On December 10, 2020, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) raided the Polymer80 facility located in Dayton, Nevada. The ATF executed a search warrant, which was based on a 119-page search warrant affidavit. In the affidavit, the ATF alleged that Polymer80 was illegally manufacturing and distributing firearms across state lines without meeting the requirements of federal law. The ATF is focusing its investigation specifically on Polymer80’s “Buy Build Shoot” kits, which allow individuals to complete the building of their own firearm at home. The kit came with all parts necessary to complete the firearm, including the required drill bits and end mill bits; a 10-round magazine; as well as a gun case.
The ATF claims in its affidavit that the Polymer80 Buy Build Shoot kits meet the federal definition of a “firearm.” Under 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), a “firearm” is defined as, “(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; (C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or (D) any destructive device.” According to the affidavit, an ATF agent, as well as an undercover informant, were both able to build a functioning firearm within hours using this kit. Because they were able to build a fully functioning firearm, the ATF is saying this meets the definition of “readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.” Since the Buy Build Shoot kit is actually a firearm, federal law requires that each receiver should have been engraved by Polymer80 with a unique serial number and records maintained as to where it was sold so that it can be traced by law enforcement.
Further, the ATF is alleging that since the kits meet the definition of a firearm, each sale should have gone through a Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer (“FFL”), which would have required the individual purchasing the kit to fill out a Form 4473 and be subject to a NICS background check. In the search warrant affidavit, the ATF claims they were able to purchase the kits without a background check; making it possible for a convicted felon, or anyone else prohibited from possessing a firearm, to purchase the kit. The ATF is also alleging Polymer80 violated 18 U.S.C. § 922 by being an FFL and shipping the kits to non-FFLs in states.
It is currently unclear exactly what will come of this raid by the ATF. At this point, if you are in possession of one of the Polymer80 Buy Build Shoot kits, it would be advisable to contact the manufacturer, ask for a refund of your money, and then follow their recommendations.
Author: Leslie Rebescher
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