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View Poll Results: Raincover for $85
Hell yes, I would buy one 30 30.61%
I would berak down and buy one at some point 24 24.49%
maybe 24 24.49%
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Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-10-2012, 03:02 AM   #171 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justus View Post
Doc, I honestly mean no disrespect, but you're still comprehending that case completely wrong.
-It's not an issue of having to comprehend anything. It's an issue of simply knowing what the ATF actually does.

You and I can argue what-ifs and or-whats 'til we're blue in the... keyboard, I guess. Okay, poor analogy. But we have hard data concerning what the ATF themselves actually does.

Quote:
1. Paintball guns are not firearms.
-Agreed. But not at issue here.

Quote:
2. The current statute prohibits the possession of a firearm silencer, specifically defined.
-Also agreed.

Quote:
There is no statute prohibiting the use or possession of a paintball gun silencer.
-Again, agreed.

Quote:
3. Without a statute specifically prohibiting its possession, a paintball gun silencer is no more illegal than a car muffler.
-Here's where you're having a problem. There's also no law that specifically allows a paintball silencer.

And since, as far as the ATF is concerned, there's no functional difference between a paintball silencer and a firearms silencer, apart from some currently still extremely murky regulations of "intent", there is still no way to own a paintball silencer without also risking possessing a firearms silencer.

Again, Crooker "suggested" that that part of the law be changed, but it has not yet been changed.

And we know that the ATF does consider paintball silencer to also be equivalent to firearms silencers- the BOA raid, the more recent account of the "welded" silencer becoming illegal once removed from the body of the paintball gun, etc.

Quote:
4. The Government attempted to use... [snipped]
-Again, I'm not a lawyer, but my interpretation is a slightly different. I read it as the court found the law was too vague, as written, to charge with intent, and suggested that it be clarified.

Essentially, you're reading the finding as being a blanket 'okay' to own a paintball silencer, as long as you never try to fit it to a firearm, and I don't agree with that. It remains my opinion that until the actual law has been changed, or the ATF themselves issues an official statement, the ATF is still going to consider even a paintball silencer as illegal.

And considering the risks- even if you win, you'll have to spend tens of thousands defending yourself- at the moment we need to wait until- and if- we get that statement or get the law changed.

Quote:
5. This analysis is coming from someone who can't say the same thing as you did, quoted above. And no, I'm not a TV actor. And none of what I post on a paintball forum is to be construed as any form of legal advice.
-Mine neither.

But as above, the safest route is to wait. If we're lucky, JCurt will hear back with an unambiguous statement from the ATF. It'd be nice if it were unambiguously "they're okay, knock yourselves out", but it'll probably be unambiguously "no, we still consider them illegal until a post-Crooker amendment to the law can be drafted and ratified".

Another bit worth mentioning: Anyone hear of Israel Keyes? A serial killer that lived up here recently, was nabbed in Texas, just killed himself in jail? He had "caches" of weapons and equipment stashed around the US, one of them was shown in the paper the other day.

See the thing at the bottom? Yep, a homebrew PVC silencer.

Doc.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:23 AM   #172 (permalink)
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Let's try another idea...

First off, let me reiterate I'm on your side. I'd love to see good, purpose built silencers available- I've thought for years that designs like JCurts were perfect for the application. With so many two-piece barrels out there, since the tip is no more than just a long muzzle brake, why not make a suppressed tip?

But I'm also kind of cynical when it comes to our various wonderful governmental departments, and after who knows how many years of "arrest first, ask questions later", I need a little more reassurance than a single court case finding that itself acknowledges that both the law and the finding are vague.

So just hypothetically, let's try a scenario:

JCurt builds one of his units, and sells it to Joe Lotsasplatter. One afternoon, he's clearing his gear out of the car after a long day's play at the field, but the silencer falls out of his gearbag and he doesn't notice it in the back seat. Afterwards, he decides to drive to the nearest Gulp N' Blow for a burger, when he's pulled over for having a taillight out.

The cop notices the thing laying on the backseat, and upon examination, notices it's full of baffles and packing and looks for all the world like a silencer, except it has no maker's name nor an engraved serial number, as legal ones require. The cop arrests Joe and takes him in for booking.

Now, how would Joe use Crooker to keep from being charged with possession of an unregistered firearms silencer?

Better still, how would Joe use Crooker to keep from being arrested in the first place?

Doc.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:35 AM   #173 (permalink)
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Can you provide any public records, or news reports pertaining to what happened to BOA? I get the suspicion that a lot of the ATF's actions are being misrepresented in discussions like this.

I know the ATF has sent threatening letters to paintball manufacturers in the past.
I know that when asked of their opinion, they have claimed just about anything to be a silencer/suppressor.

