ATF gone wild! (Custom gunsmiths beware!)


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only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 12:52 AM
http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/2006/03/batf-jihad-against-custom-gunsmths.html#comments

Fact as relayed by Micheal Bane:

BATFE agents paid a couple of visits to gunsmith Larry Crow.
They informed Mr. Crow that the definition of manufacturing had changed from making or supplying the receiver to “making any substantive changes to a firearm”.
They threatened Mr. Crow with several felonies unless he admitted to the “manufacturing” and agreed to pay back taxes.
Agents now claim that Mr. Crows owes back taxes and penalties on every gun he has EVER worked on.


If this is allowed to continue they can shut down every gunsmith in the country.

I’ve received a few e-mails on the subject. I just want to clarify a few things:

I am not personally involved (any more than any of you, we all have a stake in this).

I know Mr. Crow and Mr. Bane by reputation only.

I am only attempting to inform people about what could be a nasty escalation by the AFT.



David

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madmike
March 31, 2006, 12:57 AM
Gunsmith, hell, ANYONE who changes a stock, an upper receiver, a trigger group, a bolt...would be "manufacturing" a weapon and could be fined or jailed.

I seem to recall they tried this before in the guise of requiring any change to a weapon's mechanism to be done by a FFLed gunsmith.

Anyone recall for certain?

This has to be stopped NOW. Start calling Congress today.

Warren
March 31, 2006, 02:49 AM
Just saw this at Sigforum, posters there cannot find any confirmation. Probably know more tomorrow.

That said, I would not put it past the ATF to do such a thing.

Don't Tread On Me
March 31, 2006, 03:00 AM
The BATFE (please, don't give them the satisfaction of being referred to as a 3-lettered agency) are thugs. Plain and simple. Sorry, I don't have anything contructive to add to this discussion other than that the BATFE feels as though it is them vs. us.

Hitler is laughing in hell.

NY Patriot
March 31, 2006, 03:07 AM
Frankly, I don't know what to make of this story. It seems like it is from a credible source, but....

Nothing is posted on the NRA, GOA, or SAF web sites about it and I just spent about 20 minutes looking over the BATF's website, and found nothing in their "rules", "proposed rules" or March 2006 newsletter that would indicate that the definition of "manufacturing a firearm" has been changed in any way.

Anyone been able to verify this report?

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 03:19 AM
Hard to confirm. The report didn't come out until yesterday. I'd like to see a copy of the paper the 'smith in question signed, but even that wouldn't be proof. Unfortunately, confirmation can only be the next few gunsmiths to be harassed

David

NY Patriot
March 31, 2006, 03:25 AM
I just E-mailed the NRA about this story.

I'll post their reply when I get it.

mrmeval
March 31, 2006, 03:39 AM
This is wrong, edited to a quote. I didn't want to delete it as the thread reads strange.


http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_n9_v35/ai_8907402

I think this is the fellow?
http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/

One more edit, email addy for company.

ccgweb@prysm.net
Clark Custom Guns, Inc.
336 Shootout Lane
Princeton, Louisiana 71067
Toll Free Ordering (888) 458-4126
Technical (318) 949-9884
Fax (318) 949-9829

mrmeval
March 31, 2006, 03:49 AM
Disregard this as well

I don' think it's new. I'd email them but would miss it as I'm out of town soon.

Before doing anything call the company in the info I provided.

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 03:57 AM
This differs from the Jim Clark Sr. tax situation in some important ways. If the .gov is going to claim that screwing on a barrel or changing a hammer is manufacturing a gun, it effects us all. This is a major shift.

David

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 04:02 AM
mrmeval,

You misunderstand, this is last week and Larry Crow rather than Jim Clark Sr. 15 years ago.

David

LAK
March 31, 2006, 05:23 AM
Anyone have Mr. Crows phone number? Why not just call him?

But I see this as madmike does; they could stretch this to just about any modification whatsoever.

More nonsense from a tax collection agency off it's leash, with whom Congress are equally guilty for allowing them to be decalared a pseudo-police agency, and write and ad lib regulations and definitions.

-----------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 05:32 AM
Mr. Crow's contact information:

http://www.competitiveedgegunworks.com/Contact_Us/contact_us.html

It's 4:30 am there, I'll e-mail instead of call.

He seems to be in pretty tight with Micheal Bane, so I don't think his version will differ to much from Bane's blog.

David

Cosmoline
March 31, 2006, 05:36 AM
The current CFR shows this definition at 27 C.F.R. § 478.11

Manufacturer. Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition. The term shall include any person who engages in such business on a part-time basis

There are several critical elements to this definition. First of all they must be "IN THE BUSINESS", which means more than merely a hobby. Secondly, they must be "MANUFACTURING," which in the absence of any further definition means the dictionary defintion of manufacturing. Mere alteration is not "manufacturing," and the ATF is not free to redefine terms to that extent without promulgating new rules.

I suspect the entire report may exaggerated. It's certainly third party internet hearsay, which is always questionable.

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 05:53 AM
And I thought my double tap was bad!

Cosmoline, I think you broke your disconnector on that last post!

It is certainly second hand information, but I don't have any indication that it has been embellished or exaggerated. I have met some really stupid ATF agents, and I'm thinking that may be the ultimate cause. Of course, it's also possible that Mr. Crow supplied the base guns for his custom guns without paying the excise tax. I don't know. If ATF agents said what they are reported to have said, then there is a major problem.


David

stealthmode
March 31, 2006, 06:04 AM
so is this true or not? there is talk about it on all the gunboards i belong to.

mrmeval
March 31, 2006, 06:18 AM
You are right. I misread the blog post.

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 06:26 AM
mrmeval,

It happens. You aren't going to be the only one.

David

Kodiaz
March 31, 2006, 06:44 AM
I really hate when F troop pulls another of their stunts. I hate having to switch the shotgun from buckshot to slugs.


