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Discussion Starter #1
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U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives
Firearms Technology Branch
August 15, 2008
Martinsburg, West Virginia 25405
www.atf.gov

Manufacturing of Firearms

Below are examples of operations performed on firearms and guidance as to whether or not such operations would be considered manufacturing under the Gun Control Act (GCA). These examples do not address the question of whether the operations are considered manufacturing for purposes of determining excise tax. Any questions concerning the payment of excise tax should be directed to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Generally, a person should obtain a license as a manufacturer of firearms if the person:

1) is performing operations that create firearms or alter firearms (in the case of alterations, the work is not being performed at the request of customers, rather the person who is altering the firearms is purchasing them making the changes, and then reselling them);
2) is performing the operations as a regular course of business or trade; and
3) is performing the operations for the purpose of sale or distribution of the firearms.

1. A company produces a quantity of firearm frames or receivers for sale to customers who will assemble firearms. The company is engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms and should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
2. A company produces frames or receivers for another company that assembles and sells the firearms. Both companies are engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms, and each should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
3. A company provides frames to a subcontractor company that performs machining operations on the frames and returns the frames to the original company that assembles and sells the completed firearms. Both companies are engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms and should be licensed as manufacturers of firearms.
4. A company produces barrels for firearms and sells the barrels to another company that assembles and sells complete firearms. Because barrels are not firearms, the company that manufactures the barrels is not a manufacturer of firearms. The company that assembles and sells the firearms should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.
5. A company receives firearm frames from individual customers, attaches stocks and barrels, and returns the firearms to the customers for the customers' personal use. The operations performed on the firearms were not for the purpose of sale or distribution. The company should be licensed as a dealer or gunsmith, not as a manufacturer of firearms.
6. A company acquires one receiver, assembles one firearm, and sells the firearm. The company is not manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business and is not engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms. This company does not need to be licensed as a manufacturer.
7. An individual acquires frames or receivers and assembles firearms for his or her personal use, not for sale or distribution. The individual is not manufacturing firearms for sale or distribution and is not required to be a licensed manufacturer.
8. A gunsmith regularly buys military-type firearms, Mausers, etc., and sporterizes" them for resale. The gunsmith is in the business of manufacturing firearms and should be licensed as a manufacturer.
9. A gunsmith buys semiautomatic pistols and modifies the slides to accept a new style of sights. The sights are not usually sold with these firearms and do not attach to the existing mounting openings. The gunsmith offers these firearms for sale. This would be considered the manufacturing of firearms, and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.
10. A gunsmith buys government model pistols and installs "drop-in"
precision trigger parts or other "drop-in parts" for the purpose of resale.
This would be considered the manufacturing of firearms, as the gunsmith is purchasing the firearms, modifying the firearms, and selling them. The gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.
11. A gunsmith buys surplus military rifles, bends the bolts to accept a scope, and then drills the receivers for a scope base. The gunsmith offers these firearms for sale. This would be considered the manufacturing of firearms, and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.
12. A gunsmith buys surplus military rifles or pistols and removes the stocks, adds new stocks or pistol grips, cleans the firearms, then sends the firearms to a separate contractor for bluing. These firearms are then sold to the public. This would be considered manufacturing of firearms, and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.
13. A company purchases surplus firearms, cleans the firearms, then offers them for sale to the public. The company does not need to be licensed as a manufacturer.
14. A company produces firearms or firearm receivers and sends the firearm/receivers out for colorizing (bluing, camouflaging, phosphating, or plating) and/or heat treating. Do the companies performing the colorization and/or heat treating need to be licensed as manufacturers, and are the companies required to place their markings on the firearm? ATF has determined that both colorization and heat treating of firearms are manufacturing processes. The companies performing the processes are required to be licensed as manufacturers. If the companies providing colorization and/or heat treating have not received variances to adopt the original manufacturer's markings, they would be required to place their own markings on any firearm on which they perform the manufacturing process of colorization and/or heat treating.

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Comments? To me this will make certain AK building activities "manufacturing a firearm without a license" anf that gives our alphabets friends the ability to do what they have always wanted to shut down AK builds in the U.S....
 

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I don't see anything in there that does not allow a private individual to make his own. Assuming he is not producing for sale or distribution to others.

In fact, item number 7 says so

7. An individual acquires frames or receivers and assembles firearms for his or her personal use, not for sale or distribution. The individual is not manufacturing firearms for sale or distribution and is not required to be a licensed manufacturer.
 

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Exactly. Do not build with the intent to sell or distribute. Stick with that and you're a legal home builder.
That's why at build parties everyone is doing their own work. But you get to benefit from the advice and coaching of others. Doing your own work for your own use is the key.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What this means is that even with a marked receiver, if you yourself assembled a marked FFL-bought received into a firearm and sold it, you would be guilty of manufacturing a firearm....

BIG difference from what was done before as far as builds on marked receivers and the thought that the receiver is the firearm, therefore the additions to it do not matter once the registered receiver is transferred.

In the case above, if I bought a Nodak Receiver and built a parts kit onto it with 822r compliance, I would NOT be able to sell this rifle to someone else without being guilty of Manufacturing Without a License, read number 7 VERY clearly and look at number 5....

