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AutoKeyCard Explained: Why Did the ATF Shut It Down? [UPDATED]

We explain what an AutoKeyCard is, why the ATF takes issue with it, and what the verdict was in the AutoKeyCard case.

Florida resident Kristopher Ervin was arrested in early March 2021 as part of a joint operation by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. (Yeah, that’s a thing.)

AutoKeyCard Armslist
Potential AR-15 auto-sears??? (Photo: Armslist)

The ATF claimed Ervin sold auto sears — components used to convert semi-automatic AR-15s into rifles that are fully automatic and fully fun…but also illegal without the proper paperwork.

So let’s take a look at this case. We’ll answer what an AutoKeyCard is, find out why the ATF is so upset over it, and break down similar cases.

Disclaimer: While the information provided here is legal in nature, it is not to be construed as legal advice, and is for educational and entertainment purposes only. 

Editor’s Note: Updated April 25, 2023, with new information regarding the trial. See below.

Table of Contents


What is an AutoKeyCard?

In short, these were business-card-sized metal bottle openers sold through Ervin’s websites AutoKeyCard.com and AutoKeyCards.com.

(Well, they were sold there before the Feds shut it all down.)


The cards came laser engraved showing the parts of an AR-15 automatic connector, commonly known as a “lightning link.”

The lightning link, when assembled from its separate components and installed in an AR-15, could convert it to full-auto without any additional modifications to the firearm.

AR-15 Lightning Link
AR-15 Lightning Link

Because of this, the ATF decided the cards were close enough to auto sears to fall under the machine gun restrictions under the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act amendment of the National Firearms Act.

Therefore, ATF and U.S. Postal Inspection Service agents purchased a few of these bottle openers as part of a sting operation.

USPS Inspection Service
USPS Inspection Service…who knew that was a thing.

Agents later determined Ervin was illegally selling auto sears since customers who purchase the keycards would be able to take the product and convert semi-auto AR-15s into fully automatic rifles.

Investigators with both agencies arrested Ervin and seized his websites. 

But this begs the question, what does this mean in the grand scheme of things for the gun industry and owners?

What’s the Big Deal?

Aside from the fact the ATF hates anything fun (i.e. alcohol, tobacco, and firearms), the agency took issue with the AutoKeyCard because the product could potentially convert a semi-auto AR-15 into a full-auto.

ATF Meme Guy
ATF be like…

As part of its findings, the ATF reported that “an ATF expert analyzed one of the devices that had been purchased undercover and was able to convert an AR-15 style firearm into a machinegun by cutting out the etching for an auto sear using a commonly available tool and then inserting the auto sear into the firearm.”

Based on this determination, the AutoKeyCard fell under the NFA as a “machine gun.”

Full Auto Rifle
ATF, why won’t you let us have fun?

The NFA also bans civilian transfer or ownership of machine guns except for those already legally owned at the time the law went into effect on May 19, 1986.

According to the ATF, this meant Ervin was effectively selling machine guns in violation of the law.  

For those of you who have looked into buying a machine gun, or even just a suppressor, you will know the lengths that you need to go through, in terms of time, money, and paperwork, before the ATF will allow you to own one.

Rifles Only HAD Suppressor Cover
Even suppressors are subject to the ATF’s rules.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that the ATF would jump all over someone for selling an item that could potentially be used as an auto sear.

Have There Been Similar Cases?

The current law — in this case, the Hughes Amendment of the FOPA — bans civilian transfer or ownership of machine guns, except for those already legally owned at the time the law went into effect.

What I Carried M16A4 Clone (1)
M16A4 Clone…because the real thing is tough to get.

In addition, the broader NFA restricts the manufacturing of certain types of firearms, including machine guns.

Timothy John Watson v. United States of America: Portable Wall Hangers

In November 2020, the FBI arrested Timothy Watson of West Virginia for selling “portable wall hangers” on his site portablewallhanger.com.

Watson for, among other things, illegally manufacturing machine guns and selling them.

But Watson’s creations were 3D-printed hangers. These featured a hook portion that could detach. This portion just so happened to be in the shape of a drop-in auto sear capable of converting a semi-auto AR-15 to a full-auto. 

Portable Wall Hanger
“Portable Wall Hanger” that…screws into the wall. (Photo: Guns America)

Imagine that!

The argument in the portable wall hanger situation, of course, would be that the product is a wall hanger. And it’s unfortunate that people found another use for it as an auto sear.

For the wall hanger case, there were plenty of discussions on forums and social media about ways to use the wall hangers. Such as how to use them on “Armalite walls.” 

Not to mention, Watson actually did manufacture these items ready to slip into AR-15s for conversion to full-auto.

So, this is probably a pretty weak defense for Ervin to adopt for his own case.


Defense Distributed v. U.S. Department of State: 3D Printed Files

On the other hand, the Defense Distributed case may provide a little more hope for Ervin. In this battle, Defense Distributed provided files for 3D-printable firearms, including the Liberator pistol.

