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In Cali

ATF declares 80% lower receiver build parties to be illegal.

14 Responses to “In Cali”

  1. Chris P Says:

    According to that post the issue was the 80% company didn’t have a manufacturer’s license. The 80%->100% conversion as a group appears to still be legal if you do it yourself or at a licensed manufacturer.

  2. Dragon Says:

    So let me get this straight…if a company that makes 80% lowers *rents* its machines to a customer on a per-customer basis, and said customer comes to your facility and pushes the buttons to make the machine cut the lower out, the company who RENTS THAT TIME must have a Class 07 MFR license?

    To be honest, the whole 80% lower thing will probably be addressed very soon by the ATF, who will promulgate a ruling that ANYTHING that even remotely looks like a lower must have a serial number and be recorded on a 4473 in a gunshop somewhere. and they are going to do that as the pre-cursor to requiring that 3D printed lowers will be declared fully illegal, or that 3D printers be required to have background checks performed because of the ease with which someone will be able to print a lower on it.

  3. james Says:

    I wonder if this applies to individuals having a build party at their home, or if it’s only applied towards businesses such as the CNC shop mentioned.
    Build parties are a HUGE thing for home builders like me, and if this is an all inclusive ruling then it will kill my hobby.
    They’ve already changed a number of previous rulings on home built and 80% frames, this wouldn’t surprise me.

  4. Old NFO Says:

    I think they will also go after the home builders too… ANY way they can make you a criminal, they will!

  5. Brian Says:

    No one should let these constant small infringements stand. This is how they’re going to make all guns “illegal.” By slowly turning the water up to a boil. But sadly most Americans and many patriots have been and are continuing to allow this to happen.

  6. AndyN Says:

    I believe the take-home message here is that if you anticipate yourself wanting to finish an 80% lower at any point in the future, buy it now before they decide they need to be regulated.

  7. HSR47 Says:

    The key seems to be that it’s a commercial enterprise with the “manufacturing” taking place on-site: You’re paying to use their equipment at their site in order to “manufacture.” Therefore, they are a commercial enterprise that engages in manufacturing. Therefore, they are “in the business” of manufacturing, and therefore require an FFL.

    It’s a stretch and a power grab, but it seems to make more sense than some of their more arbitrary rulings.

    Rental of tools for building AK-type rifles would probably still be kosher, because the metal bending hardware/jigs are transportable, and therefore the actual manufacturing can occur offsite, meaning it’s just a simple matter of tool rental.

  8. Mu Says:

    I don’t think the headline is correct. This seems to deal with a commercial 80% manufacturer setting up a deal with another manufacturer to finish their product, all the customer does is carry the box from A to B and press a button. If you do such a blatant end run around the serial number and background check requirements you shouldn’t be surprised if the ATF comes after you. I’m miffed at the manufacturer more than the ATF in this case, it endangers our rights by challenging the ATF in a way that the ATF just cannot let pass.

  9. Sean Says:

    While the technology and process fascinates me, the economics don’t work. Before “the panic”, I could take about $100 and choose from numerous quality lower receivers from a couple local shops. Sure, there’s the normal NICS check, etc.

    If a private hobbyist finishes a lower and stamps their own S/N, my understanding is these may not be later transfered.

    Give that, unless you personally want to build and own a large quantity (20+) of ARs that you can never sell, the gimmick benefit of an “off the books” receiver comes at a massive cost premium.

  10. Phelps Says:

    If you do such a blatant end run around the serial number and background check requirements you shouldn’t be surprised if the ATF comes after you.

    Ah yes, the “endrun.” Also known as “daring to comply with the law we wanted you to break.”

  11. James Says:

    Sean,
    A home-built firearm may be sold to another non-prohibited individual. It is recommended that the firearm be serialized before the sale. If it is already serialized, it can be sold.
    Nothing in the law prevents it, but the ATF does say that you cannot make a firearm with_the_intent to sell, nor can you build a firearm for someone else. If that’s your gig, get your 07 FFL, or so says the BATFE.

    I purchased several (50 total) 0% AR15 lower forgings, and sold some of them during the last couple after a few machining operations as 80% non-guns. I sold ten of them and paid for all 50 raw forgings. I now have a large collection of AR receivers that cost me nothing but a little spare time on the mill.

  12. James Says:

    * and sold some of them during the last couple of months

  13. Austrian Anarchy Says:

    This is incredibly similar to the way cigarette making shops were put out of business. One of those shops is on Western Avenue near I-640 across from Krystal. It took more than administrative hand waving, it actually took a new tax law tucked into a Transportation Appropriation bill.

    The basics: if you have a cigarette making machine and you let someone else use it, or if you make cigarettes for them, you have to pay the same per-pack tax as on factory cigarettes.

    Not directly the same, but oddly similar.

  14. Geodkyt Says:

    Slight edit, James:

    A homebuilt firearm must have the required markings applied by the original maker before it is transferred.

    The “required markings” for a homebuilt gun that is transferred are the same markings set required if you homebuilt a registered NFA firearm on a Form 1 — serial number, maker’s name, city/county and state where you made it. There are rules on required depth, minimum character height for serial numbers, and minimum standards for markings (must use only the English version of the 26 letter/10 digit Roman/Arabic system, S/N may not be all letters, S/N must be one that that particular maker has already used on a gun the have made, manufactured, or imported, etc.)