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EP Armory 80% poly lower update

Discussion in 'Legal' started by bds, Apr 6, 2014.

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  1. bds

    bds Member

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    Here's the long awaited response from EP (Eighty Percent) Armory. If you want to show your support, you can donate to the legal fund or make purchases from them - http://www.eparmory.com/Current-News-s/1845.htm

    Stay updated on their facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/eparmory

     
  2. bds

    bds Member

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  3. Romeo 33 Delta

    Romeo 33 Delta Member

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    I might be missing something here, but it seems that the problem is BATFE claims (without proof) that the receiver is moulded and then filled (making it a firearm) while EP claims that the receiver is moulded around the existing block (making it NOT a firearm).

    If those ARE the facts, this could have been put to rest in about as much time as it took me to post this by: OBSERVATION OF THE ACTUAL OPERATION.

    What is the matter with BATFE? Are the too smart to figure this out?
     
  4. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    This was pretty much discussed to death in another thread, but the only thing that determines whether something close to being a firearm is in fact a firearm or not, is BATFE. There is no legal description of a 80% lower or 80% anything. BATFE makes the determination on a case by case basis. Most manufacturers submit a sample and get a determination from BATFE before they start production. It is still not clear to me whether of not EP did this.
     
  5. bds

    bds Member

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    Romeo, I think reviewing the actual Court Filings and Reference Materials Relating to ATF Investigations on Polymer Pre-cursor Receivers (aka 80% Lowers) in the link I posted will probably give you more factual information than any speculative discussion we could pursue.

    No comment. But do look at recent "misbehavior" of ATF and form your own conclusion. To me, action speaks louder than words. ;)

    I have actually talked to EP Armory owner and staff the past several weeks and remained silent in support so as to not add to the speculation/false information until an official announcement came from EP Armory.

    In my opinion, EP Armory never intended to break any law but whether ATF acted properly or not, I won't comment as courts will rule in time whether ATF did the right thing or not. At this point in time, arguing about speculations/false information won't help us. Instead, we should focus on facts and come together to support any fight to defend the Second Amendment and work to expand what "right to keep and bear arms" means.
     
  6. bds

    bds Member

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    Representative Thomas Massie in response to Mr. Jone's argument: "That will be up to a court to decide whether Ares Armor was manufacturing firearms, not congress or not ATF ... Ultimately ... the jury gets to decide in the end ..." - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYDAuaI8mCw

    Mr. Jones: "Yes, they do."
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  7. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    Okay, I read the letter from the manufacture to the ATF, I read the letter from the ATF to the manufacture, and I read the letter from the new lawyer to the ATF.

    The ATF said that when XYZ happened, the device became a firearm. The lawyer asserted to the ATF that they had misunderstood and mischaracterized, and the XYZ actually never happen.

    Since XYZ never happened, BATF's letter does not apply to the manufacturer. Saying that thing happened does not mean that it did.

    If I say that you killed someone and therefore you are guilty of murder, but in fact you never did it, it does not make it true that you were guilty of murder, when they supposedly dead person is standing there in front of us.

    Letters that refer and give conclusions on things that never happened, are rather useless, wouldn't you say?
     
  8. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    When the ancient Greeks first constructed a nuclear weapon, they became a nuclear power. This sentence has just about as much applicability to the real world as does the ATF's letter, wouldn't you say?
     
  9. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    I am not a lawyer, however I hope there is some legal theory or precedent says when you have it done XYZ, you aren't guilty of doing XYZ, even if the prosecutor says you did XYZ.

    Now we have an attorney risking perjury or something similar to that, stating that XYZ never occurred. We have the ATF, never having been there, deducing that XYZ did occur. Incorrect conclusions don't make reality.

    Some judge somewhere is probably going to ask ATF to present their proof that XYZ occurred, and ask the lawyer back up his claim that XYZ never occurred, and then he's going to make a simple ruling.
     
  10. bds

    bds Member

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    In support of EP Armory/Ares Armor, I won't engage in any speculative discussion. I will try to post facts only and hope that discussion on this thread centers around those facts.

    I hope you can honor my request.

    Thank you.
     
  11. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    The key factor is how easy the product is to complete into a working firearm, NOT the exact process by which the product ("precursor" or "80%" lower receiver) is made. There are no published guidelines on this, and the ATF makes the determinations on a case-by-case basis. Regarding these EP lowers, I think what raised red flags at the ATF was the fact that the material filling the FCG pocket was a different color, and thus the material to be removed could be easily identified. In addition, the material (polymer) was soft enough to be removed without sophisticated tooling (a simple Dremel tool would suffice).

    Did the ATF overstep its authority? A court will have to decide that.
     
  12. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    The only problem is, that's not what the ATF letter said, EHF letter gave a statement, and a Sequitur. If the statement is incorrect, then the conclusion will not follow. They can then make a separate statement based on a different argument as you propose, however they have not done thAt


    Just as Pres. Obama has proclaimed, words must mean something.
     
  13. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    AlexanderA said:
    My understanding of the issue is that how it is made is precisely the legal excuse they are using. In reality if they are not an FFL the ATF is not entitled to have the manufacturing process explained to them if the item is not a firearm, because if it is not a firearm they have no regulatory jurisdiction. However by saying it was made into a firearm initially the ATF are giving themselves authority to investigate a crime.

