ATF Raids Polymer80, Seizes ‘Buy Build Shoot Kits’

The ATF is considering 80 percent receiver kits with other gun parts “firearms,” at least in Polymer80’s case. (Photo: Polymer80)

Prominent 80 percent component manufacturer Polymer80 was raided by the ATF, reports the Wall Street Journal. Widely described as “ghost guns” by gun-control activists, 80 percent parts are not firearms and can be purchased without going through an FFL.

According to the warrant, federal agents claimed that Polymer80’s “Buy Build Shoot Kit” however, was a firearm, not an 80 percent part. The kit paired 80 percent receivers with the parts necessary to perform the manufacturing, and make a product that would classify as a firearm by ATF rules.

Polymer80 issued a short statement following the Thursday night raid.

“Over the past few years, and at the present time, Polymer80 has had numerous contacts from federal, state, and local law enforcement officials across the country,” the company said on Facebook. “In each such instance, when properly and lawfully so approached, Polymer80 has expended best efforts to fully cooperate with law enforcement.”

“This practice is consistent with Polymer80’s hard-earned reputation as an industry leader and responsible corporate citizen. Indeed, the company takes its legal obligations seriously, just as it does its treasured and fruitful relationships with its customers and independent dealers.”

“In short, Polymer80 is committed to discharging all of its responsibilities and duties as to them, as well as vigorously protecting its rights under the law. We will continue to monitor all developments as they arise,” they said.

These kits do not contain a firearm, but can be used to manufacture one with the right set of tools and some gunsmithing knowledge. (Photo: Polymer80)

No arrests were made and no charges have been filed. Still, it’s not clear what this means for Polymer80 and the 80 percent scene in general.

The majority of 80 percent parts are used within the gun industry. These unfinished components are critical for manufacturers big and small, and only a small portion of them are used by home gunsmiths to produce handmade firearms.

Still, because buyers do not have to undergo background checks to purchase 80 percent parts and kits, some of them are used to manufacture firearms for illegal markets. According to the ATF, law enforcement agencies recovered as many as 10,000 illegal firearms built using 80 percent receivers in 2019.

That being said, the ATF previously green-lit the sale of kits by Polymer80. Many manufacturers offer 80 percent parts and kits and have for many years. This follows the Brady Campaign’s pledge to file lawsuits against these companies.

See Also: ATF answers critical questions on 80 percent receivers: are they legal, are they firearms?

Just this month the anti-gun group Brady United filed a lawsuit naming 13 defendants in a first-of-its-kind suit.

“We shouldn’t have to say that those convicted of violent felonies and other people who are legally prohibited from possessing guns should not be able to possess guns. But some businesses put us all at risk by selling to virtually anyone DIY kits that can then be easily assembled into illegal, deadly, and untraceable assault weapons, all without a Brady background check or paper trail,” said Jonathan Lowy, a Brady attorney.

“After years of regulatory failure, this is a first step in addressing the clear threat posed by ghost guns,” said Everytow’s Eric Tirschwell. “What happens next is critical. With ghost guns turning up at crime scenes across the country, the ATF must make clear that federal gun laws apply to their core components — including requirements for background checks and serial numbers. We will keep pressing our case in court unless and until ATF shuts down this illegal and life-threatening industry.”

While it isn’t clear if these lawsuits will have any real effect on the world of 80 percent manufacturing, the ATF raid will absolutely. Time will tell how the gun industry and gun-rights advocates respond.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • John Boutwell December 19, 2020, 1:35 pm

    I’m sure if you checks the facts most crimes are committed with stolen firearms.

  • Willie-O December 19, 2020, 3:11 am

    The government has been “infringing” on the 2nd amendment for YEARS – the 1st instance came in 1934 to be precise. There were numerous instances of such unconstitutional infringement in the years that followed – 1938, 1939, 1968, 1993 and 1994 were some of the worst. Sadly, I think the next 4 years will bring some of, if not THE most unconstitutional infringements since the Bill of Rights were written and put in place. I pray Republicans maintain control of the senate, but even that will only delay what I fear is inevitable.

