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Fascinating CNN piece on an ATF case

Discussion in 'Legal' started by hso, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    Does this "ruling" or "non-ruling" open any doors for anyone previously convicted for selling frames or receivers in the past? Can this be a crack in Pandora's Box?
     
  2. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    I think the APA-noncompliance argument (not this particular case, but the line of argument) has the potential to open up all of BATFE's classifications where they did not publish a Notice of Rulemaking, or get public comment to challenge.
     
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  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You'd think they would have re-defined what constitutes a receiver after the first legal defense that challenged it, (Roh was not the first) but to do so at this point might become even more confusing, particularly if it were to be applied retroactively. Almost every semi-auto pistol, all AR's FAL's, Benelli Montefeltros,( BE, SBE, etc.) would have to be serial numbered on several parts.
     
  4. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    No. Because there is no ruling. The judge issued a preliminary ruling that was not finalized. In effect, the judge has not ruled. They simply advised counsel for both sides what they would rule. The ATF and defendant moved to have the case dismissed instead.

    In order to open a door here, someone would need to be prosecuted for manufacturing unserialized lowers, and then get a judge to make the same ruling this one was saying they were about to make. The defense's argument is sound, but there is no telling how another case would go since there is no precedent set at this point.
     
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  5. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    I don't think the ATF can redefine receiver. The problem with the current situation is the ATF has had to regulate via contorted policy because the way federal law is written is ineffective in what most people understand firearms regulation to mean. Wouldn't the redefinition of federal law require an act of Congress? The concern would be that if Congress were able to accomplish action on federal firearms laws, it would not likely be an improvement in the right direction.

    Although the kind of disruptive ruling this case threatened to pose might seem like it would be victorious, upending virtually all ATF regulation is not likely to be long-lived. I am not opposed to deregulation, but accomplishing it by a legal loophole won't last, and the process of closing it could be costly.
     
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  6. Basura Blanca

    Basura Blanca Member

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    The other case (Jimenez) is more interesting, imo.
    Apologies in advance if this has been pointed out already:

    edit:https://casetext.com/case/united-states-v-jimenez-222
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  7. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Most -- perhaps all -- of ATF's classifications are either Private Rulings or Published Rulings, and not Regulations. Unlike Regulations, Rulings (either Private or Published) are not subject to a requirement for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or a public comment period.
     
  8. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    It can, by Regulation. The underlying law just uses the word "receiver" and then leaves it up to the administering agency (the ATF) to determine what that word means. The problem here is that ATF's initial definition was technically inadequate. Then the ATF just let it slide as problems arose.
     
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  9. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    That the BATFE has handled things like this has bothered me for years. I've often wondered why nobody has FOI'd all of the various classifications to see if there's a ripe challenge. Maybe other agencies are just as bad, but BATFE rulings seem particularly arbitrary and capricious (though I'll admit that I haven't reviewed a ton of other agencies' rulings).

    The problem here appears to be that it did define "receiver," but didn't want to abide by its own definition. It then used that interpretation to bring felony charges, without bothering to amend its own rule.
     
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  10. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    I'm just another ignoramus on the internet, but, doesn't that have 7th Amendment implications? If in a backwards way? That, a change in interpretation such as that is fundamentally the same as overturning a jury's assertion of fact? In that, a jury cannot, in fact, make a ruling if the definitions are not consistent?
    But, I fear I'm applying logic, rather than the letter of the law.
     
  11. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    The 7th Amendment guarantees the right of trial by jury in federal civil cases. What we have here is a criminal case. Anyway, a jury trial was waived by the defendant.

    Juries are triers of facts. The definition of a "receiver" is a matter of law, and outside the purview of a jury. Actually, the facts were not disputed in this case.
     
  12. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Ignorance is curable. I can live with that.
    See AlexanderA's response. I will add that this line of reasoning, if followed, could impact federal criminal cases going forward.
     
  13. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    If AR-15's don't have a receiver, according to the legal definition of what a receiver is, were the government to ban AR-15's, what would be banned, and what would be accessories?
     
  14. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Don't read too much into this. The Roh case is just a straw in the wind. The judge's opinion was tentative, and anyway it was made moot by the parties' settlement. You can bet that the ATF will soon be proposing a revised Regulation to clear up the ambiguity.
     
  15. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    If the judge's tentative opinion was nothing more than a straw in the wind, the case wouldn't have been settled, and the ATF wouldn't be revising Regulations.
     
  16. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    The ATF is using its definitions to enforce laws that Congress passed. In some cases going a bit further, but let us not forget that it is not merely a single agency, but rather the government decided a method of identifying what is and at what point a firearm in order to apply firearm laws to them.
    If the current method of identifying what is a firearm ceases to work they will simply adjust how firearms are identified not cease to regulate firearms.
    For example in most of Europe they control the pressure containing portions of the firearm, figuring that it is harder for citizens to create the components that in the case of a centerfire rifle proof load must typically contain 80,000-100,000 PSI.
    Imagine how much more costly replacement barrels would be if they were the regulated part in the United States.

    In the US since the time most of the early regulations came about it was expected for most citizens to have firearms, so controlling firearms with that method less important than controlling the portions that determine exactly what the firearm does, ie fully automatic, semi automatic, belt or magazine fed etc The fire control and feed mechanisms, which are typically located on what is identified as the receiver.
    Controlling pressure containing portions is more suited to a nation where large portions of the population are not supposed to have firearms at all and so keeping what is needed to make guns in general out of their hands is the goal, not what type of guns. You know nations where they don't have the right to keep and bear arms, or have lots of prohibited persons and classes, etc and owning firearms especially those which are anything but low pressure shotguns or black powder weapons is done by only a small minority of the population. Traditionally that was not the USA. America also has a lot more industry and manufacturing with less regulation that promoted more innovation throughout the economy in things that have nothing to do with firearms that is hampered when you start treating manfucaturing materials or industry components like pipes, rods, various alloys or objects that could be used as a barrel as a regulated part or barrel precursor they want to keep tabs on. Even more basic professions like plumbing and the pipes and fittings I believe are more costly and regulated in Europe partially as a result, increasing the cost to the consumer to even make use of a plumber. You cut down on small business and up and coming entrepreneurs and innovators, and favor the already established when you over regulate even getting started or complying as an individual or with few staff. Impacting a lot more of the economy that has nothing to do with firearms.
    But I would imagine that is the route they will go down if firearms restrictions or the percent of the population they are trying to keep from having firearms is large enough.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
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  17. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    So, now the government will need to serialize all the non-serialized component parts of their entire military and law enforcement arsenal to meet their new definition?
     
  18. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Now, see, I was remembering that the 7th, while specifically about jury trials for civil cases, also involved the principal that the courts could not change a jury's finding of fact by changing the definitions of the facts.
    But I could be misremembering how that work.
     
  19. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    That is already the direction being pushed by ITAR type rules and other international level compliance. If it is made for guns or arms in general it is becoming an item the police states of the world want to track from production to end user.
    Whether optic, stock, barrel, magazine, or anything else. They get together in the UN and try to address the issue with new legislation and treaties.
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you have one of the bolt action AR uppers you could have one rifle with two receivers...

    0327417A-7A12-4BD3-A5D2-7D0BC1F21D16.jpeg
     
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