Gunsmithing without an FFL

Yes, it can be legal to make a silencer. For everything Form-1, from silencer designs that are easily made, to filing forms with the BATF, to 3D modeling. Remember, you must have an approved BATF Form-1 to make a silencer. All NFA laws apply.

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mr fixit
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Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by mr fixit » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:23 am

Wasn't sure what title to use,

I know a person can't work on another persons supressor. I understand that I can't do the work on a F1 for a friend.
I also know that no one would really seem to care if a guy with a lathe cuts and threads a buddies barrel as long as it stays longer than 16 for a rifle.

But what about for an SBR? Could a guy with a lathe do his buddy a favor and cut a barrel down below 16" and thread it? Would that cross some theoretical NFA boundry?

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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by T-Rex » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:55 am

I get why you're asking, but..... I still want to smack you in the back of the head, for asking :wink: :lol:

If you don't take possession of the barrel, ie. your buddy stays w/ you, I don't see why it would matter.
If a machine shop can make custom Form1 parts, whilst you wait, why is this different?

I could be wrong, but this is my interpretation.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by mbogo » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:39 pm

Have your friend remove the barrel then hand it to you. You can then cut it down, thread it and return it to him.

What he does with it after that is not your concern, especially if you are not present.

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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by mr fixit » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:03 pm

T-Rex wrote:I get why you're asking, but..... I still want to smack you in the back of the head, for asking :wink: :lol:
.
Hey, I didn't write a letter :mrgreen:

Seriously, I thought it was ok but with all the 'intent' posts around I get scared sometimes. :roll:

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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by mbogo » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:22 pm

Remember, a 'short' barrel is just a barrel until it is attached to a rifle (or shotgun) receiver.


Or, for the overly cautious, in the vicinity of a rifle (or shotgun).

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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by fishman » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:38 pm

Buddy gives you his 16" barrel because he no longer needs it. You cut it and turn it into a PISTOL barrel. Gift the barrel to your buddy because you just now heard that he's building an SBR and you happen to have a pistol barrel lying around.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by BobbyJohn » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:46 pm

If it is an AR rifle, just take the upper from him, the upper is a non regulated item as far as the BATF is concerned, the lower is what is regulated and it is what gets stamped when you put a short barrel upper on it. What he does with it after you return it to him is his business and not yours.

There are no rules regulating the length of a barrel unless it is matched up to a firearm. Now if this is an AR rifle, I would just buy another barrel, the prices are not that high now a days, I just purchased a brand new 8" barrel the other day for less than a $100 bucks shipped.

But like I said, the barrels are not regulated, uppers are not regulated, so cut away and thread.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by BinaryAndy » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:05 pm

There is a big difference, legally, for some reason, between silencer parts and SBR parts. Silencer parts are considered silencers themselves and are subject to NFA laws, while any part of an SBR except the receiver is unregulated. You could make a thousand 9" AR barrels, market them specifically for SBR's, and sell them at the local Kwik-E-Mart, all without an FFL.

As long as you don't take possession of the lower receiver, you're fine.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by doubloon » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:51 pm

or get caught with the short barrel and enough parts to put together an "illegal" gun like mbobo said ?
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by BobbyJohn » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:04 pm

doubloon wrote:or get caught with the short barrel and enough parts to put together an "illegal" gun like mbobo said ?
Normally people that get "caught" for firearms violations, get caught because they are doing something else that they are not suppose to be doing, the firearms are a secondary, lets really screw this guy type charge.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by doubloon » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:26 am

BobbyJohn wrote:...
Normally people that get "caught" for firearms violations, get caught because they are doing something else that they are not suppose to be doing, the firearms are a secondary, lets really screw this guy type charge.
Totally agree, just have to mention it because at least one member here has been to prison for similar secondary circumstances.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by 3strucking » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:42 am

He must of done something else illegal to draw attention to himself.

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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by doubloon » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:33 am

3strucking wrote:He must of done something else illegal to draw attention to himself.
We already agreed to that in the earlier posts. I think they were speeding or shooting on public land and someone called in a disturbance ... something really benign, nothing like robbing a store or hoarding an arsenal in a hotel room.

IIRC in this particular case the guy that went to prison was just unfortunate (dumb?) enough to be in the company of an individual who called attention to himself while in possession of an unregistered NFA and the individual in possession cut a deal for himself leaving this guy out in the cold.

Before the great Google Cleansing there was a post somewhere around here that went into the details, maybe it can be found in the old "silencertests" archives. At any rate, this guy was there and (claimed) he did not know the other guy's NFA was unregistered.