  • Benjamin B Smith December 18, 2020, 8:50 pm

    Freedom is inherently dangerous, however it is worth the risk. I can not justify a temporary or perceived safety measure to deny or give up any of my freedoms and neither should anyone else in this country. If they force illegal rules or “tyranny” then it is yours and my duty to enact revolution. We are REALLY close now.

  • Nuker1951 December 18, 2020, 12:16 pm

    Well here we go! To quote the best gun salesman in history, “Elections have consequences. ” (Everyones favorite, Obama). His prints are all over this article and especially the election.
    Sleepy Joe flip flops on the 2nd Amendment constantly. He cannot remember what he said 2 minutes later. Harris is a douche bag. Really! She couldn’t make it past the first round in the primaries. Only one heartbeat (or 25th Amendment away). And Beto is back. These folks better be careful. They push some people too far and who knows what will hapen, e.g. Michigan Governor plot for example. Thousands of Americans died in the Revolutionary War seeking freedom. Who would have thought it may have to happen again to preserve freedom. All 2nd Amendment citizens out there, we must unite. Keep your wallet open to help other law abiding citizens
    I urge all sites like Guns America to keep up the fight and sounding boards. Let’s keep this platform open and not censored by the new regime. Guns America, tell us what you need to stay open and hopefully all your supporters will help.

  • Molly Dooker December 18, 2020, 12:08 pm

    It feels a lot like prohibition. There are some 60 million hunters in the US, all fairly proficient with their weapon of choice. Most have plenty of ammo. We are all part of the standing Army, the protectors and Patriots. Every now and then we hear of soldiers going off the reservation, killing other soldiers or killing themselves. It is simply part of the human condition. When you have millions and millions of guns, some are simply going to end up in the wrong hands.

    Our government knows this, but is required to give the appearance they are trying to do something about it, all the while, knowing they cannot. Do the math. There is no going back regarding ownership or registration of firearms or restraining of raw materials. There is only a facade to be played out, political gamesmanship if you will.

    Try and remember we are all on the same side, don’t spend too much time worrying about this topic. There is no disarming the American people. The government is full of people doing their job that have the same goals and values as the rest of us. Do your part, be respectful and help to enhance how we are viewed by being decent and understanding. There is no war to win, it’s already been won.

  • Grant Stevens December 18, 2020, 11:09 am

    The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights exist to prevent Big Brother Government from looking over our shoulder and taking our private property. The sole purpose of the government is to make sure our Constitution and Bill of Rights are not violated. Anything more or less is treason. “Shall not be infringed” means just what it says. It doesn’t beg “interpretation” by the Supreme Court or anyone else.

    • Jake December 18, 2020, 11:48 am

      Standing here on the slippery slope I am really torn about this. I am concerned about Antifa and people like that getting hold of these kits. Antifa has been building 80% AR’s and they are being used in criminal attacks. They also seem to have Glocks whenever handguns are involved. The communist scum having a ready source of weapons with the intent of illegal use presents a true conundrum.
      I do not want 4773 forms for barrels and upper receivers which the libs are now calling for either. That would make the rationale for non-serialized 80% lowers and frames moot.

    • FirstStateMark December 18, 2020, 12:13 pm

      You’re preaching to the choir here. The Left , which includes the ATF, doesn’t recognize the Constitution or the Bill of Rights . They are nothing but power grabbing elitist.

  • Alan December 18, 2020, 10:37 am

    Hey Polyme80, thanks for keeping customer lists you made the ATF’s day by not purging the names and addresses after 30 days.

    • Mike V December 18, 2020, 12:15 pm

      I think Polymer 80 didn’t turn that information over, but the credit card servicer and did.

  • Michael December 18, 2020, 10:03 am

    Fill your hand and welcome Socialism that the Democrat party will spend four years jamming down our law
    abiding, Constitutional, second amendment thoughts. There was a time, not many moons ago, when Federal
    Agency’s were required by law to seek a right to arrest a law abiding citizen is areas of question regarding an
    American citizen having broken any type of Federal Laws that may break any laws under the Constitution of
    The United States. No longer, decisions are made by butter brain law in force ment personal based on their
    Liberal College Degree, that ignored the United States Constitution.
    As I said earlier, welcome Socialism as jammed down the thoughts of young people headed for life in America !

