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CHS
04-03-2009, 11:56 AM
Scenario:

Customer comes in, pays for a stripped lower for GF. Customer is 21+. Turns out, GF is 18 and cannot 4473 and receive a stripped lower.

We do not have an 07.

Is it legal for the customer to bring in a buttstock assembly and install it onto the stripped lower so that we can 4473/DROS the receiver now as a "Rifle"? Would this be considered manufacturing, since we don't have an 07?

NOTE: The customer will be doing the installation, not us.

If this is fine and legal, how do we explain the discrepancy in the logs for receiving just a stripped lower, and transferring a "rifle"?

Matt C
04-03-2009, 12:02 PM
Scenario:

Customer comes in, pays for a stripped lower for GF. Customer is 21+. Turns out, GF is 18 and cannot 4473 and receive a stripped lower.

We do not have an 07.

Is it legal for the customer to bring in a buttstock assembly and install it onto the stripped lower so that we can 4473/DROS the receiver now as a "Rifle"? Would this be considered manufacturing, since we don't have an 07?

NOTE: The customer will be doing the installation, not us.

If this is fine and legal, how do we explain the discrepancy in the logs for receiving just a stripped lower, and transferring a "rifle"?

That SEEMS legal to me, but to be safe and to avoid the discrepancy I would make the guy DROS the receiver, add the parts, and PPT to the GF. Everybody is safe that way, though it would be another 10 days and $35.

Full Clip
04-03-2009, 12:04 PM
I would make the guy DROS the receiver, add the parts, and PPT to the GF. Everybody is safe that way, though it would be another 10 days and $35.

Same.

ke6guj
04-03-2009, 12:06 PM
I don't know the legality of it. Some people say it is manufacturing. Others say that you may have already sold the receiver to them, or you are acting as a transfer dealer and the receiver was never yours, so you aren't the manufacturer.

And supposedly people have built those pistols at FFLs in CA in front of CADOJ or ATF personnel without comment.

CHS
04-03-2009, 12:08 PM
And supposedly people have built those pistols at FFLs in CA in front of CADOJ or ATF personnel without comment.

I was going to say something about that. It would seem to be legal.

BONECUTTER
04-03-2009, 12:22 PM
I would just tell them to PPT after a stock is installed.

This is if the FFL was mine and I wanted to keep it. There are lots of differences between CA DOJ rules and AFT federal ones.

I would rather not risk it based on the "these guys do it logic".

ke6guj
04-03-2009, 12:28 PM
yes, it is a grey area. With the different opinions ATF has put out in the last year about "manufacturing", I'd be careful.

freakshow10mm
04-03-2009, 12:31 PM
Scenario:

Customer comes in, pays for a stripped lower for GF. Customer is 21+. Turns out, GF is 18 and cannot 4473 and receive a stripped lower.

We do not have an 07.

Is it legal for the customer to bring in a buttstock assembly and install it onto the stripped lower so that we can 4473/DROS the receiver now as a "Rifle"? Would this be considered manufacturing, since we don't have an 07?

NOTE: The customer will be doing the installation, not us.

If this is fine and legal, how do we explain the discrepancy in the logs for receiving just a stripped lower, and transferring a "rifle"?
My opinion is not legal. They are an agent of the FFL if they assemble the receiver prior to transfer. I have a letter to the ATF asking for clarification on this matter. To the best of my knowledge, anything added or installed into or on a firearm or receiver prior to a 4473 transfer and physical exchange constitutes manufacturing. Manufacturing includes parts assembly into frames.

Furthermore, it is accepted into your log book as a receiver and logged out as a rifle. Looks like an act of manufacturing took place. I do not believe a receiver with stock attached is a "rifle". Until it is a complete firearm it will always be a receiver no matter if there is a stock attached or not. That is how my books are run.

Lastly, you know the GF due to age is a prohibited person for the receiver transfer. With that knowledge in place, I would not transfer that receiver (or any other) to the BF as that might constitute a straw purchase since he is getting the receiver and will give it to his GF, which should be a PPT. If that situation would happen in my place I would not do the transfer. The PPT issue confuses the situation because PPT in MI do not go through a dealer.

There are a lot of people that disagree with me when a customer assembles a firearm at an FFL. Until the ATF responds to my letter, we won't know the way it is fully.

CHS
04-03-2009, 12:36 PM
I would rather not risk it based on the "these guys do it logic".

Oh trust me, that's not the logic at all :)

However, if there are others doing it with ATF permission, it sets a good precedent to look into.