F troop when will the good for nothings go to far?

geekWithA.45
March 31, 2006, 09:53 AM
BATFE Delenda Est

The Drew
March 31, 2006, 10:08 AM
It's all about the money... They feel their getting cheated out of all those excise tax dollars....

mbt2001
March 31, 2006, 10:27 AM
Dude, They cannot make ex post facto laws... All Mr. Bane needs to do is a get a lawyer to file and advise that SUPPOSING the law really has changed, what is the date??? Then we see the date being something like October of '04.... Then why are you extorting money from my client in the form of back taxes that he does not owe, because in this country it is not lawfull to pass an ex post facto law.

Maybe they could make him pay for guns that he has worked on since '04, but not "every gun he has ever worked on".

Contact the NRA as well.

NY Patriot
March 31, 2006, 10:38 AM
Some of the details have changed, as the blog site has been updated.

Unfortunately, this new info only muddies the water even further.

BTW, no word yet from the NRA.

madmike
March 31, 2006, 10:42 AM
Dude, They cannot make ex post facto laws...

Hah. You're quoting that Constitution thing, right?

Ask any of us who had detachable mag Norinco SKSs, the kind that took AK mags. Imported legally in the 80s.

Early 90s, ATF decided if we didn't take the bayonets off we were breaking federal law. Would that be "Ex post facto"? Why, I think it would.

Eventually that got corrected. I think it was about five years.

They CAN, LITERALLY do anything they want. Until Congress or the Courts stop them, they have the force of law and guns to back it up. See my post in the blog, if it's there.

merk
March 31, 2006, 10:51 AM
Sometimes I think that Washington D.C.'s power is made by the forefathers spinning in their graves.

How do they get away with this?

seeker_two
March 31, 2006, 10:55 AM
Well, it's good to know that re-electing our conservative, pro-gun President and Congress has helped protect our gun rights... :rolleyes:

Maybe the next stop on the War on Terror should start with domestic three-letter executive-branch governmental agencies.... :cuss:

John Hicks
March 31, 2006, 11:07 AM
Congress and the Prez haven't commented on things like this because they don't get to be a forefront issue.

The onus is on us to make this an issue they can't ignore.

Like illegal immigration: four years ago, this was barely talked about. Minutemen, Ranch Rescue, and the like have made it an issue. Now it's the front topic on almost every paper and newscast (this week anyways).

When things like beuracrats abusing power get out hand, we need to raise the flag and get congress on it. Sometimes all these bullies need is a little leash jerk from their bosses to calm down. That's the jist of what happened in Richmond:

Action, outrage, attention, counter-action. Without the middle two, nothing gets done.

JH

madmike
March 31, 2006, 11:26 AM
Graphic comment I made elsewhere, and I'll tone it down slightly.

Federal agencies and bureaus define their own operations under congressional authority. Literally ANYTHING they put in their regulations IS FEDERAL LAW UNLESS AND UNTIL Congress or the Courts force them to change it, or until they internally change it.

They could write into reg, "All female (or male) suspects must perform sex for the agent in charge," and it would be federal LAW.

It would obviously be unconstitutional on the face of it, and public outrage would probably get it changed in a hurry (In the case of something THAT blatant), but it would still, in fact, be law until then.

This is why Congress has oversight committees.

Anything less than that blatant an abuse is a lot harder to change. See the Norinco issue above. And this manufacturing one.

ctdonath
March 31, 2006, 12:42 PM
Making the rounds:

*************************************

http://michaelbane.blogspot.com/


Thursday, March 30, 2006
Michael Bane
BATF Jihad Against Custom Gunsmths!?!?!
I didn't post yesterday tryng to make heads or tails of this, but quite frankly, I can't...and the information needs to get out!

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."

Using the new definition, the BATF hit Competitive Edge Gunworks — who has been featured on SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS — and threatened chief gunsmith Larry Crow with SIX felony counts (including one for "changing the hammer and barrel of a Ruger and installing an octagonal barrel") unless he signed a paper admitting to "manufacturing" and agreeing to pay a fine and the back taxes. He thought he was out for maybe $1000.

The next day revenue agents showed up at his door and asked for his books. The paper he signed, and the "new policy" of the G, was that Crow has to pay the 11% excise tax — and big penalties — on EVERY SINGLE GUN HE HAS EVER WORKED ON SINCE DAY ONE. That moves the number from $1000 to roughly $100,000, enough to bankrupt his business.

Part of this, I suspect, is the BATF is pissed off that gunsmiths got a 50-gun exemption to the excise tax and manufacturing license last year, attached to a transportation bill. BATF BITTERLY opposed the bill, and there's a lot of thought that this is payback. There's also some speculation that BATF has been trying to find a way to get a lever on the HUGE "build-your-own-AR" parts business, and this would do it.

The agents alledgely showed Crow a membership list of the Pistolsmiths Guild and other gun craft guilds and told him that he was only the first.

Tom Gresham of GunTalk Radio and I have been sounding the alarm...both NRA and NSSF lawyers are on it now, with Second Amendment Foundation close behind. I'm going to the Congressional Sportsmens Foundation today. Master gunsmith Hamilton Bowen says if this isn't a tempest in a teapot...some local jockey trying to make his bones...it puts 3/4 of the Pistolsmith Guild, including him, out of business.

I'm traveling, but more as this develops!
posted by Michael Bane at 8:38 AM 2 comments

71Commander
March 31, 2006, 12:50 PM
:o

ctdonath
March 31, 2006, 12:53 PM
This is lining up with other BATFE changes.

A written opinion was issued stating that if you have a machinegun, and a short barrel suitable for that machinegun, and you have a non-NFA gun which can also take that short barrel, you can be prosecuted for having an unregistered SBR. This contradicts SCOTUS rulings that so long as all the parts possessed can be used in a legal manner, possession is legal (unlike, say, having only a non-SBR AR15 and a 10" upper, which can only be used illegally).

BATFE is also requiring that a precise length and caliber be stated when registering an NFA gun - screwing with the normal practice of registering, say, an AR lower as an SBR with "various length & caliber" and getting a 20" .223 upper, 11" .223 upper, 14" .50Beowulf upper, etc. For now people are registering a specific length & caliber to get their SBR registered, and slapping whatever upper they like on it (so long as they have the explicitly-described upper as well), but I expect (especially with this latest breaking news) they will crack down on that practice as well.

