Friday, April 23, 2021

Be Careful What You Buy From China

If anything at all.  4/19/21 Buffalo News:

Moments after a postal carrier delivered a package to his West Seneca home, John R. Andrews Jr. was face to face with a garage full of police and federal agents.

Inside his piece of mail was a legal accessory for a gun.

At the time, in January 2020, Andrews ran a business selling partially assembled firearms.

After police found guns and some gun parts in a raid of his home, Andrews spent a year fighting six felony charges.

But Andrews now is a free man – and planning a civil rights lawsuit – after a State Supreme Court judge ruled law enforcement officers were reckless in how they got the search warrant they used to enter his home.

Any American who cares about the Constitution "should be very concerned about that," said R. Anthony Rupp III, Andrews' civil attorney.

Partially assembled firearms form the basis of so-called "ghost guns," functional-yet-typically-untraceable firearms because they lack serial numbers that allow them to be tracked by law enforcement agencies. Making and selling partially assembled firearms – usually sold as "80% receivers," meaning 80% complete – is legal because they aren't considered to be firearms under state and federal law.

Earlier this month, President Biden announced a series of executive actions on guns, including a move to crack down on ghost guns.

Proposed state legislation in Albany would make it illegal for anyone besides a licensed gun dealer to possess a ghost gun. It would also require purchasers to be subject to background checks.

The gun accessory Andrews got in the mail was a solvent trap, which can be converted into what is known as a silencer or suppressor.

Traps and silencers 'remarkably similar'

Andrews, 52, said he bought the solvent trap in early November 2019 after seeing an ad online.

"I'm like, 'Oh, cool.' It was 29 bucks for it," he said. "So I said, 'Well, that would be interesting and be something I could use for my gun cleaning.' "

Solvent traps are cylindrical firearms accessories with an opening on one end that are used to collect fluid during the process of cleaning a gun. They are legal to possess.

But with some work, the items can be turned into silencers, used to muffle the sound of a gunshot.

Forgive my skepticism, but I suspect that he was not buying a better gun cleaning tool.  This is the problem: almost anything with enough skill can be turned into something illegal.  Focus on the bad act, not the tool.  Of course, you can buy solvent traps from a US maker, including covers in "Cerakote Coating Covers."


  1. In an editorial in Analog Magazine, the editor pointed out that a technologically advanced society cannot be disarmed, even if it wishes to be.

  2. "Almost anything, with enough skill can be turned into something illegal."
    The criminal law equivalent of Rule 34; There's porn about anything.