Is it possible to "void" a weapons C&R status?


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Maxinquaye
March 29, 2005, 08:11 PM
I was wondering if you can make a C&R weapon non-C&R eligible by modifying it too much. I know (or have heard, anyway) that changing the caliber will make the weapon non-C&R, but what about heavily modifying it? For instance, taking a Sistema Colt and turning into a full custom 1911, but keeping the frame (and perhaps slide) the same? Would the resultant weapon still be C&R, even if you replace sear, hammer, firing pin, etc. etc.?

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P95Carry
March 29, 2005, 08:23 PM
I am only guessing here but IMO any significant changes will nullify C&R status. IMO original - means original, perhaps leaving aside small items like sights.

I await clarification from them as knows!!

Hkmp5sd
March 29, 2005, 08:38 PM
If you alter the weapon from its original configuration, it loses its C&R status and must be treated as a modern firearm. You may make minor changes to a C&R, like changing the stock, but must be able to easily return it to original status and you must retain the original parts to do so.

P95Carry
March 29, 2005, 08:40 PM
Darn HK - so succinct and on the ball!! Pretty much what I had in mind but could not properly verbalize!! :D

Greg L
March 29, 2005, 08:58 PM
(sheesh, I had a good response going & then something hit me that caused me to delete the whole thing :banghead: :D )

What HK said is true on the CURIO side of the house. For a RELIC though the 50 year rule applies doesn't it? To the ATF isn't the frame/receiver the firearm? After 50 years it doesn't matter, correct? Therefore to a weapon over 50 years old, any changes to it wouldn't affect it's status.

Doncha just love all these unambiguous laws that we have :D :rolleyes: :banghead: ?

Trebor
March 29, 2005, 09:49 PM
I don't think there is any special status given to a 50 year old plus C&R as compared to something that is on the C&R list due only to rarity/collectibility. Yes, anything 50 years old or older is automatically on the C&R list, but that status can be changed if the weapon is modified.

Now antiques might be another story. They are anything pre 1898.

Hkmp5sd
March 29, 2005, 10:43 PM
The 50 years "relic" is a real grey area. Technically, any gun over 50 years of age is automatically a C&R and technically, ATF considers a receiver to be a firearm.

However, in ATF Ruling 85-10, they decided, "In classifying firearms as curios or relics under this regulation, ATF has recognized only assembled firearms as curios or relics."

So theoretically, customizing a 50 year old firearm would not alter its C&R status. Taking a 50 year old stripped receiver and building a firearm on the other hand, would not create a C&R firearm.

In dealing with imports, especially imported military surplus, it is even worse because you may be making a firearm illegal for importation.

If you want to make alterations to a C&R firearm, write to ATF's Firearms Technology Branch and get a written determination before starting.

CrazyIrishman
May 6, 2005, 01:06 AM
Its my understanding that you can make non-permanent modifications like changing stocks on a rifle (keep the original stock) and in the case of a pistol like the Sistema, I'm 99.9% sure its ok to install a DROP-IN beavertail, hammer, grips and trigger. I might do that to my Sistema and I'll keep all the original parts. If you were to change the sights and alter the ejection port than you may have gone over the line.

When I spoke to the ATF last year I was told #1-YES, you can modify due to its age, #2-NO you can't unless its not permanent,AND.........#3--"NO", NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!!!!! So, hows that for NOT being up front and tellin' the TRUTH??

(Hmm, multiple answers to one question! Don't ya jus' lov' 'em?)

BTW, I spoke to more than one person over a couple days. Most thought #1 was ok. However,NO ONE would go on record and state this as fact!

PS: PLEASE check with ATF FIRST before you do ANYTHING! What might be OK one day might not be OK later on.

HTH

Jim K
May 6, 2005, 10:43 PM
I guess I am missing something here, as I have been accused of doing. But the ONLY reason and purpose of a C&R determination is that a C&R gun can be shipped in interstate commerce to the holder of a Collectors License, where a non C&R has to be shipped to the holder of a Dealers License and there is usually a charge. But once the gun is in a person's hands, what is the difference? If the owner wants to alter it, he can. It may no longer be a C&R, but so what? The Collector's license does not limit the holder to owning only C&R items; it limits the type of item he can receive in interstate commerce.