These, and others, all point to BATFE deliberately moving to end all modifications of firearms. You buy or make it once, as is, and that's it.

Just continuing to chip away at RKBA. Can't ban 'em outright, so take 'em away piece by piece.

TallPine
March 31, 2006, 12:54 PM
because in this country it is not lawfull to pass an ex post facto law
Yeah right ... like the Lautenberg Amendment :rolleyes:

Or even parts of GCA 1968, sex offender registries for offenses predating the law, etc....

Keaner
March 31, 2006, 12:58 PM
Wow, this is going to make a TON of people really really mad!

ctdonath
March 31, 2006, 01:00 PM
They don't care if anyone's mad. Nobody is going to seriously do anything about it.

madmike
March 31, 2006, 01:10 PM
It means an end to the aftermarket parts business. Attaching those parts would violate the law.

Of course, it could also mean a dramatic increase in sales of whole guns. I'm sure Colt will hate that.

Cosmoline
March 31, 2006, 01:29 PM
SLOW DOWN A MINUTE

This is a third hand report about an alleged changed in the regs that nobody has cited or been able to confirm.

The current CFR shows this definition at 27 C.F.R. § 478.11

Manufacturer. Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition. The term shall include any person who engages in such business on a part-time basis

There are several critical elements to this definition. First of all they must be "IN THE BUSINESS", which means more than merely a hobby. Secondly, they must be "MANUFACTURING," which in the absence of any further definition means the dictionary defintion of manufacturing. Mere alteration is not "manufacturing," and the ATF is not free to redefine terms to that extent without promulgating new rules.

I suspect the entire report may exaggerated. It's certainly third party internet hearsay, which is always questionable. This gunsmith needs to get the BATF position in writing and get an attorney.

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 01:48 PM
Cosmoline,

You can't cite something that isn't there.

David

madmike
March 31, 2006, 02:07 PM
We do only have one side so far. A believable but unverified side.

Any word from GOA, NRA, anyone?

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 02:20 PM
No response from anyone yet. I'm sure it's going to take a while.

David

Cosmoline
March 31, 2006, 02:29 PM
You can't cite something that isn't there.'

If it's not on the page, it's not on the stage. The gunsmith has a right to know what specific regualtion the agents think they are citing, and should get a lawyer's assistance not a blogger's.

In the mean time, these reports are so far removed from what may or may not actually be happening I'd suggest setting them aside until and unless something more tangible arises. I have no love for the BATF, but I'm skeptical of these kinds of screaming internet horror stories that come to us third hand.

madmike
March 31, 2006, 02:39 PM
"Cosmo, when it comes to guns you're a moron."
An enraged anti.

:evil: I love it when they ask me, "Oh, YEAH? Well what do YOU know about guns?"

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 02:43 PM
Cosmoline,

I don't disagree with anything you've said, but court comes later. IF there are federal agents out there NOW enforcing **** that somebody pulled from their ????, I want to know and I want it dealt with now, not later.

David

NY Patriot
March 31, 2006, 02:46 PM
OK... I just called the NRA-ILA, and the girl I spoke with had not heard anything about this case or about any BATF rule changes.

I don't know what that is worth however, because she didn't seem to truly grasp what I was explaining to her, and she transfered me to the voice mail of "the person who handles these things."

Maybe a few of us can contact the NRA & hopefully get to the bottom of what's going on here?

Jingolaw
March 31, 2006, 03:23 PM
Dear Forum Members:

Please regard this as an unofficial notice, but I thought I could help clear up what’s going on.

The Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax (FAET) is a tax imposed by Chapter 32 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 4181) on the sale of firearms and ammunition by manufacturers, producers, and importers. The present situation has arisen due to a possible misinterpretation of the term “manufactured” by the ATF. It has been difficult in the past for gunsmiths to determine exactly which services performed by gunsmiths were “manufacturing” and thus subject to FAET. Generally, gunsmiths are not subject to the FAET, unless the gunsmith has title to the firearm and his work materially changes the firearm so that a different taxable article results. See Rev. Rulings 58-586, 64-202 and 69-325.

Which specific acts (mounting a scope, re-stocking, checkering, engraving, etc.) count as “manufacturing” has been difficult to determine and inconsistently applied by ATF in the past.

To address this problem, on October 1, 2005, 26 U.S.C. Section 4182 was amended to also exempt any pistol, revolver, or firearm from FAET if it was manufactured, produced or imported by a person who manufactures, produces or imports less than an aggregate of 50 such articles during the calendar year. This allows gunsmiths to operate (for fewer than 50 guns per year) without worry that a particular act would be considered “manufacture” or not.

The 50 guns per year change, however, is not retroactive (despite our efforts to make it so). Recently gunsmiths have been aggressively investigated by ATF, and their back records examined for FAET compliance. This investigation is legal and proper, however, there is concern that ATF is again misinterpreting “manufacture” and including transactions under FAET that should properly be excluded.

Larry Crow, owner of Competitive Edge Gunworks and member of the American Pistolsmith Guild, is currently being charged as liable for taxes and penalties for the “manufacture” of firearms; Mr. Crow questions the validity of ATF’s determination that he manufactured the firearms. In meetings and discussions with the ATF and IRS beginning 24 January 2006, Mr. Crow has been unable to get a direct and consistent answer regarding both ATF and IRS policy.

The National Rifle Association is in contact with Mr. Crow and others in the gunsmithing community, and is actively exploring both regulatory and legal remedies for this situation. This situation is, however, one which may not lend itself to a quick or easy fix, as it involves statutes, regulatory rulings, and policy decisions at the intersection of two separate federal agencies.

I assure you that the National Rifle Association will make the most efficient use of its resources, with the goal of protecting the civil rights of Americans, as the Framers sought to protect those rights under the Constitution. We will provide updated information on our website as further significant details or activities become known.

Thank you for your continued support.

-Eric Swartz
Office of Legislative Counsel
National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action

madmike
March 31, 2006, 03:27 PM
Thank you, sir!

So this is the same issue that's cropped up before from agents not being clear on what the regs say.

Now if I could just get an answer from Rifleman on a couple of articles I've got...

