Originally Posted by fsted2a
Looks like I am just gonna have to let the customer put his own guns together until I get some clarification from an attorney. Been meaning to get a good 2A experienced attorney on other issues anyway. Next thing you know the Dept of Agriculture will get involved with firearms issues.
I feel your pain.
You simply do not need to waste money on an attorney. Unless. of course, you want to take on the ATF and the Department of Defense. If you feel you must waste your money, have him/her read the two letters referenced below.
After countless hours working on this before I even became a licensee I was able to determine that the ATF considers building an AR-15, for example, by attaching an already built upper to an already built and serialized lower and then selling it, manufacturing. Simple as that.
Please read this BATFE letter 2010-10. Pay special attention to the two sections 'Manufacturing and 'Gunsmithing':
They later further claified that ruling with this letter which also included details on the so called 80% AR lowers:
According to the ATF letters referenced above. Assembling ar-15s from lowers and uppers is manufacturing as long as you do it before the sale (This has been their opinion for a LONG time). Any competent ATF IOI should know this and tell you this. However, most will agree that it simply does not make any sense. If the assembly is post sale and the items are not shop inventory, it is gunsmithing.
It appears that the way you get around this is you simply sell and deliver to your customer the two parts separately. Then have your customer hand them back to you for assembly. Now you are providing gunsmithing services. Though it would certainly be a gray area. Especially, if you are advertising the gun as a completed item.
The easy way around this was to simply become a licensed manufacturer and, barring any local restrictions, this was not an issue. That was, until the DDTC and ITAR. Now if you are a licensed manufacturer you must register and pay ITAR or get an exception.
As I mentioned in an earlier posting in this thread, recently the DDTC realized that most 07 licensed FFLs were not registering with them as required and now request updated lists of 07 licensees. Some have already received letters from the DDTC.
Unfortunately, not registering with the DDTC is a serious issue with serious fines and ramifications. They simply do not care about any excuses or what you read online or what some ATF employee told you. This is the Department of Defense we are talking about here. Do you really think they have a sense of humor?
You can read a nice little article about all this here authored by a gun law attorney:
I hope this helps.