While Defense Distributed was a licensed firearms manufacturer, they didn’t sell 3D-printed products. They just offered up their 3D print files freely – available for anyone to do with as they pleased.

Liberator Pistol Defense Distributed
Liberator Pistol made from 3D printed parts (Photo: De Zeen)

The argument for Defense Distributed is that they simply exercised their First Amendment right of free speech in sharing the 3D printing files.

Ervin sold his AutoKeyCards with the designs of the lightning link components engraved into the metal but did not actually make the components himself.

It would be similar to providing a drawing of the lightning link on a piece of paper that someone could choose to use as a stencil or just as a cool drawing.

Gun Drawing
At the heart of this defense, does drawing or outline leave someone accountable for what another does with that info?

But using this as an example might also depend on how much extra work is required to go from the AutoKeyCard to an actual lightning link.

That would be the difference in deciding if Ervin was actually making the lightning links or just engraving a design on a piece of metal.

Of course, it’s important to note that most people who go up against the government either enter a plea deal or manage to win a settlement with the government.

People rarely win a case outright against the government.

The Verdict

On April 21, 2023, Ervin and Matthew Raymond Hoover (a YouTuber who talked about the device on his YouTube channel) were found guilty of a few charges related to the AutoKeyCards.

Matthew Hoover
Matthew Hoover, a Wisconsin-based FFL, talked about the AutoKeyCard on his channel. (Photo: Yahoo News)

In particular, the trial resulted in guilty verdicts for “conspiring to transfer unregistered machinegun conversion devices” for both men, with Ervin being convicted of seven counts of transferring the auto keycard, three counts of possession, and one count of “structuring cash transactions to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements.”

For this, Ervin could face up to 110 years in federal prison, while Hoover could spend up to 45 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for July 31, 2023.

Final Thoughts

TL;DR: The Auto Keycard was a sorta bypass to convert semi-auto guns into full-auto ones, according to a jury. Ervin was found guilty and faces up to 110 years in prison.


What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments below. To catch up on other legal things you should know, check out our guide to the Hughes Amendment and the NFA.

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113 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    One problem I have (even as a gun owner) is WHO in their right mind would spend $109.00 for a can opener?? Come on folks.

    May 28, 2023 4:31 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Conrad Hauser

    You should familiarize yourself with the particulars of a case like this before writing an article attempting to explain it.. Specifically, the Jury questions. We are living in a bananna republic. The court may have rendered a guilty verdict, but the jury was specifically instructed that whether or not what the defendants sold was or was not a machine gun was not in question. All of the government's witnesses admitted that what was sold could not be used to make a functioning firearm, much less enable full auto. The defense was impeccable, and yet the judge chose to instruct the jury to deliberate in a way that ignores the subject matter of the case in order to get a guilty verdict.

    May 10, 2023 10:07 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Sniper Grey

      Judge go boom

      May 28, 2023 7:30 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    a block of aluminum is a firearm(according to the ATF/E)
    cold roll steel must be considered a firearm also.
    sheet metal for stamping?
    these bureaucrats need to be reigned in, prosecuted for violating people's civil rights and constitutional rights.
    the politicians that support the bureaucrats should be arrested and tried for sedition.

    May 7, 2023 10:41 pm
  • Commenter Avatar


    May 5, 2023 3:05 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Carl-hermann Freese

    Well one problem is apparently the actual wording of the law/regulation..
    it is a machine-gun, if it converts one of two ways.

    ie. one part that can be dropped in to cause it to function as machine gun; it was one part but NOT drop-in usable.
    OR multiple parts that can be combined and used to do the same thing; BUT it is ONE part NOW.

    so technically it CAN'T be assumed to be a machine gun.
    and there are current rulings on "ghost-guns" that support materials to make the item are not the item.

    April 29, 2023 3:25 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Fully automatic would be fun right up till you had to buy more ammo. Not much use for suppressive fire, unless you lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Fran....OK most Democrat run large cities and are being charged by large government funded mobs (Antifa, BLM etc).

    April 28, 2023 9:39 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      M. Simon

      Prohibition, a Government Program, supports a different group of mobs. Their misuse of weapons is used against gun owners. Gun owners do not complain.

      May 1, 2023 4:56 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Constitution of the United States - Second Amendment

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    April 27, 2023 8:43 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Carl-hermann Freese

      Due to the number of Military running around using the M4/M4A1 5.56mm Carbine, that would make it Common Use, would it not??

      April 29, 2023 3:28 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        No, it would not.

        April 29, 2023 5:17 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      adam faranda

      In addition . . .
      Constitution of the United States:
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech . . . .

      So now we are criminalizing the free exchange of information? As far as I can tell, the AutoKeyCard was a bottle opener or metal card with the image of a lightning link engraved on its surface. It was not possible to convert one into the actual device, without tools and non-trivial labor. The conviction is a travesty that everyone, even those who dislike firearms, should find troubling.