Cosmoline
March 31, 2006, 03:30 PM
Thanks for that clarification! That explains a lot. Hopefully Mr. Crow and other gunsmiths will be able to avoid penalties over this. I'm glad the NRA is on top of it.

Henry Bowman
March 31, 2006, 03:40 PM
BTW, welcome to The High Road, Jingolaw!:cool:

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 03:40 PM
Same old ********, new angle.

David

mbt2001
March 31, 2006, 03:46 PM
What I mean when I say that an ex post facto law is unlawful, is that it will eventually, it is heard by the courts, be overturned. The courts cannot rule without a suit, but IF a suit is brought, then of course they can rule on it.

At least in theory.

Anyway, I would like to see the ATF shutdown. I do not understand what they do that the FBI couldn't do anyway. I mean what kind of LAW ENFORCEMENT group only deals with LEGAL items?? The FBI doesn't frigging investigate Banana's....

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 03:53 PM
Mr. Swartz,

Is there any reason to think that Mr. Crow's case isn't an isolated incident?

David

Jingolaw
March 31, 2006, 04:30 PM
Thank you all for the welcome.

David, some details lead us to believe that Mr. Crow's experience may not be isolated, and/or may become systematic in the future. Details are still coming in, though, and the situation remains dynamic. We will adapt our approach as necessary.

-Eric Swartz
Office of Legislative Counsel
National Rifle Association - Institute for Legislative Action

only1asterisk
March 31, 2006, 04:51 PM
That's unfortunate.

Mr. Swartz, I've been a critic of the NRA's lack of responsiveness and fund raising tactics for some time. I’ve often felt that the organization left the membership. I’m glad you stopped by today. I let my membership lapse some time ago. I think I’ll renew it today and make a donation to the NRA-ILA while I’m at it.

Thank you for stopping by, don’t be so long between visits.

David

mordechaianiliewicz
March 31, 2006, 05:51 PM
I have a hard time trusting a man who signed the Patriot Act into law to protect gun owners rights.

I have a hard time seeing a Party of whom one of the members made up an unconstitutional law which prohibits free speech before an election protecting our rights.

That being said, I'm not running to the Democrats. But our choice is between a half blind WWI vet holding an ol' Springfield while 20 men with M-16s and night vision bear down on him.

What's the alternative? The 20 men with machineguns.

Look, the ATF is abusing it's power b/c the neo-con agenda is "Hand money to law enforcement without oversight."

We should remember though, neo cons respect money and votes, nothing more, nothing less. Let's either bribe them (I consider that a losing game). Or give 'em the boot. Replace 'em with more traditional folks that will hold the ATF over the coals when they try to hurt us.

Henry Bowman
March 31, 2006, 06:45 PM
Replace 'em with more traditional folks that will hold the ATF over the coals when they try to hurt us.I'd like to, as well. But that's not always an option offered to us. In some cases, a true conservative/libertarian republican is not electable. In other cases, it's choose between the RINO (or "neo-con," as you called them) or the gun-grabbing raving socialist.

Are we willing for it to get worse in order for it to get better? That is, shall we vote out the RINOs allowing the state/country to see what the leftists will do and "teach the RINOs a lesson"? Perhaps state-by-state. But all at once could be really painful -- and irrevocable in some cases. Would the new "retro-con" be willing or able to repeal the harm done during the hiatus of reason? I don't know.

Marshall
March 31, 2006, 08:19 PM
Are we willing for it to get worse in order for it to get better? That is, shall we vote out the RINOs allowing the state/country to see what the leftists will do and "teach the RINOs a lesson"?

Not this dude. My experience is that things don't come back overnight, many times not at all, many times they get even worse. I'm not willing to test those waters.

madmike
March 31, 2006, 08:41 PM
Yes, because trusting people to see how bad the Nazis were and vote them out worked so WELL for the Jews, Gypsies, gays, trade unionists, Catholics and Communists in Germany.

Harry Tuttle
April 1, 2006, 09:40 AM
Obviously, in order to justify their budget the BATFE has gone looking for untapped revenue sources.

I rather doubt this will affect the home gunsmith, but if you have a business adding value to stock parts, you may find a few more federal lampreys attached to your wallet.

i imagine custom guns just experienced a price increase.

Kharn
April 1, 2006, 10:47 AM
The problem is that (at the moment) only an 07 FFL (manufacturer) can pay the Federal Excise Tax, there's no mechanism in place for any other FFL to be able to pay it.

Kharn

Langenator
April 1, 2006, 02:00 PM
The problem is that (at the moment) only an 07 FFL (manufacturer) can pay the Federal Excise Tax, there's no mechanism in place for any other FFL to be able to pay it.

Now, I'm far from an expert in where, exactly, funds from these various taxes (FAET) and license fees (for various FFL types) go, but is it possible that this might be, long range, the ultimate objective for the BATFE?

I'm told that FAET monies go wildlife conservation or somesuch, not the BATFE coffers. So they wouldn't have a money reason to do this. (Of course, expansion of power is always a reason for .gov agencies to do what they do.)

Here are my questions: are 'smiths required to have an FFL? Do 07 FFLs have to pay a higher fee than 'smiths? And does the money from FFL fees go to the BATFE?

If an FFL for manufacture has higher fees than one for a smith, is it possible that the BATFE is trying to get smiths reclassified as manufacturers in order to collect the higher fees from them, and increase their revenue that way?

ctdonath
April 1, 2006, 10:17 PM
At what point does "shall not be infringed" come back into play?

Kharn
April 1, 2006, 11:06 PM
Langetor:
A gunsmith would typically have an 01 FFL, your standard commercial gunstore license. The 07 FFL has the same abilities as an 01, but also allows the manufacture of weapons for sale.

If I recall correctly, an 01 FFL is $200 for the first three years, and $90 every three years after that. An 07 FFL is $150 every three years. Plus, usually an 07 must be in an area zoned for industrial activities, not many stripmalls allow that.

Kharn

wayneinFL
April 2, 2006, 12:05 PM
In 2004 I asked a BATFE agent about this. He told me that if I made substantial changes to firearms it would be manufacturing, although he couldn't give me examples.

