Category Archives: BAFTE

FOX News >> Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt >> Oh, this Toy is a Machine Gun right?

I could probably summarize this article into one sentence, “FOX News, nuff said.” but here we go again…

jiqbrwgsI was alarmed to read this morning an article picked up by Tactical Milsim on a story from Fox News with the fear mongering headline “EXCLUSIVE: Toy Gun Sold in U.S. Can Easily be Converted to the Real Thing”. I read it, scoffed it and dismissed it as another alarmist, sensationalist story from that cynical, disingenuous news organisation we call FOX News but it now seems to have gathered traction and with brethren starting to question the validity of the naysayers I felt the need to re-open this wound.

Let me quote…

“Felons, illegal immigrants and all others banned from buying a gun in the United States have a new alternative if they’re looking to get their hands on a firearm: Just buy a toy.”

Boom!! Right out the box, FOX News strikes fear in to the hearts and minds of thousands of parents across America that just bought ‘Jonny’ that new Airsoft rifle that he proudly shows off to his team mates at his local skirmish field and are now frantically searching for the receipt for a speedy return to the store.

“When the ATF seized a shipment of 30 of these guns in October from a port in Tacoma, Wash., it said they could be “readily convertible” to machine guns. But gun experts called that claim absurd and said the ATF was overstepping its bounds.

Now one of those critics is reversing his position, saying at least one airsoft manufacturer has taken the quest to be authentic a little too far.”

grfjgw5kOh really. We’ve been waiting for some time now for BAFTE to cough up evidence to support their claims that the WE TTI M4 lower receiver can be ‘readily converted’ to operate as a machine gun. All we’ve received is ‘no comment’ and answers to FOIA requests with what could only be considered a ‘Bait and Switch’ report on “Sigma Airsoft silencers”, seized in Phoenix in 2004, completely unrelated to the Tacoma seizure.

With BAFTE being backed into a corner, it’s now clear that their long awaited response, instead of ‘fessing up to their mistake, is using disingenuous news organisations to scare the livin’ bejesus out of American citizens.

“The airsoft can be converted to an AR-15,” firearms manufacturer Leo Gonnuscio told FoxNews.com after testing the make and model of airsoft guns seized by the ATF.

Having concluded that several other airsoft guns could not be converted to fire real ammunition, Gonnuscio said he was surprised to find that he was able to to transform this particular gun to the real thing  — and with “minimal work,” because its bottom half, or “receiver,” is so similar to an AR-15’s.

To make the airsoft receiver function just like an AR-15’s, Gonnuscio said, “All you have to do is drill one hole.”

“All you have to do is drill one hole” says ‘firearm manufacturer’ Leo Gonnuscio. Ok Leo, show us the proof, publish your reports, let us see a video, it’s all that we are asking, if only somebody would publish some conclusive visual tests? Oh, what was that Airsplat LLC? You have? Please take the floor Sir.

“In general, you’ll notice many parts including upper and lower all seem very close to the naked eye. But on closer examination you’ll see the lower is 1/8” shorter, the upper doesn’t even fit on the lower, the pins are different sizes, lots of minor changes that are really noticeable, but when put side by side, become blatantly obvious.”

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Let me re-iterate the finer points…

► internal parts of real upper and airsoft lower do NOT allow the receivers to join

► pin holes and lugs to not match and do not fit

► AR-15 magazine does not fit into place on airsoft lower receiver

► airsoft bolt catch is positioned incorrectly and interferes with magazine seating

► airsoft Fire Control Group is different, will not operate an AR-15 upper

► thickness of receiver walls is different

► and so on…

 

fj0ebks2A firearms ‘expert’ Len Savage also weighs in on the debate and while expressing a similar asinine rhetoric, makes one valid point, why isn’t it the upper receiver, the part of the AR-15 that is regulated? Yes the lower contains the serial number, but it’s also the easiest part of the AR-15 to replicate. Like everything in this whole debacle, it’s ass backwards.
However I question Savages testimony and motivation taking into account his own unfavourable history with BAFTE.

psjlh3vq“But with time and motivation it could be possible to convert an airsoft lower to fire live rounds?”

Yes, and with time and motivation, it’s also possible for me to learn the Chinese language.

My point is, BAFTE’s defence hinges on the airsoft receiver being ‘readily convertible’, which it isn’t, as proved above by our friends at Airsplat. By the time you drilled and machined enough metal to fit AR-15 parts, the receiver would be so weak you would need to start adding metal plates to reinforce the mods. Oh, but then the pins wouldn’t fit, I need longer pins, but now my trigger group is out of alignment, you see where I’m heading with this. I’d have more success milling a real one out of proper bar stock in the first place.

Putting the technical issues aside, there is one thing that is really bothering me.

Where the heck is the American Airsoft Association? The A3 if you will. The advantage of having a national body to represent Airsoft is to educate; the media, the public, to lobby the Government on behalf of the Airsoft community. Their last update was January 2009.

Retailers, Players, Teams and Communities need to band together to form a new association and start providing positive representation of your sport.

Airsoft in North America is under attack, and it’s just the beginning.

