Autokeycard.com Seized By ATF, Owner Arrested For Selling A Drawing
Autokeycard.com seized by ATF, owner arrested for selling a drawing
JACKSONVILLE, FL – (Ammoland.com) – The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau (ATF) and the United States Postal Inspection Service arrested a Florida man and their websites (autokeycard.com and autokeycards.com) for selling a drawing confiscated on a piece of metal.
The ATF raided and arrested Kristopher Justin Ervin, 41, of Jacksonville, FL, for manufacturing machine guns. Ervin did not sell or manufacture firearms.
The man was selling a piece of metal the size of a credit card with the shape of a lightning link.
A lightning joint is a piece of metal that a user bends to fall into an AR15. When switched on, the lightning connection transforms the weapon into a fully automatic machine gun. The ATF recently arrested a West Virginia man for selling 3D printed “portal wall brackets” that buyers could use as drop-in auto-sear (DIAS).
Ervin sold his product as a novelty. The autokey card had a drawing of a lightning link on the surface, but it was far from finished. In order for a person to use the device in a gun, the end user would have cut out the lightning connection and bent the metal before they could use it in an AR15. The company owner didn’t even etch the lightning connection onto the piece of metal. It was just an overview
Ervin took orders from customers through a printable order form that the user would send to the company with payment (money order or cash). The company would then send the card to the end user. The US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida approved the seizure warrants for the company’s websites. Because the company did business through the United States Postal Service (USPS), the Postal Inspection Service joined the ATF in this case.
The ATF said the company violated 26 USC Sections 5845, 5861. The law states that it is a violation of federal law to manufacture, receive, transport, and / or deliver a machine gun that is not registered on the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
The ATF admits that Ervin did not sell a complete machine gun but referred to 26 USC §§ 5845 (b).
According to this subsection, it is illegal to have “parts that are exclusively designed and intended, or a combination of parts, designed and intended to be used to convert a weapon into a machine gun”. The ATF didn’t buy that Ervin was selling the autokey card as a novelty. Law enforcement is unlikely to extend this defense to gun owners who purchased the auto keycard from the man’s website.
According to ATF, anyone with a car keycard purchased on the website is breaking the National Firearms Act (NFA). The agency will accuse anyone robbed with the device of a federal crime. Gun owners face ten years in prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000 per device. Since most people have bought multiple cards, the penalties can add up and be very costly.
The ATF asks anyone with an autokey card to contact their local ATF office. By contacting the ATF, gun owners do not avoid prosecution. The ATF does not promise amnesty of charges. AmmoLand News recommends that Autokey Card holders consult an attorney before contacting the ATF.
A lawyer who specializes in firearms told AmmoLand News that he doesn’t want to be a prosecutor on this case, but knowing the makeup of the judicial system means he doesn’t want to be the one charged with the crime either.
The ATF did not return AmmoLand News’ comments.
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people from all walks of life, and 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.