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Build your own?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by mcdonl, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Hi all, I was just browsing the guns in www.unclehenrys.com and this ad caught my eye... not because of the gun but because of the last sentance....

    Is that true? It is like saying, if you do not have a license, but you built your own car you can drive it.

    Seems misleading and illegal.
  2. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Well-Known Member

    Build yes. Sell, no.
  3. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Nope. Any weird state laws notwithstanding it is perfectly legal from a Federal standpoint to build your own firearm as long as you can legally own one.

    As mentioned, selling could potentially cause a problem though, so be careful.
  4. sanerkeki

    sanerkeki Well-Known Member

    It is like alcohol. If you make some for your self it is not illegal as long as you do not sell it or make it in quantities that would suggest that you have intent to sell it.
  5. OurSafeHome.net

    OurSafeHome.net Well-Known Member

    I think the kgBATF allows you to distill some ludicrously large amount of alcohol "for personal consumption" each year. 100 GALLONS(?), I think. But you cannot sell it.
  6. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    My oldest brother is an engineer. Back in college, he built a 1911 in one of his machining classes, as a project. I don't know what kind of grade he got from that, but he still has that gun, and it operates like any $1,000 pistol would. After he finished it, my dad caught the bug and machined out one of his own.

    Since there are no serial numbers on these pistols, FWIH, it is illegal to ever sell them, gift them, or will them to anyone. IIRC, they'll need to stamp in a serial number, and it can be anything; a date, their name, anything.
  7. mcdonl

    mcdonl Well-Known Member

    Ok cool... I know laws around buying/selling are so strict that building may consider you a manufacturer... Kinda funny... You can build it, but not sell/give it away...

    Thanks guys
  8. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Not sure about giving it away, but no selling without some potential problems.

    Gifting I'm not sure about.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  9. everallm

    everallm Well-Known Member

    I think the kgBATF allows you to distill some ludicrously large amount of alcohol "for personal consumption" each year. 100 GALLONS(?), I think. But you cannot sell it

    One hundred gallons per person per year to a maximum of 200 gallons per household of BEER or WINE for personal usage.

    NOT NOT NOT distilled spirits without a licence or the A part of ATF will come a knocking.

    You can apply for a Small Alcohol Fuel Producer permit that allows personal production of up to 10,000 proof gallons per year for fuel purposes but they do check up on the whole denaturing, not drinkable part..........:evil:
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    You certainly may sell a firearm you've build yourself. There are clear BATFE guidelines for doing so.

    Yes, if you decide to sell it, it will need a serial number and manufacturer's information (that's YOU), engraved on it to meet their specifications.

    This is a popular subject of conversation in the AK-building community. I know the information has been shared here on THR, but if you want more examples, search on www.akfiles.org.

    Or look it up on the BATFE's site.

  11. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    At what point would you need to get a SOT if you built and sold?
    At some number you are going to be considered a manufacturer.
    More than one a year or what?
  12. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Yes, you can sell them but as I posted above you open yourself to potential problems.

    If you decide to sell you risk:

    Trouble for improper engraving, identification of the manufacturer, serial number etc.

    Trouble for being called a true "manufacturer". You sell one gun maybe no problem. Do it a few times and you might call down the wrath.

    Trouble for potential tax violations for not collecting the excise tax if they do hang the term "manufacturer" on you.

    So tread very lightly. Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's a good idea :)

    There is no specific number. The ATF says vaguely:

    They also define "in the business", basically they say if you are attempting it as your prime source of income.

    Definition of "business" posted below.

    Should be clear but it's vague enough for them to have attempted to hang it on people in the past.

    Just be very careful.

    Class 2 SOT is an entirely different animal. That's a Special Occupational Tax and is required if you are going to make machineguns.

    The SOT is in addition to the Manufacturers FFL.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Unfortunately, that's BATFE's little secret. If they codify a number that's o.k., then they'll be encouraging folks to actually DO it.

    If they leave it up in the air, they can prosecute you if they feel you deserve it. One...Fifty...somewhere in between, and up to them. :mad:

    It boils down to intent. You may not build a gun with the intent to sell it without holding a manufacturer's license. But you can build a gun and then choose to sell it later -- that's o.k. Who's to say when your intent changed? Did you install the last screw and then say, "naaah, I don't want it?" Did you buy the parts kit thinking, "I'm going to make $500 on building this gun for someone?" Hard to prove innocense.

  14. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    That is not correct either.

    The law IS codified, but it would be for a jury to decide.
    It has nothing to do with intent. You may build a gun with the specific intent of selling it as long as you don't meet the definition of "in business".

    The legal definition is in 18 USC 44

    So, it's written down, but it's going to be left to a jury.

    It's a roll of the dice potentially.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  15. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    Something that's not been mentioned yet, but if you sell a home build, you are assuming the liability that some idiot isn't gonna shoot themselves in the foot and sue you.

    The manufacturers maintain huge insurance policies for this.
  16. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Hmmm. My mistake. Thanks for the citation.

    I've extrapolated too far, but I think we're heading in the same direction. I wouldn't trust the "principal objective of livlihood and profit" clause to keep my butt out of trouble. That text could be read (and maybe even SHOULD be enforced) as though you could have a little side concern where you did this regularly. But I don't think that would be defensible.

  17. ILikeLead

    ILikeLead Well-Known Member

    Sideline correction on Alcohol

    WHile it is legal to ferment alcohol for personal use, it is not legal to DISTILL any amount without permits, liscenses, certain equipment, etc...

    Sorry for the hijack, but I hate to let misinformation go by without correction.

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