Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Latest from Nostrildamage

Congress Critter Henry "Nostrildamage" Waxman (E. Cal.) has introduced a far-ranging bill that seems intended to destroy the AR-15 all together.  Unique among laws I've heard of, it takes aim at 80% lower receivers and, well, pretty much all gun parts when you get down to it. The so-called, "Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Act of 2013" (pdf here) doesn't just control so-called "Semiautomatic Assault Weapons" it bans them.  Section 101 specifically says
“a firearm receiver casting or firearm receiver blank that-
  1. at the point of sale does not meet the definition of a firearm in section 912(a) of title 18, United States Code and 
  2. after purchase by a consumer, can be completed by the consumer to the point at which such casting or blank functions as a firearm frame or receiver for a semiautomatic assault weapon or machine gun;
shall be considered a banned hazardous product  ... [emphasis added: SiG]
Section 102 makes it illegal to "market or advertise, on any medium of electronic communications,
including over the Internet" these "casting or blank" receivers.   The thing is, it also outlaws all the other parts: bolts, bolt carrier groups, upper receivers, trigger kits, and others by banning "assault weapon parts kits".  It defines the kits as:
the term ‘‘assault weapon parts kit’’ means any part or combination of parts not designed and intended for repair or replacement but designed and intended to enable a consumer who possesses all such necessary parts to assemble a semiautomatic assault weapon;
The problem, as anyone brighter than Waxman (admittedly not a high bar) can tell you, is that the parts "intended for repair and replacement" are exactly the same parts used to assemble an AR kit! So all the manufacturers have to do to is mark the packages "replacement parts"? 

Aside from the attack on paperweights and hunks of aluminum, there's really nothing new here.  It uses the terms "semiautomatic" and "machine gun" interchangeably, uses a Bloomberg-style "single feature" test to determine if a gun should be banned, outlaws things like broom handle Mausers and outlaws those kits you see everywhere that allow you to make a machine bun.  You know, those kits that don't exist!!  They keep 'em right next to those internet guns you can buy without an FFL being involved. 

Kurt Hoffmann, the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner, puts it this way:
What Waxman hopes to accomplish here is a bit murky. Even if such legislation passes (a very dubious prospect, given current political realities)--let's say 80% complete receivers are banned. What, then, is to stop manufacturers from offering 79% complete receivers. Sure--those could eventually be banned, too, but at some point, Congress would be reduced to banning a block of metal (or polymer, for that matter, with the parts to be milled out color-coded to make the finishing easier)
The realistic view of this bill is that it's probably DOA.  The Stupid Party controls 1/3 of DC, and the one sliver they control is the House.  That's where the bill has been floated.  I don't think they're so stupid that they'd let this out. 
The EPLowers Kevlar reinforced polymer lower receiver - an 80% lower with a twist.  They use white plastic where it needs to be cut away and use the Kevlar filled black everywhere else.  Just cut away the white, drill a couple of holes and you're there. 


  1. I've seen AR-15 lowers made of wood. A 2x4 can be finished by a consumer to make an "assault rifle" lower.

    1. My favorite was the one made of HDPE. I know some high-end kitchen cutting boards are made of that.

      "You can't stop the signal", as they say.