Biden DOJ Claims ‘Weapons Parts Kits’ Are ‘Firearms’

Presidio Port of Entry CBP officers seized a cache of firearms parts and ammunition headed to Mexico. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/El Paso Sector)
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/El Paso Sector

The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a rule proposal Friday in which they claimed that “weapons parts kits” which contain all the pieces necessary to build a firearm are going to be labeled “firearms.”

On page 23 of the DOJ’s ‘Definition of ‘Frame or Receiver and Identification of Firearms‘ it describes parts kits that contain all the pieces necessary to build a firearm, even though some of the pieces are not completed, then says: “Weapon parts kits such as these are ‘firearms’ under the [Gun Control Act of 1968] because they are designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.”

Later in the proposal–on page 35–the DOJ sought to define the word “readily” and explain the phrase “may readily be converted,” as this sets for the conditions by which one parts kit may simply be viewed as a parts kit while another kit may be labeled a firearm.

They define “readily” as meaning “a process that is fairly or reasonably efficient, quick, and easy, but not necessarily the most efficient, speedy, or easy process.” By comparison, Merriam Webster defines “readily” as “without much difficultly.”

Classifying said parts kits as “firearms”  means the purchaser of such parts kits will be required to pass a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. It also means certain parts in each kit would receive a serial number, as the DOJ explained on page 41 of the proposed rule:

After publication of a final rule, each frame or receiver of a new firearm design or configuration manufactured or imported after the date of publication of the final rule would need to be marked with a serial number, and either: (a) the manufacturer’s or importer’s name (or recognized abbreviation), and city and State (or recognized abbreviation) where the manufacturer or importer maintains their place of business, or in the case of a maker of an NFA firearm, where the firearm was made; or (b) the manufacturer’s or importer’s name (or recognized abbreviation), and the serial number beginning with the licensee’s abbreviated FFL number as a prefix, which is the first three and last five digits followed by a hyphen, and then followed by a number (which may incorporate letters and a hyphen) as a suffix, e.g., “12345678-[number].

Breitbart News spoke with National Shooting Sports Foundation’s public affairs director Mark Oliva about the DOJ’s proposed rule, who said:

It appears that the White House has no concerns about weaponizing the Department of Justice and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to target law-abiding gun owners. ATF agents already have a difficult duty and politicizing their role is unhelpful. Building firearms at home has always been legal and this proposal only puts obstacles in the way of those who obey they law to exercise their Second Amendment rights. It is already illegal for prohibited individuals to possess a firearm, regardless of how it is obtained. Nothing in this proposed rule does anything to stop the criminal misuse of firearms. President Biden should be focusing efforts to enforce current law.

He added, “NSSF is carefully scrutinizing this proposed rule and whether this proposal exceeds the authority of the ATF. We will be providing comments at the appropriate time.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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