    How they claim it is a firearm is by saying the outside receiver was first made, which would be a completed receiver, but was then filled. They claim that step produces a firearm, which is then merely filled, but having been made into a firearm remains a firearm. Thus a firearm was initially made without a license under that theory, and according to them having been a firearm remains a firearm.
    While if the inside was made first and then the outside which would later be turned into a receiver molded around it then no complete receiver ever existed. Thus no firearm was made.
    However the existence of the end product is not solid proof, and one can claim it was made either way.
    One can strongly speculate though as filling a harder material with a softer one would be much easier manufacturing. It is also a gray area as milled traditional 80% receivers are of the same density and material throughout. While these are clearly something with portions made of different materials.

    If the ATF simply raids places a lawyer can argue whether the raids were valid, whether evidence or items found were valid or admissible, and has many angles of attack. If the ATF is simply allowed to inspect and do not like what they see the individual has given up many of their rights regarding search and seizure by giving the ATF permission to inspect.
    If the company is not an FFL they are not required to let the ATF inspect aspects of their business, and so the ATF can only be doing so from a criminal investigation angle, which requires warrants etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  14. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Which ATF letter are you referring to? Is there an opinion letter regarding the polymer castings?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  15. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    http://michellawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ATF-letter-to-Jason-Davis-February-2014.pdf

    The letter above is one of the items found when you click on post number two's link.

    If you read page 2 of the ATF letter, you will see their primary complaint is XYZ, and it is the statement of the EP armory lawyer in a Nother letter, that XYZ never happened. XYZ, in this case is the completion of the outer portion of the part, prior to the inner portion.

    I would completely buy the ATF argument that if that had occurred, the manufacture would have created a firearm. However, you have a lawyer putting his signature on a statement that this never occurred.

    No one here is arguing that the ATF does not have the authority to make a determination. However no one here is arguing that the ATF can't write foolishness. And in this case they appear to have of done that. Foolishness, incorrect statements, wishful thinking, are not likely to pass muster with a judge.

    Since the ATF does have the authority to evaluate products, hey judge is likely to ask them to reevaluate it, based on truthful claims and statements. Or, if the lawyer is found to have lied, there will be a different outcome.
     
  16. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    The ATF can change their determination at will. Ask cavalry arms they were shut down after producing their guns for a decade. By the time the ATF decided they had done no wrong they were nearly out of business.
     
  17. smalls

    smalls Member

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    Is it a possibility that the judge can force the ATF to actually define what an 80% lower is, and give guidelines they have to follow to come up with their determinations?
     
  18. bds

    bds Member

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    This is from the reference listed in the link from post #2 - http://michellawyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Building-Your-Own-Firearm.pdf
     
  19. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    docsleepy: Thanks. That letter reflects a "post-production" determination, which appears to be the initial determination.

    jerkface11: Yes, they can change their minds, but since the Feb 7 letter appears to be the initial determination, and unless EP has an earlier opinion letter showing a different determination, it does not appear that they have done so.
     
  20. wildbilll

    wildbilll Member

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    I've read the documents. Thanks to bds for posting the link.

    What's clear to me is the fact that EP did not ever have a letter of determination that the "80%" lower is not a firearm. In fact, the determination is the opposite - it was determined to be a firearm.
    However, the BATFE made that determination of a firearm based on an assumption that is factually flawed.

    What EP has done is paint the BATFE into a corner.
    They have managed to get BATFE to be specific as to the reason why it is a firearm.

    Now, with the involvement of the US court system, BATFE has to back down on that rationale due to the fact that they have misunderstood the manufacturing process.

    The next problem for BATFE is that if they now come forward and change the criteria on how they judge a incomplete lower it will simply dig them further into the "arbitrary and capricious" hole they have been digging for a long time. (reference the recent silencer court ruling against them)
    Add to that the fact that any changes they make to the way they make determinations will have an effect on previous determinations, and if they decide that the previous determinations are "grandfathered", they just dig that a&c hole even deeper.

    I think they should have just left things alone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  21. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    These cases lead me to believe the ATF has something against polymer ar15s.
     
  22. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    wildbill, I think that assessment is on target. Also, it is a very neat trap that EP and Ares have sprung here. Makes me wonder if it was planned.

    So where do you think this might go? Might we wind up with a ruling that parts must be assembled to a certain point of functionality before the assembly (and not any individual part) is considered a firearm?
     
  23. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    No, it won't go that far. By statute (18 USC 921(a)(3)(B)) the frame or receiver is a firearm. But we might get some greater clarity on what "may readily be converted" means as used at 18 USC 921(a)(3)(A):
     
  24. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Clarity on readily converted would be good. As a kid, I used to use firecrackers to shoot BBs from the steel pipe arms of my grandmother's lawn chairs. Made an "interesting" shotgun that I would not want to be on the wrong end of. There are a lot of things that can be readily converted that most people don't think of, and lawn chairs are just one of them. :uhoh:
     
  25. tepin

    tepin Member

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    Unfortunately, "readily converted" means whatever the ATF wants it to.
     
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