TV news in Hartford, Connecticut reports that AR maker Stag Arms is expected to enter a guilty plea today on charges stemming from the manufacture of rifle receivers that lacked required serial numbers.
Raises some questions in my mind.
At what point in the manufacturing process are serial numbers required to be imprinted? Is there any statute or regulation that spells out the time frame in which it is done?
Are products held at the manufacturer, not prepped for shipping, necessarily completed products?
Stag is a relatively small manufacturer and, if I recall, it also does contract work for other manufacturers. It also seem rational to think one aspect of production may have gotten ahead of the serial number phase as a company like Stag rushed to fulfill orders in the gun buying panic that came after the gun control panic of 2012.
If there as wrong doing, was it by intent, or merely oversight?
Pending further information, I don't necessarily see a guilty plea as a true admission of guilt. Sometimes it's just a matter of expediency. Small businesses and small business owners seldom have resources to fight back and prevail when a heavy-handed and well financed federal government chooses to target them for prosecution.
Update: Post plea reporting by the Hartford Courant.
Seems the same ATF that allowed thousands of guns to walk over to cartels in Mexico under Fast and Furious has no tolerance for loose record keeping at U.S. gun manufacturers.
While the Courant reports some guns missing, there are no documented instances where Stag's arms fell into criminal hands.
ATF that brought charges against Stag willingly allowed guns to flow to Mexican drug cartels under Operation Fast and Furious earlier in the Obama administration.