Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    Found this over at Calguns:

    "As of Apr 22, the ATF wrote a letter stating that they consider 80% lower build parties to be illegal. For this reason, we no longer offer them. We disagree with their opinion, but there is little we can do to challenge it at this point. We do sell jigs that make finishing your lower a pretty simple process. With a jig, drill press, and 3 hours of your time, you can easily finish your lower at home."

    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=750262

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    Should be some 80% lowers for sale in the near future.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    I'd need to see the details, what happens at these "parties", who does the work, and is this some California issue (they have wacky laws in California, are they building Cali-illegal guns?)

    Never attended a build party, I assume that an "80% build party" is not the same as getting some of your buddies together to share specialized tools and assemble an AR or AK. Is someone doing the actual "building" part for others, are they "manufacturing" for others?

    ETA: OK, I just Googled a bit, and it looks like some companies were renting out their pre-programmed CNC machines, so they set themselves up as a manufacturing facility and played word games with the process.

    Not like a party, more like a group rental and hiring of a manufacturer. If what I'm reading is accurate.

    I assume that it's still legal to complete your own gun, still legal to sell videos and books telling people how to do it, and still legal to sell your expertise and tell people how to do their own work. It's just not legal to do the manufacturing while the owner of the receiver watches.

    Maybe.
    Last edited by GunLawyer001; April 25th, 2013 at 12:19 AM.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Thanks to all who attended my Firearms Law Workshops this year!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    I'd need to see the details, what happens at these "parties", who does the work, and is this some California issue (they have wacky laws in California, are they building Cali-illegal guns?)

    Never attended a build party, I assume that an "80% build party" is not the same as getting some of your buddies together to share specialized tools and assemble an AR or AK. Is someone doing the actual "building" part for others, are they "manufacturing" for others?
    From what I can gather from the linked forum, it seems that people were paying other to finish their 80% lowers for them, which would require an FFL license and transfer of the now 100% machined lowers. It seems these "parties" just involved a bunch of people bringing their lowers and 1 guy doing all the work.
    And this originating in Cali is no surprise considering you have to give your left nut to own a semi rifle there.

    Or at least that's what I gather from it, I'm not 100% sure.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    Okay . . . Do I understand this correctly? The "80% receiver" so-called is an unfinished piece that still requires some machining and holes drilled? Is that it? If so . . . then the 80% is not classified as a firearm requiring an FFL to interstate purchase as would a completed AR lower receiver? Until finished, the 80% receivers in not a firearm?

    So . . . my next question is . . . Do these 80% lower receivers have serial numbers on them when received? If not, then upon completion into a firearm, the owner would be required by federal law to apply some type of serial number. I've always been under the strong understanding that to own a modern era firearm without a serial number is a federal crime.

    Long ago, while cleaning out the United Shoe Machine Manufacturing Co. (USMMC) factory buildings in Beverly, Massachusetts, we came across a box with four (4) M1 carbine receivers inside. The company had manufactured tooling during WW2 for military sub-contractors. The ones we found were likely test pieces. Those receivers were complete but not serial numbered. Per Fed requirement, Each of the M1 carbine receivers were stamped with an 001, 002, 003 & 004 just to keep things legal.

    Anybody know how that serial number situation works with those 80% AR lower receivers?
    Last edited by Capt Quahog; April 25th, 2013 at 12:31 AM.
    "When Government fears the People, It is Liberty!" Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Quahog View Post
    Okay . . . Do I understand this correctly? The "80% receiver" so-called in an unfinished piece that still requires some machining and holes drilled? Is that it?

    If so . . .then the 80% is not classified as a firearm requiring an FFL to interstate purchase as would a completed AR lower receiver?

    So . . . my next question is . . . Do these 80% lower receivers have serial numbers on them? If not, then upon completion into a firearm, the owner would be required by federal law to apply some type of serial number.

    Long ago, while cleaning out the United Shoe Manufacturing Co. (USMC) factory buildings in Beverly, Massachusetts, we came across a box with four (4) M1 carbine receivers inside. The company had manufactured tooling during WW2 for military sub-contractors. The ones we found were likely test pieces. Those receivers were complete but not serial numbered. Per Fed requirement, Each of the M1 carbine receivers were stamped with an 001, 002, 003 & 004 just to keep things legal.

    Anybody know how that serial number situation works with those 80% AR lower receivers?
    I'm not sure about the serial # part but to my knowledge if you finish an 80% lower by yourself there is no paper trail involved, you don't need an FFL to buy one. Also to my knowledge there is no registration required if it is for personal use, you just can't sell it.

    Again the reason this is originating from Cali.

    I'm am not a lawyer though and my statement should not be taken as legal advice.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    Okay . . . Do I understand this correctly? The "80% receiver" so-called is an unfinished piece that still requires some machining and holes drilled? Is that it? If so . . . then the 80% is not classified as a firearm requiring an FFL to interstate purchase as would a completed AR lower receiver? Until finished, the 80% receivers in not a firearm?
    Yes

    So . . . my next question is . . . Do these 80% lower receivers have serial numbers on them when received? If not, then upon completion into a firearm, the owner would be required by federal law to apply some type of serial number. I've always been under the strong understanding that to own a modern era firearm without a serial number is a federal crime.
    No

    Anybody know how that serial number situation works with those 80% AR lower receivers?

    No SN. The owner turned it into a "firearm" for their own use. Said person is not a manufacturer machining lowers for sale.
    Last edited by dkf; April 25th, 2013 at 12:35 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    You are not required to serialize your own personal build.

    You can even sell it later, if you decide LATER that you don't want to keep it. Despite the Web legal commandos, you CAN sell your unserialized gun later. You can't make a business of it, and you can't have the intent to sell it at the time you build it. But FFL's have guidance on how to transfer unserialized guns, of which there are many, from before the requirements.

    California may have its own weird laws, like all the states around us seem to have, requiring permission before you can buy or make a gun, so I'm making no statements regarding STATE laws.

    It's illegal to possess a firearm that once had a serial number, if the serial number has been obliterated or altered. Not illegal to possess one that never had a serial number.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Thanks to all who attended my Firearms Law Workshops this year!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    At what point does the 80% lower become finished? Couldn't they work around this by the machinist doing all the work except for one or two spins of the drill press and having the "owner" do those? Seems like an easy work around to me, but I don't write firearm laws.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 80% Build Parties deemed illegal by the ATF

    as soon as you do ANY work on an "80%" it is considered a reciever. if more work could have been done then they would sell them that way

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