  • Phil Airfoil December 18, 2020, 9:08 am

    Welcome to the Brave New World Order…the Reset…1984…2020.

    I can’t imagine how this will end, with our new Leader in charge.

  • Gramps December 18, 2020, 9:00 am

    *guerrilla senses tingling*

    • Jay Franks December 18, 2020, 6:33 pm

      You have two options here. You can either bleat like sheep or you can put down your phone, pick up a rifle, and make them fear your name.

  • skipNclair Barker December 18, 2020, 8:30 am

    Thugs and traitors pissing on the constitution. What part of shall not be infringed do they not understand? Abolish this agency like 99% of all govt. agencies should be.

  • Mike V December 18, 2020, 8:18 am

    “Time will tell how the gun industry and gun-rights advocates respond.”

    Well, we’re screwed. Bumpstocks showed you what happens.

    Polymer 80 and the other kit sellers don’t have enough supporters in the gun community or gun rights lobbyist community to be protected.

  • Fal Phil December 18, 2020, 7:43 am

    I sure hope that extremists don’t start doxxing BATF agents over this kind of behavior.

    • DJ December 18, 2020, 12:30 pm

      Like all police there are good and bad in any agency, but any officer who knowingly and willing defies the constitution they are SWORN to defend they should be held accountable!

  • Michael Freitag December 15, 2020, 12:16 am

    Are you serious? Talk about slowly choking the life out of our CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED 2nd amendment rights. I whole heartedly agree with an earlier post regarding who the hell cares where confiscated firearms come from. The fact is they will always make there way into the bad guys hands. Most gun related crimes are committed by those not legally able to have anything to do with them. But yet all of these law updates affect those who ARE legally able to have them. All of these so called “pre-cautionary” law changes to keep firearms out of the “bad guys” hands works just as well as the 1930’s alcohol prohibition, the “stop and frisk” enforcement and the so called war on drugs. All of these were pre-cautionary type enforcements aimed at lowering crime and had absolutely zero effect and wasted billions. I recently qualified and received my CCW permit and was dumbfounded on how hard it is is to qualify. For a certain demographic, qualifying for a CCW is a fantasy. It’s kinda like it’s almost planned that way…..

    • No1Hunter December 18, 2020, 8:34 am

      “Most gun related crimes are committed by those not legally able to have anything to do with them. But yet all of these law updates affect those who ARE legally able to have them.”

      The sad part is “those not legally able to have anything to do with them” who are caught with them or trying to buy them go free with no punishment. Punish the law bidding citizen, reward the criminal. Welcome to the democrat’s world.

      • Justin December 18, 2020, 11:44 am

        Very true, and now NY and CA are releasing their violent inmates from their prisons due to the Covid scare. That should help their already high violent crime rates. Democrats get what they deserve, but everyone else suffers too.

  • kimberpross December 14, 2020, 10:42 am

    An FBI friend out of the Chicago area told me 95% of the firearms confiscated in crimes are stolen. Regardless, in my opinion, having traceability of a firearm through serial numbers to the original purchaser has no benefit in preventing violent crime. Who cares where the firearm came from when they find dead souls and probably a dead criminal. So they find out that the dead criminal bought the gun. Yay, they know more now.

  • Robert December 14, 2020, 10:25 am

    Where on these parts is the serial number of a firearm , please allow me to tell you, nowhere these are legal parts that can be bought off the internet individually. You people better wise up 1776 round 2 is on its way. Be prepared to fight . I mean barrel first not handing over anything without fighting. This is going to be worse than 2020.

  • Anthony Romano December 14, 2020, 7:22 am

    Where’s the proof that 80 % guns have been showing up at crime scenes? I don’t believe it for a second. My neighbor made two of them, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. He had a drill press and id very knowledgeable about firearms. He can never sell either of these guns.

