Polymer80 Raided. Did The ATF Just Shoot Themselves In The Foot?

By CARL BUSSJAEGER via TTAG and republished with permission

As TTAG reported earlier today, Polymer80 has been raided by the ATF. The claim seems to be that the company was manufacturing and selling what are legally considered firearms in the form of their Buy Build Shoot Kits.

By noting that the ATF appears to be focusing on complete kits — with all the parts needed to assemble a firearm after drilling and finishing the frame — the ATF seems to have moved from a definition of “firearm” as a frame or receiver that is more than than 80% complete, to something that contains more than 80% of a complete firearm. Judging from media reports, having all the necessary parts in one box pushes it over the 80% threshold, at least in the ATF’s current opinion.

I look forward to reading the warrant affidavit.

If this is the new definition, I see some problems for our friends at the ATF. Consider what comprises a typical pistol:

  • frame
  • trigger group
  • barrel
  • slide
  • recoil spring

If, as the Polymer80 raid seems to indicate, all of those parts now add up to 100% of a firearm, what is the percentage allocated to each component? Can manufacturers soon wave this apparent new definition in the ATF’s collective face and sell completed frames/receivers by themselves as non-firearms? After all, without a slide, barrel or recoil spring, surely that’s less than 80% complete.


The ATF may have just shot itself in the foot, so to speak. At the very least, they have given us that much more ammunition to demonstrate in court that their definitions are vague, inconsistent, arbitrary and capricious, far beyond the point of mere unconstitutionality.

Keep your eye on this one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *