Latest ATF Attacks on Freedom
12-23-20 UPDATE: ATF has withdrawn request for comment on guidance ATF-2020-001
Details way down below...
December 17, 2020
by: Oliver Drabington
Since the BATFE invaded Polymer 80 and multiple other retailer's facilities a week ago, we've had the opportunity to read a lot of articles and opinions, review tons of data, discuss with industry leaders and each other, and choose how we will personally move forward. We will now add to this assault yet ANOTHER opinion from the agency, this time to "help us understand" their OPINION of pistol stabilizing braces and how it will affect OUR freedom. With the assault on our home-build kits digested, we'll focus on our next steps on this infringement here. Below this article you'll find links to relevant information and ways you can FIGHT BACK.
For me, most concerning aspect of our reaction to this most recent siege, as free men and women, is FEAR. I see us allowing their "fear tactic" to be effective, accomplishing their goal of reducing Americans willingness to exercise their natural RIGHTS.
The nation has shopped online more than ever in 2020, with many governments restricting the rights of businesses to serve as many customers as wish to visit them, or forcing them to close their doors entirely. The shooting sports industry is no exception. With most gun shows cancelled or at very limited capacity under cover of covid, many of us were forced to quit the hobby we love so much, or source the components for our instruments of freedom online. So HOW did the government make us afraid to freely shop online in America? Well, they did what some always thought they could do, what we all knew they were capable of, and what I've lived my life assuming they WERE doing quietly.
The ATF changed their "opinion", in secret, and decided they believed the "Buy, Build, Shoot Kit" was a "firearm". The ATF then subpoenaed financial records from Authorize.net, one of the largest payment processors in the nation, and one of the few that will still allow firearms-related companies to conduct e-commerce. They did the same for shipment info from Stamps.com. Since your government-issued ID or driver's license is a searchable database for law enforcement, they now had name, address, and DOB in order to run background checks, which gave them enough to get a judge to issue search warrants for P80 and others.
WHY shouldn't you decide to not buy your freedom online if you need to based on what just happened? Because for most of us, it's not going to keep you off of the next potential "list"...
What they would have had from the authorize.net data was just a purchase amount and retailer name. They wouldn't know WHAT was purchased, just that you bought something from that website. SO if you've EVER ordered anything from any retailer who has ever or currently sells ANY 80% product, you could be in the next batch of cc purchase amounts the ATF grabs. And if they succeed in being allowed to somehow "legally" target other non-firearm parts, you could be on the next "list" even if that retailer or store never sold 80% receivers.
For example, if I purchased an Apex Action enhancement setup for my CZ Shadow from Brownells, I could easily make the next list. Places like Cabela's and Sportsman's Guide, neither offering 80% receivers of any kind currently, DO offer magazines and some parts. BUT even if I bought a sweet new fly fishing rod, or some genuine Slovenian surplus moccasins and glow sticks, I could be on "the list" when they pull that data trying to find folks who bought standard capacity magazines (pure speculation that the ATF might do the same with other accessories such as mags in the future).
So they shut down the gun show, and cut off our ability to be free men with cash. Are we going to let the government tell Americans they can't spend their hard-earned money freely online as they choose as well?
The government made their play, and all of the right forces are fighting them for ALL OF US right now. If and when they try it again, we'll have the knowledge and the playbook to fight them even better. Consider joining or donating to the FPC, GOA, or another organization you're familiar with and trust to get into these battles and take it to the enemy. We're donating all of our profits from the Non-Essential Employee ATF tee to Firearms Policy Coalition as well (link below).
In summary, if you've managed to keep EVERYHTING off the grid, never using any card in your name to purchase anything at ANY sporting goods retailer or big box store, online OR in-store, CONGRATS. You may be able to continue successfully hiding our home-building hobby from the government.
For most of us, it's too late to hide, and it's very un-dude to let the ATF win by letting our fear of them stop us from being FREE. If you're like me and are going to continue doing what you want, ya know, like you live in America, a couple thoughts on online freedom instrument shopping that even i'm going to adhere to:
Do Not order from P80's site directly: I don't know for sure that the same authority that let the ATF pull sales and shipping info from those third parties isn't still in effect, so you could find yourself directly "in the fight" sooner that you expected. We can support them by ordering their frames and components through any of their huge network of trusted dealer partners. Places like JSD Supply and Brownells, both of which are linked in many of our build, parts, and kits pages here at pewtang.com (affiliate links that ALSO support our mission).
READ the description: order from a known dealer that has already proactively taken steps to at least NOT offer a kit that mimics the P80 Brand BBS kit exactly (and make sure you get the second "item", such as the jig). For example, JSD was one of the first to separate out the jig and have it ordered separately (combined price is the SAME thanks to a cart discount). To be clear, nobody KNOWS for sure which component should be separated, or if multiple need to be separated. We likely will not get a definitive "opinion" from the ATF until the current cases get a little further along. However, even just the jig being separated as a separate item from the rest of the build kit, means we are not buying a mirror of the SPECIFIC kit that the ATF suddenly "believed" was a firearm. I am not an attorney, but I THINK they'd have to convince a lot of people that they have now suddenly decided that an item WITHOUT the means to make it a gun included is now a firearm.
Stay ready, stay safe, and have FUN whenever you can. Merry Christmas, family.