I’m out of funny applicable movie memes to apply the absurdity of this situation, so I’m using Colion Noir’s video instead.
The Texas lawyer and 2A advocate distills down the absurdity of this rule rather nicely.
It still makes no sense.
It still doesn’t clear up much.
It will still not have any impact on violent criminality.
It still isn’t published in the register as of this writing. Maybe as of your reading, but not as I am writing this.
I’ll summarize in text what I’ve been baffled about since President Biden opened his mouth and stumbled through is speech, picking things up and putting them down, while saying ‘Look, its gun shaped. Grrrr.’ [paraphrased].
The new rule, 120 days after its publication date, will regulate firearm assembly kits that do not require home builders go through an FFL to acquire them into ones that do. The exact methodology behind this determination of whether it is or is not a firearm is about as murky and vague as it gets, despite the ATF’s assurance that it isn’t.
What it amounts to is this.
- Frames are fine still, technically.
- Because PMF’s are completely legal and do not require serial numbers per ATF, the only exception is if the PMF is an NFA item, frames are still not required to have a serial number on their own
- Whether a frame/receiver is or isn’t a firearm isn’t dependent upon the frame or receiver itself
- Whether a frame is or isn’t a firearm is dependent upon the amount of assistance provided that is packaged into the kit
“Readily convertible,” was the key phrase the ATF locked onto. As far as I can tell, “readily convertible” simply means, ‘comes with directions’. So to use Joe Biden’s clumsy IKEA example, the couch is only a couch if it comes with directions to assemble it into a couch. If it is all the parts to make a couch but doesn’t come with directions or tools to assist you in its assembly, then it isn’t “readily convertible” into a couch and is therefore still not a couch.
The rules changes are very specifically targeting products like the Polymer80 that provide guidance to the buyers so they can assemble the firearm safely. They are declaring them firearms, requiring serializing, requiring FFLs to serialize them and track them in their A&D records (for all the good that will ultimately do as most traces dead end anyway, “successful” or not). However they couldn’t go so far as to ban 80% type frames outright, they had to invent the term “readily convertible” and give it a very convoluted definition. It absolutely hits Polymer80’s as they exist right now, the market for them is going to shift. How far remains to be seen.