Polymer80 PROACTIVELY Stops Selling Polymer 80% Receivers

G150 80 Percent AR15 Lower

G150 80 Percent AR15 Lower

The recent raid on Ares Armor, a seller of polymer 80% receivers, suggests the legal status of these products may soon be changing. The CEO of Polymer80, Loran Kelley, has just published a notice on Facebook explaining that they have proactively and voluntarily stopped selling 80% polymer lowers until the legal status of these products has been clarified. An extract from the notice:

 

Valued Customers and supporters of Polymer80,

Some of you may have taken notice that we are no longer offering the G150 80% lower for sale on our site. We want to be clear that:

A. We were NOT shutdown in anyway by the ATF
B. We were NOT raided by the ATF
C. We have NOT even been contacted or directed by the ATF in any way, shape or form
D. We have done this VOLUNTARILY and PROACTIVELY

We currently do NOT have an active customer list nor do we have any inventory. We are going to proactively work directly with the Science and Technology Department at the ATF to quickly get a determination letter and move forward providing a fun, affordable and legal option for gun ownership.

The notice is addressed to their customers, but reading between the lines they are clearly signaling to the BATFE that they are, at least until the legal situation is clarified,  out of the 80% lower business. They have no “active customers” and nor do they “have any inventory”.

If 80% receivers are deemed illegal, the question will be what does and does not constitute a firearm. Are these plastic blocks (“0% receivers”) firearms?

China_Various_HDPE_Block2012517910576

 

Thanks to Will for the tip.




Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • BryanS

    Time to bust out the warfairy DefCad files and warm up my extruder.

  • Christoph Bücker

    Plastic blocks can be made into real firearms? Prohibit plastic blocks!

    ;)

    • gunslinger

      for the children!

    • wetcorps

      They can!

      • hkryan

        I always thought the FAMAS had horrible accuracy! ;-)

    • Patrick Mingle

      Assault plastic blocks*

    • Gerry H

      Hell, John Dillinger made a gun out of a bar of soap and some shoe polish. LOL.

  • wylin923

    update from their FB post abobe:

    Polymer80
    “Okay, let me bring this into proper perspective here.
    1. Getting a letter is NOT and was NEVER a requirement so I did not need one
    2.
    I did not have the contacts I now have when I started this business
    (with very little money to spare), and getting a letter would have taken
    up to a year.
    3. EP Lowers got raided basically BECAUSE they applied for a letter.
    4.
    When I first started I invited our local ATF field agent to our office,
    volunteered everything we were doing, showed her our drawings and
    prototypes. She was very pleased with out upfront approach and that is
    most likely why I have been left alone.
    5. My customers are in NO predicament what-so-ever.
    6.
    There was no real reason for me to turn off my sales from the ATF. We
    did this (by “this” I mean turn off sales that were totaling $10,000 a
    DAY) to make sure that in the long run, YOU were protected and our
    rights can be as well.”

    • Rob

      “6. There was no real reason for me to turn off my sales from the ATF. We
      did this (by “this” I mean turn off sales that were totaling $10,000 a
      DAY) to make sure that in the long run, YOU were protected and our
      rights can be as well.”

      BS. $3.6 mil revenue/year on polymer lowers? That is ~36,000 units/year (they were only sold for ~11 months).

      Also this:
      “We are going to proactively work directly with the Science and Technology Department at the ATF to quickly get a determination letter and move forward…”

      But then this?
      “1. Getting a letter is NOT and was NEVER a requirement so I did not need one3. EP Lowers got raided basically BECAUSE they applied for a letter.

      4. When I first started I invited our local ATF field agent to our office,
      volunteered everything we were doing, showed her our drawings and
      prototypes. She was very pleased with out upfront approach and that is
      most likely why I have been left alone.

      6. There was no real reason for me to turn off my sales from the ATF.”

      What? Not the most consistent reasoning… a lot of conjecture… and GRATUITOUS use OF CAPS lock.

