The Firearms Policy Coalition filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania State Police on Friday requesting an emergency injunction just days after the state’s attorney general issued a legal opinion reclassifying certain unfinished weapons parts as firearms under state law.
“Rule by executive fiat was rejected by the Thirteen American Colonies, including Pennsylvania, when they declared independence from England, and we reject such lawlessness today,” Adam Kraut, the coalition’s director of legal policy, said in a press release. “The Attorney General’s revisionist legal opinion adds an entire class of inanimate objects to the definition of ‘firearm’ under Pennsylvania law that the General Assembly never considered, nor intended.”
Unfinished weapons parts, commonly referred to as 80 percent receivers, can be machined into fully functional weapons with the right equipment. Because they are merely precursors, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the federal agency tasked with enforcing gun restrictions, has long considered these parts outside the purview of federal firearms law.
This means that an individual would be able to acquire unfinished parts without undergoing a background check or, in many cases, without having to engrave the fully assembled firearm with a serial number, as traditional manufacturers have to do.
Read more at Newsweek.