View Full Version : ATF Ruling -Clarification re: GunSmithing

Mr Lucky
December 30, 2010, 08:40 PM
This formal ATF ruling Clarifies certain gunsmith activities for Dealers, Manufacturers such as bluing, anodizing, powder-coating, plating, polishing, heat and chemical treating that have caused confusion over activities requiring a federal firearms manufacturers license, firearms marking requirements, and firearms record keeping requirements.

ATF Issues Manufacturing Ruling

ATF Rul. 2010-10 – Manufacturing Operations May Be Performed by Licensed Gunsmiths Under Certain Conditions

James K
December 30, 2010, 08:54 PM
I don't see than anything has been changed from previous rulings except to clarify that a gunsmith working for an importer/manufacturer has the same status as a gunsmith working for an individual customer. He is accepting the gun from its owner, doing the work and returning the gun to its owner, whether the owner is an individual or a licensee.

If the dealer/gunsmith is buying guns, modifying them and then selling them, he is considered a manufacturer; that ruling was made years ago. As an example, a dealer/gunsmith who buys, say a surplus Mauser, sporterizes it (thus turning it into a different gun) and puts it on the rack for sale, is a manufacturer. A dealer/gunsmith who buys a surplus Mauser, sells it to a customer as is, then takes it back and sporterizes it at the customer's request is performing a service and is not a manufacturer. Legal hair-splitting? Maybe, but BATFE sees a difference, and so do I.


Mr Lucky
December 31, 2010, 07:24 PM

This ruling clarifies a couple of important items for some 01 and 07 dealers and manufacturers and contractors doing work for them.

Many 07 FFL's contract their plating, bluing, anodizing and other finishing work to companies that can preform this work but are also engaged in non firearms related finishing work.

The ruling holds that the person's preforming this work for an 07/ gunsmith do not themselves need to be licensed as a firearms manufacturer.

This ruling was expected but it took ATF about two years to write a formal ruling.

James K
December 31, 2010, 11:04 PM
The ruling doesn't address an importer/manufacturer contracting work to a non-licensed company or individual. It specifically addresses "any person licensed as a dealer-gunsmith performing certain processing or finishing on firearms owned and marked by a federally licensed firearms manufacturer."

The intent is not to determine whether a person doing contract gun work needs to be licensed; that is another issue. Also, whether a licensed dealer-gunsmith also does non-firearms work is irrelevant and outside the scope of BATFE interest or control.

What is addressed here is whether a licensed dealer-gunsmith can perform such contract work for an importer/manufacturer without himself being licensed as a manufacturer; the ruling is that he may do so, essentially the same way he can perform the same services for any individual.


Mr Lucky
January 1, 2011, 12:07 AM

You are right, the gunsmith still needs to be licensed but he does not need an 07 manufacturing license to do contract work for a manufacturer. There may be some tax implications with this ruling if the gunsmith contracts for more than 50 guns per year. Since he doe not need an 07, he won't be subject to excise tax over the 50 gun limit.

January 5, 2011, 02:10 PM
"This ruling was expected but it took ATF about two years to write a formal ruling."

Snail slow is the hallmark of a gov. bureaucracy (see def. below). If they did something quickly that would make it look easy and that could be taken as them not being very important. They ARE unimportant in any real sense of the word so they make themselves important by impeding other people's progress.

(American Heritage Dictionary: bureaucracy - An administrative system in which the need or inclination to follow complex procedures impedes effective action.)