View Full Version : Question on Importer Marks

October 17, 2009, 05:38 PM
Hello to All,

As my first post I'd like to ask a question regarding importer's marks. Are there any legal issues in removing that mark from a C&R firearm? The specific firearm in question is one of those nice 1895 Nagants floating around for under $100. The guns look really nice but the R Guns importer stamp really reminds me of the atrocious rollmark found on Rugers. Can I legally replace the stamped sideplate with one not so brutalized?

October 17, 2009, 06:16 PM
I would not do it. I saw this on another site:


MAR 24 1999


Dear Mr.
This is in reply to your letter dated January 30, 1999, in which
you ask about removing certain identifying markings from a firearm
that was lawfully remanufactured into a National Firearms Act (NFA)

Title 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, Section 923(i) and Title 27 Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR), section 178.92 specify identification
markings that licensed importers and manufacturers are required to
place on firearms imported or manufactured. Section 922(k) makes
it unlawful for any person to possess or receive any firearm which
has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed,
obliterated, or altered, and has, at any time, been shipped or
transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

Title 26 U.S.C., Chapter 53, section 5842(a) and 27 CFR, section
179.102 specify identification markings that the importer,
manufacturer or maker are required to place on NFA firearms.
Section 5861(g) makes it unlawful for any persons to obliterate,
remove, change or alter the serial number or other identification
of a firearm required by this Chapter. Existing Federal law and
regulations do not prohibit the removal of identification markings
other than the serial number and markings required by section

- 2 -


We trust that the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry.
If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely yours,

Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch

October 17, 2009, 07:11 PM

Thanks for your response. That letter appears to deal with firearms remanufactured under NFA provisions. I think it would apply to a semiauto AK that I wanted to rebuild into an SBR but I'm not so sure it applies to a C&R revolver.

October 17, 2009, 11:32 PM
Title 26 says:

5842. Identification of firearms

(a) Identification of firearms other than destructive devices
Each manufacturer and importer and anyone making a firearm shall identify each firearm, other than a destructive device, manufactured, imported, or made by a serial number which may not be readily removed, obliterated, or altered, the name of the manufacturer, importer, or maker, and such other identification as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.

5861. Prohibited acts

(g) to obliterate, remove, change, or alter the serial number or other identification of a firearm required by this chapter

So, your firearm has the importer's mark per Title 26, chapter 53, paragraph 5842, section a. If you remove it, you will be in violation of Title 26, chapter 53, paragraph 5861, section g. The "other identification" clause seems to cover what you're proposing.

It's also a separate violation to transfer a firearm that's been so modified.

Of course, the surest way to find out would be to send a letter to the BATFE because this is all just my opinion.

October 18, 2009, 08:33 AM
Thanks for your followup. You may be right after all. I think you're also correct in suggesting a letter to ATFE to clarify the issue in a more concrete way. I'll be sure to post their response once received.