Category Archives: Tacoma

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

U.S. Customs seizes shipment of WE M4 GBBR’s allegedly bound for Airsoft Outlet NorthWest

Hitting the airsoft world today is a story picked up by Seattle’s King5.com and Tacoma’s The News Tribune about a shipment of 30 WE M4 Gas Blowback airsoft rifles being detected and seized by US Customs and Border Protection.

 

Customs officials at the Port of Tacoma seized a shipment of 30 pellet guns that officialsCBP-seal say could have been modified into machine guns.

An investigation is under way after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered the Airsoft guns Feb. 8 in a suspicious-looking container. The shipment, labeled “Toys and Parts,” was worth about $10,000 and arrived at the port in October from a manufacturer in Taiwan, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Doug McBride said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined that the rifles were equipped to shoot plastic balls but could be converted into machine guns firing live ammunition.

Ok, I didn’t want going to start on the obvious FUD being reported on here, and I can’t completely blame the news organisations for this, as they report on what they have been told and are not the experts unlike the BAFTE and CBP, but the implication that these seized airsoft rifles can be converted into firing live ammunition just astounds me.

I would be first in line (behind a bulletproof screen) to witness the carnage that would ensue from somebody attempting to detonate a .223 round in the alloy upper receiver of an M4 GBB, as unlikely as it would be with the absence of a firing pin and all the other essential parts of an AR-15 bolt to detonate a live round. The ludicrousness dissuades me from wanting to even touch on the other issues such as the barrel, the BCG and the dimensions of the WE receiver being incompatible with real steel tooling.

BATFE and CBP have experts in weaponry, and I have absolutely no doubt that they understand the mechanics of a toy GBB M4 and a Real Steel AR-15, why they would feed the media such obvious FUD boggles ones mind.

0224machien_guns_seized “You couldn’t tell by weight or feel” that the guns were fake, ATF spokeswoman Cheryl Bishop said. “Most people would be hard-pressed to tell the difference, and that’s why we were so concerned.”

The metal pellet guns had the same size, weight and appearance of an M-4 automatic rifle, the weapon used by the U.S. military. The rifles did not have serial numbers on them, as real guns would, but they also did not have the orange-blaze tip required for all imported toy guns.

“You could slide a magazine in there. They load and charge very realistically, very much like the real thing,” Bishop said.

The ATF also determined that the shipment did not arrive with the proper permits to enter the United States. The guns will be destroyed.

It would seem the sensationalism and FUD are unnecessary if you are to believe the reports that the rifles arrived in the US without the federally mandated blaze orange tip and improper permits for importation. If you just take those factors into consideration, it becomes a non-story.

What would have seemed to be a error of the clerical and shipping nature has been turned into a FUD based crusade by US Authorities for reasons that are kind of unclear and Seattle based news site, King5.com certainly doesn’t help the situation by incorrectly (in all intonations) referring to the toys as ‘Machine Guns’.

"These rifles could have had far-reaching and potentially devastating ramifications if they had gotten into the hands of individuals who wanted to do harm in the American population," said Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director, Rolando Suliveras, Jr. "This was a good interception by our officers."

FUD = Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

The fact that the shipment arrived in the United States in October of last year and has only just been discovered, Feb 8th 2010, also raises questions.

An anonymous source has stated that the airsoft shipment was heading to Oregon based retailer Airsoft Outlet NorthWest, we have contacted Airsoft Outlet NW for confirmation but as of time of writing, although contacted us, have not released a statement concerning the seizure.

According to the Airsoft Outlet NW website, the owner of Airsoft Outlet Northwest will be addressing the news on the Lars Larson Show on 750 AM KXL at 2p.m. today.

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Filed under Gas Rifles, Law, Miscellaneous, Seizure, Tacoma, Washington, Wei E Tech M4