I don't feel it is generally a good idea to consider ATF actions pertaining specifically to firearms (accidental full auto AR-15, Airsoft AR-15 Lower Receivers, etc) without fully exploring the details of those cases, or enforcement actions so, we should stick to what we know about the intersection of paintball and the ATF.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:14 PM   #174 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
-Here's where you're having a problem. There's also no law that specifically allows a paintball silencer.
But there's no law that allows me to own a pencil either, right? I mean, I can see why you want to take the practical stance of "until it's deemed allowable, it's trouble", but that doesn't mean it's illegal.

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Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
And since, as far as the ATF is concerned, there's no functional difference between a paintball silencer and a firearms silencer, apart from some currently still extremely murky regulations of "intent", there is still no way to own a paintball silencer without also risking possessing a firearms silencer.
As far as the ATF was concerned. Crooker should have changed that.

But yeah, possessing a paintball gun silencer is still going to subject a person to a risk of having it misidentified as a firearms silencer. But, this is no different than someone having a shrouded/modded Tippmann A5 sitting in their back seat and having it mistaken for real steel.

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Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
Again, Crooker "suggested" that that part of the law be changed, but it has not yet been changed.
Crooker said the current law doesn't apply, and then "suggested" that it be changed so that it would actually apply to paintball gun silencers. The "suggested" change is not in our favor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
Essentially, you're reading the finding as being a blanket 'okay' to own a paintball silencer, as long as you never intend to try to adapt it to a firearm, (<< yep, with the bold changes) and I don't agree with that. It remains my opinion that until the actual law has been changed, or the ATF themselves issues an official statement, the ATF is still going to consider even a paintball silencer as illegal.
The ATF doesn't make the laws though. They're a division of the Executive branch, tasked with enforcing the law. The Judicial branch is tasked with interpreting the law, and the Legislature makes the laws. In this case, the Legislature made a law - the ATF arrested Crooker using the law - and then the Judiciary said "no, that law can't apply to a silencer for a paintball gun. You want it to apply, then go back to the Legislature and make a new law."

I don't disagree, though, that the ATF may still take enforcement policies of arrest first and ask questions later. That happens all the time before charges are dismissed in tons of other criminal cases.

So, could the ATF just take the Crooker decision and then start charging everyone with paintball gun silencers by accusing them of having the intent to adapt them for firearm use? Yeah, I guess they could. I mean, heck, when Joe Lotsasplatter is driving to the Gulp N' Blow he could swerve to miss hitting a squirrel, and if there's a pedestrian nearby he could be pulled over and charged with attempted vehicular manslaughter. But that doesn't mean that he should stop driving because of the risk of being falsely accused.


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Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
And considering the risks- even if you win, you'll have to spend tens of thousands defending yourself- at the moment we need to wait until- and if- we get that statement or get the law changed.
That's the same with any criminal statute, though. I could mistakenly walk into a bank during the course of a robbery, right when a guard is shot and killed, and then be falsely charged with felony murder. That might also take tens of thousands of dollars to defend. That doesn't stop me from going into banks to conduct business, though, because I know that walking into a bank to do business is a legal activity.

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Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
But as above, the safest route is to wait. If we're lucky, JCurt will hear back with an unambiguous statement from the ATF. It'd be nice if it were unambiguously "they're okay, knock yourselves out", but it'll probably be unambiguously "no, we still consider them illegal until a post-Crooker amendment to the law can be drafted and ratified".
That's practical, no disagreement there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocsMachine
...
Now, how would Joe use Crooker to keep from being charged with possession of an unregistered firearms silencer?
Joe would present the case to the U.S. Attorney before being charged. Absent any evidence that Joe intended to modify the tube to be used on a firearm, if the U.S. Attorney proceeds with the indictment process and disregards Crooker, then he/she may be subject to a lawsuit for malicious prosecution. Either way, the proposed charges will be sent to a grand jury to decide whether or not Joe will actually be charged. Joe would then present the case to the grand jury. If the grand jury disregards Crooker, then Joe is charged. His next step is to file a Motion to Dismiss, citing Crooker. If that fails, then a trial will be held and Joe will use the Crooker ruling in his defense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocsMachine
Better still, how would Joe use Crooker to keep from being arrested in the first place?
Won't happen, unless the arresting officer knows of the case and the new, more narrow interpretation of the current statute.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:35 PM   #175 (permalink)
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Isn't an Apex tip set to zero a good-enough-not-a-suppressor? I wonder how the manufacturer went through deciding it was worth the ATF trouble.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:56 AM   #176 (permalink)
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Justus- I can see where you're coming from, but I have to repeat that I don't think that Crooker is anywhere near as cut-and-dried as you apparently do.

