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My shooting buddies all know that I built my AR from scratch by myself and that I am getting the ball rolling on a new AR build. A friend of mine is also going to get a stripped lower and asked to pay me to assemble it. Since I'm not actually selling him the lower and acting more as a gunsmith, is this going to break any laws?
 

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If you live in a private transfer state, you're basically just giving him a free rifle after he gives you a free lower. Are you charging him for your services?
 

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If you live in a private transfer state, you're basically just giving him a free rifle after he gives you a free lower. Are you charging him for your services?
That's not even close to the truth. Nobody is giving anyone anything (except free labor). You don't "give" your car to the mechanic, he just works on it for you.
 
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I personally would help him build his lower,theres nothing wrong with it and he will learn a lot about his gun
 

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If he is giving you the lower and paying for the additional parts, then all you are providing him is with labor. Even if you charge him, I don't see anything wrong with that.
 

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I'm no lawyer. You should consult with a firearms attorney to be certain.

That said, here is my understanding, PLEASE CORRECT ME!

I was always told that the lower is the serialized portion of the gun and therefore the BATFE considers it the firearm. If you work on someone else's gun for free that is ok so long as you do not keep it over a certain period of time (I believe that you cannot keep it overnight). As long as you are not receiving anything in return then you are a hobbiest gunsmith. If you take ANYTHING in payment (money, goods, services), then you are a commercial gunsmith and require an FFL. If this were an 80% lower you would need manufactures FFL to transfer it for profit to someone else.

And that's just what the BATF website appears to say, your local laws may vary.

Now, if you owned the lower (say he sold it too you) you built yourself a rifle and later decided to sell it private party... (I'm not sure if that would stand up in court or not)

Please someone correct this. I've been looking into possibly getting my FFL to do gunsmithing as a part time thing, so I need to find good resources on this stuff. I'm scared to do it right now cause of the current environment.


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Just checked this out on the net. Your best bet is have your buddy bring over the lower. Then you help him assemble it. It you don't get it finished in a day have him take it home with him. When your all done working on it sell him something you have laying around the house like an old fishing rod or something.:smile:
 

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Both of my ARs were built by my buddy. I just sat there and picked his brain as he did it. A lower takes way less than an hr to put together and I doubt an upper takes much longer.


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Just checked this out on the net. Your best bet is have your buddy bring over the lower. Then you help him assemble it. It you don't get it finished in a day have him take it home with him. When your all done working on it sell him something you have laying around the house like an old fishing rod or something.:smile:
Along this line - a guy was selling pencils outside Busch Stadium during a Cardinals World Series. He was selliing pencils for $[email protected] For each pencil purchased, he gave away a World Series admission ticket. I don't know how it would work with the ATF, but it managed to keep this guy out of trouble with the police at the stadium.
 

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It you don't get it finished in a day have him take it home with him.
If you don't finish it in a day, something is seriously wrong. Heck, an hour is slow going if you're doing a kit build...
 

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Assuming you have all the tools you need that is. Not gonna finish if you don't have any tools ;) lol


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Teach them how to build one, surely couldn't get in trouble for "instruction" and 'training. Of course, one thing about any good training, is demonstration by the Instructor.
 

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Good luck getting all the parts for it, lower parts kits have been on backorder for a couple of months. Brownell's was supposed to get some lower parts kits in December, but they still have not received them.

As far as people talking about the transfer. The receiver is purchased through a FFL. If you buy it the lower with the intent of giving it away, that is a straw purchase. This doesn't appear to the be the case. If someone else purchases the lower, gives it to you, you work on it and give it back, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that based on FEDERAL laws. Some of the state laws on the other hand may have issues with an AR possession. With all the changes regarding that I can only keep up with my states laws.
 

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That's not even close to the truth. Nobody is giving anyone anything (except free labor). You don't "give" your car to the mechanic, he just works on it for you.
We're talking about the ATF, not a garage. If I'm not mistaken, you need an FFL to work on someone elses gun for cash. Apparently not so for free labor. Furthermore, if a gunsmith has to keep a gun longer than a day, he'll have to run another background check on the guns owner before he returns it. Pretty sure that was mentioned above. So you could do what chazc said, or if the OP wanted to do it solo, he could have it 'transferred' (i.e. given) to him and he could complete it and give it back. It pretty much boils down to if he's doing it alone or with his buddy and whether or not it takes more than a day.
 

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Good luck getting all the parts for it, lower parts kits have been on backorder for a couple of months. Brownell's was supposed to get some lower parts kits in December, but they still have not received them.

As far as people talking about the transfer. The receiver is purchased through a FFL. If you buy it the lower with the intent of giving it away, that is a straw purchase. This doesn't appear to the be the case. If someone else purchases the lower, gives it to you, you work on it and give it back, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that based on FEDERAL laws. Some of the state laws on the other hand may have issues with an AR possession. With all the changes regarding that I can only keep up with my states laws.
As far as straw purchase go, it must be a purchase made for an individual who cannot legally purchase on their own. Purchasing a firearm with the intention of giving it to your wife, son, etc. who can legally own the firearm is not considered a straw purchase.
 
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If I'm not mistaken, you need an FFL to work on someone elses gun for cash. Apparently not so for free labor. Furthermore, if a gunsmith has to keep a gun longer than a day, he'll have to run another background check on the guns owner before he returns it.
You are mistaken. A gunsmith does not have to run a background check if the original owner picks it up.

The gun does not have to be "transferred".

Most of the laws written by the BATF do not apply to private transactions.
They apply to FFL's that do it for cash. Lots of difference there.

Since you do not have an FFL, then building a lower for your friend is not illegal...yet.
Doing it several times a week for others with the sole intent of getting paid for it would be gun smithing without a license, an infraction that could incure the wrath of the BATF, something that no one needs.
 

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You are mistaken. A gunsmith does not have to run a background check if the original owner picks it up.

The gun does not have to be "transferred".

Most of the laws written by the BATF do not apply to private transactions.
They apply to FFL's that do it for cash. Lots of difference there.

Since you do not have an FFL, then building a lower for your friend is not illegal...yet.
Doing it several times a week for others with the sole intent of getting paid for it would be gun smithing without a license, an infraction that could incure the wrath of the BATF, something that no one needs.
ATF Online - Firearms - Frequently Asked Questions - Gunsmiths

Ah here's my mistake, I merged the second and third questions. It needs to be entered into a gunsmith's bound book if its kept over a day, my bad. Still the rest of my post stands, but it would only apply if he was charging money. My first post is what I assume (key word) the ATF would consider the situation as if it was given to him to assemble alone. It doesn't have to be transferred, but if they consider it one, its what it is. If. :confused:
 

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Don't forget the BATFE had a guy convicted and served time in federal prison because he "transferred a machine gun" (in reality a malfunctioning AR, that the ATF could not cause to duplicate the malfunction).

As for myself, I steer well clear of anything that might be misinterpreted by an ATF agent.


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The word has come down from above. Sixgun said it was okay. Why the continued debate?

He's not selling the "gun," he's not "buying" the lower, he's only assmbling loose parts for a friend. No different than anyone of us mounting a scope on a friend's rifle. He is not operating a firearm manufacturing business.

And if I didn't know a lot about assembling a firearm, and a friend did, I'd ask him to do it or assist me also. I've seen motors overhauled, but that doesn't mean I want to do it.
 
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