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Gunsmiths

Michael Bane has info on the ATF’s crackdown on gunsmiths. He notes:

It appears that apparently to thumb their noses at the current Congressional inquiry into BATF abuses, BATF have launched and initiative aimed custom gunsmithing in America.

The weapon they’re using is a really fine point…what is the definition of “manufacturing a firearm”? That phrase is NOT defined in any legislation and, since it’s not a legally defined term, it’s open to interpretation. Since the late 1990s, when the then ATF hit gunsmith Jim Clark Senior for “manufacturing a firearm” (which cost Jim more than $100,000 but alledgedly clarified the question) was “making or providing the controlled, or serial-numbered, part.”

The new BATF definition of “manufacturing a firearm” is “making any substantive changes to a firearm.”

He has much more and a case where it has happened. To me, I think this is consistent with their recent crackdown on folks that roll their own. I’ve read of other cases of people making their own lawful firearms and the ATF involvement. And why would they do that? To begin regulation of the build your own market. Also, there’s a federal excise tax on firearms (11%, I think) but that tax is not applied to parts. So, you can save money building your own. And it’s fun.

I also recall that in the last year, Congress passed a law exempting small time gunsmiths from taxes.

3 Responses to “Gunsmiths”

  1. Bitter B. Says:

    But that tax doesn’t benefit ATF at all. It goes to support things like public shooting ranges, habitat for hunting, etc. I don’t see that as a reason for them to be cracking down. They don’t stand to benefit at all.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    I don’t think the tax is why but I think the tax may be the justification.

  3. Justin Buist Says:

    11% on rifles, 10% on handguns.

    I’m with Say Uncle on this one: It ain’t ATF money but it’s Federal money that they get, so the ATF has an interest in protecting it.