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  1. #1
    sjr
    sjr is offline Aluminum
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    Default gunsmithing and machine shop law

    Hello!

    A local gunsmith has approached me about machining rifle bolt actions (also the bolts, bolt catch, bolt handle, knob. etc.) per his design. These would be exclusive to him and would bear his name and logo - I would be providing the machining services only at this point. Can I do this without a FFL? I have just started researching this and thought the forum might give me the quickest answers - thanks in advance!

    sjr

  2. #2
    Mr. PishPosh's Avatar
    Mr. PishPosh is offline Aluminum
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    If you're going to be building/manufacturing actions you would need a type 7 FFL. This is the license type that allows you to manufacture "non-destructive devices" (any normal rifle). Hope this helps, Josh.

  3. #3
    Bravo5 is offline Aluminum
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    You need a ffl to do the receivers. In order to mark them with his markings instead of yours he will need to request a marking variance from ATF--but your location will still have to be licensed. The movement of the receivers from you to him etc will have to be logged in the bound books of both of you. It works this way for everyone who handles the receiver, including heat treaters etc. The only exceptions occur when the FFL manufacturer stands right there "in possession" while a process such as engraving or heat treating is done, but I don't think that would fly for making the actual receiver. He needs a manufacurers instead of ( in addition to) a gunsmith FFL to undertake this project as well.

  4. #4
    sjr
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    Thanks for the quick reply, Josh! What part of Iowa are you in? I am in the sw corner of MN

    Just to make sure I understand - even though I am "just machining parts," building them according to someone else's specs - I would still need the type 07 - is that correct?

  5. #5
    sjr
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    Thanks Bravo5! - I was posting to josh at same time you were posting....

    In response to your reply - wow - it isn't as simple as I was hoping... the .50 cal kits that are designed to adapt to a ar15 lower - to the best of my knowledge, since the upper does not contain the fcg, a ffl would not be necessary to manufacture those (or purchase) - BUT since the fcg is attached to an action, a ffl is needed in that instance?

  6. #6
    Mr. PishPosh's Avatar
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    I am pretty much as close to central Iowa as you can get, just off I-35.

    The receiver is the serial numbered part of all bolt action rifles, which is what the government is all picky about. But with AR's, the serial numbered part is the lower receiver which is why you need to go through all of the paperwork for it and not the upper. Anyone can buy an upper, but you need to be 18+ and not a felon to buy a lower.

    You can make a bolt, bolt catch and all of the other parts of the action without the FFL. But as soon as you turn a piece of steel into a receive with threads (for someone else) you need the manufacturers FFL. Hope this helps, Josh.

  7. #7
    adamsgt is offline Cast Iron
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    Default Itar

    Don't forget that if you are a manufacturer you have to register with the State Department under the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and pay an annual fee of $2500.00. Doesn't matter if you export or not, they want the money.

  8. #8
    SmithSolar Guest

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    Can you even work on your own guns with a Lic or do you need a lic.

  9. #9
    Bravo5 is offline Aluminum
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    If it is a 50 caliber "kit" that bolts to an AR15 lower then you will not need an FFL to make the parts other than the lower receiver. ATF determines which part is actually the "firearm" and regulated and therefore the "official" serial numbered receiver. For the AR this is the lower. You can make the upper receivers and other parts without a FFL.

    With that said I seem to recall that some of the conversions that use the AR lower have been determined to themselves be firearms but I don't recall where that discussion occurred.

  10. #10
    Mr. PishPosh's Avatar
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    Smith, you do not need a license to work on your own guns. It is only required if you want to work on someone elses gun. Josh

  11. #11
    SmithSolar Guest

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    thank you for the info

  12. #12
    sjr
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    Thanks PishPosh and Bravo5 for clarification!

