Wednesday, September 14, 2022

What Was That About Not Stopping the Signal?

The quote from the movie Serenity in 2005 has become better known than the movie itself - although the exact quote varies depending on who wants to use it.  Quotes showing it vary from "You can't stop the signal, Mal" to "They can't..." and sometimes just "can't stop..." which happens to be the way the quote is reproduced at IMDB, as close to official as it gets.

We have a good example of this emerging related to the ATF's recent frame/receiver ruling, with story linked by Tom Knighton at Bearing Arms.  Tom links to a story on Vice which seems frustrated with the fact the laws didn't instantly shut down the ability of hobbyists to make their own guns. 

But barely a few weeks into the new regulatory regime, the firearms industry has already adapted and scored an early legal victory. And gun enthusiasts have created and released open-source blueprints for a simple plastic tool that offers a relatively quick, easy—and apparently legal—workaround for anyone who still wants to build an untraceable weapon.

Hmm.  A simple plastic tool that can serve as the drilling jig for an unfinished pistol.  Distributed open source, maybe for the 3D Printer fans.  Made to finish the "Mock Glocks" from Polymer 80.  Like this one at DefCad?   

A prototype two-sided jig.  As with everything you run into in the open source printer file market, there's always a chance it's not going to fit with the one you want to make, so look into it more. 

Almost from the start of reviewing the rules my gripe as been the law says "readily converted" but the way the ATF goes after companies, what they really mean is "convenient."  They went after Polymer 80 for selling a “Buy Build Shoot Kit” kit that could be assembled into a firearm with work and skill on the builder's part, declaring it to already be a gun.  Then they went further into the land of insanity saying Polymer 80 couldn't sell just the plastic frame and then sell you the other half of the kit later; you have to work harder than ordering two items from the same seller. 

This turns the question into how inconvenient does ATF want the process to be?  Is it acceptable to order the frame from Polymer80 and the parts to complete it from Midway USA?  Do we need to order the internal parts as one part per vendor; buying from 10 or 20 vendors instead of just one?  How about if between every step we have to go run around the block?  What's that, ATF?  Between every step we need to crawl across Death Valley on our hands and knees? 

Predictably, the suits against the ATF started immediately and some of them have had rulings already. 

The ATF’s new rule has also faced legal challenges. On Sept. 2, a federal judge gave an early victory to a company called Tactical Machining, which manufactures frames for AR-style rifles and says they could be forced out of business because of the changes. The lawsuit, VanDerStok v. Garland, claims the ATF did not follow the proper rulemaking process. While implementation has been allowed to proceed nationally, Tactical Machining won a ruling that says they are likely to eventually prevail and that a “weapon parts kit is not a firearm.”

Tactical Machining has been impacted by the new ruling, but is working as best they can.  They have a letter from the ATF that says as long as they don't sell the jig to complete the receiver alongside the uncompleted receiver, they can continue to sell them.  

A gun of any kind is not a concept, it's a solid, very palpable thing.  Saying the same collection of components purchases together is a gun but bought spread out in time or from different vendors flies in the face of that.  It's illogical and stinks of them saying, "this is the definition because we say so."  Thankfully at least some federal judges seem to have a bit more sense about this.  Maybe these laws are going to be trashed.  It will be a long process, but this is encouraging so far.

A completed P80 pistol with the 3D printed jig.  Photo by the creator of the jig, Mr. Snow. Makes.


  1. Serenity. Summer Glau. Sarah Connor Chronicles.

    If I were going to make a cyborg bodyguard and send it back in time to pose as my girlfriend to save teenaged me, it would look like Summer Glau. Imagine the cred I would have gotten in high school!

  2. Yet no one at ATF can answer the question of "What part of 'Shall Not Be Infringed' don't you jackwagons understand?"

  3. The American Communist Party nee Demonrats completely OWNS the DOJ, FBI, ATF and all the other Fed agencies along with the media, academia and the vast majority of sitting judges. Banning guns and disarming us is a MUST for them to maintain their power. Therefore they will never cease trying to do so. The Constitution and laws are irrelevant.

  4. The ATF was founded to collect tax for their Masters on Booze and 'Bacco. With the addition of Firearms, they were "just following orders".

    The thousands of defectives hired by the IRS are to be their replacements. The Master don't trust no body. The switch in the 30s was Brown to Black after the bully boys outlived their usefulness. The Master is always careful about the thugs.

  5. Never forget that Visa and Mastercard have agreed to flag gun buys with their cards. So the FedPigs will know ANYTHING gun-related that you purchase with plastic. NOW do you understand why they want to transition from the dollar to Biden-bucks?

    1. Understood from the first mention of the idea.

      Corollary: since you need to use credit to buy online, you can buy anonymous, one-time use, gift cards directly from Visa or MC. At least for the moment.

  6. This is just the first step on the path to eliminating your right to build something to improve your life. They want you to become utterly dependent upon them, and to stay quietly squatting on the ground with your head bowed, thinking no thoughts.

    Tool-making is one of the fundamental aspects of being human. It is a deeper right even than self-defense.

    I will not comply!

  7. There is no seperating freedom of speech from freedom of self defense or any other right. At some point they all bleed together: Will we be forced to our knees, or not? Will our own personal power (tools, speech, anything) be tolerated or not?

    I was hoping that CNC machining, combined with freedom of speech would route around all these restrictions. Unfortunately, our government is hard after freedom of speech.

  8. In a sane world, the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms (two of which are constitutional rights) would be some kind of store.

  9. Analogously, many decades ago, I mail-order purchased a kit with the internal components of a suppressor. It did not include any of the external containment or connecting parts. So mostly springs and washer-like pieces. I think it was for a 5.56 caliber firearm, if memory serves. It was advertised as not requiring any registration or paperwork. About a decade after the purchase, I was approached by 2 ATF agents inquiring about that kit. I told them that (1) I and never removed it from its shrink wrap, (2) it was stored in another state than the one we were currently sitting in. They informed me that I would be in criminal violation if I even stored that kit in the same vicinity as my AR, but then they left without any other followup. I suspect they were just following up on sales records from the mail-order business I made the purchase from, trying to intimidate me, but were too lazy or realized they were on shaky legal grounds to follow through. Anyway, I owned several firearms in 5.56, so wondered why they were so concerned about just the AR.

    The ATF keeps playing these stupid games. I think they feel their primary job is to intimidate and harass.

  10. One can be assured the Chicoms have every record the BATFE has, likely more on the personal ownership and purchases of arms and ammunition and accessories every American has made. Its not the Communist Biden Regime I fear. Its their Chinese masters which will become ours very soon.