Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 39

Thread: Engraving 80 and 90% Lowers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,386

    Engraving 80 and 90% Lowers

    Am I legal to engrave AR15 non finished lowers, called 80 or 90%? No Serial number and I will not do that.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  2. #2
    Depends on the lawyer and AFT agent you talk to!

    I have a lot more to say about this, but I don't want to start a firestorm-- at least for now

    For now, my advice is do what I did- google your local/closest BATF, call, ask for an agent, explain- I did, got the agent's blessing... to start
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    20
    As long as it is still in the 80 percent state it is not a firearm by ATF standards. If it was going to be registered as an NFA item it would need a S/N and trust or ownership info....cosmetic engraving is irrelevant.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,615
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    Am I legal to engrave AR15 non finished lowers, called 80 or 90%? No Serial number and I will not do that.
    First, according to the ATF there is no such thing as an "xx%" lower, they don't have a specification to define it, it's either a lower or it's not. If it's not then you can do whatever you like to it because it's just a chunk of metal. If it is a lower then it is regulated by the ATF and you need to be an FFL to do the engraving. Others will have a different opinion than this, but this is what my local agent told me so I'm going with what he said since he would be the one to charge me with a violation. YMMV
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

    Trotec Speedy 400 80 watt 8/2015
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 1/2016
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 3/2015
    Fargo HDP5000 Card printer


  5. #5
    The following applies to the US, but not to places like CA and NY...

    The agents are notoriously ill informed and contradictory. There's absolutely zero question that you can do whatever you want with an 80% lower since it's not a gun. All of the evidence I can find says it is also legal to engrave a finished one. I'd suggest that anyone who disagrees try to find the law, because I can't.

    A few states like CA have further restrictions and details.

  6. #6
    A quick search shows there are shops that will engrave finished lowers, so either they are all scofflaws (unlikely) or it is legal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Alvarez View Post
    A quick search shows there are shops that will engrave finished lowers, so either they are all scofflaws (unlikely) or it is legal.
    Those shops must have a FFL because a lower with a serial number is considered a firearm, I know that much.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    1,842
    When I obtained my FFL, I asked this same question as I had already done a good number of them. According to my ATF agent, I did need the FFL & if there was no Serial Number on it, I was required to work with the customer & add one.
    I'm not going to get into a senseless debate about what the law does & doesn't say as any lawyer can easily twist that & I'm no Lawyer.
    What I am saying is "MY" ATF agent calls an 80% a gun (stupid, yes I agree). I am not going to argue with the man. The "fact" that I may or may not be able to fight that in a court isn't even up for discussion. Easier to have the FFL & follow MY agent's instructions. Gun engraving pays well, but not so good that I'm going to waste my time & money in court.
    Last edited by Tim Bateson; 03-22-2018 at 8:52 AM.
    Tim
    There are Big Brain people & Small Brain people. I'm one of the Big Brains - with a lot of empty space.- me
    50W Fiber - Raycus/MaxPhotonics - It's a metal eating beast!
    Epilog Fusion M2 50/30 Co2/Fiber - 2015
    Epilog Mini 24 – 35watt - 2006 (Original Tube)
    Ricoh SG3110DN
    - Liberty Laser LLC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,615
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Bateson View Post
    According to my ATF agent, I did need the FFL & if there was no Serial Number on it, I was required to work with the customer & add one.
    According to "my" agent... you can manufacture your own firearm and unless it falls under NFA or you want to sell it, it doesn't need to be serialized - he still recommends it, but it's not mandatory. Like I said in my other post, you need to follow the direction of the agent who will be violating you so what "my" agent says is of no consequence.
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

    Trotec Speedy 400 80 watt 8/2015
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 1/2016
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 3/2015
    Fargo HDP5000 Card printer


  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    Those shops must have a FFL because a lower with a serial number is considered a firearm, I know that much.
    Yeah, that logic is circular. Of course a completed lower, with or without a serial, is a firearm. That doesn't mean everyone who handles it must have an FFL.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Carlos Alvarez View Post
    The following applies to the US, but not to places like CA and NY...

    The agents are notoriously ill informed and contradictory. There's absolutely zero question that you can do whatever you want with an 80% lower since it's not a gun. All of the evidence I can find says it is also legal to engrave a finished one. I'd suggest that anyone who disagrees try to find the law, because I can't.

