firearm at retail, they are also prohibited from possessing a home-built firearm. If a person builds their own firearm at home and sells those firearms to be “in the business” of making and selling a firearm, they must obtain a license from the ATF. Being “in the business” without a license is a felony.

Dirty Deeds

Watts attempts to make the case that there’s a precedent for credit card companies to take active role with the abhorrent comparison of lawful firearm ownership with sex trafficking and pornography. Watts’ ham-fisted attempt to denigrate law-abiding citizens is as crude as her comparison. It shows that there is no brush too wide for her to use to tar the reputation of law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Shannon Watts

Watts also shows that there’s no idea she’s not willing to co-opt to achieve her gun control agenda. This isn’t the first time the idea of having credit card companies police Americans’ private purchases was floated. New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin pitched the idea in 2018. He attempted to publicly shame credit card companies for the horrific crimes committed by deranged individuals.

Spokespersons for both Visa and Mastercard rejected this idea then. They would be wise to do it again.

Michael Bloomberg, who writes the check for Watts’ Moms Demand, infamously admitted during a town hall even during his failed presidential bid that he had no problem being protected by guns. After all, he’s rich. But Bloomberg has never had an issue with telling others how to live their lives. Now, he’s got Watts selling his bad ideas of getting credit card companies to climb on board with his big brother gambit.

Watts might be playing from an outdated playbook, though. This year is different. More than 8.4 million people who never owned a gun before 2020 now have one in their possession. The likelihood of those people buying guns that cost hundreds to thousands of dollars in wads of cash is unlikely. They bought them with a credit card.

Guns are just today’s cause du jour. After big tech colluded to silence dissent online, it’s not a stretch to see when those bankrolling these cancel culture campaigns move on from gun control and deny the ability to buy a fossil-fuel-powered car or purchase red meat or any other grievance they become offended by. It took a judge to stop Bloomberg’s Big Gulp ban in New York City.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.



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  1. Picking up a shotgun tomorrow. I use CASH. If cash disappears that’s when the real end of America happens-and the world.

        • Russian troll newbie, first day on the job. Be patient…his handler will have him properly trained soon. Probably giving him a good whooping right now.

          Engrish must be mastered, for to make successful confused the Americans by comment on gun website. 🙂

        • “MeLuv FurBurger”

          Me love fur burger? Oh, Lord!

          More likely a fuckwit incel boy that never had a woman.

          Probably Deborah’s troll. Might as well call him 7-Up.

          Never had it, never will… *snicker*… 😉

        • Bah. Haz skipped the revolution because his parents had the Wuhan Flu at an in opportune time. If George Washington et al had his constitution, we’d be having tee time at four. But he’s going to act like he’s all that. What a punk.

          As for Goof: ———————

        • To “take stick” or “to take a lot of stick” is idiomatic and, IME, mostly British English.

          It means to take harsh criticism and probably refers to flogging with a wooden rod back in the day.

          It’s a valid phrase in English but the usage here is incorrect and makes no sense. It’s also not something I’ve seen or heard in American English more than a few times.

    • Don’t worry. The dems will likely freeze all republican voter’s bank accounts once they get in office. You know…to punish us for voting the best, smartest hardest working POTUS that We The People had in over 100 yrs.
      never say never…………

        • Most definitely. In CO they send both ballots for the primary (still need to end mail ballotting). So I can choose how to vote and I can vote least-worst in the primary if you know what I mean. Makes for fun conversations when they contact me asking for my vote!

  2. She gettin her pointers from the “chairman” or the “dear leader”? They’re not even pretending anymore, are they?

  3. Move to an email provider that encrypts your messages if you haven’t already.
    Google, Yahoo and the like know everything you’ve ever bought online thanks to scanning your inbox.

    Getting around credit card blocks may rely on the retailer getting creative with their business descriptors.
    If scammers can process fraudulent charges all day long through hotel chain processors so can firearm retailers.

    And for the love of god, stop logging all your customer data!

      • Protonmail and Signal.

