FOX News >> Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt >> Oh, this Toy is a Machine Gun right?
I could probably summarize this article into one sentence, “FOX News, nuff said.” but here we go again…
I was alarmed to read this morning an article picked up by Tactical Milsim on a story from Fox News with the fear mongering headline “EXCLUSIVE: Toy Gun Sold in U.S. Can Easily be Converted to the Real Thing”. I read it, scoffed it and dismissed it as another alarmist, sensationalist story from that cynical, disingenuous news organisation we call FOX News but it now seems to have gathered traction and with brethren starting to question the validity of the naysayers I felt the need to re-open this wound.
Let me quote…
“Felons, illegal immigrants and all others banned from buying a gun in the United States have a new alternative if they’re looking to get their hands on a firearm: Just buy a toy.”
Boom!! Right out the box, FOX News strikes fear in to the hearts and minds of thousands of parents across America that just bought ‘Jonny’ that new Airsoft rifle that he proudly shows off to his team mates at his local skirmish field and are now frantically searching for the receipt for a speedy return to the store.
“When the ATF seized a shipment of 30 of these guns in October from a port in Tacoma, Wash., it said they could be “readily convertible” to machine guns. But gun experts called that claim absurd and said the ATF was overstepping its bounds.
Now one of those critics is reversing his position, saying at least one airsoft manufacturer has taken the quest to be authentic a little too far.”
Oh really. We’ve been waiting for some time now for BAFTE to cough up evidence to support their claims that the WE TTI M4 lower receiver can be ‘readily converted’ to operate as a machine gun. All we’ve received is ‘no comment’ and answers to FOIA requests with what could only be considered a ‘Bait and Switch’ report on “Sigma Airsoft silencers”, seized in Phoenix in 2004, completely unrelated to the Tacoma seizure.
With BAFTE being backed into a corner, it’s now clear that their long awaited response, instead of ‘fessing up to their mistake, is using disingenuous news organisations to scare the livin’ bejesus out of American citizens.
“The airsoft can be converted to an AR-15,” firearms manufacturer Leo Gonnuscio told FoxNews.com after testing the make and model of airsoft guns seized by the ATF.
Having concluded that several other airsoft guns could not be converted to fire real ammunition, Gonnuscio said he was surprised to find that he was able to to transform this particular gun to the real thing — and with “minimal work,” because its bottom half, or “receiver,” is so similar to an AR-15′s.
To make the airsoft receiver function just like an AR-15’s, Gonnuscio said, “All you have to do is drill one hole.”
“All you have to do is drill one hole” says ‘firearm manufacturer’ Leo Gonnuscio. Ok Leo, show us the proof, publish your reports, let us see a video, it’s all that we are asking, if only somebody would publish some conclusive visual tests? Oh, what was that Airsplat LLC? You have? Please take the floor Sir.
“In general, you’ll notice many parts including upper and lower all seem very close to the naked eye. But on closer examination you’ll see the lower is 1/8” shorter, the upper doesn’t even fit on the lower, the pins are different sizes, lots of minor changes that are really noticeable, but when put side by side, become blatantly obvious.”
Let me re-iterate the finer points…
► internal parts of real upper and airsoft lower do NOT allow the receivers to join
► pin holes and lugs to not match and do not fit
► AR-15 magazine does not fit into place on airsoft lower receiver
► airsoft bolt catch is positioned incorrectly and interferes with magazine seating
► airsoft Fire Control Group is different, will not operate an AR-15 upper
► thickness of receiver walls is different
► and so on…
A firearms ‘expert’ Len Savage also weighs in on the debate and while expressing a similar asinine rhetoric, makes one valid point, why isn’t it the upper receiver, the part of the AR-15 that is regulated? Yes the lower contains the serial number, but it’s also the easiest part of the AR-15 to replicate. Like everything in this whole debacle, it’s ass backwards.
However I question Savages testimony and motivation taking into account his own unfavourable history with BAFTE.
“But with time and motivation it could be possible to convert an airsoft lower to fire live rounds?”
Yes, and with time and motivation, it’s also possible for me to learn the Chinese language.
My point is, BAFTE’s defence hinges on the airsoft receiver being ‘readily convertible’, which it isn’t, as proved above by our friends at Airsplat. By the time you drilled and machined enough metal to fit AR-15 parts, the receiver would be so weak you would need to start adding metal plates to reinforce the mods. Oh, but then the pins wouldn’t fit, I need longer pins, but now my trigger group is out of alignment, you see where I’m heading with this. I’d have more success milling a real one out of proper bar stock in the first place.
Putting the technical issues aside, there is one thing that is really bothering me.
Where the heck is the American Airsoft Association? The A3 if you will. The advantage of having a national body to represent Airsoft is to educate; the media, the public, to lobby the Government on behalf of the Airsoft community. Their last update was January 2009.
Retailers, Players, Teams and Communities need to band together to form a new association and start providing positive representation of your sport.
Airsoft in North America is under attack, and it’s just the beginning.