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Joseph Roh illegally manufactured AR-15s, but that is not the story


Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2018
First the link, sorry it's cnn lol

The story starts with this guy making 80% lowers, then moves on to him having folks come over to his shop and they press the button on the CNC machine that then spits out a lower, but technically the individual "made" it as they pushed the button, and it looks like that may have even progressed to Joseph just making illegal rifles for people and he got caught.

The real story is during the court case, Josephs lawyer convinced a judge that an AR15 lower is NOT a firearm per the ATF definition of a firearm and is therefore not a regulated part, so Joseph did nothing illegal

Under the US Code of Federal Regulations, a firearm frame or receiver is defined as: "That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel."
The lower receiver in Roh's case does not have a bolt or breechblock and is not threaded to receive the barrel

...the decision to classify it as a firearm nonetheless, the result of "secret, in-house decision-making ...

"No reasonable person would understand that a part constitutes a receiver where it lacks the components specified in the regulation," Selna wrote.
Therefore, the judge determined, "Roh did not violate the law by manufacturing receivers."

and some more, trying not to quote the whole article as it is long

the prosecution and defense agreed to a deal in which Roh would plead guilty to the charge against him, but would be allowed to withdraw that plea if he stayed out of trouble for a year. Prosecutors would then dismiss the case. If Roh abides by the deal, he will have no criminal conviction and serve no time behind bars.
Sources familiar with the agreement said prosecutors wanted to strike a deal in order to prevent Selna's order from becoming permanent, drawing publicity, and creating case law that could hamper ATF enforcement efforts.
Roh accepted the deal to avoid a permanent conviction

Will be interesting to see the future legal status of AR15 lowers.

I for one hope they don't change anything, they could simple add in a statement that an AR Lower is a firearm and be done, but nothing is ever that simple. I just hope the anti gun crazies don't get a hold of this and do damage.


Staff member
Premium Member
Dec 26, 2015
Birmingham Al
Well, I’m not sure if either party is right or wrong. Technically speaking he is correct as he is just making parts but at the other end the parts are very specific of what you can use them for.

I think they do not mess with anything.

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