Some of the old timers may remember more details.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by ECCO Machine » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:19 pm

mr fixit wrote: Could a guy with a lathe do his buddy a favor and cut a barrel down below 16" and thread it? Would that cross some theoretical NFA boundry?
Yes, but it could not be a regular thing. Once it becomes "engaged in the business of", an FFL is required, even for barrel work sans receivers. As is usually the case, there is no finite figure on what number of services performed constitutes "engaged in the business", but a bit of common sense should render a reasonable answer, i.e. getting paid to do such work several times monthly is a far cry from helping a legitimate friend once or twice in a year.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by mr fixit » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:07 am

BinaryAndy wrote:There is a big difference, legally, for some reason, between silencer parts and SBR parts.
ECCO Machine wrote: Yes, but it could not be a regular thing. Once it becomes "engaged in the business of", an FFL is required, even for barrel work sans receivers. As is usually the case, there is no finite figure on what number of services performed constitutes "engaged in the business", but a bit of common sense should render a reasonable answer, i.e. getting paid to do such work several times monthly is a far cry from helping a legitimate friend once or twice in a year.
This is what I thought. I just wanted to be sure SBR parts aren't treated the same as suppressor parts. And really there is no difference between cutting a barrel down so a buddy can build a pistol while waiting on the SBR paperwork.

Thanks all.

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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by propeine » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:11 am

mr fixit wrote:
BinaryAndy wrote:There is a big difference, legally, for some reason, between silencer parts and SBR parts.
ECCO Machine wrote: Yes, but it could not be a regular thing. Once it becomes "engaged in the business of", an FFL is required, even for barrel work sans receivers. As is usually the case, there is no finite figure on what number of services performed constitutes "engaged in the business", but a bit of common sense should render a reasonable answer, i.e. getting paid to do such work several times monthly is a far cry from helping a legitimate friend once or twice in a year.
This is what I thought. I just wanted to be sure SBR parts aren't treated the same as suppressor parts. And really there is no difference between cutting a barrel down so a buddy can build a pistol while waiting on the SBR paperwork.

Thanks all.
I've been avoiding posting this but you might have a read of the attached ruling
https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/rulin ... g/download

It kind of changed the classification of everything. Turning normal gunsmiths into manufacturers and normal people into "being in the business." No longer could machine shops do work if there wasn't a receiver involved. No longer could individuals work on friend guns for payment even if that payment was just a drill bit left behind. Tread lightly.

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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by doubloon » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:34 am

propeine wrote:...
It kind of changed the classification of everything. Turning normal gunsmiths into manufacturers and normal people into "being in the business." No longer could machine shops do work if there wasn't a receiver involved. No longer could individuals work on friend guns for payment even if that payment was just a drill bit left behind. Tread lightly.
Hadn't seen that, a bit of a game changer in some cases.
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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by propeine » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:47 am

doubloon wrote:
propeine wrote:...
It kind of changed the classification of everything. Turning normal gunsmiths into manufacturers and normal people into "being in the business." No longer could machine shops do work if there wasn't a receiver involved. No longer could individuals work on friend guns for payment even if that payment was just a drill bit left behind. Tread lightly.
Hadn't seen that, a bit of a game changer in some cases.
Changed a lot for me. I can't have a home FFL even though I have the ability and would have customers (friends who would pay me) due to zoning. I can't help said friends out if my time is worth anything because they can't pay me even if they stand there the whole time. I like tinkering in the garage and don't always have my own projects going on but its not worth the threat of club fed to work on buddy's guns any more.

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Re: Gunsmithing without an FFL

Post by BobbyJohn » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:20 pm

That ruling was actually a response to all of the 80% lower parties that had been happening for a long time, you will notice in that determination letter the majority is address to Frames and Receivers.

In the case of the AR platform, the lower receiver is the regulated item, nothing else, If I were not licensed I could still purchase every single part on the AR platform gun and nothing could be said.

Anybody can purchase all the parts for an AR as well as a few different models of pistols these days with no background checks. I can sell any part to anyone without running a background check, that is unless it is a completed stripped lower or frame, then I am required to run the 4473.

Now one area you want to be careful of, you cannot legally sell any part to a person known to you as being a prohibited person.

A barrel is a non-regulated item and any legal person can purchase them and have anybody cut them off, it is up to the individual who ultimately assembles the firearm to make sure they are conforming to the GCA, if their intent is to make an SBR, they are one that will be assembly and they become the maker of the gun and have to engrave the lower as such.

But again, until assembled a barrel is simply a steel tube and nobody is prevented from cutting them off.

Now like ECCO Machine posted if you are doing it several times a month and deriving part of your income from the activity, then you would be considered to be in the business of.

Cutting a barrel off every once in a while is not being engaged in business.

ATF Rul. 2015-1 was a clarification of ATF Rul. 2010-10, it was not a new rule.
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