The gun remains a gun under all Federal and state laws. It is not like an antique that is a "non-gun"; its sale or transfer in interstate commerce has to be recorded; its sale or transfer in intrastate commerce is subject to the same state laws as any other gun of its type. In those states requiring registration it must be registered. It can't be carried except under the same laws as any other gun. If used in a crime, it constitutes being armed.

So what is the big deal about whether a gun is a C&R item or not?

Jim

Hkmp5sd
May 6, 2005, 10:57 PM
So what is the big deal about whether a gun is a C&R item or not?
The potential problem is when modifying an imported C&R causes it to lose its C&R status and makes a "modern" firearm that is not legal for importation in its new configuration in violation of 922(r).

HankB
May 7, 2005, 06:35 PM
Taking a 50 year old stripped receiver and building a firearm on the other hand, would not create a C&R firearm. What if someone did just that in, say, 1952? Now the modifications, too, would be >50 years old, right?

What about legitimate repair?

CrazyIrishman
May 7, 2005, 10:28 PM
Jim,

I first came across this same question about modifying C & R firearms on a Mauser forum roughly two years ago. I don't think that its ever really been settled.

Now,IMHO once a C & R is in your hands what you do with it is your business. I called the ATF about making any modifications because the info going around the different forums seemed to be more opinion than actual fact. Rather than believe some things I felt it was better to go straight to the source (BATF). I wanted to find out for myself what the truth was. After speaking to different people at ATF before they moved what I was told is whats in my previous post in this thread. I was unable to get a straight answer from anyone. No one apparently wanted to put their butt in the hot seat.

Hkmp5sd
May 7, 2005, 11:16 PM
"Speaking" to ATF is a waste of time. If you have a question, you must send them a written letter asking your questions and they are more than happy about giving you an official written response.

As to your original comment:
Its my understanding that you can make non-permanent modifications like changing stocks on a rifle (keep the original stock)...

That may or may not be true. Here is a response from ATF on replacing the stock on an SKS with a folding stock being illegal. Keeping the original stock and being able to restore the rifle to C&R configuration doesn't matter in this case.

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Washington, D.C. 20226

JAN 31, 1995

Mr. XXX
Address
City, State

Dear Mr. XXX:

This refers to your letter of December 27, 1994, in which you ask about modifications to a Russian SKS rifle.

Title 18, United States Code, section 922(r) provides that it shall be unlawful for anyone to assemble from imported parts any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation under section 925(d)(3) of this chapter as not being particularly suitable or readily adaptable to sporting purposes ....

A Russian SKS rifle in original military configuration, having a bayonet lug and bayonet, fixed stock, and non-detachable 10 round magazine, which was modified by threading the barrel for a firearm silencer, would not be in violation of section 922(r). Assembly of certain other components such as a folding stock or detachable magazine, which would prohibit the firearm from importation, would be in violation of section 922(r).

SKS rifles which do not have an ability to accept a detachable magazine are not semiautomatic assault weapons as defined in 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(30) and they are not subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. section 922(v).

We trust that the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If you have any further questions concerning this matter, please contact us.

Sincerely yours,
[signed]
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/atf_letter4.txt

DMK
May 8, 2005, 02:34 PM
So theoretically, customizing a 50 year old firearm would not alter its C&R status. Taking a 50 year old stripped receiver and building a firearm on the other hand, would not create a C&R firearm. Compare this to antique firearms. Guns made on or before 1898 are considered antiques according to the GCA of '68. They may be shipped interstate by anybody who may legally own a firearm. Very similar to C&R in practice. Any gun built on or before this date 1955 can be transfered to a C&R licencee.

Now, if I built a gun based on an 1898 receiver, or modified an original gun with a 1898 receiver, is is still an antique? What about all those Finn M39s, that were built on stripped antique Mosin Nagant receivers in the 40s?

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