The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 26, 2012, 02:41 AM   #1
GunXpatriot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 318
Legal Building of a Homemade Firearm?

I hear all over the place that you can legally build a firearm, but only under some "very specific conditions". What I can't find are these required conditions. If I am not mistaken, a $200 tax stamp is also required for the process. There's also the conditions that it must be for personal use/no sale of the firearm, but the no sale I am unsure of.

I hear all this stuff about barrel lengths, smooth/rifled barrel, but only under certain barrel lengths for each and to be honest, that all seems kind of confusing. I guess this is a good time to say that I live in New York, so this whole thing may not even be possible. I think BATFE rules are universal through all the states, are they not?

I also do not currently have a pistol permit, so I guess a "pistol" or whatever one would call the monstrosity I was going to make, will have to wait a few years. Anyway, I was hoping that someone could please shed some light on this subject, which is shrouded in mystery for whatever reason. The plan is a simple .22lr single shot, not unlike that of a break open or something. Shouldn't be too hard, in fact I think that people over-complicate the whole thing with those pistols on Youtube... Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
GunXpatriot is offline  
Old June 26, 2012, 09:02 AM   #2
Don H
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2000
Location: SLC,Utah
Posts: 2,705
Q: Does the GCA prohibit anyone from making a handgun, shotgun or rifle?
With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a non-licensee provided it is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semi-automatic rifle or non-sporting shotgun from imported parts. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and approval by ATF. An application to make a machine gun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for a Federal or State agency.

[18 U.S.C. 922(o) and (r), 26 U.S.C. 5822, 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105]
http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/gene...-manufacturing

Unless you're building a short-barreled rifle or shotgun (or a machine gun), it won't be a NFA firearm and no federal tax stamp or federal approval is needed. NYS laws may well be vastly different.
Don H is offline  
Old June 26, 2012, 09:50 AM   #3
BPowderkeg
Junior member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2011
Posts: 382
you can make all the muzzleloaders you want to without any paperwork.., i personally have made over 50 of them.
i know this is not what you want to know, but making a modern rifle, you will have problems.
BPowderkeg is offline  
Old June 26, 2012, 10:56 AM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,789
The pertinent NY law is penal code 265. I find no prohibition of making your own rifle but I'm not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 26, 2012, 12:29 PM   #5
Don H
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2000
Location: SLC,Utah
Posts: 2,705
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPowderkeg
you can make all the muzzleloaders you want to without any paperwork..,
Again, the legality may be dependent upon state laws. Some states are more restrictive about muzzleloaders than other states. Some states regulate BB guns as firearms also.
Don H is offline  
Old June 26, 2012, 12:29 PM   #6
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
Quote:
but making a modern rifle, you will have problems.
You can make modern firearms without any Fed issue as long as they are not made for sale (that does NOT mean you could not sell one at some point) and otherwise meet the Fed rules.

No full auto, barrel length and gun length rules for rifles, etc.

It is not that hard or complicated.

If you cannot purchase 'like' without paperwork (full auto, sawed off shotgun, short barreled rifle, etc) you probbaly cannot make it.

Some states have tighter laws.
brickeyee is offline  
Old June 26, 2012, 04:35 PM   #7
kilimanjaro
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2009
Posts: 1,882
If you are prohibited from purchasing a firearm, you cannot make one.
kilimanjaro is offline  
Old June 26, 2012, 10:55 PM   #8
BPowderkeg
Junior member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2011
Posts: 382
Quote:
Again, the legality may be dependent upon state laws.
that is true, i had not thought about that. when i made mine i lived in California when Reagan was Govnr.

the problems i mentioned, i should have made specific, in making a firearm one must fabricate a certain percentage of the parts on site, i do not know the percentage of self made parts, when i was part owner and gunsmith in a shop, the self made parts were pretty high, the purchased parts allowed are springs and screws. otherwise the BATFE will consider just assembling existing parts to make a firearm which must meet legal standards, the same way we put together our favorite firearm.., e.g. AR-15/M4, which is perfectly legal !, if altering (shortening barrel) or adding certain parts (suppressor) one must apply for a $200.00 tax stamp.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; June 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM. Reason: State name
BPowderkeg is offline  
Old June 27, 2012, 09:07 AM   #9
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Quote:
non-sporting semi-automatic rifle or non-sporting shotgun from
And, just how is a sporting or non-sporting firearm defined?
One can use any firearm for sporting purposes. e.g. target shooting, hunting.
And, conversly, any firearm can be used for defense or assualt.
Quick, somebody, get a bureaucrat. We need one to help us out here.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old June 27, 2012, 11:58 AM   #10
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
Quote:
in making a firearm one must fabricate a certain percentage of the parts on site
Only if you are making certain specific types of firearms.
The content law is aimed at preventing parts form being imported and then assembled into a firearm not eligible for import.


ANY firearm you build must meet applicable legal standards for length, length of barrel, caliber (to avoid being a DD), restricted features (fore grips), etc.
brickeyee is offline  
Old June 27, 2012, 10:49 PM   #11
GunXpatriot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 318
So in essence (for the most part), if I can own a firearm, I can make it?

In other words (for NY at least), overall rifle length is 16 inches with overall length minimum of 26 inches.

