This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 14, 2022:
A new software program (protected under the First Amendment) is protecting the Second Amendment. The software allows a 3D printer to create a “jig,” a simple but necessary piece of plastic that is used in assembling a firearm at home.
After the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued its latest infringement on the Second Amendment, software developers quickly created open source (free to the world) software to allow owners of 3D printers to print out their own jig. In essence this is an end-run around the latest ATF transgression of precious rights.
The continuing flow of misinformation from the ATF sets up the straw man to justify its latest violation of the Second Amendment:
To help keep guns from being sold to convicted felons and other prohibited purchasers, the rule makes clear that retailers must run background checks before selling kits that contain the parts necessary for someone to readily make a gun.
To help law enforcement trace guns used in a crime, the rule modernizes the definition of frame or receiver, clarifying what must be marked with a serial number – including in easy-to-build firearm kits.
To help reduce the number of unmarked and hard-to-trace “ghost guns,” the rule establishes requirements for federally licensed firearms dealers and gunsmiths to have a serial number added to 3D printed guns or other un-serialized firearms they take into inventory.
It admitted that its latest transgression generated a lot of pushback from gun owners:
On May 7, 2021, the Department of Justice issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, and during the 90-day open comment period, the ATF received more than 290,000 comments, the highest number of comments submitted to a proposed rule in ATF’s history.
Here’s the loophole in the new regulation that software developers are exploiting: if the jig isn’t part of the “kit,” then there’s no firearm under the latest definition and hence no required background check. Specifically, the rule states that when an unfinished frame or receiver is “distributed or possessed with a compatible jig or template,” it is now automatically considered to be a firearm. Leave out the jig, however, and the” kit” is incomplete and doesn’t fall under the rule.
On its website, Tactical Machining in Orlando, Florida, offers this update to its customers:
As many of you know or heard, ATF’s lawless and corrupt ruling went into effect on August 24, 2022. At the advice of our counsel, Tactical Machining was advised to maintain a holding pattern. Since then, we have some developing updates.
Per ATF, 80% AR-15 lowers are still legal!
In recent testimony during lawsuits against the ATF, they have admitted in open court that the “Final rule” does not restrict the sale of 80% lowers IF they are not sold with a jig/instructions or Templates.
Our local ATF agent tasked with enforcing the new rule changes also confirmed, in writing, that all of Tactical Machining’s 80% products are legal to buy and sell since we stopped offering our jigs.
Jim Jusick, Tactical’s design engineer and manager, quoted this from that letter from the ATF:
As we’ve been instructed, and our understanding here in Orlando, the unfinished receiver, with a jig, instructions, or template is NOT A FIREARM.
The combination of such an item (unfinished receiver) with other parts (excluding the jig) does not reach the standard for Readily Convertible.
In other words, your manufacture and selling of unfinished receivers with a lower parts kit [without the jig] does not meet the [newly defined] firearm threshold.
Just as was the case with radar detectors, developers were always one step ahead of the enforcers. In their zeal to criminalize all gun owners and eventually disarm them, the enforcers continue to play catch-up ball with the developers.