CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia’s Attorney General is co-leading a lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and the U.S. Department of Justice over its new rule redefining “frame” and “receiver”.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the effect of the redefinition means most gun parts are regulated as firearms.
According to a publically available ATF training manual, the following redefinitions were made:
The term “frame” now refers to the part of a handgun or “variants” (also a defined term) using a handgun design, that provides housing or a structure for the sear or equivalent—that part that holds back the hammer, striker, bolt, or similar component prior to firing. The term “receiver” means the part of a rifle, shotgun, or projectile weapon other than a handgun, or variants, that provides housing or a structure for the bolt, breechblock or other primary component designed to block or seal the breech prior to firing.Training Aid for the Definition of Frame or Receiver & Identification of Firearms, Overview of Final Rule 2021R-05F
The training guide has a question and answer section that addresses whether or not the redefinition impacts so-called 80% kits. It says, “Yes. The final rule addresses ‘partially complete, disassembled, or nonfunctional’ frames or receivers,” and goes on to say, “the final rule confirms that many of the products currently marketed and sold as unregulated kits and components are properly classified as ‘firearms’ that are regulated by the federal law, including a frame or receiver parts kit.”
The guide then elaborates that “any associated templates, jigs, molds, equipment, tools, instructions, guides, or marketing materials that are sold, distributed, or possessed with the item or kit” can be considered 80% receiver kits under the rule.
A coalition of 17 states is suing for an injunction from the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota.
The lawsuit alleges that the Final Rule “adopts a vague, standardless definition of the statutory term ‘readily,”’and applies it to ban 80% of frames and receivers, including when sold as so-called ‘weapon parts kits.'”
Arizona’s Attorney General is the other co-lead. The other states involved in the lawsuit, according to a release from Morrisey’s office, are Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.