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minusthebear777 05-29-2012 05:40 PM

Need help with a question please!!
I'm an aspiring gunsmith, and one of the first things I've been learning is how to refinish an old rifle stock. Refinishing only. I want to know if i need an ffl even though Im only working with the wood stock. I told the person to hold on to the barrel and the action, while i just work on the wood itself. Is it just considered wood working? Or am i doing something illegal by keeping the stock at my house for a few weeks??

c3shooter 05-29-2012 07:04 PM

Disclaimer- We give really lousy legal advice, and you really should run this thru the ATF Firearms Technical Branch over in West Virginia.

Having said that- just my opinion, mind you- GUNSMITHING done for business requires that you have an 01 FFL. HOWEVER- firearm is defined by law as the receiver of a gun (frame, bit that has the serial number, etc) A stock without the receiver is a hunk of wood.

While someone from the ATF could, maybe, possibly, in theory give you a bad time over it, I do not think that falls within the definition of gunsmithing.

On the other hand, if I am wrong, I never heard of you, and 3 folks wil swear I was playing poker with them at the time.

danf_fl 05-29-2012 08:59 PM

Although I would never play poker with C3, I would offer this.

If the complete firearm is in your possession for 24 or more hours, you need your FFL.

If the stock is in your possession for 24 or more hours, then it should not be a problem.

And the last hint: count the number of cards in the deck. (I'm not saying that someone would cheat mind you.)

minusthebear777 05-30-2012 05:09 AM

Cool, thanks. yeah i figured pretty much. oh btw i live in california. do ya think that matters?>

danf_fl 05-30-2012 08:39 AM


Originally Posted by minusthebear777 (Post 818803)
Cool, thanks. yeah i figured pretty much. oh btw i live in california. do ya think that matters?>

An FFL is federal (trumps state in a poker game)

masterPsmith 05-31-2012 07:10 AM


Originally Posted by minusthebear777 (Post 818803)
Cool, thanks. yeah i figured pretty much. oh btw i live in california. do ya think that matters?>

No. You can do all the stock work, barrel work (barrel only), trigger group work, etc, as long as it does not include the frame or action, unless the owner personally stays with you and the firearm. Unless you are licensed, you cannot receive a complete firearm, frame or barreled action for work in Kalifornia. In commie Kalifornia, it is unlawfull to loan a firearm to someone else. Being a non licensee receiving a firearm in Kalifornia for work , under the law, falls under loaning a firearm. To receive a firearm in Kalifornia for gunsmithing services, you need an FFL and a license from the Kalifornia DOJ to receive firearms. Yea, I know, Kalifornia sucks the big one !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had to deal with Kalifornia gun laws for 45 years as a gunsmith and 30 or so years as small home and store front dealer. Be safe and carefull in what you do here...


minusthebear777 05-31-2012 10:05 PM

Thanks Jim!!! You guys have been very helpful. Haha "commie Kalifornia". Yes, its tough for firearms enthusiasts. I've never even fired a fully automatic weapon before!!! Any way, i have another question: The closest gunsmithing school is either in nevada or northern California, both of which are very far from where i am. I'm taking "online" gunsmithing courses at Penn Foster. any suggestions on how to get some more hands-on training without having to buy a bunch of different firearms to learn from?

danf_fl 05-31-2012 10:14 PM

Get a bunch of user's manuals.
Advertise Cleaning services at the range, newspaper, the free want ads paper, etc...

masterPsmith 06-01-2012 12:59 AM

You might also contact some of the gun shops in your area who have gunsmiths and see if they will let you hang and learn. Never know, you might get lucky.


c3shooter 06-01-2012 01:21 AM

As the Master has said- go find a good smith that you can indenture yourself to. You trade labor (sweeping shop, making coffee, dumping the trash) in return for learning how to (fill in the blank).

At one time, that was how everyone learned a technical skill- called master and apprentice.

Important that you exercise some judgment in who you approach. He should not be a dummy, should have a personality that does not resemble a ball of barbed wire, and be capable of showing you what he is doing.

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