      April 30, 2023 5:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have a few thoughts:

    1. If a person were to print the design on address labels and sell the labels another person could peal and stick those labels onto a piece of sheet metal, cut it out and maybe turn their AR-15 fully automatic. Are we now going to ban the sale of address labels with designs printed on them?

    If a person has the dimensions of the parts they can draw/scribe them onto a piece of sheet metal and cut them out.

    2. I am under the impression that in order to be sold as ordinary arms in the US, semiautomatic firearms are required to “not be readily convertible of automatic fire”.

    I find that dropping an auto sear, or 2 pieces of sheet metal into a receiver makes it pretty darn “ readily convertible”.

    3. P.A. Luty over in the UK demonstrated very nicely how a person can go to a hardware store, buy common tools and items, and make their own 9mm fully automatic sub-machine gun. A government can’t outlaw knowledge, as much as they might like to.

    April 27, 2023 6:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    My personal opinion, and I hope I don't get flamed for saying this: I believe it is likely that Kristopher Ervin found a clever cover story for selling keys for converting the guns to full auto. If caught, he can say, "I was selling bottle openers", when in reality he was selling punch-out auto keys. Not knowing anything about this case except for the way the "bottle opener" card looks, this is my take on it.

    April 26, 2023 3:34 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      adam faranda

      Fair question, and it might be the case if they were truly "punch-out" however, by the DOJ's own admission, it took 40 minutes with a Dremel to get the parts out. Would it make a difference if the design had been painted instead of etched?

      April 30, 2023 6:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    "You're guilty of violating a blatantly unconstitutional law. One million years in prison."


    April 26, 2023 12:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Gary Gruber

    It is obvious by design that the purpose of the key card and the wall hook were intended to help people break federal laws. This has nothing to do with 'fun'.

    April 25, 2023 7:25 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Rights Don't Require Permission

      So... if I sell something that YOU choose to use for unlawful purposes, that makes me responsible for it? Should the CEOs of distilleries be arrested for drunk driving events? Maybe the CEOs and distributors of knives should all be arrested for stabbings. They "had to know" their products would be used for illegal activities. You are a perfect example of what is wrong with this country!! Let's not go after people who actually break the law. Let's go after people who sell a product our alphabet masters blessed as "fine", until they decided it wasn't. I have sheet metal in my shop. Should I be arrested because that sheet metal "could" be turned into a lightning link?? This is ridiculous! If I make chlorine gas from what I buy at the grocery store, it's neither the manufactures' nor the retailers' fault that I used the products they sold for illegal purposes. It would be MY responsibility, and my responsibility ONLY. If I were on these juries, and the alphabet soup could not provide undeniable proof that these guys made the ACTUAL parts and installed them, I would absolutely not convict them. Big Brother has gotten way too big for its britches. These laws and unlawful regulations on "could", should be purged. We don't arrest people for almost breaking the law because something "could" be used illegally. Hell, we have politicians and politicians' families who have clearly ACTUALLY broken the law who aren't even facing charges, much less decades of jail time. Let these men go!

      April 25, 2023 3:43 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        "You are a perfect example of what is wrong with this country!!"

        Or this kind of logic is the real problem. Unlike alcohol or knives from your examples, there is no legal purpose for this device. Whether you disagree with the laws or not, that is the current atmosphere. Stop pretending that anyone who thinks different than yourself is a tyrant.

        April 26, 2023 1:42 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          It's always funny when someone runs their mouth, having no idea what they're talking about, and you are a perfect example of that.

          Title II Firearms, and their devices, are lawful in the US. So much for what you don’t know there. Moreover, the Second Amendment, like every other Constitutionally protected essential liberty in the Bill of Rights, doesn't require a "purpose". Where a right exists, neither a purpose nor need is necessary.

          Now here's the part that's even funnier because you missed the entire point the writer was making, and what his statements were predicated on. Now read this slowly, take your time - The predicate was that it wasn't a device until the user received it converted it into one.

          April 27, 2023 9:04 am
          • Commenter Avatar

            U on the money bro

            April 28, 2023 10:58 am
        • Commenter Avatar
          Mike Boston

          It's a bottle opener. Nuff said.

          April 27, 2023 12:15 pm
          • Commenter Avatar
            Gene C

            I’m UNFOLLOWING THIS PUKE, have to have my comments checked before posting? Pew pew U STINK!

            April 28, 2023 11:03 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        William Boardman Jr

        Exactly! While I don't think it was prudent for him to sell these, it certainly wasn't illegal. It seems there is a two tiered justice system where the criminals with the right party affiliation and "connections" are allowed to openly flaunt their criminal activity, while others are prosecuted for what they "might" do, or enable someone else to "possibly" do. Wasn't there a movie based on this exact kind of thing? When will WE finally see true rule of law where you are prosecuted on what you actually do, without regard to your political affiliation, or "connections"?