I *KNOW* there is at least one dealer in SoCal who allows this sort of thing. The question is, are there others and how does the ATF and DoJ generally feel about this kind of action? Are there enough dealers out there doing this to set a good precedent. That's the important question.

We also need to look into the definition of manufacturing, which is usually "building something with the intent to sell". I would wager that if a customer is doing the building then it is not manufacturing, it is "building something with the intent to buy".

DDT
04-03-2009, 12:38 PM
Lastly, you know the GF due to age is a prohibited person for the receiver transfer.


Interesting definition of a "prohibited person" are you sure it is accurate? Is the straw purchase for a person prohibited from making the transfer themself or a person prohibited from owning the firearm? If the former wouldn't that make any purchase by a parent specifically for an underage child a "straw purchase" in your mind? Such as me buying a .22 rifle for my 10 year old son or a handgun for my 18 year old son?

Matt C
04-03-2009, 12:43 PM
Oh trust me, that's not the logic at all :)

However, if there are others doing it with ATF permission, it sets a good precedent to look into.

I *KNOW* there is at least one dealer in SoCal who allows this sort of thing. The question is, are there others and how does the ATF and DoJ generally feel about this kind of action? Are there enough dealers out there doing this to set a good precedent. That's the important question.

We also need to look into the definition of manufacturing, which is usually "building something with the intent to sell". I would wager that if a customer is doing the building then it is not manufacturing, it is "building something with the intent to buy".

Well what are you looking for here, a legal defense with a reasonable chance of success on a appeal or in federal court, or do you want to know if what you are going to do is likely to get your FFL pulled and possible result in someone getting arrested/prosecuted. Big difference.

CHS
04-03-2009, 12:47 PM
Furthermore, it is accepted into your log book as a receiver and logged out as a rifle. Looks like an act of manufacturing took place. I do not believe a receiver with stock attached is a "rifle". Until it is a complete firearm it will always be a receiver no matter if there is a stock attached or not. That is how my books are run.


Hasn't the ATF said otherwise? That once a stock is attached, it is now and forever a rifle (or shotgun)?


Lastly, you know the GF due to age is a prohibited person for the receiver transfer. With that knowledge in place, I would not transfer that receiver (or any other) to the BF as that might constitute a straw purchase since he is getting the receiver and will give it to his GF, which should be a PPT. If that situation would happen in my place I would not do the transfer. The PPT issue confuses the situation because PPT in MI do not go through a dealer.


I would normally agree on this, however this is one situation where I do know the customer personally and I know that the transfer(s) will be kept legal. If it was for anyone else, I wouldn't even be asking and I would just tell them to kindly Eff Off :) But yes, there can always be the possibility of a straw sale in a situation like this. I know for a fact that this is a situation where the BF honestly and legally wants to buy his GF a rifle as a gift.


There are a lot of people that disagree with me when a customer assembles a firearm at an FFL. Until the ATF responds to my letter, we won't know the way it is fully.

Freakshow, I appreciate and respect your input, as always.

Please keep me (and calguns) posted as to the answer the ATF gives you. This will definitely clear up a lot of confusion and questions.

CHS
04-03-2009, 12:50 PM
Well what are you looking for here, a legal defense with a reasonable chance of success on a appeal or in federal court, or do you want to know if what you are going to do is likely to get your FFL pulled and possible result in someone getting arrested/prosecuted. Big difference.

Both.

I always think short term and long term. Sorry about adding confusion to the conversation though :)

Short term curiosity is the here-and-now legality of the action and likelihood of getting into any trouble.

JeffM
04-03-2009, 12:59 PM
And supposedly people have built those pistols at FFLs in CA in front of CADOJ or ATF personnel without comment.

That doesn't make it legal. From the BATFE letters I have seen, that is manufacturing. Every time it gets talked about on this forum, the folks who say that it is not manufacturing have never given a shred of proof contradicting or superseding the BATFE's own words. If someone has clarification I'd love to hear it, because it would make AR pistols, etc, more available.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearmstech/081508manufacturing-of-firearms.pdf

^The original link to the letter is dead because the BATFE's website changed names, but it's quoted plenty of places.

http://johnjacobh.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/atf-changes-definition-of-manufacturer/

Text of File:

U.S. Department of Justice
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives
Firearms Technology Branch
August 15, 2008
Martinsburg, West Virginia 25405
www.atf.gov

Manufacturing of Firearms

Below are examples of operations performed on firearms and guidance as to
whether or not such operations would be considered manufacturing under the
Gun Control Act (GCA). These examples do not address the question of whether
the operations are considered manufacturing for purposes of determining
excise tax. Any questions concerning the payment of excise tax should be
directed to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, U.S. Department of
the Treasury.

