ATF Firearm Marking Requirments
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    Default ATF Firearm Marking Requirments

    There is a lot of misinformation being posted by people, so here is the letter of the law as it applies to manufacturers:

    Marking Requirements

    Serial Number

    Must be conspicuously engraved, cast or stamped (impressed) on the firearm frame or receiver

    The serial number cannot duplicate the serial number appearing on any other firearm the importer previously imported

    For firearms imported after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch
    Name of Manufacturer

    Must be conspicuously engraved, cast or stamped (impressed) on the firearm frame, receiver, barrel or slide
    For firearms imported after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch
    Country of Origin

    Must be conspicuously engraved, cast or stamped (impressed) on the firearm frame, receiver, barrel or slide

    For firearms imported after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting or stamping (impressing) of the country of origin must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch
    Model Designation (if assigned)

    Must be conspicuously engraved, cast or stamped (impressed) on the firearm frame, receiver, barrel or slide

    For firearms imported after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting or stamping (impressing) of the model designation must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch
    Caliber or Guage

    Must be conspicuously engraved, cast or stamped (impressed) on the firearm frame, receiver, barrel or slide

    For firearms imported after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting or stamping (impressing) of the caliber or gauge must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch

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    I had always heard they wanted the numbers to be stamped because it left a layer of compressed metal under the surface. In case the numbers were ground off the compressed metal could be used to identify the firearm. They say engraving is OK it doesn't seem like that would leave a compressed layer of metal. If engraving is OK then etching should be.

    Is it legal to change the caliber? Here in California long guns are registered like hand guns. Say I buy a Remington 700 in 30-06 and later rebarrel it to a 270

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    Electro-engraving (etching) has always been accepted as has laser-engraving. Stamping is also referred to as impressing... It is a matter of semantics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gappmast View Post
    Is it legal to change the caliber? Here in California long guns are registered like hand guns. Say I buy a Remington 700 in 30-06 and later rebarrel it to a 270
    Federally, yes.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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    Do you have documentation to support your assertion that gauage/caliber & country of origin are required? I don't recall that being in the ATF Handbook and I don't believe I've ever seen one w/ country of origin engraved.

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    I find it interesting that you write, "There is a lot of misinformation being posted by people, so here is the letter of the law as it applies to manufacturers:"

    But then all of the text below that refers to importers and the firearm being imported; not a word about manufacturers.

    For example, "The serial number cannot duplicate the serial number appearing on any other firearm the importer previously imported"

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    Quote Originally Posted by CountryBoy19 View Post
    Do you have documentation to support your assertion that gauage/caliber & country of origin are required? I don't recall that being in the ATF Handbook and I don't believe I've ever seen one w/ country of origin engraved.
    MARKING REQUIREMENTS – FIREARMS (27 CFR 478.92)
    Sec. 478.92 How must licensed manufacturers and licensed importers identify firearms,
    armor piercing ammunition?

    (a) (1) (D) In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State
    (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer
    maintain your place of business; and
    (E) In the case of an imported firearm, the name of the country in which
    it was manufactured and the city and State (or recognized abbreviation
    thereof) where you as the importer maintain your place of business. For
    additional requirements relating to imported firearms, see Customs
    regulations at 19 CFR part 134.

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    Keep in mind that most of the information being posted here relates ONLY to licensed manufacturers and licensed importers.

    A person who makes a firearm for their own personal use has no legal obligation to "mark" anything. With that said I FEEL that it is a good idea to mark any firearm you make with at least a S/N! Personally, I mark everything I make in accordance with 27 CFR 478.92.

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    Not taking sides or saying anyone is wrong, but...

    Getting legal advice on the internet is not a good idea.

    Look for qualified legal advice in the state where you live. You might start with the NRA representative in your area and ask to be pointed to a competent lawyer who does firearms law.

    Beyond the federal laws and regulations, some states may have marking requirements that you will need to follow. A lawyer who practices regularly in firearms law can help you stay out of trouble.

