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Agents of Incompetence: Customs, ATF Dodging All Questions About Toy Guns (Part III)

No response whatsoever from the agencies, who appear to have no good way out of this. (This is a three-part series. Read Parts One and Two.)

by
Bob Owens

Bio

March 11, 2010 - 12:00 am
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In the end it was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that made the determination that these toys were analogous to automatic weapons, as explained by ATF Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Seattle Field Division Kelven Crenshaw. Crenshaw helpfully displayed his knowledge and expertise with firearms in an interview with Portland’s KOIN6 by attempting to put a magazine into one of the WE Tech CQBR backwards. This is apparently the same Special Agent Kelven Crenshaw that ATF whistleblower site Cleanup ATF says is a former assistant director demoted and moved for incompetence, reprisals against his own employees, and regulation violations.

PJ Media has contacted the CBP and ATF on multiple occasions in the last week, attempting to determine why these and similar Airsoft toys are just now being determined to be machine guns, after thousands have already been imported.

We asked if the ATF determination claimed in this Customs press release would reclassify any or all gas blowback (GBB) firearms with realistic external proportions as firearms, and selective-fire versions of these items as Class III weapons.

We also asked if this determination means that every retail establishment that has sold or will sell this and similar weapons is guilty of committing felonies for violating numerous federal laws including (but not limited to) the National Firearms Act of 1934, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (for those Airsoft dealers that sold handguns to persons under 21 years of age), and the Hughes Amendment of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act, along with an unknown number of state and local laws.

PJ Media also asked that if this determination stands, will the ATF and Department of Justice call for the immediate suspension of imports of these Airsoft rifles, and begin attempts to confiscate those already imported. We also asked whether owners and sellers of such devices face jail time if they do not turn them in.

And finally, we asked if it could it be possible that the ATF officers who made the determination are incorrect, and suggested that if that were the case, the ATF should return these items to their rightful owner, Airsoft Outlet NW.

To date, Customs and Border Protection officials have referred all questions about the seizure to the ATF. They have refused to respond to specific claims by Airsoft Outlet NW. The Seattle Division of the ATF, which should have immediately recognized these toys as toys, has referred all inquires to ATF Headquarters in Washington, D.C., which has refused to answer any questions.

An incredible $20,000 worth of Airsoft Outlet NW Airsoft guns are presently under threat of destruction because of apparent incompetency in two federal law enforcement agencies, while the exact same toys are available for purchase online, in neighborhood retail shops around the nation, and around the world.

It would seem that the CBP and ATF have painted themselves into a corner.

They either must admit that their officers and agents made a serious mistake after a pattern of serial unprofessional behavior that verged on punitive abuse, or they must attempt to shut down the entire distribution chain of all similar Airsoft products being imported into the country and attempt to confiscate the thousands already on the market.

The latter would come at tremendous taxpayer expense and make these agencies even more of a laughingstock than they are now.

But at least we’ll be safe from toy guns.

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Bob Owens blogs at Bob-Owens.com.
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