If ever there was a topic eliciting a huge amount of controversy, it would be gun control in the United States. Not surprisingly, gun control is such a hot topic that it has been the focus of a huge line being drawn in the sand between the Democrat and Republican parties for at least the past few presidential elections. The right wing seeks to “protect our right to bear arms” while the liberal left are advocates for stricter regulations on the types of guns citizens are allowed to own and/or carry. As a result of all this controversy, sometimes the facts are obscured by the raw emotions brought to the surface during heated debates. For the moment, let’s try to pull a few facts out of the sea of misinformation.
There Is a Very Real Difference Between State and Federal Laws
This is, perhaps, the one area which most people aren’t quite aware of. There are two sets of laws regarding guns and gun control, one being federal and the other being state regulations. Did you know that if a federal violation is reported to local police, they don’t have the right to arrest that person unless they are violating a state law as well? That’s one that many people don’t quite understand.
It is also a huge reason why so many gun advocates are looking into the whole idea of 80 lowers which, in their current condition, are legal because they cannot be fired. In fact, most states don’t require 80 lowers to have a serial number so there would not be a question of legality. They are not able to receive a trigger and they are not required to have a serial number because of this key fact. If they cannot receive a trigger, they are not a gun which leads us to federal and state laws for clarification.
80% Lowers Are Governed by State
That understanding of an 80% lower is a federal concept and as such, owning an 80 lower is not illegal on a federal level. Guidance on state-by-state laws would be the place to look if you are considering fabricating and modifying an un-serialized 80 lower, a receiver blank, to render it capable of firing bullets. To put this another way, receiver blanks are not illegal on a federal level and thus are not within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Legality is decided on a state level so before going out and ordering a receiver blank, check to verify the laws in the state in which you live.
Your Key Takeaway – Know Your State!
In the end, you know that 80% lowers are capable of being modified into a receiver that can accept triggers necessary for functioning as a gun. Since they are not regulated on a federal level or monitored by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the only way to determine legality is to research how receiver blanks are legislated in your state. State laws are what you should be concerned with unless you are in violation of federal laws, which wouldn’t be the case with 80 lowers. Those are the facts.