        DuckDuckGo for search. Mozilla with blocker add-ons for browser.

        WhatsApp was great until the Great Lizardberg bought it. Now it’s dubious. Switch to Signal.

        • I’ve been using DuckDuckGo for years. It used to be pretty bad, but it’s gotten noticeably better in the past couple of years. It works fine now. There’s no reason to use google, et al for searches (or email!). It’s too bad there isn’t an alternative to google maps (I don’t use it for the maps) and google earth.

        • I wish Dirk Diggler’s phone number was in Shannon’s wallet.

          He wanted to tap that something *fierce*… 🙂

        • @Dude,

          I use OsmAnd+ for maps and driving directions. Not associated with Google at all, and plus you can download complete, detailed maps of entire regions or even states onto your phone for offline perusal. Like having an electronic Thomas Guide as a backup.

        • I find DuckDuckGo to be lacking for many of my searches, but if I have to do a search, it’s usually for something technical and obscure. I often get a few hits from foreign sites, but no help. If I enter the same search in Google, I get what I need on the first page. Sad but true for most of the searches. For example, I recently decided to see if I could find more bullets for the .357 Max. I prefer a special Hornady bullet #3505. Enter “Hornady #3505” into DDG and Google and compare results. Still, I have DDG set as default in all my devices, and sometimes it delivers.

    • Privacy costs money. Buy an account with protonmail, runbox, or other similar provider that uses European privacy laws. Gmail, Outlook, etc are not “free.” you are paying for them with your privacy.

  4. “Shannon Watts wants to know what’s in your wallet”
    Of course the Demanding Commie Mommy wants to,people in hell want ice water too,Eff her and the Marxist jackass she rode in on, although it’s difficult to tell which one is which.

    • My wallet has a super strength condom that I can fill with quick setting cement to smack her upside the head with.

        • How would you know, incel?

          You have to have actually had a woman you didn’t have to pay for to be an authority on that issue.

          Go back in your mom’s basement and resume wanking furiously. Because that’s as close as you will ever get to sex… 🙂

  5. This will extend to people that use cash for purchases. Cash id dirty. Why use cash, when you only have to flash your plastic(card, wristband, or implant). At that point, cash will be used only for black market items and FTF deals will be dirty.
    Welcome to the new world. You can only buy something from someone preapproved by the state. Just Venmo the money(and leave a paper trail).
    Only bad people carry cash – see how easy it can become?

    • “At that point, cash will be used only for black market items and FTF deals will be dirty.”

      There are still plenty of Leftists that won’t go along with that…

  6. “she wants credit card companies to ban purchases…”

    Why wouldn’t they if that’s what the ruling party wants? Wouldn’t they want to be on the good side of the government? I scratch your back, you scratch mine? That’s already happening in the tech world. It isn’t just about ideology. In case you haven’t noticed, some tech executives are transitioning to government work. The banking industry’s been doing that for years. Okay, so now we may have an opening for a freedom bank.

  7. A few days ago the public comment period ended for a regulatory measure that would have prevented banks\payment processors from blocking purchases based on the content (assuming legality of the purchases).

    I didn’t see mention of it here so that people could comment via the process. Maybe I missed it. Or maybe, like “net neutrality,” people here would be opposed to it because it’s “big government” telling private companies what they can’t do (namely, that they can’t screw over their customers who can’t find another provider due to monopoly).

    The problem being that a handful of financial companies are more powerful in your daily life than the government has ever been.

    • Net Neutrality was just a ploy by streaming corporations to lobby the feds against ISPs over bandwidth costs. It had nothing to do about protecting consumers.

    • I can’t think of any better form of irony in a net neutrality discussion now that certain companies force their will on everyone to control what they do online. Asking government to step in. When government gets hit by it too.

      The joke that is net neutrality.

  8. She’s getting paid big I’m sure.

    The Progressive utopia does exist, a place with no guns and massive security.

    It’s called Prison.

    And residents still end up hurt and Dead….all the freakin a secure facility.