      • Cymond

        First, maybe it’s been $10,000 orders/day recently, as people rush to get polymer 80%s since the shutdown of EP & Ares.

        Second, I see no contradiction between their first and fourth points. There is no legal requirement for a determination letter and they couldn’t afford the delay when they first started (their first shipment was months behind their original estimate and many people feared it would never happen). They felt informal correspondence was sufficient. However, they will now seek an official determination letter due to recent events.

        At least that’s how I took it.

        • Polymer80

          That is EXACTLY right. Thanks!
          -Pokymer80

          • Polymer80

            I mean Polymer80. … phones…

  • SDague

    Just to clarify, Ares Armor does not manufacture the lowers. They sell EP Armory polymer lowers. EP Armory was raided a few weeks before Ares, I believe. Unfortunately, I do not think this will end well or soon for anyone selling or owning polymer lowers.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      You’re correct. I also agree that at this point in time it appears there will be an effort to at the very least seek to classify them. Nobody really has a set standard of manufacture at this point.

  • Cymond

    Can someone please give me a legitimate reason why it seems NONE of these polymer 80% lower companies got a determination letter for their unusual construction techniques?

    I followed Polymer80 since June or so, and really had high hopes for them. After seeing how much trouble they went through getting their mold to work, I never imagined they’d skip such as basic step as ensuring their product was legal.

    • Polymer80

      The Polymer80 IS legal. Just getting the paper work to prove it. It’s FAR cheaper to proactively do it, rather than being raided and proving it in court.

      • Cymond

        “The Polymer80 IS legal.”
        Says who? You? EP was sure their design was legal, too. So was Ares. Without the “paper work to prove it” you’re in the same boat.

      • Cymond

        Also, if “It’s FAR cheaper to proactively do it” then why didn’t Polymer80 do it proactively? Why did you wait until EP got raided to line up your defense?

  • Pete Sheppard

    To me, this reeks of an intimidation campaign.

  • Havok

    “The recent raid on Ares Armor, a manufacturer of polymer 80% receivers” Someone gonna fix that?

  • Seth Hill

    Plain blocks of plastic and metal will be deemed as firearms. Same for tubing (which could be used as receivers for guns such as Stens). Any metal shavings will be used as evidence that you have a firearm somewhere, even if you don’t own any firearms.

    • Ed

      Kind of like Saddam’s “aluminum tubes”. Beer cans suddenly become evidence of WMD manufacture.

  • Hunter57dor

    Its ok, just give up! not like its a right or anything, so lets just pack up and go home guys.

  • James

    What about ex post facto? Isn’t it illegal to go after people for an infraction that hadn’t even been made up yet? Oh and when did the batfe have the power to make such legal definitions? Is there no oversight at all? What do they have to do to be shut down? Kill US citizens or work with drug cartels? Oh wait…

    • Sulaco

      Actually ATF has for decades decided that it and it alone amoung the US government has the power to decide what is and is not a firearm without imput from Congress. They declare what they don’t like illegal and you have to prove in a string of courts lower to higher as they will fight with all your tax dollars until the supremes tell them no. They have at times declared string, tubing and a gun they admitted remachining as well as a gun that fired because of a breakage “machine guns” and charged people for it.

    • Cymond

      “Oh and when did the batfe have the power to make such legal definitions?”
      If not the ATF, then who?

      An infraction that hadn’t even been made up yet? Manufacturers have been required to put identifying marks & serial numbers on guns since the Gun Control Act of 1968. There’s nothing ex post facto about that. The sticking point is exactly what qualifies as a “firearm”, which as discussed, is essentially up to the ATF to interpret & execute the laws as passed by Congress. If the ATF rules that these are guns, then they have always been guns and have always been illegal for EP to manufacture with serial numbers (and without getting an FFL).

      • Snitch_in_Time

        When was BATFEABCDEFG granted plenary powers? I missed that bill and / or that pronouncement by the Supremes.

