On Thursday, December 10th, BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) served a search warrant at the offices of Polymer 80. The company is located in Dayton, Nevada, and is one of the largest producers of precursor firearm components. What are precursor components?
Precursor firearm components are items that by themselves do not fit the legal definition of a 'firearm' and therefore are not regulated. The item is then modified by the purchaser and assembled with other components to make a firearm.
These products are usually called 'eighty percent lowers' or 'do it yourself' gun kits. Once assembled with these components, the guns have earned the ultra terrifying title of 'ghost gun.' Essentially, what is being sold is a chunk of metal or polymer, that is 80% complete. The purchaser needs to modify the product another 20% before it would fit the definition of a firearm.
These products have been sold for years and the ATF has not determined that they violate federal firearm law. However, states have banned their residents from purchasing or possessing these parts or assembling their firearms. The BATF found something that they didn't like about a Polymer 80 was selling called the 'buy-build-shoot kit.'
Based on the search warrant, the BATF is accusing Polymer 80 of:
-illegally manufactured firearms
-failing to pay taxes
-shipping firearms across state lines
-failing to conduct a background check on customers
At the time of this article, Polymer 80 has not released a statement. At this point, it does not appear as though BATF is targeting any customers of Polymer 80, but details are thin. The BATF has been know to act on opinion, rather than law, when it comes to gun regulations. This couldn't be any more evident than with the flip-flopping enforcement of when a short barrel rifle (SBR) is an SBR and how to classify arm braces.
What happens with this investigation could affect many gun owners. This could be a sign of what is to come from a BATF that is emboldened by a presidential administration that is openly anti-gun.