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-   -   When does it become "manufacturing"? (http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f47/when-does-become-manufacturing-60552/)

flyingtexan 03-19-2012 06:49 AM

When does it become "manufacturing"?
 
I'm a 01 dealer. I'd like to purchase built AR15 Uppers and Lowers, push the pin, and join them together, then sell them as a complete rifle.

Have I just manufactured a rifle? Or can I sell them legal as the day is long?

Any advice will be appreciated.

jordan89 03-19-2012 06:55 AM

To me that is just assembly. I would think manufacturing would be making those components from scratch.

Just my interpretation. Not legal advice.

Axxe55 03-19-2012 07:58 AM

i agree with Jordan. but i would refer to an ATF branch for legal clarification on it to be safe and legal. as they would have final say. the lowers are the part that has the serial number and are regulated, the uppers can be bought by anyone and even mailordered to your home. i could go to my LGS and and buy five lowers and have five uppers mailed to my house and assemble five complet rifles. but as a dealer, there may be different rules that apply. so it might be something to check with them about.

wjnfirearms 03-19-2012 12:15 PM

I don't believe that what you want to do would be considered manufacturing. I sell a line of polymer complete lowers myself and offer an upper to compliment it with a complete unit price. Since the two halves are designed to snap together, I do believe that you should be all right on that.

I looked up the term, "manufacturer" in my copy of the NFA. It states, "The term "manufacturer" means any person engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition for the purposes of sale or distribution." You're not manufacturing, just assembling components.

rachilders 03-19-2012 06:00 PM

The key words here are buying the per-manufactured uppers/lowers, then simply putting the two halves together. Once those parts are assembled, you will have a working firearm. If you plan on selling a working firearm, it needs to be registered with the BATF. As axxe55 said, if you have already registered the lowers, there should be no problem since that's the "firearm" part of an AR. If the lowers haven't been registered, you sell the gun(s) and the ATF finds out, the feds will arrest you and take you away for many years.

blucoondawg 03-19-2012 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rachilders (Post 745180)
The key words here are buying the per-manufactured uppers/lowers, then simply putting the two halves together. Once those parts are assembled, you will have a working firearm. If you plan on selling a working firearm, it needs to be registered with the BATF. As axxe55 said, if you have already registered the lowers, there should be no problem since that's the "firearm" part of an AR. If the lowers haven't been registered, you sell the gun(s) and the ATF finds out, the feds will arrest you and take you away for many years.

Why would he have to register anything with the atf, wouldn't he just have to do the proper paperwork and keep it on record as required for the transfer?

danf_fl 03-19-2012 11:15 PM

Some of the ATF consider swapping out parts to be manufacturing.

Go to the source (BATF) and ask them.

rachilders 03-20-2012 06:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blucoondawg (Post 745214)
Why would he have to register anything with the atf, wouldn't he just have to do the proper paperwork and keep it on record as required for the transfer?

Maybe a better choice of words would be this. Whenever someone buys a firearm from a retailer/wholesaler/FFL holder/etc, that firearm will have a serial number. Unless it is a "private" sale between two individuals, the buyer & seller must complete the proper ATF form (which includes that serial number) before transfer of the weapon from the seller to the buyer. That's what I meant when I said you must register a gun with the ATF. The BATF can ask the FFL holder/seller to see that paperwork at any time and if you don't have those records, it will cause a lot of problems for both the seller and the person who purchased that gun. In the case of an AR lower, that is the "firearm" as per the BATF and has the serial number. If you purchased complete lowers from a company, they should already have serial numbers and when you add the upper, it's the same as putting a new slide or barrel on a handgun. TC owners do it all the time.

robocop10mm 03-20-2012 06:23 AM

A firearm is "registered" with the ATF and an excise tax paid. It must be declared as a long gun or handgun at that time. If it has a serial number, it is already "registered" and adding parts is not manufacturing unless you are adding full auto parts or a sub 16" barrel to a rifle lower.

wjnfirearms 03-20-2012 03:39 PM

As to recording the acquisition pre sale of the lowers, if you just list them on your acquisition & disposition log as you're supposed to before you either sell them as is or mate them with an upper to sell as a complete unit, you should be covered as to having them at as part of your inventory in the first place. As each one sells either by themselves or mated, you just record the buyer on the disposition side of each, as you're supposed to, and that's it.

Robo is pretty much on the money, also.

I know some people have been concerned that they sell lowers and they may be made into an SBR. I looked into this since I've sold quite a few of the polymer lowers all over the US. Every lower is serialed, so paperwork has to be done on each acquisition and sale which every FFL has to keep on file. It is what it is. Now, if someone buys a lower either by itself, it matters not is if it's complete or stripped, or mated with a legal upper, the dealer is covered as long as the required 4473 is done and the A&D log is complete. Now, if the buyer decided to make his own SBR after the fact, there are no ramifications to the dealer that sold the lower in the first place. Your log and 4473 shows that it wasn't an SBR at the time of sale, so you're golden. It falls 100% on the owner of the weapon if he doesn't have the stamp in his posession. Conversely, if someone comes to buy a lower from you and states that it is for an SBR, according to my contacts at ATF, you are supposed to demand the stamp be shown to you or you aren't supposed to turn over the lower to the buyer. By the end user admitting intent and you knowing full well the use that the lower is intended for, you could be complicit if you don't demand to see the stamp or turn over the lower if none is presented to you. Again, that's what I've been told.


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