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DRH
05-09-2006, 12:27 PM
The more times I read this DOJ memo the more questions I have?? It almost seems to contradict itself multiple times. Here is the link to the memo.

http://calgunlaws.com/Docs/ASSAULT%20WEAPONS/Agency%20Opinion/JD_50BMG_Letter_Registration.pdf

I understand that the receiver needed to be fully functional but what about the whole rifle being assembled or possession of the other components. Many companies were selling just the receivers to beat the ban. Do these fall within the allowed definitions per this clarification letter.

For example the fourth paragraph says the manufacture did not have to be complete by 1/1/2005 if the receiver is "fully functional" and Q4 at the end seems to say the same thing as does Q2 i.
But looking at examples Q2 iii, iv, vi (note the "and assembled as a .50bmg rifle prior to 1/1/2005" and viii. It seems here that they are saying the receiver plus the remaining components disassembled are not "fully functional".
Does anyone have an opinion on this matter? Thanks.

bwiese
05-09-2006, 1:02 PM
If you have a receiver that you acquired on or before 12/31/2004, you can register it as a 50BMG, and later build it up.

If it's a 50BMG-only receiver (say, a Serbu) it must've been reg'd by April 2006 cutoff or destroyed/surrendered.

If it's a generic receiver (say, Fab10 or DPMS single-shot 223 lower) it must've be registered by April 2006 cutoff to have future 50BMG creation allowed. It can be retained without registration for non-50BMG uses.

DRH
05-09-2006, 2:02 PM
Why in the letter does the DOJ state that disassembled weapons are not fully functional and cannot be registered. Such as here:

Q2 iii (1) The person possesses a Barrett Model 99 lower reciever.
(2) The person possesses all of the components necessary to assemble
an operable firearm that can fire a .50BMG cartridge; and
(3) The components are possessed in a diassembled state.

A person who lawfully possessed a serialized Barrett model 99 .50 BMG lower receiver that was fully functional prior to January 1,2005 could register the lower receiver and would be required to register it prior to April 30, 2006 in order to lawfully retain it. In this example, the receiver is not (???) fully functional. Therefore, the receiver cannot be registered.

and here;

Q2 viii (1) The person possesses a lower receiver that is capable of being
assembled with an upper receiver that is chambered for a .50 BMG
cartridge, but was not orginally manufacturered as a .50 BMG rifle;
(2) The person possesses all of the components necessary to
assemble an operating firearm that can fire a .50 BMG cartridge;
and
(3) The components are possessed in a disassembled state.

A person is not required to register a lower receiver that is not a .50 BMG lower receiver in order to lawfully retain it, but cannot assemble the lower receiver with other parts in order to manufacture a .50 BMG rifle unless the lower receiver was possessed prior to January 1, 2005 and registered prior to April 30, 2006. However only a fully functional serialized receiver that can accommodate a .50 caliber upper receiver can be registered. A receiver is "fully functional" when manufacturing of the receiver is complete and the receiver is ready to assemble with other parts necessary to create a functioning rifle. In this example, the receiver is not (???) fully functional. Therefore, the lower receiver cannot be registered.

It seems that their own definition of fully functional above would make this disassembled rifle OK, but they say that this example is non registerable.??

MaxQ
05-09-2006, 2:20 PM
That letter, the DOJ .50 BMG FAQ page, and the DOJ response to my letter in 2004, all confirm the fact that you can register a lower receiver as a .50 BMG rifle, even if you don't own a .50 BMG upper. The thing that I noticed is missing from all of them is the word "stripped." I think the confusion relates to whether or not a stripped lower receiver is considered fully functional. Their definition below, indicates that a receiver is fully functional when manufacturing is complete:

However only a fully functional serialized receiver that can accommodate a .50 caliber upper receiver can be registered. A receiver is "fully functional" when manufacturing of the receiver is complete and the receiver is ready to assemble with other parts necessary to create a functioning rifle. In this example, the receiver is not fully functional. Therefore, the lower receiver cannot be registered.

It seems that their own definition of fully functional above would make this disassembled rifle OK, but they say that this example is non registerable.??

I would normally assume that manufacturing a lower receiver doesn't include installing a lower parts kit. But, if you include that in the definition, I think it removes the contradictions in the DOJ letter.

bwiese
05-09-2006, 2:26 PM
Yes, this is a long letter and Alison may have slightly messed up in phraseology in one spot. (Remember, she's not a real gun person.)

Bottom line:

.... what they don't want is people at the last minute deciding to register unmilled, unfinished blocks of steel or aluminum as receivers.

.... but if you have a finished receiver that is for 50BMG only, or intended for 50BMG, and you registered it by end of April 2006, you are OK.

The serialized receiver is clearly an independent part of the firearm and would not include trigger or other parts which are separate items. The receiver would be fully functional if you could attach parts to it without further machining.

Practicality:

.... if there is law enforcement contact with you and your 50BMG rifle, and no other problems exist (misuse, illegal transport, other associated criminality, etc.) the rifle will simply be examined to see if its make/model/serial # show up in the registry.