By: José Niño
Earlier this month, Nevada was subject to an egregious act of anti-thuggery.
ATF agents raided Polymer80 for the alleged illegal manufacturing and distribution of firearms, failure to pay taxes, shipping of firearms across state lines, and failing to run background checks on customers.
Polymer80 has gained a reputation for being one of the largest manufacturers of 80% lowers and pistol frames. The pro-gun control busybodies at the ATF, however, had to find any excuse to harass law-abiding gun manufacturers. That’s how a bureaucratic monstrosity like the ATF operates. The probe the ATF launched is looking at Polymer80’s “Buy Build Shoot Kit,” which features parts to set up a “ghost” handgun. Polymer80 sells the kit online, and according to ATF investigators’ warrant application, fits the definition of a firearm.
In other words, this kit would have to be stamped with a serial number and cannot be sold to customers who haven’t gone through a background check. On prior occasions, the ATF allowed Polymer80 to sell unfinished receivers. The Buy Build Shoot Kits are marketed as having “all the necessary components to build a complete...pistol.” According to the application for the search warrant, these kits weren’t submitted in accordance with the approval process. The warrant application claimed these kits can be “assembled into fully functional firearms in a matter of minutes.”
It remains to be seen what the ATF’s next move will be, but under a resolutely anti-gun Biden administration, other gun manufacturers like Polymer80 would likely face similar cases of persecution.
So, what can be done?
Gun owners should go back to basics. Nevada is a great place to start, given how this incident took place within its boundaries. Nothing gets Second Amendment advocates more fired up than arbitrary government transgressions against their liberties.
To make matters more interesting, the Silver State has become surprisingly competitive over time. For reference, Obama won the state in 2008 by 12 points. In 2012, he beat Romney by 6 points. Hillary Clinton barely defeated Trump by 2.5 points in 2016. The gap narrowed even further as Joe Biden only bested Trump by 2 points in 2020. Nevada is clearly trending Republican at the presidential level.
If the GOP were smart, it would capitalize on this trend by using the power of the gun issue to mobilize voters across the state. If there is one group that can put a campaign over the top, it’s angry gun owners. Indeed, the Polymer80 raid by the ATF is an egregious violation of constitutional freedoms, but it provides an opportunity for grassroots resistance.
Second Amendment supporters would be wise not to squander this opportunity. Not only will they have the chance of giving the ATF bad press, but if they create enough outrage, grassroots operatives could flip the state red at all levels of governments. This is key to reversing the gun control laws — red flag laws and universal background checks, etc. — that were enacted under Steve Sisolak’s watch.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.
Photo from Polymer80 website.