    A few states like CA have further restrictions and details.
    BINGO, WE HAVE A WINNER!! According to a customer of mine, who's successfully getting the notoriously ill-informed agent who served me with a C&D FIRED (with the blessing of most of his coworkers I'm told), his very expensive lawyer after scouring the *actual* laws on the books came to exactly the same conclusion. Another part of the equation according to this lawyer, the ATF only has jurisdiction concerning interstate dealings with firearms, and any non-interstate supposed gunsmithing violations must be taken up by local law enforcement. What this means essentially, is that gun shops who are actual 'gunsmiths', and DO NOT work on or deal with out of state guns, are not required to have an FFL. I'm not sure where exactly the 'engaged in the business of' provision in the law falls, but since it's up to local law enforcement to determine if a crime is being committed, it may be a moot point. Because as the laws ARE written, for law enforcement to act against you, they must find that your actions are:

    -A detriment to the health and well-being of the community, OR
    -Are creating a safety issue with the community, OR
    -Part of criminal activity...

    If law enforcement can't tie your gunsmithing actions to one of the above criteria, they have no basis for an arrest...

    My customer alerted an AFT agent who was in his shop several weeks ago that he would NOT be renewing his FFL, but WOULD be remaining in the gun business, and they were more than welcome to dispute it. So far, they haven't...

    =================
    Reminder, ^^^ THIS ^^^ is all second hand information as of late.

    However, some final notes: I have located every single law concerning firearms, the ATF's memos and addendum's, and have printed them all out and highlighted all sections of law relevant to gunsmithing, and with the exception of the 'engaged in the business of' provision that states if gunsmithing is NOT your main source of income then an FFL isn't required, all the above rings true. My concern is when gunsmithing IS your main source of income...

    And finally, I was personally told by an ATF agent 3-1/2 years ago, one who isn't getting fired btw, that my gun engraving activities, which included engraving barrels, slides, receivers, machine gun trigger-packs (with owner present), ATF logged weapons (with owner present), shotguns, rifles, revolvers-- ALL were perfectly within the law, because my 'gun income' was well below 50% of my income---which is why I'd like to find out more about that part of the law. If/when I do, I'll report back -until then, I've said my peace...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,386
    It was my understanding IF you took possession of firearm overnight or longer, it had to be entered in the "bound book" FFL holders have to maintain. I have to much going on to have the owner of the firearm stand there while the work is being done.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill George View Post
    It was my understanding IF you took possession of firearm overnight or longer, it had to be entered in the "bound book" FFL holders have to maintain. I have to much going on to have the owner of the firearm stand there while the work is being done.
    An FFL must do that because the rules for an FFL are different from the rules for everyone else. That doesn't mean that a non-FFL must do it, or is prevented from taking possession. I can hand you a gun to borrow indefinitely, no?

    (Again, in the USA, I never know about CA, NY, CT, MA, etc.)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,615
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    and with the exception of the 'engaged in the business of' provision that states if gunsmithing is NOT your main source of income then an FFL isn't required, all the above rings true. My concern is when gunsmithing IS your main source of income...
    Show me in writing where it says anything about "main source of income"

    ALL were perfectly within the law, because my 'gun income' was well below 50% of my income

    This too

    FYI - "my" agent said that their office interprets "engaged in the business of" as anyone who takes money for services - period, no matter what amount or what percentage of your total business.
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

    Trotec Speedy 400 80 watt 8/2015
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 1/2016
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 3/2015
    Fargo HDP5000 Card printer


  15. #15
    https://www.atf.gov/file/100871/download

    Are you looking to make a profit?As noted above, if you are repetitively buying and selling firearms “with the principalobjective of livelihood and profit,” you must be licensed. Because the key is intent orobjective, the courts have made clear that a person can be “engaged in the business”of dealing in firearms without actually making a profit. In determining that intent orobjective, courts have looked to prices that an unlicensed seller charges for firearmsto determine if the principal objective of the seller is livelihood and profit. In somecases, prices reflect appreciation in actual market value resulting from having held a 6 DO I NEED A LICENSE TO BUY AND SELL FIREARMS?Guidance (continued)firearm as part of a collection, or reflect a profit intended to be used to acquireanother firearm as part of a collection. As a result, the fact that a transaction results ina profit for the seller is not always determinative.Finally, it is important to note that courts have found that you can buy and sellfirearms “with the principal objective of livelihood and profit” even if your firearmrelatedactivities are not your primary business. In other words, you can still be“engaged in the business of dealing in firearms with the principal objective oflivelihood and profit” if you have a full time job, and are buying and selling firearmsto supplement your income. ATF regulations specifically note that the term “dealer”includes a person who engages in such a business or occupation on a part-time basis.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •