Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

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Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#1 Post by Maccabee » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:15 pm

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2020/0 ... ethru.html
A subtle design feature of the AR-15 rifle has raised a technical legal question that is derailing cases against people who are charged with illegally buying and selling the gun's parts or building the weapon.

At issue is whether a key piece of one of America's most popular firearms meets the definition of a gun that prosecutors have long relied on.

For decades, the federal government has treated a mechanism called the lower receiver as the essential piece of the semiautomatic rifle, which has been used in some of the nation's deadliest mass shootings. Prosecutors regularly bring charges based on that specific part.

But some defense attorneys have recently argued that the part alone does not meet the definition in the law. Federal law enforcement officials, who have long been concerned about the discrepancy, are increasingly worried that it could hinder some criminal prosecutions and undermine firearms regulations nationwide.

....


Federal regulations define a firearm's “frame" or "receiver” as the piece considered to be the gun itself. But in an AR-15, the receiver is split into upper and lower parts — and some of the components listed in the definition are contained in the upper half. That has led judges to rule that a lower receiver alone cannot be considered a gun.

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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#2 Post by senorgrand » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:24 pm

Sweet baby Jesus...
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#3 Post by lurker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:29 pm

they'll likely come up with an "either upper or lower" definition. thanks for opening the can of worms, morons!
creepy stalker dude :hmm: aka lurch.

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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#4 Post by K9s » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:49 pm

Sooo... would people have to serialize and register upper receivers and pay for FFL/NICS checks? That is a whole can of worms.

Next stop: Serialized mags and cartridges.
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#5 Post by senorgrand » Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:56 pm

yup
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#6 Post by YankeeTarheel » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:01 pm

I must admit I don't get it, though I always obey the law.

If it cannot shoot, how can it be a firearm?

If your car can't drive, you don't have to register and insure it. Since a driver's licence is used as justification for registering gun owners and background checks, shouldn't the same logic about car parts and cars that cannot be driven be applied to firearm components?
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#7 Post by Bisbee » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:08 pm

This is where lawyers and engineers should have come together to suss things out before a fubar situation like this comes to pass. Or maybe where the law naturally matures over time to better match the reality of things in the ground. Industrial designs change and the law must change with the times.
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#8 Post by lurker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:21 pm

ultimately it's completely arbitrary. some part, any part has to be designated and assigned a #. happens to be the lower, could have just as easily been the upper or the bolt or the consumable barrel. stupid. someone is trying to weasel out of a weapons charge and has paid a lawyer to argue semantics (what lawyers do) in hopes of getting off, and now the rest of us will pay because they'll come up with some newer, more restrictive definition. the real solution is to send all the lawyers on a holiday cruise, on the titanic.
creepy stalker dude :hmm: aka lurch.

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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#9 Post by senorgrand » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:43 pm

well, it's up to the prosecutors and judges to stop such nonsense. stupid rarely happens in a vacuum...
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#10 Post by lurker » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:45 pm

senorgrand wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:43 pm
well, it's up to the prosecutors and judges to stop such nonsense. stupid rarely happens in a vacuum...
oooh! BURN.
creepy stalker dude :hmm: aka lurch.

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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#11 Post by BillMcD » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:32 am

I don't know where these definitions are codified, or if they are codified. At most, the upper receiver will become serialized in place of or on top of the lower receiver serialization. The lower receiver is the single longest lasting piece of an AR-15. Also, it's where the components for it being made a machine gun would go. The amount of NFA nonsense that could happen if they started registering uppers would be absurd, especially considering how many uppers are compatible with older registered MG lowers.

If the ATF has control of definitions, this could be really bad in a hurry. If they have to get congress to change the law as to what constitutes a firearm, it delays any changes until there are significant changes in the makeup of congress.

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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#12 Post by K9s » Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:20 am

BillMcD wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:32 am
I don't know where these definitions are codified, or if they are codified. At most, the upper receiver will become serialized in place of or on top of the lower receiver serialization. The lower receiver is the single longest lasting piece of an AR-15. Also, it's where the components for it being made a machine gun would go. The amount of NFA nonsense that could happen if they started registering uppers would be absurd, especially considering how many uppers are compatible with older registered MG lowers.

