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Old June 10, 2013, 11:31 AM   #1
.50cal packer
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curious about C&R guns?

OK, here is the deal. When the BATFE decides what goes on their list of what is acceptable for a C&R firearm, why does date come into play? By definition, 50yrs or older is C&R, or whatever the BATFE has in their book. Now I think its AIM that has a group of CZ70's in stock. However they won't sell them as C&R because they were manufacture in the 1970's. But BATFE has CZ50/70 listed as C&R acceptable. I understand they aren't 50 years, but the model has been accepted as C&R. Why can't They sell them to us then, if it says it's OK? Also, Zastava is producing new runs of the Yugo M57. I understand it's brand new, however, This isn't the M57b, or is it just another reasonable facsimile of it? They market it as the M57, and as such, it should be C&R. Any help would be welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Old June 10, 2013, 12:52 PM   #2
carguychris
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I was going to address the question line-by-line, but the post became really messy, so let me step back and do it broadly.

"Curio or Relic" has a very specific legal definition found in 27 CFR 478.11, as follows:
Quote:
Curios or relics. Firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:

(a) Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;

(b) Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and

(c) Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.
(emphasis mine)

There are three important things to understand.
  • Replicas are disallowed by default. There is NO allowance in the law for C&R replicas as there is with legal antiques. Even if a Serbian factory produced a flawless replica of a C&R M57, including faked vintage proofmarks and faux finish wear, it cannot be C&R until it turns 50 years old or is certified to fall within categories (b) or (c).
  • The ATF book's primary purpose is to list firearm models that fall within categories (b) or (c). It is not intended to be comprehensive with regards to the 50-year rule, nor concerning otherwise ordinary individual firearms that fall under category (c) due to unusual provenance (e.g. ownership by a former U.S. President). If the list was comprehensive, it would be encyclopedia-sized, rather than weekly-news-magazine-sized!
  • The ATF book listings and subsequent update letters are very specific. It doesn't matter if the CZ 70 is largely similar to the CZ 50. (I'm not familiar enough with either model to comment.) Here's what the book says, on page 22:
    Quote:
    Czechoslovakian, CZ50 pistol, cal. 7.65mm.
    Only the CZ 50 is listed, so the CZ 70 doesn't make the cut. If this upsets you- so sorry for your bad luck.
  • The ATF book contains considerable dead weight, e.g. exhaustive listings of minor variants- or even individual serial numbers!- that are C&R by default due to the 50-year rule. The ATF does not necessarily cull the out-of-date information from the book. I surmise that this is done for consistency with past editions.
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Last edited by carguychris; June 10, 2013 at 12:59 PM.
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Old June 10, 2013, 02:11 PM   #3
James K
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First, let's understand why there is a C&R category. When GCA '68 was being drafted, many collectors (often wealthy and politically powerful people), were alarmed at having to have transactions of valuable collectors' items handled through dealers, with added costs and delays, and an increased possibility of loss or damage. So Congress set up a special collectors' license (FFL 03) under which collectors' items could be bought and sold and transferred independent of the regular FFL dealer. The law left it up to the Secretary of the Treasury to define a Curio and Relic. (The then ATTD was under Treasury because it had originally been a part of the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-collecting organization. It was later transferred to Justice under the Attorney General.)

There is often misunderstanding about how a C&R is recognized as such.

As noted, the law provides for the C&R category, but gives the Attorney General the authority to define what the term means and to what guns it applies. The AG in turn, has delegated that authority to BATFE.

So the 50-year rule was drawn up by BATFE and can be changed by BATFE under its regulatory power. It is the only "blanket" part of the definition.

Other recognition of a gun as a C&R is by application from a member of the public. If a dealer acquires 50 guns made by XYZ Corp., that were used by the bodyguard of the Emperor of Hooterland and specially marked, he can apply to BATFE to designate those specific guns as C&R so he can sell them to holders of collector licenses. If a collector has an ABC company Model M, using 17 sided cartridges, he can ask to have it designated as a C&R so he can sell it without going through a dealer. That is the origin of those special (under 50 year) designations.

One point often missed is that guns are always becoming 50 years old. Any gun made before June 10, 1963 is a C&R. That now includes many guns most of us think of as "modern" guns. For example, a holder of a C&R license might acquire a post-WWII, pre-64 Winchester Model 70 made before 1963 and have it shipped to him directly. Note though, that some dealers and sellers might not honor a C&R license, and there is no way to make them do so; also not all states recognize a C&R license when handguns or some long guns are involved.

Jim
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Old June 10, 2013, 03:39 PM   #4
.50cal packer
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I see. There always seems to be a gray area when dealing with firearms. I also enjoyed the terminology of blanket. Has a great deal of meaning when dealing with governmental issues. It C.T.A. when it has to. However, I wasn't going off the similarities of the CZ50/70. I honestly thought I read it in my book. I guess the thought of them being so similar and having seen CZ70's C&R applicable, I got confused and needed some clarification. Do more research before you post, is the best possible answer to any question I have. Jim, as always, thank you for posting and clarifying in layman's terms. Though you are far from a layman. Chris, also thank you, for pointing me to the page of the CZ in my C&R book. No need to be sorry about my bad luck. I'm not about to die because of this. Just was confused about it.
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