It's a little scary we have the enforcement branch interpreting the law for themselves.

TallPine
April 2, 2006, 01:31 PM
It's a little scary we have the enforcement branch interpreting the law for themselves.
A little ... :confused:

:uhoh:

seeker_two
April 2, 2006, 11:20 PM
Mods: another application of sticky stuff, please?.....

madmike
April 3, 2006, 02:11 AM
Agents in the field arrogate a lot of knowledge and authority to themselves. If it's not on paper from the Technology Branch, it's meaningless.

Which doesn't stop them from jailing you while this is sorted out.:banghead:

sm
April 3, 2006, 03:09 AM
Mods: another application of sticky stuff, please?.....

Agree!

only1asterisk
April 3, 2006, 06:16 AM
I didn't ask for this thread to be stuck, nor unstuck. I think it fine as it is. I think the title change is not exactly correct. While the current target of enforcement may be gunsmiths, this matter concerns us all. When we have an agency like the ATF that inconsistently enforces completely arbitrary policy as law it is a serious issue for us all when they make such radical changes.

David

Thin Black Line
April 3, 2006, 08:22 AM
Well, it's good to know that re-electing our conservative, pro-gun President and Congress has helped protect our gun rights...

You mean the one that would have signed a new AWB if it had come
across his desk in 2004?

I have a hard time trusting a man who signed the Patriot Act into law to protect gun owners rights.

Come on, there's 50% off on a plasma screen TV if you're willing to trade
your freedom for security today :evil:

It's a little scary we have the enforcement branch interpreting the law for themselves.

Or the judicial branch legislating new laws, or the executive branch...

That said, and with my keen skepticism of guvmint intentions aside, any
other "industry" or "business" where you made nearly *50* of any kind of
regulated items per year for sale to the public would also require applicable
state taxes and local zoning rules to be in effect. Can you imagine someone
who assembled (from parts) 49 cars or motorcycles per year and sold them
to the public out of their front yard? How about 49 gas furnaces? How
about 49 woodstoves for use inside of mobile homes?

The key here is someone who makes items for sale to the public. If you
assemble your own AR/AK/FAL/91 from parts for personal use and don't
start selling them to people, ie which would by accepted long held legal
defenition be engaging in a *business*, then there's absolutely nothing to
worry about.

LOL, even if you were a Non-profit organisation that sought to make sure
low-income families were well-armed with the latest tricked out AR15,
you would still have to pay all applicable taxes and be doing it out of a
properly zoned location. This would be no different than any other NPO
out there.

If you weren't doing that, you would likely have more legal trouble from
your local zoning board than the BATFE! :D

madmike
April 3, 2006, 10:19 AM
Your :D disturbs me, sir. Does the legal suffering of others for engaging in honest business amuse you?

The key here is someone who makes items for sale to the public. If you assemble your own AR/AK/FAL/91 from parts for personal use and don't
start selling them to people, ie which would by accepted long held legal
defenition be engaging in a *business*, then there's absolutely nothing to
worry about.

Are you sure? Remember during the AWB that putting parts on an EXISTENT receiver constituted "making an illegal assault weapon" if it hadn't already been assembled in said form before the date.

And this gentleman apparently didn't SELL the weapon. He took someone's existing weapon and CHANGED NON-RECEIVER PARTS.

Not to worry, though. It's only dealers, manufacturers, Class III owners, gunsmiths and customizers who have to worry. So far.

First they came for the dealers, and I said nothing, because I was just an owner...:rolleyes:

madmike
April 3, 2006, 10:25 AM
That said, and with my keen skepticism of guvmint intentions aside, any
other "industry" or "business" where you made nearly *50* of any kind of
regulated items per year for sale to the public would also require applicable
state taxes and local zoning rules to be in effect. Can you imagine someone
who assembled (from parts) 49 cars or motorcycles per year and sold them
to the public out of their front yard? How about 49 gas furnaces? How
about 49 woodstoves for use inside of mobile homes?

I can easily imagine someone who builds 49 new roofs a year from his house. Or knives (me). Or who rebuilds engines in his garage. Or 49 computers a year from his home. Zoning does not apply if the operation is not visible, not signed and does not involve HAZMAT. There is no suggestion that this custom craftsman was NOT collecting appropriate state sales tax on work performed for residents within the state (assuming his state has tax on labor rather than just on goods). I rather hope he's innocent until proven guilty.

But nah, he's an evul capitalist, so @#$^ him.

If that's not what you were trying to say, and I've misinterpreted your glee, please correct me.

only1asterisk
April 3, 2006, 12:04 PM
Thin Black Line,

What are you talking about? This doesn't have the least bit to do with zoning. It has to do with an absurd interpretation of the federal excise tax on the manufacture of guns (vile and odious in itself). The excise tax was paid when these guns were made. The AFT claims that the gunsmith in question should pay the taxes again because he made changes to guns.

I don’t think it really has anything to do with taxes. I think it is more about harrying gunsmiths than anything else.


David

Thin Black Line
April 3, 2006, 03:44 PM
Zoning can apply to just about any kind of business depending on State,
county, township, city regs. Yes, I am completely aware of many people
who sell services/products or manufacture out of their home. Many,
including most of you, would be surprised to learn that it would in fact
be counted as a business that would fall under zoning rules. Many
localities even regulate the number and size of garage sales that can
be held in a year.

Your disturbs me, sir. Does the legal suffering of others for engaging in honest business amuse you?

No, and neither does ignorance --just the opposite. Given the zoning
boards in many areas, many would-be small business owners have MORE
to worry about from hacks at the local level than the feds. I and many
members of my extended family are small business owners, independent
contractors, and retail merchants. People who work for other people and
have their taxes taken out of their paychecks think the only difference is
that I file quarterly. Don't even get me started on liability issues with
small business as that is a whole different can of worms. There are
plenty of people unknowingly operating outside the law in their "business"
--don't ride my * about educating people that there is often far more
involved than getting a license and paying federal excise and state sales tax
when it comes to the legal operation of a business.

But nah, he's an evul capitalist, so @#$^ him.