I still don't understand the "on site" thing... Seems like the ATF makes everything so much more complicated than it has to be, but then again, that's law I suppose...
GunXpatriot is offline  
Old June 28, 2012, 06:09 AM   #12
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,404
Quote:
Originally Posted by BPowderkeg
the problems i mentioned, i should have made specific, in making a firearm one must fabricate a certain percentage of the parts on site, i do not know the percentage of self made parts, when i was part owner and gunsmith in a shop, the self made parts were pretty high, ...
The percentage is and always has been 20 percent, and it's based on the amount of labor in the receiver (only the receiver) not any percentage of parts. As long as the owner performs at least 20 percent of the "work" in creating the receiver, that's all that the law (and the BATFE) requires.

Quote:
... the purchased parts allowed are springs and screws. otherwise the BATFE will consider just assembling existing parts to make a firearm which must meet legal standards, the same way we put together our favorite firearm.., e.g. AR-15/M4, which is perfectly legal !, if altering (shortening barrel) or adding certain parts (suppressor) one must apply for a $200.00 tax stamp.
I believe you are thinking of NFA firearms or AOWs (Any Other Weapons). There are no (Federal) restrictions on someone who wishes to make his/her own standard, non-NFA firearm. Of you have a block of steel, a blueprint and a milling machine, you can make your own 1911 or Mauser 98 from scratch and be perfectly legal.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old June 28, 2012, 06:17 AM   #13
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,404
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunXpatriot
So in essence (for the most part), if I can own a firearm, I can make it?

In other words (for NY at least), overall rifle length is 16 inches with overall length minimum of 26 inches.

I still don't understand the "on site" thing... Seems like the ATF makes everything so much more complicated than it has to be, but then again, that's law I suppose...
I am only familiar with the Federal law, not with NY state law. NY may impose other requirements or restrictions on making your own. My comments are limited to the Federal law.

The Federal requirement says nothing about "on site." Also, Federal law defines the receiver as the "firearm." I'll use a 1911 pistol as the example, since I've been contemplating making my own Officers ACP and I have been reverse engineering one to create a suitable blueprint. The only part the BATFE cares about is the receiver, and the only requirement attaching to that is that I have to perform at least 20 percent of the work in making it. (There is a market out there selling "80 percent" receivers for both 1911s and AR-15s). I do not have to perform the work "on site," meaning on my own property. I can rent time on a milling machine in the next town or the next county ... but I must perform 20 percent of the work.

I can buy all the rest of the parts (springs, screws, barrel, slide, etc.) or I can make any of them that I have the capability to make -- it doesn't matter. The other parts are just parts -- it is the receiver that is the "firearm."
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old June 28, 2012, 01:18 PM   #14
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
Quote:
There are no (Federal) restrictions on someone who wishes to make his/her own standard, non-NFA firearm.
There are content rules for various 'bad' guns to prevent the importation of parts and then assembly in the USA.
brickeyee is offline  
Old June 28, 2012, 04:05 PM   #15
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,404
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickeyee
There are content rules for various 'bad' guns to prevent the importation of parts and then assembly in the USA.
True. Semantics rears its ugly head again. When the OP asked about "building" his own firearm, I assumed he was asking about "making" (i.e. machining from raw materials) his own receiver. If all he's asking about is "assembling" a gun from a mix of new and used parts, that's a different animal and one I am not sufficiently well informed about to discuss.

So I guess to steer this discussion in an appropriate direction, the OP should explain to us exactly what he meant by "build."
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old June 29, 2012, 12:50 AM   #16
GunXpatriot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 318
To Aguila Blanca, to be honest, I wasnt sure what I meant...

My first plan was to get a barrel that I know wont blow up in my face. As for the rest, I wasnt really sure. I was likely going to just assemble it from existing parts that would pretty much just be modified to work for the gun.

I sure hope that wouldn't cause problems with this whole thing :/
GunXpatriot is offline  
Old June 29, 2012, 08:42 AM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,789
If you're not going to actually manufacture the receiver, the law are no different than buying a gun.

The frame/receiver/action is the controlled part. You must acquire that through the same means as a complete firearm, whichever laws apply, be it rifle or handgun. Everything else is completely unregulated in so far as shipping/acquiring. You can have the barrel, trigger, stock, etc shipped right to your house.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old June 29, 2012, 10:22 AM   #18
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,404
^^^ Except that, as Brickeye and a couple of others have mentioned, certain types (makes/models) of firearms originating outside of the U.S. are legal in the U.S. only if they contain a prescribed percentage of domestically manufactured parts. This is something I have never delved into and don't know much about, but it is a factor to be considered if you're starting from scratch and just say "I think I'll pick up some parts and assemble a gun." First you'll need to determine if whatever you decide to build is subject to these restrictions, and then you'll need to find out if NY state adds any state restrictions on top of Federal regulations.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old June 29, 2012, 01:21 PM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,789
True but I'm assuming that the OP is not going to be attempting to import parts, especially from sources that aren't themselves familiar with the laws.
There are always scenarios not covered by general answers, even highly detailed general answers, so I simply leave them out unless there is reason to believe they might be relevant.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Reply

Tags
firearm , gun , homemade , legal , zip

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12233 seconds with 7 queries