-C
 

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So how is it that these builders are able to build other peoples kits for them and charge them? Do these folks have "manufacturers" licenses?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thirdeye said:
So how is it that these builders are able to build other peoples kits for them and charge them? Do these folks have "manufacturers" licenses?
EXACTLY... this is the change to this ruling/letter. Those "builders" will now be prosecutable a Mfr. w/o a License. Again, read the examples very clearly to understand that this as it is written and potentially applied, shuts down all these AK builds forever more.

Remeber that the ATF has ruled that a shoe string with a loop at eahc end is a Machinegun, and that a malfunctioning firearm that doubles is ALSO a machinegun. Take this letter to these extremes and see exactly how it will be used by the current brand of ATF....
 

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So what that is saying is that if you built a gun for your own personal use and had no intentions of producing firearms for sale. Then say 10 years later you fell on hard times financially and needed money you could not sell the firearm without committing a crime? Correct?
 

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Folks #7 is were we all fall in at..As it has been for the last severial years..
Gentlemen the key word here in intent..Thats what we call the grey area..Lets say Johnny builds his romy gun on a nds reciever and a year later Johnny has to pay for jackies abortion ..Well that firearm wasnt built with the intent to distribute and all is well..You just cant pump them out.. :grin: catch my drift
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, but now take that thought to the extreme of current enforcement of these "rules" and see what I really mean.

Olafsen did not intend for his AR-15 to malfunction and double, but he is now in Federal Prison.

See the scariness yet??
 

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I always understood it as the Firearm = the receiver. If you manufacture the receiver and sold it, you've manufactured a firearm and sold it. If you've bought a receiver, you've bought a firearm.. not manufactured it. Attach a bunch of parts to it and sell it... and you've just sold a firearm you bought, not manufactured. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to even mount a scope or bipod on a rifle you bought and sell it without being considered a manufacturer ??
 

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Will you guys stop writing them?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #13
SA58 said:
I always understood it as the Firearm = the receiver. If you manufacture the receiver and sold it, you've manufactured a firearm and sold it. If you've bought a receiver, you've bought a firearm.. not manufactured it. Attach a bunch of parts to it and sell it... and you've just sold a firearm you bought, not manufactured. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to even mount a scope or bipod on a rifle you bought and sell it without being considered a manufacturer ??
Read the letter above and you CANNOT mount a mount on a receiver without being a licensed manufacturer, look at #9, #10 and #11. Even putting sights on a pistol requires a manufacturing license....

-C
 

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ak_nut said:
Folks #7 is were we all fall in at..As it has been for the last severial years..
Gentlemen the key word here in intent..Thats what we call the grey area..Lets say Johnny builds his romy gun on a nds reciever and a year later Johnny has to pay for jackies abortion ..Well that firearm wasnt built with the intent to distribute and all is well..You just cant pump them out.. :grin: catch my drift
Thank you ak_nut... I was wondering if I was gonna make it all the way to the bottom without somebody telling the truth... INTENT is the key word. I'm not "totally" clear however on how this applies to bent flats but I don't have any intention of EVER selling any of my homebuilds. It would be easier and much safer to just de-mill first if I had to sell for some reason. I've never built on a 100% receiver...
 

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Cabhammer said:
Olafsen did not intend for his AR-15 to malfunction and double, but he is now in Federal Prison.
Obviously this has been hashed over in multiple forums before but I believe you're wrong about that, it seemed to me to be pretty clear that he did know explicitly that he had a gun that would fire multiple rounds with one trigger pull and transfered it as wink wink nudge nudge "not" a machine gun knowing full well he was running on the wrong side of the grey line. That guy is NOT the face of responsible gun ownership, he is quite frankly a scumbag.
 

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#9 and #10 both say "a gunsmith".

There is absolutely nothing different in this letter than previous letters.

The issue I always was concerned with (and nothing here changes this) is bending flats.

As to Mr Olefsen, he knew the gun was "malfunctioning" and loaned it out anyway. He even warned the borrower to not put the gun in that position or it would malfunction. He is either stupid or ignorant or both. He should never have loaned out a known malfunctioning gun nor indicated he knew in advance it was malfunctioning. Both things set him up to be a stooge. He did not make a Machine gun but he knowingly allowed a malfunctioning gun to be out of his control and indicated he knew it was malfunctioning by firing multiple shots.
 

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I hate arguing this because I really believe you guys are idiots for running around worrying about shit like this.

The ATF is not subtle. If they don't want you doing something, they will ban it clearly.

The message of that is that they don't want FFL holders doing alot of that stuff without an 07. Individuals have a whole different standard.
 

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Tx Dogblaster said:
[quote="ak_nut":2vxffby2]Folks #7 is were we all fall in at..As it has been for the last severial years..
Gentlemen the key word here in intent..Thats what we call the grey area..Lets say Johnny builds his romy gun on a nds reciever and a year later Johnny has to pay for jackies abortion ..Well that firearm wasnt built with the intent to distribute and all is well..You just cant pump them out.. :grin: catch my drift
Thank you ak_nut... I was wondering if I was gonna make it all the way to the bottom without somebody telling the truth... INTENT is the key word. I'm not "totally" clear however on how this applies to bent flats but I don't have any intention of EVER selling any of my homebuilds. It would be easier and much safer to just de-mill first if I had to sell for some reason. I've never built on a 100% receiver...[/quote:2vxffby2]


You can sell a homebuild ...But first you must have all of YOUR information engraved on the reciever as you whats considerd the manufacture..Bang!! now it can be sold..
 
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