    • James December 14, 2020, 7:53 am

      You can take any of these 80% firearms to a Type 7 FFL (Manufacturer) and have them put a serial number on ($). I don’t know what they would charge. Then, you can sell the firearm if you no longer wish to own one for some reason.

      • Fred Brown December 14, 2020, 7:33 pm

        Or, one can simply use an electric engraver and engrave a unique ID number on the frame for identification if stolen! That’s what my jig manufacturer recommends.

        • Nicholas Joseph Tordella December 17, 2020, 8:44 am

          No man or woman can be forced to disclose it’s private Affairs to any government agency in which that man or woman is part owner of. Every statute and every code and every agency is there to regulate other agencies. You need to know who you are if you are a man or a woman or are you a person are you a vessel are you chattel. It is the simplest thing in the world and yet most of us have been brainwashed from the time we’ve born a governor legislature or a mayor of a city only has the right to regulate government agencies no man or woman or any of its private life nor does one have to disclose it. Most people have cognitive dissonance a license is permission to use someone else’s property there is no such thing as an unlawful firearm. If you are ever charged with criminal possession then they have to prove number one that you are a government employee number two that they have the owner of the firearm or number three that they are the owner of the house in which you keep the firearm phone number for they have to claim that they own the street in which you were walking down with your property. If you wind up in court and they hit you in an all capital letter name they are not charging you as a man they charging you as a company and they have the right to regulate commerce but they don’t have the right to regulate the Private Affairs of men and women that’s where you go to prison the judge will ask you how do you plead you’re not there to plead your case let him enter a plea for you then at the end tell him thank you very much for being my attorney pro bono because he is not allowed to administrative law without your consent everything the government does is commercial a corporate entity cannot do business with a man or woman that’s why a gun shop which is a business has a right to be regulated however if you make the firearm yourself you’re entitled to engage in Private Affairs with other men and women

          • Rick December 18, 2020, 4:32 am

            You sov cits crack me up

          • Lee December 18, 2020, 7:48 am

            Settle down, Francis

        • Marb December 18, 2020, 9:26 am

          Not that simple. See my reply below.

        • Marb December 18, 2020, 9:27 am

          See my comment/reply below.

      • Marb December 18, 2020, 9:23 am

        No, it is not that simple. A manufacturer must first secure a variance from ATF to apply for permission to apply your marks of identification then once approved they can mark it. Must have name of manufacturer, city and state, caliber or gauge, and serial number. But they can’t do it anyway because marks of ID variances are only approved between two FFL’s. If you personally make your own firearm, you have to apply for a serial number from ATYF and is issued by ATF. It will begin with “ATF” and then a number. You don’t get to choose that number, ATF does. And then you can take it to any machine shop and have that information applied to the firearm, or do it yourself if you have the equipment. A licensed FFL manufacturer can’t do it for you because under the regulations, any markings done by a ATF licensed manufacturer will constitute a manufacturing process unless they have a variance approved and issued by ATF. Marks must be minimum 1/16″ height and at least .003″ depth. See 27 CFR 478.92, 27 CFR 479.102, ATF Rul. 2009-5, ATF Rul. 2012-1, and ATF Rul. 2013-3.

  • William M Butler MSG USA ret December 14, 2020, 12:43 am

    80 % lowers was and are still legal. The problem seems to be that these dolts added in a bunch of 100% finishd parts and foolishly thought that the percentage of unfinished parts would not change. Sell the 80% lower seperate, no problem. Add all those additional 100% finishd parts, as a kit, trouble.

    • Walt Huston December 14, 2020, 8:05 am

      80% lowers are legal to buy. 100% finished parts are legal to buy. Why should it be illegal to buy both together? The percentage of unfinished parts has no relevance: only the lower receiver or frame is regulated.

    • Big Al 45 December 14, 2020, 10:19 am

      Your reading comprehension level is questionable, those “dolts” had approval from the ATF originally, as stated in the article, so your insult is unfounded and out of bounds.
      Try being nicer, and practice your reading skills.

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