This article, FOX News >> Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt >> Oh, this Toy is a Machine Gun right?, was originally published by Everything Airsoft. Copyright 2010

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Filed under Airsoft Outlet NW, BAFTE, CBP, Gas Rifles, Miscellaneous, News, Politics, Tacoma

The Tacoma Airsoft Seizure Update: The Great Federal Airsoft Theft

In this third article covering the seizure of Airsoft Outlet Northwest’s (AONW) shipment of WE TTI gas blowback airsoft guns by Federal Agents, we look over the latest updates and bring to light some new information and also examine how it’s all beginning to unfold. Even with all the information not available, especially on the side of BATFE, a pretty clear picture is starting to emerge that has led me to believe that this wasn’t a seizure… It was theft.

Lets start with the initial discovery by Customs and Border Protection. I don’t want to delve too deep into this as I believe it’s not the real reason for the seizure, but for many years now, the U.S. Customs has led everybody to believe that imports of Airsoft guns requires a Blaze Orange plug or tip to be present on the end of the barrel.

It may come as a shock to U.S. Airsofters but this is incorrect.

Airsoft Guns are NOT required to have a bright orange mark on the end of the barrel!!

What!! Hey, I’m just repeating what Customs defines in their frequently asked questions.image

I quote from CBP’s page regarding airsoft imports:

Air soft, paintball, bb guns, and other guns that use a gas or air pellet or mechanical spring action to fire a projectile are not subject to Department of Commerce regulations for toy or imitation firearms that require bright orange plugs or other markers to be affixed to the end of the barrel (15 CFR 1150).

It doesn’t get any clearer than that, and I’m not suggesting you break the ‘rules’ but just realise that when it comes to Federal Agencies, it appears that they basically make the rules up as they go along and they’ll still seize your shipment regardless of what U.S. Statutes exist.

I listened to an interview by Alex Jones from infowars.com where he discusses in detail with Brad Martin of AONW some of the finer points of the seizure. While it’s pretty clear Alex Jones is a huge liberalist and Second Amendment rights campaigner, he makes some good points. Listen below, it’s about 30mins.

listennow [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

 

While BATFE were patting themselves on the back early on in the media frenzy, it was kind of unclear why they had seized the shipment, was it the blaze orange tips? Was it to save the children? No.

The Dori Monson Show interviewed both Brad Martin of AONW and Cheryl Bishop of the BATFE and gave each party time to state their case and during the BATFE part of the interview, it finally was revealed what part of US Law was the subject of the seizure.

image [Audio clip: view full post to listen]

 

BATFE Labs in Martinsburg, West Virginia has classified the lower receiver of the WE TTI as a ‘machine gun’ as defined under Title 26, Section 2845 b of the U.S. Code.

(b) Machinegun

The term “machinegun” means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

The important part of the above text is this "The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun"

‘Designed and intended solely and exclusively … for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun’

The receiver of a WE TTI Gas Blowback was designed and intended solely and exclusively for use in an airsoft product.

So whether the receiver can accept an AR-15 trigger group, which it can’t without extensive modification, is irrelevant. The WE receiver was produced from the ground up to be fitted into an airsoft rifle, so Title 26, Section 2845 b of the U.S. Code does not cover the BAFTE’s case.

So, in other words, BATFE can not stand behind this U.S. Statute, it doesn’t even apply. Not only did BATFE have absolutely no right or authority to seize the shipment of airsoft guns, the matter should have been referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for investigation. BAFTE = No Jurisdiction.

You can’t help but notice over the last few days, ATF has been less vocal and appears unwilling to go on record with their claims. The opinions of tens of thousands of people all over the internet from Airsoft forums to Real Steel forums has been overwhelmingly in favour of Airsoft Outlet Northwest, and I’m willing to bet that, that is weighing down on the authorities.

The ‘good catch’ rhetoric has disappeared, the back slapping has petered off and it would appear the voices of thousands from all over the internet is being heard.

Story KOIN6 TV had such a really good response to their first piece about the Tacoma seizure, that they have now updated their article where KOIN6 TV reporter Alexis Del Cid starts asking the BAFTE the hard questions. This video is where BAFTE appears to start to close ranks, refusing to answer questions and the most revealing of all, almost, kind of reveals their true intentions.

KOIN6: Does the ATF believe these toys can be converted into deadly weapons that fire real ammunition?

BAFTE: Refuses to answer the question and keeps referring to the definition of a machine gun, something than can fire multiple rounds.

KOIN6: Does firing multiple rounds of plastic pellets fall into that category?

BAFTE: ATF still refuses to answer.

Now this is important, because it reveals the true intentions of the BAFTE, and this may reveal a bigger agenda.

BAFTE: This is more of a public awareness issue and that the real danger is how realistic these toys look.

So you stole the guns to raise a public awareness issue, Roger that! You’ve just declared war on Airsoft…

 

If you want to lodge a protest or complaint, use the following contact points.

Office of the Inspector General
U.S. Department of Justice
Investigations Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Room 4706
Washington, DC 20530

E-mail: oig.hotline@usdoj.gov

Online: Reporting Form

Hotline: (contact information in English and Spanish): (800) 869-4499

Fax: (202) 616-9881

Also, the public affairs agents who are responsible for the press release:

john.d.mcbride@dhs.gov
Customs Public Affairs Liaison, Portland-Tacoma
cheryl.d.bishop@usdoj.gov
Special Agent, Public Affairs Officer
BATF Seattle Field Division
206-389-5859

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Filed under Airsoft Outlet NW, BAFTE, CBP, Law, Miscellaneous, Politics