Author Topic: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info  (Read 5087 times)

Offline Precision1Machine

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BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« on: October 08, 2012, 08:35:04 PM »
Hello,  This is my first post here,  but I have followed Justins work for a while now.  Very cool stuff,  I also searched the forum, as well as many other sources,  but cannot find the information that I am looking for. 

I have a CNC shop and would like to start making some billet "80%" Lowers for myself and some friends around here.  I searched the site and think that I have an idea of what I can and cannnot do,  but want to make absolutely sure before I start to do anything.  I have noticed that a lot of the companies that offer these lowers, either billet or forged,  have somehow gotten a letter from the BATF explaining the legalities of producing these lowers.  I would like to know how I would go about contacting them to get my own letter so I am covered and know exactly what I can do, plus have a legal document for doing so.  Which office do I contact?  Can I do It online?   

I appologize if this has been covered somewhere,  I couldnt seem to find it,  and I very much appreciate any help! 
 

Offline KAG

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 09:22:41 AM »
First off, WELCOME!!!

About the letter and home firearms manufacturing in the USA: 1) If you DONT PLAN to SELL it you do NOT NEED a LETTER nor a LICENSE. 2) You may NEVER make (on accident or purpose) a class three weapon!!!


Those are the rules.... enjoy!


By the way, what kind of machine are you going to use?

-Kyle

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Benjamin Franklin

Offline theswede

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 09:40:04 AM »
KAG .. Is it legal to mfg and give to friends free of chargé?

Offline Precision1Machine

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 11:52:09 AM »
KAG,  Thanks for the welcome! 

I do plan to sell them to my friends,  and their friends,  or whoever else would want one.  I've got some LEO friends that want some custom stuff built as well for personal use,  and they are all the "do it yourself" type so they asked me about the 80 percent stuff.  I have never,  and will never get into anything full auto unless I had the license to do so.  Plus I will never build anything other than what the BATFE tells me I can!  So I would like to get a letter to cover all my bases before I do anything.  How long does it take on average?

As far as the machines,  I have a Fadal 5020 and a HAAS VF3,  and all the manual equipment as well,  (bridgports, lathes, welders, etc...) I also plan on purchasing all of the Jigs to finish these things from CNCGUNS...  Very nice,  well thought out product for these guys to finish their own stuff....   

Thanks again for the help,  as well as the warm welcome!

Nick


Offline FUBob

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 06:50:10 PM »
From my understanding, the ATF is not going to tell what you can do and what is considered 'not a firearm' lower as what they deem as 'not a firearm' lower can change and has in the past.

People/shops send in what they believe to be their 'non firearm' lower (in the ATF's eyes it is either a firearm or not, not a percentage, "80%" has kind of been made up by the community, I believe) and the ATF will then decide on a case by case basis if what you sent them is a firearm or not a firearm and send you a letter back to let you know.

This also answers your question as far as doing it online.

This is to the best of my knowledge but it does seem to be the trend.  Your best bet is to call them to verify as for all we know, we could all be wrong.  Go to the ATF site and look around :).

Have a good one and welcome to the forum,
FUBob

Offline KAG

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 01:26:56 PM »
KAG .. Is it legal to mfg and give to friends free of chargé?

If you are a FFL07 (mfg) that would be suicide. If you have a home shop sure. Check your state laws to confirm but most states allow you to make your own firearm and then most of those let you sell from one to another without paperwork. SO essentially you could make a lower (100%), decide you don't like it after you test fire and then sell it.

If you want to make money making firearms, get the FFL and obey the law!!! If you think home-based gunsmithing/manufacturing is interesting and fun have at it. again....make sure your state and county allow this.

-Kyle
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Benjamin Franklin

Offline theswede

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 01:39:12 PM »
KAG .. Is it legal to mfg and give to friends free of chargé?

If you are a FFL07 (mfg) that would be suicide. If you have a home shop sure. Check your state laws to confirm but most states allow you to make your own firearm and then most of those let you sell from one to another without paperwork. SO essentially you could make a lower (100%), decide you don't like it after you test fire and then sell it.

If you want to make money making firearms, get the FFL and obey the law!!! If you think home-based gunsmithing/manufacturing is interesting and fun have at it. again....make sure your state and county allow this.

-Kyle

Ok i didnt think that was allowed ...
Hehe i dont have to abide us laws.. 100% lowers both Semi and fullauto is free for all here .. Here it only the upper , barrel and bolthead that requires license...
Tis even legal to have a semi AR if you have à license, and have à fullauto lower in the drawer

Offline KAG

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 04:48:47 PM »
Sweden......  >:(
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

Benjamin Franklin

Offline theswede

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 02:48:11 AM »
Sweden......  >:(


Hehe well There are Much stricter gunlaws here all weapons require seperate licenses etc but some parts are free here but not in the us.. Iex i can buy à drop in fa conversion for glocks here and its legal to that moment where tis fitted onto à Gun

Offline scooter

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2012, 06:40:43 AM »
I would recommend sending a receiver in along with a letter to the ATF technology branch.  They will reply with a ruling and this covers you (until they change their mind..... again).  Also you need to keep an eye on any regulation changes while producing receivers.  Just because you have a letter, it won't cover you if a new law / cfr / ruling gets made and they will not notify you.