        April 27, 2023 6:56 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      R S Bunker

      I sell you a "Penny Wise" mask or a "Joker" mask. Is it "obvious that they were designed to help people break laws? I see you a can of paint or some gasoline, is it obvious that I am selling you items for huffing?

      April 26, 2023 3:03 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Guy Grember

      You're absolutely right. I'm frightened by the anger in most comments. Personally i have a gun but i don't feel threatened and i never shoot in anger at the range. Having AR-15 in full auto is prohibited and that's fine for me. You can enlist if you want to use M4 in full auto.

      April 27, 2023 6:36 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Mike Boston


        April 27, 2023 12:16 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I bet someone could write a book on what you don't know, beginning with, "Having AR-15 in full auto is [NOT] prohibited."

        History has a lesson for you on your apathy of what you think doesn't affect you. Here's just one from Martin Niemöller:

        First they came for the Communists
        And I did not speak out
        Because I was not a Communist
        Then they came for the Socialists
        And I did not speak out
        Because I was not a Socialist
        Then they came for the trade unionists
        And I did not speak out
        Because I was not a trade unionist
        Then they came for the Jews
        And I did not speak out
        Because I was not a Jew
        Then they came for me
        And there was no one left
        To speak out for me

        April 27, 2023 8:20 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike Boston

      Laws that are unconstitutional. See 2A.

      April 27, 2023 12:13 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Carl-hermann Freese

      It was an object designed to show the obesity of the laws as they stood, it was a political statement. sold for the purpose of others being able to use it to show solidarity of the statement.
      There where two ways it could be a machine gun.. one piece drop in ready, [ yup one piece, nope drop in ready ] or second multiple pieces to be combine to use, [combine to use, EER the said it didn't matter that people who tried couldn't make it work, Well AND was ONE piece.]

      April 29, 2023 3:38 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    "could there be crackdowns on Second Amendment rights?

    Probably not."

    Lmao..... this was sarcasm right?

    April 24, 2023 2:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Grey Wolf

    You really need to rethink your reply..

    April 24, 2023 1:49 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Grey Wolf

    I think it's funny that the case didn't mention that atf told him when he submitted it for review that he was ok to sell them like that..funny they left that part out humm

    April 24, 2023 1:40 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I would have thought his lawyers would have brought that up during trial and ideally entered a letter from ATF if they had one.

      April 27, 2023 6:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I think it's ludicrous that Ervin is facing 110 years and Hoover is facing 45 years. Ervin was definitely poking the bear, but saying these cards are the same thing as a machine gun is a very loose interpretation of the law. This would never have played in civil court with a considerably lower burden of proof, but it flew here in criminal court because it's the government. Hoover's potential 45 years is even wilder since the ATF acknowledged that he never sold any key cards.

    April 24, 2023 12:00 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Literally almost once a week i see a story on the news here in Australia about another mass shooting happening in the USA. I wouldn’t be surprised if gun sales actually went up after mass shootings either. When will your country do something about it? The rest of the world hears these news stories and think and say out loud “America is so fucked up”!

    April 22, 2023 11:05 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Well, since you don't live in the USA how about you mind your own damn business?

      April 23, 2023 3:48 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Why, was i making sense?

        April 23, 2023 5:15 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          No, you weren't. Stricter guns laws only affect law abiding citizens. Criminals will keep breaking laws because, well, they're criminals (like your ancestors).

          April 23, 2023 11:52 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Jason is the product of the sexual union between brother and sister

      April 23, 2023 10:45 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Literally I understand that Australia was started as a penal colony, so that is why your government (Warden) doesn't let you have guns. Why don't all you Australian criminals mind your own business? What your media tells you is not necessarily the truth, no kidding.

      April 23, 2023 1:37 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        We had guns, but after 35 people died in a mass shooting (the Port Arthur massacre 1996) they were banned. There have been no more mass shootings.

        April 23, 2023 5:19 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          Search "massacres in Australia" and click on the wikipedia link and scroll down past 1996 and count the massacres in Australia since your ban. ( I tried to link, but this page doesn't allow links.)
          Do you feel better now? Knives, cars, arson, all used to kill people in large numbers. If only those people could have defended themselves with a firearm. IT's THE PEOPLE, NOT THE GUNS. I have never once in my life, seen or heard about a gun that committed a crime without a HUMAN holding it. Wonder why that is?

          April 23, 2023 6:30 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          No more after 1996? LOL you don't even know what's going on in your own country.

          Here is what happened there after 1996:
          Monash University Shooting 21 October 2002 - 2 killed
          Lin family murders - 18 July 2009 5 dead with what appeared to be a hammer
          2011 Hectorville siege 29 April 2011 - 3 dead
          Hunt family murders 9 September 2014 5 dead
          Logan shooting - 22 October 2014 - 3 dead
          Melbourn gangland murders? from 96 to 2016 36 people killed by guns.

