Posted: 6/8/2006 10:51:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By shotar:
Ok, this wasted my time in a serious way. An account of events as written by a 12 year old with little regard to details or facts. Including the words stolen in place of seized as evidence does not help the cause. Seriously, the last time this board was led down this prim rose path to righteous indignation, the dirtbag who got his stuff seized turned out to be a convicted violent felon who was manufacturing weapons.
Is this just a militia nutjob redux???
I don't know anything about the event or the raid, and don't care what the story says. I spoke with Richard on the phone a few years ago. Amazingly nice guy and extremely humble. No chip on his shoulder about anything.
He runs a tool and die type machining service and makes 80% receivers on the side. The end user must complete a bunch of machining to make it into a functional firearm. He sumbits samples to BATF. They approve his warez for sale as non-firearms. Everything is legal-eagle. No problems. Been going on a long time, out in the open and in the light of day.
He hosts picnics now and again at his place. People can use his equipment and expertise to complete their 80% lower, or 1911 frame, or sig frame or whatever. It's kind of like an arfcom get together, or a build party, but the lines apparently get real fuzzy because he's also the supplier of the castings.
*** Purely speculating from here : ***
From my own machining experience, I'd imagine that he has various jigs set up on milling machines. He could then show someone how to clamp thier workpeice into the jig, and let them turn the handles on the machine. They are technically completing the machining on their own, but everything has been greatly facilitated by Richard.
This sort of arrangement blurs the line between the home builder legally constructing his own firearm, and the illegal manufacture and sale of a firearm. Particularly if Rich sold them the blank, a parts kit, let them use the machines, and then helped them assemble the final product all under the same roof and on the same day. What's the difference? I showed up, handed over some cash, and a little while later left with a gun.
Did I mention that people are usually traveling from several states away to attend these shin-digs? Bad joo-joo.
If I go to the S&W factory and they let me press the buttons on the machine that makes the frame for a model 59, does that mean that I made it myself and can leave with it? No papers? No serial numbers? Travel across state lines?
I'm certain that he submitted samples of everything to BATF and got approval. I've seen scans of some of the paperwork. He posted frequent updates as he was developing a new product and submitting multiple iterations to BATF, seeing exactly what was, and what was not permissable. He was aiming for the absolute maximum amount of machining that could be done by him and still have BATF rule that it was not a firearm.
Rick: Can I tap the buffer threads, mill the fire control, and cut the mag well?
BATF: No, that's a firearm.
Rick: How 'bout this sample where the buffer hole is drilled to size, but the buffer threads aren't tapped?
BATF: No, that's a firearm.
Rick: How 'bout this one where the hole is located correctly, but drilled undersized?
BATF: That would be okay if there were less of the other holes drilled through.
Rick: How 'bout this one where I've correctly located every single hole and made little divots as drill bit starters, but the holes aren't drilled all the way through?
BATF: Yes, that's okay. It's not a firearm.
This is a guy that was trying to remain compliant. That said, he's also a guy that made them clarify EXACTLY where the line was, and was going to operate RIGHT ON THE LINE, and those guys ALWAYS get fucked over in time. From the minimal contact I had with him, I liked him plenty. I also recognized that he was someone to steer clear of, and never patronized his wares.
Best of luck to him and his family.