Auto key card. (Photo: Armslist)

Jurors in Jacksonville, Florida have convicted Gun dealer Matthew Hoover of violating the National Firearms Act of 1934 for marketing assault rifle converters on YouTube. Hoover, known by many for his CRS Firearms channel, along with with Auto Key Card owner Kristopher “Justin” Ervin were also charged with the transfer of unregistered firearms. Auto key cards are components used to convert semi-automatic rifles into ones that are fully automatic.

According to

Ervin sold card-shaped strips of stainless steel etched with patterns for equipment colloquially called a “lightning link” that can convert a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle into a fully automatic machine gun that fires round upon round from a single trigger-pull. Although a buyer would have to follow the etched lines with a cutting tool, prosecutors argued the cards qualified as conversion devices, which the federal government treats like machine guns that have to be registered and regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

“Where is the line? That’s really a question you all will have to face,” Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Cofer Taylor told jurors Thursday afternoon, shortly before eight women and four men began deliberating. Defense attorneys argued the firearms law doesn’t cover their clients because it doesn’t restrict items that could potentially be made into conversion devices but haven’t been yet.

A 12-count indictment finalized last month charged the men with conspiracy and seven counts of illegally distributing unregistered machine-gun conversion devices, as well as three counts for Ervin of possession of unregistered devices and a single banking charge of structuring financial transactions to avoid triggering attention to the account that handled Auto Key Card sales and expenses.

Hoover has argued that gun laws are far too strict and excessive. He plans to appeal the conviction saying, “the laws are so ridiculous and so out of control, if I were to cut on these lines, I would become a felon. How ridiculous is that? It’s just a conversation starter.”


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