          You claim that Australia has not had a mass shooting since banning guns. Even if that were true, which we see it is not, it is not relevant. First, it does not matter if someone is murdered in a mass crime or individually. What matters is the total number of murders per capita and the violent crime rate. So let’s look at those.

          In 2002, five years after enacting Australia’s gun ban, the Australian Institute of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent). Let’s examine more…

          After Australia’s gun ban, in 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.

          Sexual assault increased 29.9 percent.

          Overall, Australia's violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

          Moreover, Australia and the United States (where no gun-ban exists) both experienced similar decreases in murder rates. Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America's rate dropped 31.7 percent.

          During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia. Assaults rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.

          At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent; rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.

          Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.

          April 23, 2023 10:51 pm
          • Commenter Avatar
            Head kace

            Big Mike is my hero. Would also just like to throw in Australia has the population size of Texas.

            April 26, 2023 11:18 pm
          • Commenter Avatar

            It's a good point that you're making, because this country has over 330MM people and when people read stories they lose the perspective of that. However, percentages and crime rate takes that into account, and that's why it's important to use that rather than some anecdotal experience of how many stories that knucklehead reads in the paper.

            Moreover, the vast, vast, majority of mass shootings in the US are gang violence. And as any intelligent person knows gangbangers do not submit background checks, they don't submit to waiting periods, etc. This is why these gun laws don't work. And who was the genius who thought up gun free zones, as if any criminal said, “Oh wait, I better leave my gut at home because it's illegal for me to have a gun there.”

            It is this faulty ideology of living in a world where evil and violence doesn't exist. Man has been killing man long before guns ever were invented. And as far as mass killings are concerned, small arms are not the tool of choice. History is replete with examples of that.

            April 27, 2023 9:25 am
          • Commenter Avatar
            Head kace

            Absolutely agree just a perspective in addition to what you were saying. 81 million gun owners did NOT kill someone yesterday. And thank you again big Mike. You are a hero.

            April 27, 2023 10:02 am
          • Commenter Avatar

            I know I was just adding to what you were saying, hoping to give you and others "ammunition" in the arguments. Thank you for your compliments, I really appreciate it, but I am not a hero. I know you were being complimentary and thank you for that, but I am not. The Heroes today are those who run towards danger, while everyone else is running away. As well trained as I am over many years, my self-defense is to first evade and escape. If I can't, then it's on. Personal protection is a personal responsibility. I take care of me and mine... everyone else is on their own. That's not a hero.

            April 27, 2023 10:37 am
          • Commenter Avatar
            Head kace

            True and totally agree. It was a complement more geared toward actually research to formulate an opinion and deliver rather than a blanket statement that seems to be a hot topic for new agency's to sell. Appreciate you cheers

            April 27, 2023 11:00 am
        • Commenter Avatar
          Sniper Grey

          You guys also proved cuckery during COVID. They came close to rounding you all into camps.

          May 28, 2023 8:16 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      First off your press needs to learn the definition of "mass shooting" And a drug shoot out isnt part of it. The truth is even with Oz's banned guns, your hidden firearms crime is far greater than what we dont hide, so piss off

      April 24, 2023 1:46 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        "A drug shoot out and gang robbery isn't part of it because otherwise it would completely destroy our narrative that leftist democrat run cities and safer" people still died, guns were still procured illegally by criminals, law abiding citizens still banned from procuring them - the difference, it makes your argument look as stupid as your accent sounds

        April 25, 2023 6:55 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Covid mortality rate is not “sub 0.001”. What world are you living in. Statistics by country from multiple different sources are freely available.

      April 24, 2023 7:35 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      The right to keep and bear arms is an amazing right that the founders of this country gave to the regular folks. It speaks volumes that the founders would trust the regular folks so much that they would put that right into the very constitution of the country.

      Now onto a related topic: Australia just experienced some very tyrannical lockdowns, forced on the people by a tyrannical government. Because no one was armed, there was absolutely nothing you could do about it.

      April 26, 2023 3:39 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I'm on your side, but let's have a moment of intellectual honesty. We had tyrannical lockdowns as well, and we're armed and we didn't do a thing.

        Let's use Hurricane Katrina as an example, where law enforcement went door-to-door, confiscating firearms from law abiding people. Confiscating them at a time those people needed them most. What did “The People” do? They handed them over and not a shot was fired.

        I support the Second Amendment and every other Amendment in the Bill of Rights, unlike both the Left and Right who pick and choose what they want and forget about the rest. And I understand it is the only Amendment that gives the remainder of the Bill of Rights any teeth, but let's not live in this fantasy of “Red Dawn” in a country that is soft.

        April 27, 2023 9:38 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          Agreed on every point.

          April 27, 2023 11:28 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Yur Rong

      US isn't even the leading country in gun violence... you only hear what the media wants you to hear.

