U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has sent letters to customers of Diversified Machine informing them they might be in violation of the National Firearms Act of 1934.
At the end of December of 2020, ATF agents raided Diversified Machine. Diversified Machine was selling solvent traps. The ATF claimed that the company was selling unfinished suppressors that were too close to being completed and were “readily convertible” into a functioning silencer. Since the ATF gives little guidance on what is a solvent trap and what is a suppressor, it can be confusing for customers and companies alike.
Diversified Machine was selling solvent traps with dimples on the end caps. The company didn’t think this violated any federal law. In fact, there is no law on the books explicitly banning dimpled end caps on solvent traps. The ATF used deference to determine that these dimples converted the solvent trap into a suppressor even if it does not function as one.
The ATF claims that the company included these dimples to be a guide for the customers to drill out the end caps turning the solvent trap into a working unregistered suppressor. The ATF has been cracking down on solvent traps over the past year. Multiple companies have been raided and visited by the ATF.
The ATF seized the company’s customer records and waited a year almost to the day to contact the customers. The agents insist that customers turn over the items purchased from Diversified Machine or face possible prosecution. Violating the NFA could result in a ten-year prison sentence if convicted of the felony.
In addition to companies being visited by ATF agents, federal law enforcement agents have visited several customers to purchase solvent traps and fuel filters. Most of these visits from federal agents stem from people buying the items for Chinese sites such as Wish and AliExpress. The ATF seems to be monitoring these sites not only for solvent traps and fuel filters purchases but also for people acquiring Glock switches that turn the pistols into machine guns.
Federal agents visited one Youtuber that goes by “Truck Master” and demanded that he turn over the suppressors he ordered from China. The man was confused because he didn’t buy any silencers from anywhere. It turned out that the ATF agents were talking about the diesel fuel filters that he used from his truck builds.
Another Florida man, who wishes to remain anonymous, purchased fuel filters for his Mazda Miata that he raced was visited by ATF agents. Even though the man didn’t own any guns and had a legitimate use for the fuel filters, the federal agent bullied the man into turning them over by threatening to press felony charges against him.
The upcoming new ATF rule on frames and receivers is expected to deal a blow to the solvent trap industry. AmmoLand’s sources say the tube itself will most likely become the suppressor. This change would put every company producing solvent traps out of business overnight.
Through a leak, AmmoLand News was recently informed about a change in policy where field offices were no longer permitted to tell people that the ATF does not regulate solvent traps. Insiders believe that this is in preparation for the new rule.
Building a homemade suppressor is still legal by paying $200 to the ATF and filling out a Form 1, but gun owners should consider getting the tax stamp before starting construction.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.