Gun manufacturer's Markings?


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boredelmo
May 30, 2008, 06:41 PM
Someone I know wants to sell me a gun, but his dad sanded off the manufacturers markings to make it "cleaner". You can still read it, but not 100% clearly. The serial number is untouched. The half sanded markings are on the frame.

I'm kinda uneasy on this deal because I thought it was illegal to tamper with the manufacturer's marking. But then I got to thinking about the people to "melt" guns or take off markings from slides of 1911's.

Thanks in advance.

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Thernlund
May 30, 2008, 06:47 PM
It's illegal to tamper with the serial number. But the manufactures logos, I don't think that matters at all.

Some guns just don't have any anyway.

I wouldn't worry about it so long as the SN is clear. If it's an import, the import mark needs to be able to be read as well.

You didn't say what kind of gun.


-T.

boredelmo
May 30, 2008, 06:48 PM
Kel-tec. My mom likes my p3at so much I'm trying to get her one of her own at a good price.

Old Fuff
May 30, 2008, 06:50 PM
The BATF&E could get upset if the manufacturer or importer's name was removed. They need that if they have to make a trace. It's not that they couldn't identify the gun, but rather that they'd have to work at it. :uhoh:

Thernlund
May 30, 2008, 06:52 PM
Kel-tec.

Honestly, I don't think I'd be real concerned as long as, like I said, the SN is clear.


-T.

boredelmo
May 30, 2008, 06:52 PM
But it's not illegal correct?

I mean, they could get upset at someone for owning an "arsenal" or guns but they can't arrest a guy for just having lots of guns. (i know this may have happened before, but we're technically speaking)

Thernlund
May 30, 2008, 06:56 PM
But it's not illegal correct?I don't believe that it is. Just as long as the serial number is intact.

I mean, they could get upset at someone for owning an "arsenal" or guns but they can't arrest a guy for just having lots of guns.

Ummm... What's the difference? Or maybe I don't understand?


-T.

ieszu
May 30, 2008, 06:57 PM
There is a bigger issue involved with removing importer/manufacturer markings than the legal quandry. On some guns, if you remove enough metal to erase the manufacturers markings, you are tampering with the heat treatment and could cause a problem unless it has been re-heat treated.

The legal issue is easy: If you remove it you can go to jail, but if you buy it that way in a private sale you have not broken any laws. It isn't so much that it would save the ATF money, but think of a gun like the 1911, if you remove all markings except the s/n, how would you know who made it? Is it a Caspian, Springfield, Taurus or a Colt???? It becomes impossible to trace, and thus they made it illegal to remove manufacturer/importer markings, although you can remove things like warning stamps (like Rugers) and calibers...

boredelmo
May 30, 2008, 06:58 PM
"Upset" = mad, but can't really do anything about it.

edit:
If you remove it you can go to jail, but if you buy it that way in a private sale you have not broken any laws.

The plot thickens! How do I prove that it wasn't me that messed up the marks?

Thernlund
May 30, 2008, 07:08 PM
It isn't so much that it would save the ATF money, but think of a gun like the 1911, if you remove all markings except the s/n, how would you know who made it? Is it a Caspian, Springfield, Taurus or a Colt???? It becomes impossible to trace, and thus they made it illegal to remove manufacturer/importer markings, although you can remove things like warning stamps (like Rugers) and calibers...

Don't be silly. Even one of us could sort out the origin of a serial number in an hour or two, even without seeing the actual weapon. Collectively, it could probably be identified in less than 30 minutes.

How do I prove that it wasn't me that messed up the marks?

When/if the time comes, the original owner testifies to it in court.

But two points...

If this is on the slide, it doesn't matter. The receiver is the firearm according to the ATF.

Second... you said they were still partially visible. If that's so, this is all moot.


-T.


EDIT: Case in point. What this guy did to this Hardballer is legal.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=103298 SN is still intact, but the slide has had all marking removed.

ieszu
May 30, 2008, 07:08 PM
How do I prove that it wasn't me that messed up the marks?

You can't.... and with the ATF the way it is, you are guilty until proven innocent.

When I was in Gunsmithing school I was refinishing an old Mauser, and the pitting was through the importer markings and the s/n. I told the ATF, and they told me to take a picture before and after of the effected areas, and that I had to re-stamp the markings in roughly the same place. Thus I was able to re-stamp in slightly smaller size and in a nicer area... just had to make sure the markings were visible with the naked eye. I kept the pictures with me, and when I sold the gun, I gave a copy of the pictures and the ATF letter to the new owner... I explained he should keep it until he decides to sell it, then a copy should be sent along to the purchaser.

ieszu
May 30, 2008, 07:10 PM
Don't be silly. Even one of use could sort out the origin of a serial number in an hour or two even without seeing the actual weapon. Collectively, it could probably be identified in less than 30 minutes.

And on a custom gun, or a gun from a small manufacturer? How can you truly tell? If they make a law it has to apply to everyone, and not be based on the collective knowledge of THR.

I wish the law was different (I hate some the billboard markings on some guns), but if you want to stay out of jail, you have to follow the law.

Thernlund
May 30, 2008, 07:19 PM
And on a custom gun, or a gun from a small manufacturer? How can you truly tell? If they make a law it has to apply to everyone, and not be based on the collective knowledge of THR.

I was only making a point. EVEN WE could sort it out without seeing the firearm. Even a custom. Even from a small manufacturer. You think the ATF can't?

Whether or not they'd railroad him, I don't know. Maybe. But that's beyond the scope of this discussion, and I don't play that game anyway.

Playing the odds, I doubt this will ever be an issue for the OP, even if it does find its way into LE hands.