      April 27, 2023 12:50 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Danny Phillips

    We need to get rid of the ATF and the FBI. Let's start shrinking our government.

    October 10, 2022 11:19 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Albert Chambers

    Huge development.
    Supposedly the original auto key card guy Kristopher Ervin who pled guilty and had been sentenced for bs machine gun charges is having his case dismissed after he appealed to the district court.
    You have better odds of appealing something up to the Supreme Court and winning the lottery while being struck by lightning than having your case dismissed after you have been found guilty and sentenced.
    Kristopher Ervin's defense argued how can you punish someone for not paying a tax when you are not allowed to pay the tax in the first place? It was at that moment the AFT realized they had f'ed up and filed to dismiss the case that they had already won.
    So NFA, GCA, Hughs ammendment will only last as long gone as they can keep cases like this out of the higher courts.
    These are dead laws walking.

    September 7, 2022 7:59 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      H wayne

      "Kristopher Ervin's defense argued how can you punish someone for not paying a tax when you are not allowed to pay the tax in the first place? "

      Timothy Leary used the same defense when caught bringing cannabis across the Mexican/US border.

      April 23, 2023 8:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Q Public

    So, if I happen to create a "bottle opener" and that "bottle opener" just happens to, when dropped into the receiver of a firearm, act as a sear and convert said firearm to auto fire, I can be arrested because even though they can't prove that I intended for this to happen, nor did I tell people to do it and that it could be done, and someone figures out how to do this? What if someone takes my "bottle opener" and figures out that if they cuts 1mm off of it and then it could do this?

    September 4, 2022 8:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    The crux is simply a free people versus a tyrannical government.

    Full-auto is not very effective for light arms but that restriction prevents crew serve weapons as well which further restricts the people's ability to organize into comparable combat units.

    Tyrants hate free people making decisions because those decisions threaten their power.

    There is no reasonable or rationale reason to violate our Rights.

    Now let's steamroll these tyrants in Courts throughout the Union and have fun wasting lots of money at the range.

    August 13, 2022 8:03 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    David L Laidig

    I personally never got the deal of FA. 3 round burst is nice but FA is kinda all over the place. I tried a FA M14 in Korea at the range. Holy cow! Gotta get used to that. Having said that the NFA needs to be overturned. Then the ATF can change their name to Alcohol & Tobacco. Maybe the SCOTUS can get it done.

    July 23, 2022 6:36 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tom Vick

    The ultimate goal for the Government is to disarm the population. In the mean time harrassing citizens and threatening them with prison and fines over firearms or accessories keeps them busy as they continue to plot rules of "infringement." Our founding fathers knew the Government could become corrupt, overbearing even outright tyrannical. They made provision for that, and here we are.

    July 20, 2022 6:13 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jeremy Mills

    If the government and the law enforcement agencies are allowed to have automatic weapons then so should the citizens of the United States.

    July 16, 2022 1:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jay Dee

    If Kristopher Ervin can muster a credible defense, I expect that the BATFE will get their gluteus maximus handed to them.

    The problem for the BATFE is that the unmodified AutoKeyCard is only functional as a bottle opener.

    The BATFE can demonstrate that they can cut, grind and assemble a lightning link from the AutoKeyCard and use it to convert an AR-15 to fire full auto. Kristopher Ervin's defense team can justifiably accuse the BATFE of manufacturing evidence. Courts have allowed the BATFE to manufacture evidence in the past. It needs to stop.

    His defense can also note that there is nothing distinctive about the material of the AutoKeyCard and that one can make a Lightning Link from a wire coat hanger. Is the BATFE going to go door to door looking for wire coat hangers?

    July 9, 2022 3:30 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Daniel C Kenoyer

    The real question, in light of *Bruen* is"Does the government have a chance?"
    I think we may have a front row seat to the demolition of the NFA.

    July 9, 2022 9:53 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ed Armstrong

    The ATF is a terrorist organization.

    July 9, 2022 5:42 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bob Adams

    Has the ATF Actually tried these things or just saying it's an auto sear?

    July 7, 2022 7:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Would an 80% swift link keychain be illegal? You could not just drop it in and use it. Does anyone know?

    June 20, 2022 7:49 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    he has a goo0d case, this is just a fking picture!!

    February 8, 2022 11:47 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I'm gonna make something just like this but the opposite. Call it a "wink wink NOT AN AUTO SEAR!" and sell it for $700 but it's a foam lightning link that looks legit but would completely crumble if you even touched it. Make it out is something that will dissolve if the ATF tried to cover it in epoxy or something to make it work. Then I make millions and hopefully don't go to jail or get my house shot up for selling "not a lightning links". It would be a true novelty. Maybe I can sponsor C&Arsenal

    February 4, 2022 11:37 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    All American

    They should arrest me for having hands that can potentially make a full auto sear.

