Theodore's World: Fed Agencies Seize Toys, Call Them 'machine guns'

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March 13, 2010

Fed Agencies Seize Toys, Call Them 'machine guns'

Fed agencies seize toys, call them 'machine guns'

Claim pot metal frames actually could fire bullets

wnd ...for complete article

A gun rights organization has launched a Freedom of Information request following a decision by federal Customs and Border Protection agents to seize a shipment of toy pellet guns and a determination by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that they could be converted into machine guns so they must be destroyed.

Government agencies have explained that the Airsoft toys, made of a soft pot metal and lacking a firing mechanism, easily could be converted into a true weapon capable of automatic fire.

"Our firearms technology branch classified this as a machine gun," BATFE Special Agent Kelvin Crenshaw said in a report assembled by Gun Owners of America. "With minimal work it could be converted to a machine gun."

Gun Owners spokesman Erich Pratt told WND today his organization has launched a FOIA demand for information to find out on what basis the government reached that conclusion.

The case stems from the confiscation just weeks ago of the shipment of several dozen of the plastic pellet-firing Airsoft toys from Brad Martin and his son, Ben, in Cornelius, Ore.

An analysis by John Velleco, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners noted that, "To make the transformation, the entirety of the upper receiver would have to be replaced, but the lower receiver would still be unable to endure the intense force of live ammunition because it is made of pot metal (inexpensive alloys) instead of hard steel.

"And all of this work would actually cost more than buying a real – and stable – AR-15 rifle," he said.

The toys also lacked the orange paint on the muzzle that some classes of toys are required to have, but the Martins confirmed that when that situation had arisen with previous shipments from their Taiwan supplier, they were allowed to paint the ends of the barrels.

Jason Jonah of Andy and Dax Surplus said, "it looks like a gun, but the insides are completely different, the design is different, and the material it's made of is just not strong enough to fire real ammunition."

If somebody tried to fire real ammunition, he said, it mostly likely would blow up the toy.

"The gun would come apart and the pieces fly at you," he said. "If it weren't the ATF making these accusations, I'd laugh, but they must be taking it seriously. In all my years, I've never had anyone talk – even laughingly – about changing these into weapons," he said.
He said it would be about as easy to convert an Airsoft into a real weapon as transforming "your Cuisinart or any other electrical appliance into a real gun.
"It's made of the same plastic or low-quality aluminum as any other appliance. So maybe you turn it into a firearm, but it would be like transforming any other electrical appliance – hiding a gun inside an electrical appliance," he said.
He noted that in an Airsoft, the trigger doesn't activate a firing mechanism, it sends "an electrical signal to the battery, which sends more signal to the motor, which is spinning and sending out those pellets."
Velleco accused the federal government, through its gun regulatory agency, of becoming "an arrogant and out-of-control bureaucracy with a history of trampling on people's gun rights."


Wild Thing's comment........

“Our firearms technology branch classified this as a machine gun,”

Good grief.

Personally I think they should demonstrate for us. Let them shoot the first "converted" model while I hide behind a tree with a video camera!

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at March 13, 2010 05:55 AM


Damn, they STILL haven't given up on that? (And this is the mentality that liberals want running healthcare... )

Posted by: Anonymous at March 13, 2010 07:34 AM

"Personally I think they should demonstrate for us. Let them shoot the first "converted" model while I hide behind a tree with a video camera!"

I agree WT.
Anonymous, here is another one on these bungling bureaucrats.

Posted by: Bob A at March 13, 2010 09:19 AM

If they could get a cartridge in the chamber and if the firing pin was strong enough to set off the primer, the chamber pressure would be enough to blow up the pot metal toy. I sure would not try it.

Bob A, clever reply letter to the beaver dam.

Posted by: TomR at March 13, 2010 10:00 AM

Its either the BATF is totally stupid and shouldn't have a job in law enforecement, or they think we are that stupid.

Personally I think, it another ruse to get one step closer to trying a ban on assault weapons.

Posted by: Mark at March 13, 2010 12:53 PM

Must be like the full auto weapons the Branch Dividians had at Waco even though not one full auto weapon or sear has surfaced.

Posted by: BobF at March 13, 2010 04:47 PM

Thank you everyone.

Posted by: Wild Thing at March 14, 2010 01:10 AM

I had a little job in the 1970's testing guns for our city's merit commission. I was just a jighschool kid but clamping guns to a one tone block and fireing them to determine the statistical spead of a field of bullits required more mathmatics than anyone one the police force could handle.

The police had classified a pot metal toy revolver marketed by Matel as a firearm. The Roy Rogers six shooter really did set off a cartrige, I only had four to test, only one blew up on the first shot and dispite being smooth bore the spread of shots was no worse than the spead from the detective's snub mose .38s. (2" barrels) As everyone suspected the guns did not last very long firing ral ammo. I neever got the full ten shots I needed out of one gun. As a single use weapon it sort of worked.

Posted by: Avitar at March 14, 2010 03:49 AM