-T.

just carl
May 30, 2008, 07:24 PM
Not sure exactly why even bring it up unless you live in some area where there are gun inspections in your home, office or whatever. So far in well over 50 years of shooting, I've never had anyone inpect any of my guns at ranges. And for sure no one gets into my house to inspect guns. So who would know?

boredelmo
May 30, 2008, 07:29 PM
I just would like to stay 100% legal, esp since this is for my mom. This might be her purse gun so what if she has to use it? What if she is disarmed for a normal traffic stop (like some stories on THR) and the cop notices/inspects it?

I wouldn't buy stolen car parts "just because no one would ever find out".

ieszu
May 30, 2008, 07:35 PM
I was only making a point. EVEN WE could sort it out without seeing the firearm. Even a custom. Even from a small manufacturer. You think the ATF can't?

Whether or not they'd railroad him, I don't know. Maybe. But that's beyond the scope of this discussion, and I don't play that game anyway.

Playing the odds, I doubt this will ever be an issue for the OP, even if it does find its way into LE hands.


I agree with you, railroading is beyond the scope of our discussion, and is OT.

I was just mentioning the regulation, and that the ATF does not care about what people like us know... they merely care if they can claim it is outside the "average person's" knowledge base.

Given that regulations and the interpretation of the regulations change over time, perhaps the OP should ask the local ATF branch (anonymously of course) what he should do? He should ask for the letter in writing, and if they give the OK, he should then proceed with buying the gun, and keep a copy of the letter for his records.... just in case :)

Thernlund
May 30, 2008, 07:37 PM
I just would like to stay 100% legal, esp since this is for my mom. This might be her purse gun so what if she has to use it? What if she is disarmed for a normal traffic stop (like some stories on THR) and the cop notices/inspects it?

I wouldn't even worry about it. Hell, some S&W revolvers have been so worn as to almost remove the S&W logo.

As long as the SN is visible. And you said the manufacturer markings were still there, but faint.

This is all moot I think.

For what it's worth, I would buy the gun. Or at least, the issues you mention wouldn't even factor into my decision not to buy it. Let's look at the facts...

1. Domestic manufacture.
2. Clearly an identifiable design, logos or not.
3. Logos are faint, but still there.
4. They're on the slide (you didn't say, but I assume they are).
5. SN is clear

No way this is a problem.


-T.

Thernlund
May 30, 2008, 07:40 PM
...perhaps the OP should ask the local ATF branch...

I think many would agree that doing so would be the fast track to erroneous information, strange as that may seem.


-T.

boredelmo
May 30, 2008, 08:35 PM
I really cant find a straight answer online. Anymore help?

ieszu
May 30, 2008, 08:49 PM
I think many would agree that doing so would be the fast track to erroneous information, strange as that may seem.

Perhaps, but if he gets an answer in writing, he can't really get blamed by them....


But if you can still see the markings, and the s/n, then he is ok... if they are visible, even if worn, you should have no problem.

rocinante
May 30, 2008, 11:11 PM
I just got a used FIE E15 22 revolver and all it has on it is a serial number and the FIE importer info engraved. A little disappointed it didn't have the country of origin or manufacturer on it.

Per discussion on another board the only thing that can't be touched is the serial number.

boredelmo
May 30, 2008, 11:28 PM
Sir, do you have a link to thank forum? Or PM?

230RN
May 31, 2008, 12:51 AM
I don't know anything about it, so I'll make a guess, too.

It's probably legal unless it's illegal.

On the other hand, it's probably illegal unless it's legal.

I really wish people would not attempt to answer posts with no firm knowledge.

The best advice I've seen is to get a letter from the ATF. Call first for a verbal opinion in order to make the decision to buy, then write a followup letter, using the name of the Agent to whom you spoke, requesting the answer in writing.

I'm reminded of the umpteen pages of posts on whether it's legal to use a laser sight on a gun without the safety labels affixed to the gun. The so-called "answers" were all over the place.

So I wrote an inquiry letter to the Agency involved, the FDA. They received it on May 16th.

I expect a reply shortly.

Horses' mouths and all.

Sheesh!

762 shooter
May 31, 2008, 09:22 PM
All I could find in the ATF regs is no one may obliterate a serial number. Nothing I can find on Manufacturing markings.

Thernlund
May 31, 2008, 10:39 PM
All I could find in the ATF regs is no one may obliterate a serial number. Nothing I can find on Manufacturing markings.

My findings as well.

But my original point is that I think this is all just acedemic. Based on the OPs description, there is no issue I think.


-T.

REB
June 1, 2008, 03:33 PM
That's all I have ever found in the ATF regs as well. However a lot of states have tougher laws such as Alabama.

A person who either:

(1) Changes, alters, removes, or obliterates the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number or other mark or identification of any firearm, or

(2) Possesses, obtains, receives, sells, or uses a firearm after the maker, model, manufacturer's number or other mark or identification has been changed, altered, removed, or obliterated, is guilty of a Class C felony.

lawson4
June 1, 2008, 07:19 PM
I know that when a manufacturer marks the receiver with the s/n and makers/importer's name, they both must be at least .003 inches deep.

lawson4

Mushinto
January 4, 2010, 12:52 AM
... I'm reminded of the umpteen pages of posts on whether it's legal to use a laser sight on a gun without the safety labels affixed to the gun. The so-called "answers" were all over the place.

So I wrote an inquiry letter to the Agency involved, the FDA. They received it on May 16th.

I expect a reply shortly.

Horses' mouths and all.

Sheesh!
Did you ever get an answer?

ML

ClayInTX
January 4, 2010, 03:26 PM
The problem here is that this is the very last available gun in the world.

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