Generally, a person should obtain a license as a manufacturer of firearms if
the person:

1) is performing operations that create firearms or alter firearms (in the
case of alterations, the work is not being performed at the request of
customers, rather the person who is altering the firearms is purchasing them
making the changes, and then reselling them);
2) is performing the operations as a regular course of business or trade;
and
3) is performing the operations for the purpose of sale or distribution of
the firearms.

1. A company produces a quantity of firearm frames or receivers for sale
to customers who will assemble firearms. The company is engaged in the
business of manufacturing firearms and should be licensed as a manufacturer
of firearms.

2. A company produces frames or receivers for another company that
assembles and sells the firearms. Both companies are engaged in the
business of manufacturing firearms,
and each should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.

3. A company provides frames to a subcontractor company that performs
machining operations on the frames and returns the frames to the original
company that assembles and sells the completed firearms. Both companies are
engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms and should be licensed as
manufacturers of firearms.

4. A company produces barrels for firearms and sells the barrels to
another company that assembles and sells complete firearms. Because barrels
are not firearms, the company that manufactures the barrels is not a
manufacturer of firearms. The company that assembles and sells the firearms
should be licensed as a manufacturer of firearms.

5. A company receives firearm frames from individual customers, attaches
stocks and barrels, and returns the firearms to the customers for the
customers’ personal use. The operations performed on the firearms were not
for the purpose of sale or distribution. The company should be licensed as a
dealer or gunsmith, not as a manufacturer of firearms.

6. A company acquires one receiver, assembles one firearm, and sells the
firearm. The company is not manufacturing firearms as a regular course of
trade or business and is not engaged in the business of manufacturing
firearms. This company does not need to be licensed as a manufacturer.

7. An individual acquires frames or receivers and assembles firearms for
his or her personal use, not for sale or distribution. The individual is
not manufacturing firearms for sale or distribution and is not required to
be a licensed manufacturer.

8. A gunsmith regularly buys military-type firearms, Mausers, etc., and
sporterizes” them for resale. The gunsmith is in the business of
manufacturing firearms and should be licensed as a manufacturer.

9. A gunsmith buys semiautomatic pistols and modifies the slides to
accept a new style of sights. The sights are not usually sold with these
firearms and do not attach to the existing mounting openings. The gunsmith
offers these firearms for sale. This would be considered the manufacturing
of firearms, and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.

10. A gunsmith buys government model pistols and installs “drop-in”
precision trigger parts or other “drop-in parts” for the purpose of resale.
This would be considered the manufacturing of firearms, as the gunsmith is
purchasing the firearms, modifying the firearms, and selling them. The
gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.

11. A gunsmith buys surplus military rifles, bends the bolts to accept a
scope, and then drills the receivers for a scope base. The gunsmith offers
these firearms for sale. This would be considered the manufacturing of
firearms, and the gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.

12. A gunsmith buys surplus military rifles or pistols and removes the
stocks, adds new stocks or pistol grips, cleans the firearms, then sends the
firearms to a separate contractor for bluing. These firearms are then sold
to the public. This would be considered manufacturing of firearms, and the
gunsmith should be licensed as a manufacturer.

13. A company purchases surplus firearms, cleans the firearms, then
offers them for sale to the public. The company does not need to be
licensed as a manufacturer.

14. A company produces firearms or firearm receivers and sends the firearm/receivers out for colorizing (bluing, camouflaging, phosphating, or plating) and/or heat treating. Do the companies performing the colorization and/or heat treating need to be licensed as manufacturers, and are the companies required to place their markings on the firearm? ATF has determined that both colorization and heat treating of firearms are manufacturing processes. The companies performing the processes are required to be licensed as manufacturers. If the companies providing colorization and/or heat treating have not received variances to adopt the original manufacturer’s markings, they would be required to place their own markings on any firearm on which they perform the manufacturing process of colorization and/or heat treating.

BONECUTTER
04-03-2009, 1:04 PM
OK....for sake or arguement lets say if the customer does the work and put on the stock its legal.

How do you convey that to ATF/DOJ???
Do you have the customer sign a build form? Video tape it?

Like you said...in receiver/out rifle.....and you get to go:
"Hi ATF agent....no no no....we didn't change it...The customer did...."

How would you prove it?

If a costumer comes in and lets say handles a shops receiver (its not his yet because it hasn't been DROS'd/4473'd) how does that not make him an employee of the FFL?