  • Daniel Prickett

    Something that I’ve yet to see mentioned in all the EP Armory stuff is rumors flying around of them “helping” people finish their 80% lowers as well as them posting a comically bad video on you tube where they stated “we know guns- what do you know” and then proceeded to shoot all sorts of holes in the hillside while accidentally/occasionally hitting the steel target. As awesomely bad as the video was it clearly showed them using things that are outright illegal in CA. Any direct affiliation with them surely brought a whole mess of unwanted attention. Ares may be victim of that. Fast and loose do not go hand in hand with gun dealing and manufacturing. Unless your the federal government and you have an agenda.

    • Cymond

      I haven’t seen that video. Their business is in California, but can the shooting location be identified as California? Some CA gun owners drive to free states to go shooting.

  • Sulaco

    ATF according to the store owner in CA said that ATF once declared a 14″ length of shoe string a firearm when used to pull a trigger and charged accordingly…

    • Nadnerbus

      The shoestring was used as a workaround to create full auto. You could sorta see how it could be considered a “part” that enabled full auto, that is continuous fire with one pull of the trigger, and therefore within the purview of the NFA. What the ATF is doing now, though, doesn’t seem to be grounded in nearly as much logic.

  • Drapetomanius

    The BATFELNMOP’s official motto:

  • WFA

    The polymer lower issue in the US seems to be one based on the requirement that a firearm receiver must be able to be detected by x-ray or metal detector.
    This is the reason other poly lowers have metal embedded in the manufacturing process.

    • DougE

      In this case though, an 80% lower, polymer or otherwise is not a firearm (for now). The lower parts kit will contain plenty of metal parts, so I suppose if you assemble just one or a few parts from the kit right after it’s 100% I don’t think it should be an issue. Although, I don’t think ANY of this should be an issue, but government types seem to think otherwise.

    • CrunkleRoss

      If an x-ray machine can see my broken leg bone I don’t think it would have a problem seeing a poly lower. It has never really had anything to do with that misconception.

  • 1911a145acp

    If the reason for “Custom work on Berettas” is because they are a US Service pistol-Then I say SIGs and HKs first………

  • Charles Newman

    Just ensure that you don’t point the plastic blocks at anyone and make sure they’re clear! Safety first.

  • Jay Rock

    This is stupid. The whole Ares/Ep Armory thing is not related to polymer material 80’s, nor to the “legality” of so-called 80 percenters. It has mainly to do with two things.1. EP Armory made a batch of their 80’s with dimples into the side of the “lower” which indicated where to do the cross-drilling for the fire control pins and the safety selector. Some of these were still being sold even though the ATF considers features like that to encroach into the remaining 20 percent which they then consider a firearm. Some of these units were still pictured on the EP Armory website as of the day after the raid. They changed the design to a raised “bump” on the exterior dimension of the side walls which still included a pilot hole but did not penetrate the main exterior wall. TBD if that is ATF “legal” or not. (my guess= it’s legal.)
    2. The ATF in it’s great understanding of new manufacturing processes, claimed that the different colored “biscuit” that consumed the fire control well was molded into an already “finished” fire control well…which would basically mean that a complete firearm receiver was manufactured FIRST and then was artificially retarded to an 80 percenter. Karras made a declaratory statement to the court that the opposite process was used, meaning that the “biscuit’ is installed into a predetermined position inside a “receiver” mold, and only THEN is the rest of the polymer injected and bonded to this ‘biscuit”. Can’t see how that is illegal….but then I can’t see how the atf is legal either so……

  • me ohmy

    REDESIGNED FCP (NO PLUG OF DIFFERENT COLOR).. will make the NEXT gen about as “80% ” as you can get from POLYMER 80.. shipping in JUNE!!!
    PREORDERS NOW.. $90.00 WITH JIG AND BITS,AND SPECIAL PARTS.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Polymer-80/138959999623430