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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

ATF Clarification Letter to EP Armory

When it rains it pours ATF statements. The latest revelation comes in the form of a clarification letter to EP Armory in regard to their polymer 80% Lower. Honestly we get bored with the legalities of it all, but it is important to see the facts as presented from each side of the story. WE have provided the full letter, but the real sticky wicket lies with the fire control "cavity". The original story was that since EP Armory filled in the fire control cavity after creating a firearm, the original creation of a firearm could not be reversed from it being designated as such. However, since it was determined by EP Armory that they didn't manufacture their 80% Lower in such a fashion, the ATF changed their tune as to why it was now a firearm. The utilization of a "biscuit" to designate where the fire control cavity should be not only creates a fire control cavity, but in itself creates a firearm.

EP Armory 80% Lower Transparent and Black Models
We consulted Merriam Webster's Dictionary for the definition of a cavity just to make sure we weren't misinterpreting something in the ATF's writeup. In case you were not sure, a cavity is an unfilled space within a mass; especially :  a hollowed-out space. The ATF also points out that having material extend out from the proper points for drilling pin holes in order to complete the receiver is also a bone of contention, and indexing also creates a firearm. The photo shows what may appear to be concaved indexing points, but it is actually extended material that is concaved at that point. 

Assuming you know how to google, have a ruler, and magic marker, you too can quickly create a firearm from an 80% lower. In the event you throw it at someone, it may cause some harm, but otherwise it is still a hunk of metal or in this case plastic, which probably hurts a bit less.  

We don't pride ourselves on this fact, but in researching the gun forums, we found it quite apparent that the mere purchase of an EP Armory Polymer Lower does not a firearm make. You can't even put an upper receiver on it in order to attach a barrel. Try as you might, that fire control cavity as defined by the ATF will not hold a trigger. Now you can drill out the indexed areas and with patience and proper material removal, you can create a complete lower receiver, much as you would any other 80% Lower Receiver. However, if you are not accurate, you may have to put in a little more elbow grease or simply screw it up completely. Perhaps your drilling of pin holes is not perfect or your trigger will not work properly due to the material removal. 

This also brings up other questions in regard to how 80% Lowers are completed, but we won't throw logs on the fire. We are sure a great reader of ours such as yourself can make your own determination as to if the ATF is utilizing proper logic. The verdict is very clear, but very dare we say it arbitrary as to how they want to interpret the actual law. Judges have not always been on their side in the figurative area between where the black meets the white.