With the ATF allot of how they enforce is with intent.... sending a letter and a receiver demonstrate intent to follow the law / their rulings.


Here is contact info for the Technology branch.


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Firearms Technology Branch
244 Needy Road
Martinsburg, West Virginia  25405

Offline goober

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2012, 07:32:38 AM »
I would recommend sending a receiver in along with a letter to the ATF technology branch.  They will reply with a ruling and this covers you (until they change their mind..... again).  Also you need to keep an eye on any regulation changes while producing receivers.  Just because you have a letter, it won't cover you if a new law / cfr / ruling gets made and they will not notify you.

With the ATF allot of how they enforce is with intent.... sending a letter and a receiver demonstrate intent to follow the law / their rulings.


Here is contact info for the Technology branch.


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Firearms Technology Branch
244 Needy Road
Martinsburg, West Virginia  25405


What scooter and FUBob said. In addition, it is probably best (but not absolutely crucial) to have all this handled by your lawyer rather than doing it yourself.
heatware username: goober

Offline anonymouse

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2012, 08:42:30 PM »
SO essentially you could make a lower (100%), decide you don't like it after you test fire and then sell it.

I read somewhere that ATF has a suggestion (not a rule or a law)  that you should possess the firearm for a year before transferring it.  The way it was worded was that it was not a hard and fast rule but rather a strong suggestion so that it does not appear you are making for sale by merely test firing and selling.  I am sorry I do not have a cite for this mostly because I dont recall exactly where or the context in which I read it outside of homebrew firearms.

To illustrate this lets look at a California thing that recently happened.  The logic of this applies to the feds.  Police are exempt from certain firearms purchase laws.  They bought guns ordinary folk could not get and in most cases immediately transferred them to non-police (which by itself was legal).  They were charged with being an unlicensed firearms dealer and some other related things.  Everything they did in a single transaction was legal but because of quantity and regularity it became illegal.

ATF similarly should never view your actions in the same light, that you are making receivers (past 80%) for the purposes of transferring them.  If you make what they consider a firearm and do a private party transfer regularly they can have their jimmies rustled and retaliate.  Because of "constructive possession" they can make up a whole slew of other things (shoe strings, copper pot scrubbers, etc have been ruled to be "machine guns" under the NFA).  It is usually best to not rustle their jimmies.

The law itself (minus any ATF creative flair): http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921
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18 USC 921 (a)(10) The term “manufacturer” means any person engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition for purposes of sale or distribution; and the term “licensed manufacturer” means any such person licensed under the provisions of this chapter.
Even if no money changes hands they can still, and probably quite successfully, argue that you were acting "for the purpose of distribution".  They would have a hard time proving, without statements from anyone involved, that an occasional one-off transfer would qualify.  However if you are doing this in any volume or frequency it would not be hard to convince 12 retired postal workers who comprise your federal jury that you are guilty.

There is also this which doing custom work for friends may come into play.  Again its a quantity thing, will they care if you did it for a friend or two?  probably not but if you do it for their friends and their friends and have a regular thing going then maybe.
Quote
(11) The term “dealer” means
(B) any person engaged in the business of repairing firearms or of making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms, or

The more time that elapses between creation and transfer the harder it is for them to argue this.  The less likely it is that you would have to buy a new front door from it being kicked in at 4 in the morning. 

Proving creation date is hard without receipts (either from you or the vendors you sourced parts from) to show when things were ordered or manufactured.  Barrels often have serial numbers on them and they can go to the manufacturer and ask when it was produced setting the oldest it could possibly be.  They can also find someone who knows you and squeeze them to introduce  you to them and then try to get you to make at least 1 just for them and if you agree you are done.


I guess what I am saying is if you are planning on "deciding you didnt like it after the test fire and sell it" then goto ffl123.com and get everything you need to know about being a "kitchen table ffl" and do it right.  If not dont regularly transfer stuff quickly after manufacture, let it sit for a while if you have to.  Dont give them a reason :)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 08:51:16 PM by anonymouse »

Offline azpackrat

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Re: BATF 80% Letter Contact Info
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 04:01:34 PM »
I have a question about 80% lowers if you are a married couple how does the rule about making your own lower apply to both.  I know it would be impossible to tell who made the receiver but you know how picky aft is