3D Printer Proves Ridiculousness of ATF’s New Definition of ‘Firearm’ – Converts Nerf Gun into .22LR!

The pistol is designed to shoot a .22LR cartridge. (Photo: 00MEAT)

The ATF’s new definition of “firearm” is so vague and broad that even toy Nerf guns may count as firearms under the new rule. At least, that’s what one 3D printer and Twitter user argued in a recent post that has made its way around the pro-gun Internet universe.

User 00MEAT posted a series of images last month that appear to show a Nerf gun retrofitted with 3D printed parts to (theoretically) fire a .22LR cartridge. The “barrel” appears to be screwed into the plastic toy while one of the darts has been fitted with a point to act as a firing pin.

“There we go. Every nerf gun is now an 80% or greater receiver. If you have a kid with a nerf gun, please let the ATF know you don’t want your kid charged with purchasing a firearm while under 21,” 00MEAT writes.

“Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the biggest FFL of them all? That’s right, it’s Walmart. With aisles full of nerf guns that are ‘readily convertible to a firing state.’ What does that proposed new rule say that FFLs have to do with such devices again? Serialize and record them?” 00MEAT continues.

SEE ALSO: ATF Proposes Unclear New Rule Banning ‘Ghost Guns,’ Redefining ‘Firearms’

A post on May 23 indicates that the creator hasn’t actually test-fired his “firearm,” but his post nonetheless demonstrates the absurdity of the ATF’s new rule.

Under the rule, which has currently received over 12,000 comments, the agency would define “firearm” as “a weapon parts kit that is designed to or may readily be assembled, completed, converted, or restored to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.”

By “readily be assembled… etc.,” the ATF means “a process that is fairly or reasonably efficient, quick, and easy, but not necessarily the most efficient, speedy, or easy process.”

It’s unclear how easily 00MEAT constructed his .22LR pistol, but this is precisely the point made by critics of the proposed rule: it’s impossible for anyone to know at what point a hunk of metal or a children’s toy crosses the invisible line between consumer product and heavily regulated firearm.

SEE ALSO: ATF Arrests Florida Man for Selling Metal Drawing of Full Auto ‘Lightning Link’

“I believe that the ATF’s proposed changes will be entirely too vague and difficult for us to even begin to understand legality [sic],” said one concerned citizen who posted a public comment on the proposed rule. “The proposed definitions of a frame or components leading to the manufacture of a firearm are overreaching alongside the definition of ‘readily’ in order to confuse the American public. Legality is an entirely gray area under these distinctions with the only agreed upon outcome being a loss of constitutional rights.”

Another pointed out how the new rule could turn law-abiding Americans into felons.

“This rule change is capricious and arbitrary. It turns existing law on its head and would result in thousands of honest and law biding [sic] gun owners being potentially charged with serious felonies. It is so ill conceived that one can only imagine that the unstated objective of the rule change is exactly this,” they said.

Concerned citizens have until August 19 to submit comments. They can do so here.  

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • derp June 11, 2021, 10:39 pm

    Will they regulate dish scrubbers too? The ATF already literally labeled them ready made suppressors and were forced to rescind the letter saying so. Of course this is absurd, it’s tyranny through and through. Just as how the government can claim property as “evidence” to steal and sell, they will have the right to take your guns away and jail you with lies and nonsense like having a nerf gun or dish scrubber as evidence of “illegal activity.” Tyranny.

  • Easy Eddie June 11, 2021, 11:16 am

    For less than the cost of that new Glock you were thinking about, you can have a 3-D printer. Of course, it’s not about ‘choices’…you should have both of them…before the left gets cute and attempts to ban or otherwise restrict 3-D printers.

  • Kane June 11, 2021, 9:56 am

    An amendment to the GCA 1968 prohibits the manufacture of “fully plastic” firearms but what does the laws of physics dictate?

    US laws are NOT going to prevent domestic criminals and foreign entities from exploring and if possible developing this technology. So there is a theory but where is the empiracle evidence that this tech can succeed?

    It seems to me, the dubious theory wrapped in an alarmist 3D printed gun diatribe is being used to serve the anti-2A political agenda of liars like Joe Biden and underlings like Chapman.

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