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Old February 22, 2014, 06:57 PM   #1
AKexpat
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Firearms With SN But No Mfr. Or Address

Hypothetical:

I own an AMT Hardballer stainless with a stamped SN but a "laser engraved" (or similar) Mfr. name and address on the frame.

It's in very poor shape insofar as finish so I'm going to sand/bead blast the parts heavily and the Mfr. name/address will no longer be visible. The SN remains legible.

Am I in violation of any Federal law concerning GCA '68 or any other regulation?
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Old February 22, 2014, 07:46 PM   #2
243winxb
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I would guess, yes. http://www.atf.gov/firearms/guides/i...-overview.html
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Old February 22, 2014, 08:25 PM   #3
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I haven't made much of a study of this topic, but I think that link primarily relates to imported firearms.
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Old February 22, 2014, 08:58 PM   #4
AKexpat
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Quote:
@243wixb

I would guess, yes. http://www.atf.gov/firearms/guides/i...-overview.html
I tend to agree. However, I have seen numerous photos proudly posted online of firearms produced post GCA 68 that do not conform. I wonder if BATFE makes note of these guns and what ramifications this/these may involve.

I do know if you have a machine shop and purchase a 80% frame (let's say a 1911), if no serial number on a frame as a finished frame it is legal to own but not to sell.

In order to sell it I believe one must have a Title II permit/license and declare the serial number with BATFE.

How far off is my knowledge?
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Old February 22, 2014, 11:14 PM   #5
Jim March
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I would guess, yes.
What if he re-engraves the same info onto the gun in a more permanent fashion?
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Old February 23, 2014, 03:04 PM   #6
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKexpat
...I own an AMT Hardballer stainless with a stamped SN but a "laser engraved" (or similar) Mfr. name and address on the frame.

It's in very poor shape insofar as finish so I'm going to sand/bead blast the parts heavily and the Mfr. name/address will no longer be visible. The SN remains legible.

Am I in violation of any Federal law concerning GCA '68 or any other regulation?
Beats me. But as far as I know neither ATF nor local law enforcement has any sense of humor about these things. Anyone getting crosswise with ATF/law enforcement over something like this would be in for a thoroughly unhappy and an expensive experience, and would be risking some serious jail time.

Before doing such a thing I'd want much better and more reliable confirmation than the opinions of a bunch of anonymous strangers in cyberspace that what I was doing was legal -- something like a written advisory opinion from ATF.

One thing to consider: a serial number really doesn't mean much without the manufacturer being identified.
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Old February 23, 2014, 03:20 PM   #7
44 AMP
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Ask the ATF and get their answer IN WRITING.

That particular agency has a long history of changing their minds about what is, and is not a prosecutable offense.

Spend the extra bucks and have a lawyer do it up for you, if possible. Written, dated letter from the agency (do NOT just take a single agent's word), should cover your butt.

Best case, you spend a few bucks (which you can get more of, right?)
Worst case: Jail time, huge fines, and loss of firearms rights for the rest of your life.

May not seem fair, but it is the law of the land.
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Old February 23, 2014, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Ask the ATF and get their answer IN WRITING.

That particular agency has a long history of changing their minds about what is, and is not a prosecutable offense.

Spend the extra bucks and have a lawyer do it up for you, if possible. Written, dated letter from the agency (do NOT just take a single agent's word), should cover your butt.
I think we've got our winner.

Take 44 AMP's advice before having the blasting done, while it's all still legible, and you're all nice and legal-like.
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Old February 24, 2014, 11:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
I do know if you have a machine shop and purchase a 80% frame (let's say a 1911), if no serial number on a frame as a finished frame it is legal to own but not to sell.

In order to sell it I believe one must have a Title II permit/license and declare the serial number with BATFE.

How far off is my knowledge?
No offense intended, but pretty far off.

Under federal law, as long as you are not in the business of making Title I firearms (non-NFA), you are free to make one and then sell it later. It does not have to have a serial number on it, but it can. State laws may vary. Title II is for NFA firearms (including silencers) and is a different thing altogether.
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Old February 24, 2014, 03:50 PM   #10
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Deleted most of my post. I stand corrected, and apologize for looking at the issue with common sense. Apparently, since 2002 it has been a requirement. So you could conceivably swap a part between two receivers and run afoul of the law.

If someone manufactured an aftermarket grip or barrel for a Sig P250, you could end up in trouble, because the manufacturer, city, state, and caliber are nowhere on the frame itself.

Last edited by wayneinFL; February 24, 2014 at 04:15 PM. Reason: Didn't realize how dumb the ATF could be
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Old February 24, 2014, 04:25 PM   #11
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If it was that big a deal, the ATF would require the manufacturer to be stamped on the receiver.
You would think so, but, what is, and is not a big deal to the ATF changes sometimes, and also, they are enforcing laws which are written in some ways that seem to preclude rational thought.

There is a set of rules for guns that were imported before a certain date. Slightly different rules after a given date. Similar but slightly different rules for guns made in the US. Guns made in the US but sent abroad, now wanting to come home get more rules. The lists go on and on.

The serial # part is legally the firearm, but it doesn't have to be the frame or receiver. It usually is, but under the law, doesn't have to be.

Maker/importer name and address. Somewhere on the gun. Not specified where, other than in visible location. Tons of milsurps with import markings on the barrel. Perfectly legal.
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Old February 25, 2014, 04:19 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies (a nod to Armorer-at-Law).

As an aside, the Remington Nylon 66 (and variants) have the serial number on the stamped-steel receiver cover. One cannot buy this part from Rem (or others) without an FFL.

One can conceivably buy (if available) all of the other parts and substitute judicious use of duct tape for the cover and have a fully functional rifle.

Thanks again, folks!
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