    January 29, 2022 9:49 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Thanks for the accurate information. What is on YouTube is muddy at best. Here is the thing. Is the AFT corrupt? Absolutely. Are all gun laws unconstitutional absolutely. But something stinks here. The guy who made the auto key card cut outs is either a complete idiot or this was a setup with the business owner conspiracy with the ATF. HE freaking called it auto sear!

    January 27, 2022 6:20 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    “ But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” - The Declaration of Independence

    January 8, 2022 10:54 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Man, joykillers or not, the law is the law and this guy's probably hosed. Ed's got the wrong perspective here. An administrative agency's job is to implement and enforce the laws passed by Congress and signed by the executive and HOW an agency doe that has it's own set of procedures and rules authorized by congress. Proving this guys intent to sell either bottleopeners or autosears is what this case hinges on. If he's like everyone else he's got a computer full of info that will probably give the prosecution the evidence it needs.

    December 22, 2021 4:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Shall not be infringed- that's the law

      January 28, 2022 9:29 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Michael H

        Are you an Originalist? If so, that means muskets and swords. Is "arms" unqualified explosives and attack helicopters? The Constitution is rarely absolute.

        January 29, 2022 11:02 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          Arms means ANY weapon, not specific to the physical object. Goes back to Roman law. I can be armed with a rifle, slingshot, lethal injection, or sword.

          January 29, 2022 4:01 pm
          • Commenter Avatar

            Pretty sure THAT'S not what the framers intended, but if that's really what you believe I'm pretty sure I ain't changing your mind. You might consider auditing a con law class though, so you aren't agrieved by everything the government does....you know, for your own peace of mind.

            January 30, 2022 1:06 am
          • Commenter Avatar

            Civilians were armed with canons and warships as well as puckle guns which are a early version of gatling gun. The argument that muskets were what the framers wanted is based on ignorance. The people had access to the same weapons as the government all the way up to the NFA.

            February 3, 2022 4:47 pm
          • Commenter Avatar

            im pretty sure they meant ARMS of any kind needed to suppress a tyrannical government, muskets were the weapons of war at the time, and so the AR-15 AK-47 etc are the weapons of our time. and shall not be infringed is exactly what it means!!!

            February 8, 2022 11:52 am
          • Commenter Avatar
            David L Laidig

            hmmmmm So the 1st was written when a feather quill was used to express one's opinion. But the feather quill has advanced with technology to digital correspondence via satellite and is still protected free speech. That kinda makes your "not what the framers intended" moot don't ya think?

            July 23, 2022 6:44 pm
          • Commenter Avatar


            While you pretend to be educated, others, who actually are, laugh at you. They don't need to “audit a con law” class… they have degrees. And in that post-secondary education they learned what an originalist is, which is not what even close you claimed here - “Are you an Originalist? If so, that means muskets and swords.”

            Nonsense. An originalist does not accept the Constitution exclusive to its written word. Amongst other things, an originalist takes into account the writings of the time that influenced the Constitution. By your claim, you think an originalist believes that the First Amendment applies only to the spoken word and printed press, excluding television, internet and radio. Also nonsense. Stop pretending you're an intellectual.

            April 27, 2023 11:11 am
          • Commenter Avatar
            Carl-hermann Freese

            If I remember correctly as the 2nd said Keep and Bear, the Supreme courts customary limit on such an individual right required that it actually be Bearable arms.
            That said the M4/M4A1 5.56mm Carbine is Bearable and in Common use by a set of USA citizens. SOooo......

            April 29, 2023 3:58 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          -You're mistaken, obfuscating, or disingenuous.

          January 30, 2022 8:54 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          Or you can look at it as having the same tools as the military. The same military controlled by the government, from which you may need to defend your rights from. Our country started by people having to fight its own government and military. I believe this interpretation is fair considering the times when it was written.

          February 2, 2022 10:49 am
        • Commenter Avatar
          Carl-hermann Freese

          so you never have seen the Girandoni-style air rifle, it could penetratethe military standard board of the day, the one the Union congress looked at before the 2nd amendment was passed could fire 20 balls in a minute.
          It was at the time in use by the Prussian military.
          They decided cool as it was it was to expensive for a new country.
          The one sent on the lewis and clark expedition had a slightly bigger magazine, I believe as was later model.

          April 29, 2023 4:08 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        A well regulated militia, that’s also part of the amendment. Unfortunately you cant cherry pick the parts you want.

        January 31, 2022 10:39 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          You can't interpret things in the way you want instead of the way they are written. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The militia is the people, and regulated doesn't mean what you think it does. At the time regulated was used to mean well equipped as in "Army Regulars" It did not mean to be regulated by an authority.

          February 3, 2022 4:50 pm
          • Commenter Avatar
            Carl-hermann Freese

            True the Limits of modern;"Regulated by authority", Is enumerated and limited in the militia clauses of the body of the constitution, as the constitutional term "In Service"

            April 29, 2023 4:13 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          At the time the 2nd Amendment was written, the militia consisted of regular folks with guns, not members of the military.

