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Old October 13, 2019, 02:22 PM   #13
44 AMP
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Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,392
what is a receiver? In firearms terms, it is the part that "receives" the other parts needed to assemble a firing weapon. Designs differ, but generally, without a receiver you cannot assemble a functional firearm, and the receiver alone is not a functional firearm.

I took a quick look at 18 US code 921 definitions section and could not find a definition there of what a receiver is. If someone has the definition as written in LAW (not interpretive regulations) could you please post it here?

The law states that the receiver (the serial# part) is, under the law, the gun, for all legal purposes (manufacture, sale, possession, etc). I could not find anything in the law that specifies WHICH part is to be identified as the frame or receiver, only that there is one.

IF the "receiver" isn't fully finished (capable of accepting all the need parts to create a functional firearm, then its not a receiver, its just a lump of metal. It doesn't require a serial number, its not legally a firearm, and can be sold to anyone, INCLUDING convicted felons without breaking ANY law.

If I'm understanding the posts correctly, it seems that the court recognized that the accused did not violate the letter of the law, and so dismissed the charges. Then went on and gave their opinion that the ATF's classification of what was, and wasn't a receiver was too vague.

Seems that the accused knew the intent of the law, and was careful not to violate the letter of the law. Now we get into what is ethical, versus what is legal or illegal.

IF, as reported, it was the owner of the piece of metal that pushed the button that turned it into a firearm receiver, then the accused did not "make" a receiver, only "provided a service" through the use of his machinery.

I think, in this case the court was correct to dismiss the charges, because the ATF charged him with the "wrong" crime.

If they had charged him with (not sure the right legal terms) either "conspiracy" or "aiding and abetting" a prohibited person's possession of a firearm, I think that might have had a different outcome, other than outright dismissal.

WHY the ATF didn't do that is anyone's guess, the most likely reason being they didn't have what they felt was a strong enough case to prove that, in court.

the "loophole defense" I see in the case of charging him with assisting a prohibited person involves no legal requirement to "know or should have known" the person buying the lump of unfinished metal is, or isn't a person prohibited from possessing a firearm. The accused sold a lump of metal. No firearms crime there.

That lump of metal was turned into a firearm (receiver) using his machinery, but "he" didn't do it. IS there a legal requirement to know the legal status of the person pushing the button on his automated machine? I don't know, but I doubt it.

Now, a prohibited person, knowing they are a prohibited person pushing that button to manufacture a firearm (receiver) it, being their property, and they are in possession of it, THEY would be committing a crime. Right??

Assembling the other parts on to that receiver to make a functional weapon? That could also be considered just "providing a service". I don't see where that would be a crime, UNLESS he did it knowing he was doing it for a prohibited person.

Thoughts?
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