Modifying your own firearm is one thing....but how could they modify a shops firearm in the shop without the shops consent?

It seems very iffy to me.

CHS
04-03-2009, 1:05 PM
Interesting definition of a "prohibited person" are you sure it is accurate? Is the straw purchase for a person prohibited from making the transfer themself or a person prohibited from owning the firearm? If the former wouldn't that make any purchase by a parent specifically for an underage child a "straw purchase" in your mind? Such as me buying a .22 rifle for my 10 year old son or a handgun for my 18 year old son?

That's not a straw sale.

ATF Form 4473, question 11.a: "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form?"

Under Notices, Instructions, And Definitions for Question 11.a:
"You are also the actual transferee/buyer if you are legitimately purchasing the firearm as a gift for a third party".

However, that doesn't really apply to CA since we don't have cash and carry PPT's or "Gifts".

DDT
04-03-2009, 1:05 PM
6. A company acquires one receiver, assembles one firearm, and sells the
firearm. The company is not manufacturing firearms as a regular course of
trade or business and is not engaged in the business of manufacturing
firearms. This company does not need to be licensed as a manufacturer.


Jeff, according your quoted letter from the ATF this example would fall under #6 and NOT be manufacturing. Is that how you understand it too?

freakshow10mm
04-03-2009, 1:08 PM
Hasn't the ATF said otherwise? That once a stock is attached, it is now and forever a rifle (or shotgun)?

I don't know. In order to be a rifle it needs to be a complete firearm capable of firing a cartridge. Readily restored means it must have already been made to fire a cartridge at one time. A receiver has never been.

Rifle. A weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended
to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or
remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire
only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of
the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily
restored to fire a fixed cartridge.
Since a receiver with stock attached cannot fire a cartridge it cannot be, IMO, a rifle.

Freakshow, I appreciate and respect your input, as always.

Please keep me (and calguns) posted as to the answer the ATF gives you. This will definitely clear up a lot of confusion and questions.[/QUOTE]

JeffM
04-03-2009, 1:11 PM
Jeff, according your quoted letter from the ATF this example would fall under #6 and NOT be manufacturing. Is that how you understand it too?

That is what this case would fall under. A one time event. I was speaking more generally, especially since there is an FFL, referred to above, that manufactures pistols w/o a license and does so on a regular basis in the course of business.

IMHO this one case would not be manufacturing, but should not become any sort of common practice or accepted procedure for similar issues.

BONECUTTER
04-03-2009, 1:11 PM
Jeff, according your quoted letter from the ATF this example would fall under #6 and NOT be manufacturing. Is that how you understand it too?

Miss this part:

6. A company acquires one receiver, assembles one firearm, and sells the
firearm. The company is not manufacturing firearms as a regular course of
trade or business and is not engaged in the business of manufacturing
firearms. This company does not need to be licensed as a manufacturer.

Its all good if you do it once.

DDT
04-03-2009, 1:16 PM
Miss this part:



Its all good if you do it once.

The purpose for the ONE in there is that they don't want to put in exact numbers as this would set a precedence. You can be CERTAIN that there is no bright line between 1 and 2 where you become a manufacturer. Plus, the OP asked if this was legal and therefore you can be confident that it would be the first time should he decide to do it.

BONECUTTER
04-03-2009, 1:22 PM
You can be CERTAIN that there is no bright line between 1 and 2 where you become a manufacturer.

Well I imagine if they want to yank your FFL and they see 2 receivers in turned rifles out that would give them cause too.

DDT
04-03-2009, 1:25 PM
Well I imagine if they want to yank your FFL and they see 2 receivers in turned rifles out that would give them cause too.

You would be wrong. Unless you have a brand new FFL and have and those 2 receivers represented "a regular course of trade or business" in your shop.

rbetts
04-03-2009, 1:33 PM
How about a post DROS Lower receiver build party at a dealers location. Customers build with items purchased from Dealer at the dealership?

DDT
04-03-2009, 1:35 PM
How about a post DROS Lower receiver build party at a dealers location. Customers build with items purchased from Dealer at the dealership?

The OP's problem is that the guy paying wants the receiver DROSed to his GF but she isn't 21 so it's a no go as a receiver. The question was can he build up the receiver for purposes of transfer.

CHS
04-03-2009, 1:36 PM
How about a post DROS Lower receiver build party at a dealers location. Customers build with items purchased from Dealer at the dealership?

That is very clearly NOT manufacturing.

rbetts
04-03-2009, 1:38 PM
That is very clearly NOT manufacturing.