If the ATF has control of definitions, this could be really bad in a hurry. If they have to get congress to change the law as to what constitutes a firearm, it delays any changes until there are significant changes in the makeup of congress.
Congress doesn't seem to be able to make real laws anymore. The ACA was a big law. The Iraq AUMF was a big law. Now every politician is held to account for votes on big changes that are actually signed into law. They gave the rule making to POTUS a long time ago. ATF, EPA, etc have a lot more power now.
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#13 Post by harriss » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:33 am

BillMcD wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:32 am
I don't know where these definitions are codified, or if they are codified. At most, the upper receiver will become serialized in place of or on top of the lower receiver serialization. The lower receiver is the single longest lasting piece of an AR-15. Also, it's where the components for it being made a machine gun would go. The amount of NFA nonsense that could happen if they started registering uppers would be absurd, especially considering how many uppers are compatible with older registered MG lowers.

If the ATF has control of definitions, this could be really bad in a hurry. If they have to get congress to change the law as to what constitutes a firearm, it delays any changes until there are significant changes in the makeup of congress.
Not sure exactly where this is spelled out but a good place to start is wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law_i ... ted_States

Also

https://www.loc.gov/
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#14 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:45 am

K9s wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:20 am
Congress doesn't seem to be able to make real laws anymore. The ACA was a big law. The Iraq AUMF was a big law. Now every politician is held to account for votes on big changes that are actually signed into law. They gave the rule making to POTUS a long time ago. ATF, EPA, etc have a lot more power now.
When Moscow Mitch has blocked 400 bills from even being DEBATED in the Senate including 275 bi-partisan bills, it's clear that "Congress" not making laws comes down to one, and only one man: Moscow Mitch, who may well be THE most corrupt Senator since the Civil War. Because he's not simply taking bribes. He's corrupting the entire legislative and ratification process, and is PROUD of doing so!
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#15 Post by K9s » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:10 pm

I sure would love to see him lose election (he won't) and have his millions confiscated as bribes. He is the wealthiest man in Kentucky, but they will probably still vote for the pasty oligarch.

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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#16 Post by TrueTexan » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:31 pm

K9s wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:10 pm
I sure would love to see him lose election (he won't) and have his millions confiscated as bribes. He is the wealthiest man in Kentucky, but they will probably still vote for the pasty oligarch.
In Kentucky his approval rating is running into negative numbers. But the powers to be in Kentucky probably already have the votes counted to insure his re-election.
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#17 Post by K9s » Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:55 pm

TrueTexan wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:31 pm
K9s wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:10 pm
I sure would love to see him lose election (he won't) and have his millions confiscated as bribes. He is the wealthiest man in Kentucky, but they will probably still vote for the pasty oligarch.
In Kentucky his approval rating is running into negative numbers. But the powers to be in Kentucky probably already have the votes counted to insure his re-election.
I assume a Dem governor makes that a little more expensive for McConnell, but he has his GOP Sec of State to count the votes.
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#18 Post by carsonevans » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:41 pm

which has been used in some of the nation's deadliest mass shootings.
The AR was at wounded knee?

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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#19 Post by BKinzey » Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:36 pm

carsonevans wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:41 pm
which has been used in some of the nation's deadliest mass shootings.
The AR was at wounded knee?
Quite true! The indians had one but nobody had a High Capacity mag for it so it was rendered completely useless. :shifty:

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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#20 Post by TrueTexan » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:12 pm

BKinzey wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:36 pm
carsonevans wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:41 pm
which has been used in some of the nation's deadliest mass shootings.
The AR was at wounded knee?
Quite true! The indians had one but nobody had a High Capacity mag for it so it was rendered completely useless. :shifty:
I thought it was because the Indians had used up all their ammo at the Little Bighorn. :whistle:
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Re: Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle

#21 Post by NegativeApproach » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:44 am

carsonevans wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:41 pm
which has been used in some of the nation's deadliest mass shootings.
The AR was at wounded knee?
And the Tulsa City Race Riot Murders...

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