No, possibly a capitalist that needed to do more research on what's legal
or possibly a gross error on the guvmint's part? Maybe both? Quite
frankly, you can walk into any business in this country and find some sort
of violation. As an independent contractors, I don't like all the regulations
either.

Here's something that really happened to consider:

There was this old guy who asked an FFL dealer at the gunshow over the
weekend about taking the thumbhole stock off his imported AK and putting a
pistol grip on it. First thing out of FFL's mouth is "Sure you can now that the
ban has ended!" I jump in with the "not-so-fast-how-about-the-US-parts
count?" interjection. Old guy gives me the "you're on the wrong side of
the table to know anything about this" look. Mr FFL is getting a little nervous
at this point (Hmmm, he does look like he works for the guvmint) and
begins stammering about having to check into that a bit more. By now
the customer has heard what he wants to hear and is already saying
"Thanks, that's all I needed to know" and walks off --maybe to the AK
parts kit table two aisles over? Eh, whatever.

Gee, guys, who knew a thing or two about the issue? The FFL or little ole
me :rolleyes: ? :D

And, of course, we all know everything we need to know about the issue
that started this thread!

Here's another :D Cheers! :D

madmike
April 3, 2006, 03:57 PM
TBL: Then you know:

The key here is someone who makes items for sale to the public. If you assemble your own AR/AK/FAL/91 from parts for personal use and don't
start selling them to people, ie which would by accepted long held legal
defenition be engaging in a *business*, then there's absolutely nothing to
worry about.

That that is utterly untrue, so why did you say it?

You certainly DO have to worry if you assemble something using incorrect parts, any Class III parts, modify a C&R, put together an "assault weapon" in a ban locale...

My guess is that changing caliber on the revolvers mentioned could, in fact, be considered "manufacturing a firearm," and so could the process of taking someone's numbered receiver that is NOT functional and installing parts so it is.

So EVERYONE has something to worry about.

Hawkmoon
April 3, 2006, 04:09 PM
Not to worry, though. It's only dealers, manufacturers, Class III owners, gunsmiths and customizers who have to worry. So far.

First they came for the dealers, and I said nothing, because I was just an owner...
God forbid any owner should have the temerity to replace the hammer on a 1911 with a different style hammer. Or change the :eek: barrel! Or (heaven forbid) put a different upper on an old AR-15.

Once they make this new definition of "manufacturing" stick, they can stick it on anyone. It's really an inventive display of linguistic legerdemain -- first you define "manufacturing" as creating the part that bears the serial number, then you redefine "manufacturing" as making alterations to anything that attaches to the part that has the serial number. I am left scratching my ignorant head, wondering "If 'manufacturing a firearm' is 'making substantive changes to a firearm,' how does a 'firearm' come to be created in the first instance?"

Zedicus
April 3, 2006, 04:58 PM
If you ask me this Thread needs to bee Sticky'd!

this is no small matter.

UnintendedConsequences
April 3, 2006, 11:32 PM
Just when I thought I was following all the rules I have to follow as a gunsmith/gun shop owner, now I feel like the character Henry Bowman as a Class 3 FFL being made an example of by the F-troopers.

I wonder if making repairs to a customer's firearm will fall under this "manufacturing" definition? If it does, we are out of luck if a firearm ever ceases to function.

If I have a visit from the unfriendly F-troopers I will let you all know about it. I just recieved my Class 1 FFL renewal in the mail today.

For some reason there is this image of guns sleeping with the fishes and paperwork burning up from a lightning strike ignited fire or being destroyed in a natural disaster running around in my head. Might make for a nice short story perhaps.

:banghead:

psychophipps
April 4, 2006, 01:08 AM
It's just strong-arm tactics. If he challenges the charges then they'll drop it. If he rolls over like a b***h then they have one less gunsmith to worry about.
They did the same kind of thing when the Brady Bill first came through. They stood back for six months saying nothing and then ran down the list to see who had violations of the new laws (which was just about anyone but an actual retail gun store). then they told the violators, "We can put the screws to you or you can drop your license. You pick."

Got lots of iffy dealers out of the way like that,
Mark(psycho)Phipps( HAHAHA! )

raz-0
April 4, 2006, 05:04 PM
"If 'manufacturing a firearm' is 'making substantive changes to a firearm,' how does a 'firearm' come to be created in the first instance?"

Why the stork brings it, of course.

At least I think that's how the ATF interprets it.

only1asterisk
April 10, 2006, 08:21 PM
Got an e-mail today from Larry Pratt. It seems Mr. Crow has found excellent council and is preparing for the fight.

David

madmike
April 10, 2006, 10:12 PM
"Our initial demand is that the agent in question be reprimanded, demoted, scourged, tarred, feathered, ridden out of state on a rail and jailed. Then we intend to sue."

:neener:

bogie
August 15, 2006, 08:59 AM
Was at the hospital with the girlfriend type last week, and ran into Larry... They're still at it. 6 felony counts.

Essentially, he says that they're claiming that anything that increases the value of a firearm is manufacturing.

Now, I'm gonna have a little time on my hands for a couple of weeks, so I think I'm gonna visit the St. Louis office, and try to get a manufacturing license. I need to change the barrel out on one of my rifles.

Maybe I'll be able to get a letter saying that I don't need a license...

Be _real_ funny if everyone here did that...

"I want to put new sights on my .357."

"I want to put my 10/22 in a target stock."

"I want a scope on my .30-30."

strambo
August 15, 2006, 12:01 PM
Essentially, he says that they're claiming that anything that increases the value of a firearm is manufacturing.
Like a set of cocobolo grips? I don't get why the definition is so nebulous (except someone wants it that way). It should be simple; if your business made or imported the serial numbered part, then you "manufactured" a firearm.

Can'thavenuthingood
August 15, 2006, 12:02 PM
They'll take your money and give you a license.
Then take your money for the business license at your residence. Then take your money for inspecting your place of business.
Then take your money for zoning violations.

They have a plan for you.

Vick

LAR-15
August 15, 2006, 12:06 PM
This means no one can upgrade their guns.