          Don't you cherry pick the parts you want. The last part of the 2nd Amendment says "shall not be infringed". It doesn't even say who can't infringe, which means that no government entity within the United States (federal, state, local) can infringe.

          April 26, 2023 4:04 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          You clearly don't understand what a comma is and what it does. And I'll go 10 to 1 you never even heard of District of Columbia v. Heller and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, much less read and understood them. If you had, you would know exactly what the Second Amendment means, and the affirmation of people's right to own and carry firearms.

          Let me add to that what our framers believed and why, with the following direct quotes and their source. Our framers were explicit in that meaning.

          “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined...”
          - George Washington, Annual Address, to Congress, January 8, 1790

          “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
          - Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788

          “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
          - Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Constitution, Draft 1, 1776

          “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
          - Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

          “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.... The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
          - Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778

          “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
          - Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

          “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
          - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

          April 27, 2023 11:34 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ed Armstrong

    Once upon a time in America only Congress was allowed to pass laws. The ATF is now allowed to decide what is and is not illegal. If they get a mind to do so they can even arbitrarily change something from legal to illegal. That's a lot like writing laws if you ask me.

    December 17, 2021 5:32 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael H

      Congress already passed laws outlawing automatic weapons. Seems like this is the ATF enforcing that law.

      January 29, 2022 11:04 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Ed Armstrong

        Not in my opinion. The machine gun that the atf is going after does not exist. The atf is defining what a machine gun is and what it is not. That is not the job of the atf. They should stick to collecting tax revenue from alcohol, tobacco, and firearms sales. That is what the atf was created to do, nothing else.

        January 31, 2022 7:40 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        a picture is not an automatic weapon moron! next they will come for my finger because i call pull the trigger real fast!! ATF can not make laws, they are the brown shirts of the 1940s Thugs!

        February 8, 2022 11:57 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        David L Laidig

        Nope didn't outlaw them. Just made it extremely difficult to own them. However if you are a government employee, any type of LEO, or 10 dollar an hour armored truck driver you can own all the FA MP5s you want. Total baloney.

        July 23, 2022 6:53 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Cite the law where automatic weapons are outlawed. When you don't, because you can't, because it's false, that should be your clue that you have no clue what you're talking about.

        As time goes on, it becomes more apparent that the beliefs of people like yourself are beliefs based in fiction, never fact.

        You know why I'm not on a board telling people how to cook? It's because I don't know the first thing about cooking. A concept that would serve you well.

        April 27, 2023 11:48 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      David L Laidig

      Previous SCOTUS have also written "Law" IMHO, all of their "laws" should be struck down. They can start with Miranda, the exclusionary rule, same sex marriage, ad nausium. Justice Earl Warren ruined our country.

      July 23, 2022 6:49 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        David L Laidig,
        Please educate yourself in basic civics, including the separation of powers. SCOTUS does not write laws.

        You are a shining example of why we are Republic and not at Democracy and the reason our founding fathers feared the tyranny of the majority.

        April 27, 2023 11:54 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I just dont feel the guy didn't anything wrong, even if he called it for what it was, it isn't finished or in the gun

    December 8, 2021 5:42 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    I.B. White

    He didn't do anything wrong, he had a drawing on a piece of metal for a conversation piece. It isn't a gun part UNTIL YOU PUT IT IN THE GUN! It isn't even a finished part! If you could call it that! My dog is screwed!

    December 8, 2021 5:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    "People rarely win a case outright against the government."

    Especially with case law and precedent against them. They're both going to take deals because the alternative is time and the government's goal is deterrence.

    The law maybe dumb, or wrong, or obsolete, but it's not ambiguous here. This guy is borked.

    August 7, 2021 7:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    He is screwed me thinks. Biden ATF example exhibit #1.

    April 15, 2021 9:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Oops, I just printed this article and now someone is trying to kick in my door!

    April 15, 2021 7:15 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Alien Ta

    The gun industry should fund fights like this against overreach by alphabet agencies.

    April 15, 2021 7:47 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      This!!! Right now we're seeing corporations banding together and trying to put political pressure on an entire US state because they disagree with law that the Georgia legislature passed 100% legally. The firearms industry should band together and help fund some of these cases, since any infringement of the 2A directly effects their bottom line AND their very existence, when the left's end game is taken into account.

      April 15, 2021 8:51 pm
    • Commenter Avatar


      April 17, 2021 10:18 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Daniel Sutherland

    If I was a lawyer I'd ABSOLUTELY use the "This is not a pipe and this is not an auto sear" defense.

    April 14, 2021 8:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Zachary Nelson

    That's an m16a2 clone

    April 14, 2021 7:32 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Detachable carry handle.

      April 15, 2021 5:41 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Would an 80% machined swift link be illegal?

        June 20, 2022 7:54 am
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