Ammo For Sale

« « Something in the water | Home | Thinking outside the box » »

KT Ordnance Update

Via David, comes US v. Some Guns (I’m not making that up). Looks to me like the issues are that:

Per Celata (the owner of KTO), his firearm frames are legal because they are not substantially complete. The ATF contends that they are substantially complete and, therefore, firearms.

The ATF alleges that Celata told customers that he had a letter stating the frames were not firearms and therefore did not require serial numbers or paperwork. The ATF said they never issued him a letter.

To my knowledge, no charges have yet been filed against Mr. Celata, which is odd.

Overall points: Looks like there’s evidence that Celata was misleading his customers. The determination of what is a firearm v. what is a firearm frame is random and arbitrary any way (I mean, really, what is 80% complete?). So, it may be a court fight to determine what is and is not a firearm and that may make the guns of a bunch of folks who build their own guns illegal, if they purchased the receiver.

It’s the opening salvo in the crackdown on do it yourself gunsmiths.

8 Responses to “KT Ordnance Update”

  1. ben Says:

    How could that block of metal he was selling constitute a firearm?

  2. Chris Byrne Says:

    Unfortunately it’s not even close to the opening salvo; they’ve been doing this stuff for years; it’s jsut that the low hanging fruit (the guys supplying the militias etc…) have already been picked off.

    They can make a case that what he is doing is unlawful manufacturing, but they won’t be able to prove it to proper evidentiary standards. What they’ll do is keep the action going until celata is bankrupt; then offer him a lessr felony charge with no jail time and a fine just at the point where he can’t do anything but accept the deal.

    They’ve done it to hundreds of folks already.

    Now, as to the customer who bought frames from him being in trouble, that wouldn’t be the case under the craziest interpretation of the law. Those transactions were not illegal even if he is judged to have been unlawfully manufacturing. Buying from an unlicensed manufacturer isn’t illegal by itself; and there is no requisite culpable intent, or negligence.

    The one thing I could see them going after the guys customers for, is posession of a firearm manufactured after 1968 without a serial number.

  3. Standard Mischief Says:

    Lawsuits aimed at inanimate objects to avoid having to respect the owner’s civil rights are such BS.

  4. Jim March Says:

    The KT customers were told in NO uncertain terms to add a serial number to the guns the moment they were able to be fired, or shortly before. Many did the final polishing of the lower grip area of the frame first so that they could do the serial number right away, before finishing the parts that interfaced with the barrel, trigger group or other essential-to-go-bang bits.

    If any KT customers didn’t do serial numbers and record them for their personal notes, insurance or whatever, they’re nuts or had criminal intent. They did NOT have to register these numbers unless they lived in a mandatory-registration state, which is not very common.

    There’s no Federal gun registry.

  5. straightarrow Says:

    Chris Byrne is most probably correct.

  6. straightarrow Says:

    Let me add, the letter the ATF says they didn’t send? Do you suppose it might have disappeared when they seized all Celeta’s records? It wouldn’t be the first time these motherless sons lied, would it?

  7. beerslurpy Says:

    I’d be more concerned about the tape recordings they made of him. If he is on tape admitting he didnt show the receivers to the ATF, how could he possibly have a letter approving the receivers?

    Also, if you are specializing in an area of the law that a regulatory agency is known to be hostile to, you should probably keep money and lawyers at hand and make sure that your lawyer has copies of all the paperwork and other things that the ATF tends to step on when they raid people. Given his circumstances, he should have had his case already prepared by the time they showed up with the warrant. That sort of preparedness helps to spot liabilities early on and it helps to discourage prosecution because it makes you less of a low hanging fruit.

    In any case, he probably still has a good chance of winning. He will probably be less chatty in the future when informants try to talk him up.

  8. TriggerFinger » Blog Archive » SaysUncle has some details on the KT Ordnance case… Says:

    […] Basically, the whole thing will come down to whether the firearm frames are “substantially complete” or not.  If they are substantially complete, they are firearms and KT Ordnance is in trouble; if they aren’t… well, let’s be honest.  If they aren’t, BATFE will keep the case going long enough to bankrupt the defense team on legal fees and then push for a plea bargain to get it over with.  In a somewhat interesting, if not unusual, twist, the government is charging the firearms with … um… being illegal, rather than the owner (Celata) for making them.  Inanimate objects, you see, don’t have rights.  This apparently means they can be confiscated at will.  [SaysUncle] [War On Guns] I’ve posted before on other cases that involved the government charging guns with a crime rather than their owners, but those posts are probably somewhere in the ether. […]