:(

Third_Rail
August 15, 2006, 02:58 PM
There are a number of gunsmiths that don't have a manufacturing license that are all hoping this is dropped by the BATFE, or that the gent wins the case.

I for one would love the BATFE to be stomped in court.

only1asterisk
August 15, 2006, 04:56 PM
Mr. Swartz

You must have some additional information for us. When you get a chance, would you mind giving us an update or directing us someone with the legal facts of the case?

I know the NRA is assisting Mr. Crow, but why hasn't the NRA used its mass communication power to tell its membership and the public at large about this incident and others like it. I'm not talking about “a send money now!” letter, or a 4 short paragraph on buried on a website. What about a 30 second sport on a television hunting show? No begging for donations, no sensationalism, just Mr. Crow getting his story out in a well produced, professional way.

This is too important to be left on the back page. The focus of the ATF has become shutting down as many dealers and gunsmiths as possible while harassing, intimidating, and generally making life impossible for the rest into quitting the business. This has been building for some time and seems now to be priority after congress has refused to take more direct action against gun owners. Dealing in and repairing guns is already a low profit, high risk business that people undertake out of passion and dedication, it shouldn’t come with the treat of having your life destroyed because of blatant, unchecked ATF abuses.

In addition, ATF policies have a tendency to change and expand without any warning, explanation or limits. This case could be a perfect example of this phenomenon, demonstrating the need for congress to place some long overdue restrictions on this BS.

David

Brett Bellmore
August 15, 2006, 09:26 PM
but why hasn't the NRA used its mass communication power to tell its membership and the public at large about this incident and others like it?

At a guess, I'd say they think there's still some chance the BATF will back down, and hope to give them the opportunity to do so without loss of face.

publius
August 16, 2006, 07:56 AM
More "interstate commerce" I guess, if I decide to modify one of my own guns (not for sale). :rolleyes:

You know, like 922(q) (http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct-cgi/get-usc-cite/18/922).

bogie
August 16, 2006, 09:12 AM
Campers, shall we return to the case at hand?

Crow works on ALREADY existing and serial-numbered weapons. He doesn't build frames.

He adds value through his services.

F-Troop is saying that if one adds value to an existing firearm, one is manufacturing. For instance, if you get a home parkerizing kit, and redo your old 1911, and it ends up looking really nice, you just "manufactured."

This could put a LOT of gunsmiths out of business. For instance, you take your granddaddy's old .30-30 that's been broken since his last deer hunt in... If the gunsmith fixes the thing, he's "adding value." And "manufacturing."

If you have your BBQ gun engraved, the engraver "manufactured."

If you have an action trued, the gunsmith "manufactured."

Third_Rail
August 16, 2006, 09:29 AM
Optical Serenity - it's not unfounded; there are many gunsmiths who are worried, at least that I've spoken with. Many are simply not accepting work at this point, until things are figured out.

JohnBT
August 16, 2006, 09:35 AM
So if I clean my shotgun after duck season I've added value. It's worth more clean, right? Where will they draw the line? Adding a Briley choke tube, adding a recoil pad, adding a fiber optic sight, adding a mag tube? Will it only be a problem if it's done for money or will D-I-Y count?

Fixing ain't manufacturing. Ask any auto repair shop or watch repairman. Why do you think he's called the Maytag repairman and not the Maytag manufacturer. Duh. I'm hot over this insanity. Or is it simpleminded inanity.

These people are idiots and it doesn't depend on how you define idiots either.

John

HankB
August 16, 2006, 09:40 AM
I wonder how this might theoretically impact home gunsmiths, as well as parts suppliers like Brownells, Midway, etc.?

I mean, what serious gunny HASN'T tinkered with some of his guns?

* Ever add a 'scope to a rifle or pistol?

* Ever replace a stock, or refinish a milsurp?

* Swap out your 10/22 barrel for a target-grade heavy tube?

* Add a recoil pad to a hard-kicking shotgun?

* Watch the Miculek DVD Trigger Job and then work over your own revolver?

I wish the name, phone number, and email of the government functionaries pushing this were made public . . . very public.

Shining the light of day on the individuals in government responsible for these abuses is a great way to correct the actions of those individuals who prefer to work in the shadows . . .

redranger1
August 16, 2006, 10:21 AM
Seems to me that a national sales tax on goods and services and a deletion of the 19th amendment would clear this mess up. Come to think of it it would make life easier from a financial standpoint.

confed sailor
August 16, 2006, 11:36 AM
Be _real_ funny if everyone here did that...

"I want to put new sights on my .357."

"I want to put my 10/22 in a target stock."

"I want a scope on my .30-30."

If it was worth 39 cents, my god could you imagine the chaos! Millions of gun owners requesting permission for every bit of minutiae. I wonder what would happen, arent they required to deal with all correspondence?

The real dumb part is if we did that, they would get a bigger budget to hire more agents.

Third_Rail
August 16, 2006, 12:05 PM
arent they required to deal with all correspondence?


Not as far as I can tell.... I've sent eight letters, and only one got a response in 6 months now.

only1asterisk
August 16, 2006, 04:20 PM
Shining the light of day on the individuals in government responsible for these abuses is a great way to correct the actions of those individuals who prefer to work in the shadows . . .

My thoughs exactly. Let us put it out there in a big way.

David

Jingolaw
August 17, 2006, 03:42 PM
Dear Forum Members:

Please regard this as an unofficial notice, but, as David has suggested, an update is in order.

The National Rifle Association’s Civil Rights Defense Fund (CRDF) has provided Mr. Larry Crow with appropriate funding and an extremely competent attorney who is well-versed in federal agency litigation. As Mr. Crow’s case is active at this time, I am unable to comment on its specifics. I will note that I expect a very favorable outcome for Mr. Crow and other similarly-situated gunsmiths.

We are, as always, vigilant in addressing wrongs visited upon gunsmiths and FFLs in general, and have assisted one other individual as well. When we were first made aware of the conflicts and potential conflicts between gunsmiths and the ATF, we contacted numerous gunsmithing guilds and their leadership, fully explaining the problem and asking for their perspective and guidance. To date, I have been extremely impressed by the candor and responsiveness of the gunsmithing community. We asked that guilds broadcast alerts to their membership advising them not to panic, but to report actual incidents whereby the member may have been unfairly treated by the ATF. Though the responses have been enthusiastic, we have yet to identify more than one or two other cases where there may be evidence of unfair treatment (even these cases are far less egregious than that of Mr. Crow).