I do, however, definitely hope you're right. If you are, then hopefully we'll hear back from JCurt's contact to that effect- though again, I strongly suggest that he, and anyone else still reading, not go by what that guy says, unless and until he's willing to put it on department letterhead and sign it.

And even then, I'd be leery until word gets around.

Though I will say that if your interpretation of Crooker is correct, the previously suggested bit of "For Paintball Use Only" being engraved on each one is probably actually a very good idea.

Doc.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:07 AM   #177 (permalink)
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Awhile back I saw pictures of a letter of approval that a guy had gotten for his contraption which was used for silencing paintball guns. I think I saw it on the X7OG, either originally or as a repost from somewhere else, but can't fully remember. This may be the pipe insulation thing, too. Like you, Doc, I'd be much happier to see a hard copy letter of approval for JCurt's baffled barrel tip, and then get a "Certificate of Authenticity" (as the infomercials say) with each purchase, being a xerox copy of that approval letter. On that issue we are in total agreement!

Even if it takes a few weeks or a few months, keep us updated on the progress of that part, JCurt. Then maybe we can all put this over-analysis to rest, ha!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:13 AM   #178 (permalink)
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Just to be clear, Crooker was not involved with a paintball silencer/suppressor, it was for an airgun.

I still want to know if there are public records or news reports about what happened to BOA. I would find it hard to believe that they were forced to close business (permanently), fined, or jailed without trial. On the other hand, I would readily believe that they had tools seized, products seized, and had their shop closed down (during investigation) which in itself could cause the collapse of their business.

Also, Smart Parts did exactly what Bill Mills asked the ATF about (The SP-8 Stealth Barrel kit, a shroud around a ported barrel) and the ATF never went after them. I suspect the reason was that they couldn't be threatened into closure.

Notbrian- there is some similarity with at least the first gen Apex models in that the bottom half has ridges that probably function somewhat as a suppressor but, since the rubber ramp provides a smooth path on the upper interior, it would detract from any effect. In BT's case, they probably concluded that their intent was clear (for backspinning).
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:42 AM   #179 (permalink)
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I still want to know if there are public records or news reports about what happened to BOA.
-As would I.

I remember there being some pretty major buzz about it back in the day (somewhere around '98) but it seems most of the places it was posted to have long since been lost to internet entropy.

In poking around, the only relevant link I could come up with was this PDF on Vintagerex, but it's not about BOA specifically, it's about a guy that owned a BOA barrel.

Looking of WARPIG, one of the few remaining online presences from back then, all I can find are events articles that note BOA has a booth at the vendor's area (in '96 and '98 specifically) and I ran across one blurb where Bill asked Dan Greening- the BOA honcho- about it, and supposedly Dan said the ATF still hadn't filed charges.

This post over on TechPB suggests that it was combination of a lawsuit by Smart Parts, and then the ATF thing, that combined to put them out of business. I do vaguely recall something about SP suing over the fact that BOA was using rows of spiral porting on their barrels (which is/was, at the time, patented by SP) but I guess I thought that was more of a 'cease and desist" thing, than something that cost BOA legal fees and court time.

I'd heard- and of course, we can all trust internet rumors - that there was a full-fledged raid, with BOA's equipment, paperwork and materials all being boxed up and hauled off. I'd also heard that BOA had spent upwards of $100K defending the case, but that might have been from defending both the SP and ATF cases.

But no, I don't think I've heard the 'true story', so I'd be interested to know as well. Also keeping in mind that it may well have been that BOA the company, was nothing more than Dan, in his garage, with a lathe and some soldering equipment. And "out of business" may have meant that Dan just decided it was too much hassle, and decided to drop the whole mess.

I honestly don't know- BOA was kind of a big name at the time, and there's still thousands of his barrels out there (I have at least three, and I've seen half a dozen listed for sale within the last few months) so I kind of always assumed they were at least a multi-person business.

Anybody know where we can dig up the real dirt?

Doc.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:59 AM   #180 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justus View Post
Like you, Doc, I'd be much happier to see a hard copy letter of approval for JCurt's baffled barrel tip[...]
-Current 'hard copy' straight from the ATF's website:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BATFE
"Numerous paintball and airgun silencers tested by ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch have been determined to be, by nature of their design and function, firearm silencers. Because silencers are NFA weapons, an individual wishing to manufacture or transfer such a silencer must receive prior approval from ATF and pay the required tax."
-I don't know how often that page is updated (edit: the text is exactly the same as it was in 2002 at least) but in my opinion, until we see an official source like that reflect whatever changes Crooker did or will produce, it'll remain very risky to build or own one.

On a lighter note, here's a posting by Bill Mills from back in '96, where an ATF agent essentially tells him he'd have to fill out Form 1 and pay the $200 transfer tax just to send in... a piece of PVC tubing and some crumpled toilet paper.

Doc.
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