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    Eagle_view is offline Aluminum
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    A FFL is address specific. In otherwords I can't go ndown the street two doors and legaly build the same rifles that I build at a present location without buying and registering a new FFL for that address. I tried to fins a way to have two other machine shops machine a majority of the AR 15 lower for me but fnally decided that the profit margins were to thin, the risk was too high and I did not need any more dead aches,

    Lowell

  14. #14
    SmithSolar Guest

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    What type of work can you do without a license

  15. #15
    Mr. PishPosh's Avatar
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    If you're referring to other peoples guns, you can work on anything BUT the receiver. So you could work on the stock, barrel or even the bolt, but you can't do much to those without the receiver. Josh

  16. #16
    freakshow10mm is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo5 View Post
    You need a ffl to do the receivers. In order to mark them with his markings instead of yours he will need to request a marking variance from ATF--but your location will still have to be licensed.
    No, the actual manufacturer requests the marking variance, ie the manufacturer that makes it for another manufacturer. If I make you stuff, I need a variance, not you.

    The only exceptions occur when the FFL manufacturer stands right there "in possession" while a process such as engraving or heat treating is done, but I don't think that would fly for making the actual receiver. He needs a manufacurers instead of ( in addition to) a gunsmith FFL to undertake this project as well.
    Negative. The FFL is address specific. You cannot be a licensed manufacturer and babysit the making of firearms at a facility not on the license. Sorry, but that's not how it works.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjr View Post
    Just to make sure I understand - even though I am "just machining parts," building them according to someone else's specs - I would still need the type 07 - is that correct?
    If you are making a firearm, which includes frames and receivers, you need to be licensed as a manufacturer.

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsgt View Post
    Don't forget that if you are a manufacturer you have to register with the State Department under the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and pay an annual fee of $2500.00. Doesn't matter if you export or not, they want the money.
    I found a way around that. You need to submit a commodities jurisdiction request to determine if

    A) you are a manufacturer AND
    B) have no predominant civilian use AND
    C) specifically designed for military use OR
    D) is a threat to national security

    If you aren't making military products and your products aren't a threat to national security and you aren't exporting, they aren't going to make you pay the ITAR, BUT you have to get a ruling for each and every product you make and give them the works (drawings, blueprints, cutaways, etc). I have done this and now don't have to do the ITAR bullcrap.

  17. #17
    300sniper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakshow10mm View Post


    I found a way around that. You need to submit a commodities jurisdiction request to determine if

    A) you are a manufacturer AND
    B) have no predominant civilian use AND
    C) specifically designed for military use OR
    D) is a threat to national security

    If you aren't making military products and your products aren't a threat to national security and you aren't exporting, they aren't going to make you pay the ITAR, BUT you have to get a ruling for each and every product you make and give them the works (drawings, blueprints, cutaways, etc). I have done this and now don't have to do the ITAR bullcrap.

    that is good to know. thanks for posting this.

  18. #18
    gorrilla is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by freakshow10mm View Post
    No, the actual manufacturer requests the marking variance, ie the manufacturer that makes it for another manufacturer. If I make you stuff, I need a variance, not you.


    Negative. The FFL is address specific. You cannot be a licensed manufacturer and babysit the making of firearms at a facility not on the license. Sorry, but that's not how it works.


    If you are making a firearm, which includes frames and receivers, you need to be licensed as a manufacturer.


    I found a way around that. You need to submit a commodities jurisdiction request to determine if

    A) you are a manufacturer AND
    B) have no predominant civilian use AND
    C) specifically designed for military use OR
    D) is a threat to national security

    If you aren't making military products and your products aren't a threat to national security and you aren't exporting, they aren't going to make you pay the ITAR, BUT you have to get a ruling for each and every product you make and give them the works (drawings, blueprints, cutaways, etc). I have done this and now don't have to do the ITAR bullcrap.
    Be interesting to see how long it takes them to close that loophole. Any bets?

  19. #19
    freakshow10mm is offline Aluminum
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    Been like that over 30 years.

  20. #20
    sjr
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    Default ok - what about this

    what if I did all the machine work with the exception of threading for the barrel and the engraving of his name and serial number? would that still be considered a firearm?

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