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    No sides to take. I cut and pasted the atf requirements for markings. Pretty black and white. Feel free to set up an appointment with a lawyer to have him give you a copy of this. Take your checkbook

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    Wording of the law matches MIBill, if you are building a LONG GUN for your own personal use with no intention of selling you do not have to mark the firearm. Handguns and firearms that are going to be sold have to be marked, handguns fall under different laws for the ATF. Marking a long gun only comes in to effect if you make the receiver from a piece of metal and want to sell it at the anytime, I also know there are far more regulations regarding selling a homemade receiver. If you buy a receiver and build a firearm off of that, the firearm already will have a s/n on the purchased receiver, which is the most important marking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDog View Post
    Wording of the law matches MIBill, if you are building a LONG GUN for your own personal use with no intention of selling you do not have to mark the firearm. Handguns and firearms that are going to be sold have to be marked, handguns fall under different laws for the ATF. Marking a long gun only comes in to effect if you make the receiver from a piece of metal and want to sell it at the anytime, I also know there are far more regulations regarding selling a homemade receiver. If you buy a receiver and build a firearm off of that, the firearm already will have a s/n on the purchased receiver, which is the most important marking.
    The long and the short of it is this... The first three sentences of henrya's post above could not POSSIBLY be more CORRECT!!!

    What I can do in Michigan could well put you in jail in other states. CHECK YOUR STATES REQUIREMENTS!!! However, as far as the federal laws go, there is ZERO requirement for a private citizen making a pistol, rifle, OR shotgun to mark anything. A call, letter or email to ATF will confirm this. Making an NFA item absolutely requires markings and PRIOR approval along with the application fee and tax stamp!!!

    Please also see: Does an individual need a license to make a firearm for personal use? | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

    AND: Am I Required to Apply a Serial Number to a Homemade Firearm?

    Contact information to your local ATF field office can be found at: ATF Field Divisions | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

    When a private citizen makes a pistol, rifle, OR shotgun it MUST be for for personal use! Federal law forbids making with INTENT TO "TRANSFER". That mean you can not make with the intent to give it away, sell trade, gift...

    If you make something and 5 years later become board with it, there is nothing in the law that would prohibit transfer through sale, gift, trade...

    As a matter of course I mark EVERYTHING I make according to the provisions of 27 CFR § 478.92

    Please see: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/...-sec478-92.xml

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    IMHO back ally gun work may lead to more gun laws..Yes I did me share of gun work back in the 60s and 70s for alter and repair and not being a gunsmith..but don't do any now because I think it not good for future gun ownership.

    Still the gun dummies who make laws should see that in countries where guns are out-lawed people make back alley guns..

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    I mark nothing. There are no federal or state laws requiring me to do so. What I make I don't transfer.

    If your state requires it, good for you. Don't post your state laws as universal truths. That's lying due to ignorance.

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    I met a fellow who got fired , on the spot from years at GM for making a hand gun in the shop. The union did union get him back in..Go figure...

    I ground a cannon barrel at a big shop on an OD grinder between centers on my break time..likely I could have gotten the boot for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    IMHO back ally gun work may lead to more gun laws..Yes I did me share of gun work back in the 60s and 70s for alter and repair and not being a gunsmith..but don't do any now because I think it not good for future gun ownership.

    Still the gun dummies who make laws should see that in countries where guns are out-lawed people make back alley guns..

    Whether you, I or any other individual refrains from making our own firearm, there probably tens of thousands of other who will continue. And many more who are looking to start! Saying you don't for fear of future regulations is IMHO a bit silly. Do you park your car and not drive it because some asshat Rep. from NY wants to make privatr ownership of cars illegal? Firearm ownership is a RIGHT in the U.S. as well as Michigan. I'm not going to go into all of the reasons that making a firearm for ones self IS legal or all of the reasons why ANY attempt to make it illegal would be unconstitutional. However, I can assure you that the list is VERY long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don. View Post
    I mark nothing. There are no federal or state laws requiring me to do so. What I make I don't transfer.

    If your state requires it, good for you. Don't post your state laws as universal truths. That's lying due to ignorance.
    Who is posting state laws? This thread is a simple atf requirement thread. No one cares if you mark your guns or not. This is to show what markings are required for resale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mram10 View Post
    Who is posting state laws? This thread is a simple atf requirement thread. No one cares if you mark your guns or not. This is to show what markings are required for resale.
    The federal laws regarding "markings" ONLY apply to "Licensed Importer(s)" And "Licensed Manufacturer(s)" It has NO bearing on resale if that resale is FROM a non-licensed person. ATF has little to say about non-licensed persons acting for there own personal use, EXCEPT as it relates to imported parts and NFA items.


    STATE LAWS NOT WITHSTANDING!!! Check YOUR State laws!

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    “Resale” is the key word in the atf’s eyes. If you are building guns for resale, markings are required. If they are for personal use, that is totally different.


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