That's what I thought. In the OP's case, I'd be more worried about straw purchase issues than a one time build issue.

BONECUTTER
04-03-2009, 1:38 PM
You would be wrong. Unless you have a brand new FFL and have and those 2 receivers represented "a regular course of trade or business" in your shop.

You work for the ATF/DOJ or have a FFL? Have you tried this first hand? I can tell you I have worked in a few gun stores and had multiple talks with ATF/DOJ agents. Some are nice and flexible...others have said such stupid things as selling a receiver and LPK together could be considered manufacturing. All have said the same thing. "If you want to walk that line get your 07 and play it safe"

Why do you think that is?

DDT
04-03-2009, 1:44 PM
That's what I thought. In the OP's case, I'd be more worried about straw purchase issues than a one time build issue.

What would make this a "straw purchase?" While she is prohibited from executing the DROS she is not prohibited from possession. Is a straw purchase when you DROS for someone not able to do so themself or when you DROS for a person who is not able to possess?

All references I have seen to "prohibited person" is specifically speaking of possession.

DDT
04-03-2009, 1:46 PM
You work for the ATF/DOJ or have a FFL? Have you tried this first hand? I can tell you I have worked in a few gun stores and had multiple talks with ATF/DOJ agents. Some are nice and flexible...others have said such stupid things as selling a receiver and LPK together could be considered manufacturing. All have said the same thing. "If you want to walk that line get your 07 and play it safe"

Why do you think that is?

I told you what I base my opinion on (ATF documentation stating "a regular course of trade or business.") Can you state some support for your assertion that 1 is OK and 2 is too many?

BONECUTTER
04-03-2009, 2:06 PM
I told you what I base my opinion on (ATF documentation stating "a regular course of trade or business.") Can you state some support for your assertion that 1 is OK and 2 is too many?

6. A company acquires one receiver, assembles one firearm, and sells the firearm.

Clear message that one time it is OK. If no more than 10 was OK why wouldn't they put that ....or 20....30....ect

The company is not manufacturing firearms as a regular course of
trade or business and is not engaged in the business of manufacturing
firearms.

Just because you don't do it on a regular basis does not make it OK.

My opinion was never....what could be challenged and possible won in court. Its what will keep a FFL holder out of possible hot water.

All we know for certain is one time is OK.

ke6guj
04-03-2009, 2:12 PM
Clear message that one time it is OK. If no more than 10 was OK why wouldn't they put that ....or 20....30....ect because is they set a limit, then people would work right up to the limit. Just like they don't quantify a number of firearms a non-licensee can sell before being considered a delaer. If they said 20 was the majic number to cover those "flippers", then thosed people'd sell 19 a year. But what about the long time collector liquidating a large 100+ piece collection? Is he dealing? No, just getting rid of his colleciton.

CHS
04-03-2009, 2:17 PM
All we know for certain is one time is OK.

Yeah, that seems pretty clear by that memo. I would tend to agree.

freakshow10mm
04-03-2009, 2:19 PM
They have the 50 gun rule for the FET on firearms and a lot of manufacturers make 49 and that's it. No FET due.;)

BONECUTTER
04-03-2009, 2:24 PM
Yeah, that seems pretty clear by that memo. I would tend to agree.

So now the question remains.....do you waste the one (if it hasn't already been used) so a 18 year old girl can get an AR 10 days earlier.

Or save it for a really cool NERF build???? ;)

CHS
04-03-2009, 3:20 PM
So now the question remains.....do you waste the one (if it hasn't already been used) so a 18 year old girl can get an AR 10 days earlier.

Or save it for a really cool NERF build???? ;)

You bastard... :)

DDT
04-03-2009, 4:15 PM
My opinion was never....what could be challenged and possible won in court. Its what will keep a FFL holder out of possible hot water.

All we know for certain is one time is OK.

Well. If you are saying that it is perfectly legal to make more than one but keep it below THIS: The company is not manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business and is not engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms.

However; there are many FFLs who won't do ANY AR-style transfers because of the second part of your statement. If you're OK giving up some of your rights because you aren't comfortable doing something that is following the rules then that is on you.

AND BTW: NERFs have NOTHING to do with this. A NERF is a NERF and will be transferred either like a receiver or a pistol, both require 21 and over so there is no person prohibited from transferring the NERF frame who would be allowed to transfer the built firearm. In fact, if NERF were to go through the way it was initially intended it would be illegal to transfer the resulting built-up firearm except via PPT.