Illegal to make a gun?


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indoorsoccerfrea
November 22, 2008, 11:19 AM
Now I am not sure if this has been talked about yet, but if I wanted to make a gun, what sort of legal hoops, if any, do I have to jump through? I'm going to experiment on making a double barreled shotgun.

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deadin
November 22, 2008, 11:56 AM
It's my understanding that as long as you don't make an illegal/regulated gun (Full auto, SBR, etc.) you can make your own firearm. You just can't ever transfer it to anyone else.

indoorsoccerfrea
November 22, 2008, 11:59 AM
not even keep it in the family?

scrat
November 22, 2008, 12:07 PM
You have to put a serial number on it. Only way to transfer is if you will it to someone and that isnt fun because you would not be around when they get it

deadin
November 22, 2008, 12:58 PM
not even keep it in the family?

You will need to ask the BATFE on that. Although I would guess that you can't make one for your wife's third cousin, twice removed.
Just what they would consider "family" would be another question if it turns out you can make one and "keep it in the family".:evil:

PLRinmypocket
November 22, 2008, 01:04 PM
for legal questions like this, it's best to go to the source.

from ATF's FAQ (question A6): http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#a6

(A6) Does the GCA prohibit anyone from making a handgun, shotgun or rifle? [Back]

With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a non-licensee provided it is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semi-automatic rifle or non-sporting shotgun from imported parts. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and approval by ATF. An application to make a machine gun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for a Federal or State agency.

[18 U.S.C. 922(o) and (r), 26 U.S.C. 5822, 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105]


somewhere else the question of transfereing a gun you make yourself sometime in the future comes up (can't find the link right now) and you can legally transfer or sell a gun you make yourself...you just can't build a gun for the sole purpose of selling it (without a license). but once it's built, it is effectivelly your property, and if you get tired of it, you can legally transfer it (just like any firearm you own). The ATF strongly suggests putting a serial number on it if you transfer it, though. (and some states always require a serial number)

PS this is only federal law...some states have other laws that may prohibit you makeing your own firearm.

Onmilo
November 22, 2008, 02:36 PM
You, as an individual, can build a firearm from scratch.
You, as an individual, can sell the firearm at some point in the future.
You must serial number the firearm as recommended by the BATFE.

You can build more than one firearm from scratch as long as you are not building the same type of firearm.
Building more than one can constitute manufacturing for profit or illicit gain.

Building prototypes from scratch does not constitute manufacturing for profit but may show future intent.

Gunsmiths may custom build firearms to specification for individual customers from component parts, this is not considered to be manufacturing, but the completed firearm must be transfered the same as any other firearm through the retail establishment once completed, 4473, call-in, waiting period, etc.

In other words, a customer brings you a big box o parts, including the receiver of which he/she has purchased from wherever.
Even though the lower receiver has had a 4473 filled out by your customer someplace else, you, as the assembling gunsmith, must log the receiver in your bound book and then transfer the completed firearm back to the customer using the Form 4473 and following all state and federal regulations.

deadin
November 22, 2008, 03:59 PM
You, as an individual, can sell the firearm at some point in the future.

For my own edification, would you point me to whichever Title, Regulation or Code that covers this?

Zoogster
November 22, 2008, 05:13 PM
You, as an individual, can sell the firearm at some point in the future.

For my own edification, would you point me to whichever Title, Regulation or Code that covers this?

One of the great things about our nation was that everything was legal, unless there was restrictions or laws against it. Rather than requiring a law to legalize something, as is customary in some nations.

Unfortunately the last several decades have seen laws imposed on so many things that premise no longer means much.


However in this case a firearm you legaly build is legaly your property. No different than a firearm you legaly purchased from a store, or from a private party.

The problem however is that if you are building firearms with the intent to sell them for profit. That requires an FFL. So if you build the firearm planning to sell it, then you are commiting a crime. If you build it for yourself, and later sell it then it is just you legaly selling your property.

The legal concern is if you sell many homemade firearms, even if you did not intend to sell them when you built them, the ATF can still make a case against you that you were illegaly building firearms to sell for profit without a license.

So for practical reasons it is simply best not to sell homemade firearms without a license, and retain them for personal use. If rarely you choose to sell one, keep it a rare occurance.

Further, much of the code does not cover things, because a lot of what people are prosecuted for are in fact ATF interpretations and recomendations, which they enforce, but are not laws. They get a lot of discretion in enforcement of the actual statutes, sometimes creating several of thier own interpretations from a single statute, and then enforcing them as all unique statutes.
Sometimes that is within thier scope of powers, and sometimes it is not, but it is still what they require to avoid confrontation with them.
They recomend you put a serial number/ unique markings etc. That is clearly to allow firearm traces.
They recomend you sell no more than x number of homemade firearms within a given time frame.

If you do not sell homemade firearms at all you should have no problems building your own for your personal use. Follow state and federal laws.
Do not build an NFA firearm without doing the proper paperwork beforehand.
Pistols require rifling to be legal. Long arms must be 26" overall, 18" barrel for shotguns and 16" for rifles. Fires from closed bolt. Is not select fire.
State laws can be more restrictive.

deadin
November 22, 2008, 05:29 PM
Kind of "Nobody told me not to paint the cat"?:neener:

nalioth
November 22, 2008, 05:43 PM
In other words, a customer brings you a big box o parts, including the receiver of which he/she has purchased from wherever.
Even though the lower receiver has had a 4473 filled out by your customer someplace else, you, as the assembling gunsmith, must log the receiver in your bound book and then transfer the completed firearm back to the customer using the Form 4473 and following all state and federal regulations. This is incorrect.

The gunsmith will log in the receiver (the legal firearm) if he keeps it for a certain amount of time (24h?)

S/he will then return the assembled firearm directly to the original sender in accordance with the law.

Your theory would make it very difficult for my to send my AK parts kit and Nodak receiver to Tromix (for instance) and get it back.

It's a long drive from Houston to Tulsa, just to fill out a 4473 (and it may be illegal, to boot).

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