    Yet people buy into the illogical non-sense that banning guns will make society safer.

    • “She’s getting paid big I’m sure.”

      Huh? I’m pretty sure she’s just a concerned stay-at-home mom that likes to facebook and blog between ironing. 😉

  9. As was mentioned it looks like we need to start our own bank so to have freedom to spend our money on what we want. Just as we know have to start own media outlets to express an opinion without censorship…we might as well just start our own country while we are at it.

  10. I wonder if Paypal is already doing this?

    After 20 years, they cancelled my account this week.

      • Lot’s of website builds use PayPal automatically for security reasons. It’s a basic part of some/many pre-built online stores.

        For example; Esstac requires a PayPal account. They don’t care what credit card/bank account you use but you have to have the PP account to buy anything from them.

        Personally, I find it lame but I love their Kywis. On a side note, they do have plates in stock these days.

        • There are a variety of reasons. ToS violations, the account security was breached, a mistake, the account was idle for too long… someone requested it.

          If someone gains unauthorized access to the account Paypal may shut it down. Or if someone did this they could have committed a ToS violation.

          If he was using PayPal as a processor for payments to him/herself then the list gets longer. They’ll suspend accounts for “suspicious” activity which can be rather nebulous and takes a significant investigation on the part of the account holder to find out why this occurred and if the account can be reinstated. Mostly this falls under *potential* ToS violations where they saw something that was flagged as being potentially suspicious. That can be very difficult to run down but usually it has to do with what they suspect may be money laundering or sales of illicit products.

  11. Credit card companies don’t get an itemized invoice. It’s $599 to Cabela’s, or John’s Guns, or whatever. Their next step would be a Chokepoint-like ban on cards entirely from gun related retailers. This would mean either cash, store credit (if they could find a bank to back them), foreign cards, or creating a new card association.

  12. Those so called moms better mind their own business. The mommy dearests really need to understand adults whose choice is to exercise a Constitutional Right are not their little rug rats to boss around. They are a nest of hornets best left undisturbed…Capice?

    • I say let them fuck around and find out about momma bears… 🙂

        • Coming from the little boy pissed of she won’t give you the time of day (much less her body) is might hilarious.

          Go back in your basement and run a batch, little bitch… 😉

  13. Cashless “socity” is an nightmare even white monero (buying them ? kyc shit against you and any bank and fed can block your “money” ) and don t call bitcoin anonymous !!

    Banning cashless buisness complete would nice on federal level but s it s an wet dream as repealing parts of the nfa branch as aow/sbr/sbs so it can only worked on state level at moment.

  14. Ms. Watts should be denied the use of credit cards to purchase gasoline for her car. I have it on good authority (anonymous tip to my brother-in-law’s neighbor’s journalist friend) that Ms. Watts may be a drunk. Thousands of people are killed by drunk drivers every year. How many more need to die? We need to stop the epidemic of drunk-vehicle-violence that has infected this great nation.


  16. Oh geez just use that CC to get cash advances…how hard is that? All this cloak & dagger.

  17. I have a few blocks of aluminum in my shop, am I in possession of 0 (zero) percent receivers?.

    New patriots, it is coming, the fuse is lit. Keep your powder dry.

    • Let’s all chip in a few pennies and buy the dear woman a nice bouquet of flowers.

      Sure when is the funeral…

  18. From a purely practical matter, there is no way for your credit card company to know what you’re purchasing. When the vendor runs your card, they’re not imputing a list of purchases – they’re inputting a dollar amount for the sale. The only way would be for these companies to deny vendor services to ALL companies that might be selling parts that could conceivable go in a firearm.

    Of course there are many parts you can get from non-gun industry vendors that could go in your firearms. I guess Grainger should now be blacklisted? After all, you can buy springs and pins from them…

  19. Somebody please register momsdemandbackdooraction dot com , stock it with “appropriate” content, and link it to everything these bitches say and do.

    Bonus points if you can find lookalike performers. I’m sure they’d be cheaper than the attractive ones.

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