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View Full Version : It is legal to machine your own AR lower?


Jarrod
01-01-2013, 3:14 PM
Is it legal in CA to machine a block of aluminum into an AR15 lower receiver and then build it into a functioning AR15 so long as it is not made into an "assault weapon" per CA law and the rifle is only for personal use?

Jarrod
01-01-2013, 3:15 PM
If an attorney coud comment in this, that would be great.

LMTluvr
01-01-2013, 3:21 PM
Try the search. Lots of good info on this topic.

rromeo
01-01-2013, 3:22 PM
That is not illegal, under state and federal law.

troysland
01-01-2013, 3:36 PM
Google 3D printing.

Jarrod
01-01-2013, 3:37 PM
Thanks guys! I wonder if 2013 ushered in a law about this?

huntercf
01-01-2013, 4:13 PM
Yes it is legal, if you can machine an 80% into a legal lower (including AR pistol lower) you can certainly machine one from a 0% block of aluminium. You just can't do it to sell them unless you are properly licensed.

RickD427
01-01-2013, 4:32 PM
Yes it is legal, if you can machine an 80% into a legal lower (including AR pistol lower) you can certainly machine one from a 0% block of aluminium. You just can't do it to sell them unless you are properly licensed.

Please check out Penal Code section 32000(a). This section prohibits the manufacture of an "Unsafe Handgun." You may be able meet the testing requirements for a personally manufactured handgun, but the requirements are quite exhaustive.

Several Calgunners have proposed manufacturing a 'Single-Shot" pistol to avoid the PC 32000(a) issue and then later modify the weapon to semi-auto. I suspect that would still be a violation of 32000(a), but I haven't seen a court case that has ruled on the issue. There's differing opinions out there. I'd be careful.

glbtrottr
01-01-2013, 4:38 PM
The 1968 gun control act seems to be what governs manufacture of your own weapon, provided you are not a felon, are a US citizen, and not otherwise a prohibited person.

Ares Armor has a good set of links including ATF's 80% and other laws regarding homebuilts.

http://aresarmor.com/store/FAQ

The only thing is that in California you're still bound by the asinine Safe Handgun Roster, so you must use the Single Shot Exemption when you built a pistol...built it as a single shot.

....proud organizer of the Rudius Group buy, new surprises to follow in 80% land....

Jarrod
01-01-2013, 4:44 PM
Thanks glbtrottr!

What is the Rudius Group but, and what is the surprise?

Jarrod
01-01-2013, 4:46 PM
Never mind the Rudius question. I figured it out.

Mea culpa.

themandylion
01-01-2013, 4:57 PM
Google 3D printing.

Can plastics handle the mechanical and thermal stresses?

kel-tec-innovations
01-01-2013, 5:07 PM
Can plastics handle the mechanical and thermal stresses?

From the video's I seen it breaks after 5-6 shots or so, the section where it holds the buffer tube snaps

kel-tec-innovations
01-01-2013, 5:08 PM
FLlJshR6nvg

themandylion
01-01-2013, 6:04 PM
FLlJshR6nvg

I don't know 3D printing, so I must ask: would it be possible to add a metal or fiberglass fabric mesh before the polymer is dispensed into the mold, in order to reinforce it? Or maybe even micro- or nanoscale fibers in the polymer itself?

sharxbyte
01-01-2013, 6:07 PM
link in signature

huntercf
01-01-2013, 10:53 PM
Please check out Penal Code section 32000(a). This section prohibits the manufacture of an "Unsafe Handgun." You may be able meet the testing requirements for a personally manufactured handgun, but the requirements are quite exhaustive.

Several Calgunners have proposed manufacturing a 'Single-Shot" pistol to avoid the PC 32000(a) issue and then later modify the weapon to semi-auto. I suspect that would still be a violation of 32000(a), but I haven't seen a court case that has ruled on the issue. There's differing opinions out there. I'd be careful.

Well let's see, I manufactured built an AR15 pistol from an 80% lower and built it as an SSE. When the CADOJ Bureau of Firearms inspector came out he said it was legal and I received a registration letter from them as well. Manufacturing only applies to those who are making them and selling them, it does not apply to home builds.

RickD427
01-01-2013, 11:23 PM
Well let's see, I manufactured built an AR15 pistol from an 80% lower and built it as an SSE. When the CADOJ Bureau of Firearms inspector came out he said it was legal and I received a registration letter from them as well. Manufacturing only applies to those who are making them and selling them, it does not apply to home builds.

I think you were doing OK until the last sentence. I can't think of any statute or case decision that supports the proposition that "manufacturing" does not apply to home builds.

Jason_2111
01-02-2013, 7:44 AM
I think you were doing OK until the last sentence. I can't think of any statute or case decision that supports the proposition that "manufacturing" does not apply to home builds.

I can't quote chapter and verse on this, but most of the PC's I looked at a while back mention manufacturing in the context of commercial manufacturing... not home building. Our attorney combed through all of these trying to answer the "how many per year" question.

To answer the OP's original question... Yes. :)

arc
01-02-2013, 5:21 PM
Well let's see, I manufactured built an AR15 pistol from an 80% lower and built it as an SSE. When the CADOJ Bureau of Firearms inspector came out he said it was legal and I received a registration letter from them as well. Manufacturing only applies to those who are making them and selling them, it does not apply to home builds.

Just out of curiosity, what do you mean you received a "registration letter"? Did you do the voluntary registration form found here?

http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/firearms/forms/volreg.pdf

or did they somehow force you to register it as it's a handgun? I was under the impression that home builds did not require registration whether rifle or pistol. Why did you even come into contact with a CADOJ BoF inspector? Is there some requirement that a home build has to be inspected?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm looking into doing my own 80% build and am researching.

Thanks.
-James

Mitch
01-02-2013, 6:04 PM
Can plastics handle the mechanical and thermal stresses?

Stainless steel is available: http://www.forecast3d.com/dmls_materials.html

If you send a CAD file of a receiver to those guys, and they sell you the result, both of you will be breaking Federal law since they aren't FFLs.

Petra
01-02-2013, 6:12 PM
I don't know 3D printing, so I must ask: would it be possible to add a metal or fiberglass fabric mesh before the polymer is dispensed into the mold, in order to reinforce it? Or maybe even micro- or nanoscale fibers in the polymer itself?

You may be able to print a suitable part using metal through an SLM process (selective laser melting)... there are 3D printing machines capable of printing with everything from titanium to tool steel using SLM. However, the machines and the parts produced with them are incredibly expensive.

RickD427
01-02-2013, 9:07 PM
I can't quote chapter and verse on this, but most of the PC's I looked at a while back mention manufacturing in the context of commercial manufacturing... not home building. Our attorney combed through all of these trying to answer the "how many per year" question.

To answer the OP's original question... Yes. :)

Jason,

For the "How many per year" question - please direct your attorney to Penal Code section 17360(c). That section establishes four criteria for a personally manufactured firearm to not be an illegal "Zip" gun. One of the criteria is that no federal excise tax be due under 26USC4182. At present, individuals do no become subject to that tax unless they make 50 items per year. That's the only production quantity limit for personal manufacture that you'll find in the Penal Code.

Some, but not all, Penal Code sections referencing "Manufacture" are written in a commercial context. Section 23800 prohibiting orange colored firearms is a good example. It's illegal to use that color for a "Commercial" purpose, but there is no corresponding prohibition for personal use. The fact that some sections are limited to commercial application does not mean that all uses of the word "manufacture" are limited to a commercial context only. If the law concerning this term was as you suggest, then private persons could easily manufacture large capacity magazines for personal use without violating section 32310. That just isn't the case.