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Mon Jan 13, 2020, 05:49 PM

Design of AR-15 could derail charges tied to popular rifle

A subtle design feature of the AR-15 rifle has raised a technical legal question that is derailing criminal cases tied to one of America's most popular weapons

By JAKE BLEIBERG and STEFANIE DAZIO Associated Press
January 13, 2020, 4:05 PM

DALLAS -- A subtle design feature of the AR-15 rifle has raised a technical legal question that is derailing cases against people who are charged with illegally buying and selling the gun's parts or building the weapon.

At issue is whether a key piece of one of America's most popular firearms meets the definition of a gun that prosecutors have long relied on.

For decades, the federal government has treated a mechanism called the lower receiver as the essential piece of the semiautomatic rifle, which has been used in some of the nation's deadliest mass shootings. Prosecutors regularly bring charges based on that specific part.

But some defense attorneys have recently argued that the part alone does not meet the definition in the law. Federal law enforcement officials, who have long been concerned about the discrepancy, are increasingly worried that it could hinder some criminal prosecutions and undermine firearms regulations nationwide.

"Now the cat is out of the bag, so I think you’ll see more of this going on,” said Stephen Halbrook, an attorney who has written books on gun law and history. “Basically, the government has gotten away with this for a long time.”

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https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/design-ar-15-derail-charges-tied-popular-rifle-68252403

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Reply Design of AR-15 could derail charges tied to popular rifle (Original post)
RCW2014 Monday OP
Gunslinger201 Monday #1
DP46 Monday #2
Banshee 3 Actual Tuesday #4
DocDocGoose Tuesday #3

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 06:33 PM

1. Isn't it already Illegal to Murder People?

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 08:14 PM

2. Yeah, pass some more laws they can't/won't enforce ....

... about a gun that's used in less than 300 crimes a year.

Maybe they'll make every component require a serial number? Upper, lower, barrel, butt stock, sight tower, carry handle, BCG, Bolt, Trigger group, gotta catch 'em all!

Then .... they can figure out how to deal with the millions of AR's already out there, with only the lower receiver serialized.

(Pssst, their answer will be "Registration" of course. Our answer will be ... Go Fuck Yourselves, of course)

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Response to DP46 (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 01:15 PM

4. Germany used to do something VERY similar

Look at a say Walther P.38

Serial numbers for the receiver, slide, barrel, locking block, even magazines and holsters tended to match until late in the war

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Tue Jan 14, 2020, 12:20 PM

3. There are a couple things to ponder here.

Do I think that this is the smoking gun that proves the NRA and its members want dead kids? No.

Do I trust the people pointing it out not to misrepresent it as such in order to screw the average gun owner? Hell no.

There is, however, something to be said about the ability to prosecute people who should not be allowed to own firearms (ie felons) when they break the law. I’ve often said that there is no public interest in the government knowing who does and who doesn’t own firearms, but there is at least some prudence in knowing who cannot own them. And when one of those persons does so, we should be able to take action.

This will all come down to a proper definition of firearm. And in an ever expanding technological atmosphere that’s going to be harder and harder to do.

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