In a video uploaded to Facebook, Scott-Dani Pappalardo cut through the barrel of his AR-15 with a saw, declaring there was now “one less” of the weapon that could potentially inflict harm upon others.
Whatever Pappalardo’s well-meaning intentions, however, viewers quickly pointed out that the weapon hadn’t actually been disabled. In fact, by shortening the length of the barrel to below the federally-mandated length for rifles, Pappalardo had technically committed a felony.
Upon learning of his error, Pappalardo posted an image of his AR-15 showing that the weapon had been sawed through at both the barrel and the gas tube. According to federal guidelines, however, this is an insufficient method for rendering the weapon useless.
For starters, a saw is no good for the job. What’s required is a blowtorch with a tip large enough to displace at least a quarter inch at each cut, and those cuts must be made diagonally through the rifle’s lower receiver.
In reporting on the story, The Firearm Blog reached out to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on the proper way for an AR-15 owner to effectively disable the weapon.
The ATF responded by stating that owners should “shred, melt, or crush the firearm frame or receiver,” but that if this isn’t possible, an acceptable alternative method is to completely sever these mechanisms with at least three cuts from a blowtorch. From the statement:
“These cuts must destroy critical features such as barrel mating surfaces, trunnions, locking surfaces, bearing surfaces, key attachment points, trigger housings, or magazine wells, as applicable.”
Once the work is done, the ATF asks owners to contact the agency’s National Firearms Act Branch so the weapon can be removed from the registry.
Given that Pappalardo was obviously trying to do what he felt was the right thing, it’s highly unlikely he’ll face penalties over the mistake. Still, the incident highlights how truly easy it can be to find yourself labeled a criminal because of a single misguided act.
My drop in a very large bucket#oneless
Posted by Scott-Dani Pappalardo on Saturday, February 17, 2018
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