Had we discovered evidence that there was some widespread or systematic abuse on the part of the ATF, certainly there would have been reason to broadcast that discovery to our membership and the general public. It appears, however, that any improper actions on behalf of ATF have been isolated, and likely the actions of misinformed or mistaken agents. Broadcasting such incidents may be counterproductive, as several of our solutions are being formulated now with the full cooperation of ATF.

The National Rifle Association has made considerable effort in the past alerting our membership to potential difficulties with licensure and ATF compliance; though I do not directly make policy decisions regarding publications, I imagine that there is risk of losing the poignancy of a message through over-saturation.

In finding a solution to the problem of gunsmiths, manufacturers, and non-licensees lacking clear guidance from the ATF as to what, exactly, constitutes “manufacture,” “gunsmithing,” “dealer,” etc., we have examined many options. At present, the most favorable to all parties is regulatory addition to, or amendment of, 18 USC 921(11)(B), which defines those terms, but does so inadequately for guidance purposes. Such a change would not seek to redefine any of those terms, but rather define them with greater specificity. That is to say, we’re not seeking to change the law, we just want it clarified so that everyone is on the same page and people can go about their business without wondering whether or not they’re in compliance with federal law.

This legislative solution is not without flaw, however. Most notably, such legislative action could be (legitimately) construed as altering or affecting the way FAET is collected. That means tax money. Tax money means House Ways and Means Committee hearings. Things could get ugly. This is not to say that the legislative action is not a good idea, but it is more complicated than it looks. The right bill sponsor at the right time, and with minimal fanfare, could accomplish our collective goals, but drafting, timing, and support are crucial issues. This is another example of a situation that is very important, but where increased public awareness and advertising can be counterproductive.

As always, I promise you that the National Rifle Association considers very carefully how we expend our resources in order to get the greatest benefit to our members, and all Americans, alike. As I often say, it is unfortunate that responsible gun owners are often still discriminated against in the United States. The Institute for Legislative Action at the National Rifle Association remains committed to informing and educating both the public and government alike regarding the Second Amendment, firearms, and firearms ownership.

Thank you for your continued support.

-Eric Swartz
Office of Legislative Counsel
National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action

only1asterisk
August 17, 2006, 07:59 PM
Eric,

Thank you for taking the time to share what you can with us. I realize now that I put you on the spot. I apologize, that wasn't my intent.

I'm happy to hear that this is was more of a single isolated incident, although one of a hundred different righteous court cases the NRA is fighting. Is there a way that a person could contribute to the legal fund directly?


David

bogie
August 18, 2006, 10:37 AM
Well, guys, when I talked to him last week, he was pretty much equal parts worried and hacked off... And they were pretty big parts.

Jingolaw
August 18, 2006, 03:05 PM
Dear Forum Members:

The National Rifle Association's Civil Rights Defense Fund can be accessed at www.nradefensefund.org. There you can view all the activities of the CRDF (updated as information is available for release), and donate directly to the fund.

[David - no trouble at all, you were correct that we were due for an update]


Thank you for your continued support.

-Eric Swartz
Office of Legislative Counsel
National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action

strambo
August 20, 2006, 04:01 AM
Great update. It's good to hear this is isolated and not a widespread ATF witch hunt. Makes sense to work with them in order to ensure more common sense in the wording. Now, I'm gonna go "manufacture" my issue M9 pistol by cleaning it.:D

publius
August 20, 2006, 06:42 AM
Or who just want the Reader's Digest version...

As Mr. Crow’s case is active at this time, I am unable to comment on its specifics. I will note that I expect a very favorable outcome for Mr. Crow and other similarly-situated gunsmiths.

We're doing fine.

It appears, however, that any improper actions on behalf of ATF have been isolated, and likely the actions of misinformed or mistaken agents. Broadcasting such incidents may be counterproductive, as several of our solutions are being formulated now with the full cooperation of ATF.
Couple of jackasses. Be cool.

In finding a solution to the problem of gunsmiths, manufacturers, and non-licensees lacking clear guidance from the ATF as to what, exactly, constitutes “manufacture,” “gunsmithing,” “dealer,” etc., we have examined many options. At present, the most favorable to all parties is regulatory addition to, or amendment of, 18 USC 921(11)(B), which defines those terms, but does so inadequately for guidance purposes. Such a change would not seek to redefine any of those terms, but rather define them with greater specificity. That is to say, we’re not seeking to change the law, we just want it clarified so that everyone is on the same page and people can go about their business without wondering whether or not they’re in compliance with federal law.

This legislative solution is not without flaw, however. Most notably, such legislative action could be (legitimately) construed as altering or affecting the way FAET is collected. That means tax money. Tax money means House Ways and Means Committee hearings. Things could get ugly. This is not to say that the legislative action is not a good idea, but it is more complicated than it looks. The right bill sponsor at the right time, and with minimal fanfare, could accomplish our collective goals, but drafting, timing, and support are crucial issues. This is another example of a situation that is very important, but where increased public awareness and advertising can be counterproductive.
We want some new rules, but making them is like making a new sausage. Not pretty.

bogie
August 21, 2006, 10:06 AM
I suspect that F-Troop was looking at Larry as being a test case... He's relatively small-time, but at the same time, he does a fair amount of enhancement.

Diamondback6
August 21, 2006, 10:31 PM
I'd suspect the BATFinks are probably trying to use Mr. Crow and Mr. Celata over at KT Ordnance as live-fire test-cases before going after their respective industry sectors in general.

Jingolaw, have y'all considered investigating the Celata/KT case?

Jingolaw
August 22, 2006, 01:41 PM
Diamondback6:

We are well-apprised of the KT Ordnance situation, though I'm afraid I can't comment further.

Thanky you all for your continued support.

Eric Swartz
Office of Legislative Counsel
NRA - ILA

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