More interesting coverage on the seizure of the the WE gas blowback rifles imported by the Airsoft Northwest Outlet by the ATF. While we have pulled tidbits of information from various sources regarding this issue, now Pajamas Media, has come out with a three-part series that questions the ATF, mainly the ATF in Tacoma, Washington, on their competence in determining that these airsoft guns can indeed cause "devastating ramifications."
In their story: Agents of Incompetence: ATF Seizes Gun Shipment Labeled ‘Toys’ — But They Really Were Toys, Pajamas Media takes more time to address the issue asking people with knowledge on airsoft guns, and real steel weapons if the ATF is right in its assertion that the WE GBB-Rs can be converted into real steel assault rifles.
In Part 1. Pajamas Media takes the ATF and CBP to task when they seem to misinform the general public in their declarations to media that the guns released were toys. KiroTV says "“Automatic Rifles Labeled As Toys Seized In Tacoma" as based on the CBP's announcements. They were really airsoft guns, which for those in the airsoft community, are considered toys, and not real steel rifles labeled as toys. With this, the issue gets muddled as the ATF agrees with CBP that these have "devastating ramifications."
In Part 2. Pajamas Media seeks answers to the ATF assertions that they can be converted into real steel assault rifles by asking other professionals. After asking those in the know, they say that "The ATF has thus far failed to show anyone evidence that they were able to easily convert one of the confiscated WE Tech Airsoft Rifles taken from Airsoft Outlet Northwest into a weapon. There has been no information that they attempted to test fire any conversion they may have attempted, or what the results of that test may have been. All requests for specific comment to the public affairs officers of both the ATF and U.S. Customs have gone unanswered."
In Part 3. Is it really an example of bureacratic incompetence? They question the arrogance, inconsistency, and incompetence of those involved and contacting the ATF on what makes them say that these toy guns are dangerous to the civilian population as they assert that these can be converted and getting no definite answers from the them. The same ATF agent who was seen in the news showing one seized WE GBB-R (and clumsy at showing his expertise), Kelven Crenshaw "is a former assistant director demoted and moved for incompetence, reprisals against his own employees, and regulation violations."
Pajamas Media ends their story with:
It would seem that the CBP and ATF have painted themselves into a corner.
They either must admit that their officers and agents made a serious mistake after a pattern of serial unprofessional behavior that verged on punitive abuse, or they must attempt to shut down the entire distribution chain of all similar Airsoft products being imported into the country and attempt to confiscate the thousands already on the market.
The latter would come at tremendous taxpayer expense and make these agencies even more of a laughingstock than they are now.
Well, they have been laughing stock ever since this story erupted as far as we in the airsoft community are concerned.