A story broke on Reddit of a young man who went to a gun store in Albuquerque, N.M., to purchase a holster for a pistol he put together using a Polymer80 pistol frame.
The store is said to be Shooter’s Den. You can read the post and comments from the OP (Original Poster) here.
While at the store, the employee behind the counter noticed the gun lacked a serial number, asked for ID, and then confiscated the gun and informed the young man – an active service member in one of the branches of the armed service – that he would be notifying the ATF.
Shooter’s Den responded to Ammoland by saying that the man in question was under 21 and had an Illinois state ID. The gun was confiscated, and the store called the ATF for advice on how to proceed. Eventually, the ATF called them back and told them to release the pistol to its owner.
The most recent comment from the OP indicates the gun was still in ATF or police custody.
Malicious Compliance, Gun Purchase Laws, And Overreach By Proxy
There is a whole lot to unpack here.
First, the gun store was in the wrong at every level. Federal law prohibits the sale of a handgun to a person under 21 by an FFL. In other words, an FFL can’t sell you a handgun if you’re under 21, but a private seller can, depending on state regulations. Further, no regulation prohibits an 80 percent receiver from being completed and possessed by someone under 18.
In other words, the pistol is legally his and can legally be possessed by him, and what – pray tell – do you call someone taking something from someone else that they rightfully have? It’s called theft!
Not only that – and here’s the bitterly ironic part – the gun store can’t actually give it back to him. Transfer of a firearm by an FFL requires a background check, which A.) requires a serial number, and B.) an FFL cannot transfer a pistol to a person under 21.
This has the look of malicious compliance, in other words, someone doing the “right thing” going by the rules but to a detrimental effect. If one had to guess, the store employee went the extra mile in covering the store’s liability…which is itself interesting since they would only have liability if they had sold him the firearm in the f