Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Question about Building an AR-15 from an 80% receiver

Discussion in 'Firearm Laws & Legal' started by beegmon, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. beegmon

    beegmon Milwaukie New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hello!

    I am brand new here but not new to guns in general. Given the thorny continually changing scenes of laws and restrictions out there I wanted to check myself real quick before going down the build route.

    My father and myself want to do this activity together as a sort of father/son project. We figure we can both learn and both grow from sharing the experience.

    Now initially I was going to take us down the jig + drill press route, but decided that I couldn't resist having a new toy (for other projects outside of gun building as well). So, I am the proud owner of a cnc machine of particular notoriety when it comes to finishing 80% AR-15 receivers. My plan, since I know how to program it/drive it is to use it for my other hobbies as well (robotics, brewing, automotive)

    My question is around the shared use of the cnc machine between my father and myself for finishing the AR-15 receivers. Given this is personal only, and not a business (or being done at a business but in my garage) do I have to worry about the tool sharing restrictions the ATF introduced around CNCs and tools?

    To be safe should I finish my AR receiver, sell the CNC to my father with a bill of sale, let him finish, and then I buy with back again, with a bill of sale?

    Additionally, I have double checked my local city/county ordinances and there is nothing restricting me from building the ARs but I am worried about this state law:

    http://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/166.450

    How would LEO or other entity determine if the firearm I poses when at the range or hunting for example know I built the AR legally instead of have removed the serials and recoated?
     
    Brutus57 likes this.
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,693
    Likes Received:
    10,836
    Don't ask, don't tell...


    You have a very minor chance of breaking the rules and almost no chance of ever being stopped to have your gun inspected for any reason.


    Let sleeping dogs lie:D
     
    decklin, Brutus57, Koda and 1 other person like this.
  3. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,357
    Likes Received:
    6,923
    I agree with Joe13 not to worry about it. The cases you hear about that the ATF busted were clearly manufacturing for resale were they had hundreds of 80% lowers. a father and son making a lower are not high on the radar of the ATF trying to catch you doing something wrong.

    as for the serial numbers the burden of proof is on them to prove you removed serial numbers and all identifying marks. seems a waste of time for the police to try and prove that over one lower. It would be hard to prove in court you did that without a video of you sanding off serial numbers

    If you want to be safe on that, just put your own number on it. engrave "beegmon 001" on it. Serial numbers can be what ever you want. it would help the police recover it if it was stolen

    (I am not a lawyer but have finished 80% lowers)
     
    decklin and Brutus57 like this.
  4. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

    Messages:
    4,174
    Likes Received:
    6,617
    As others have said... I agree on the serial number ( I have marked all my 80% lowers with serial numbers for personal identification. Remember its only you the number means anything too)

    The thing to keep in mind is the intent of the law. The reason behind the "dont let others use stuff" law was to shut down build party's who really where using CNC gear to bypass the "build it yourself" requirement. Basically you showed up, paid your money and pushed start and went home with a 'gun" You and your father could build all the 80% lowers you want with your machine and as long as you are not selling them and you don't ever do anything stupid with one no one will ever come knocking on your door. Intent is important. You are not a machine shop, You are not in the gun biz. You are a father and son doing personal projects
     
    bolus and rick benjamin like this.
  5. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,166
    Likes Received:
    2,951
    I don’t see much difference between a personal CNC mill and a drill press and jig. And as far as I know its also not illegal to gift your dad a finished 80% lower. Since hes family, you don’t need to do a background check.
     
    Stomper, PiratePast40 and jbett98 like this.
  6. PiratePast40

    PiratePast40 Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,094
    Likes Received:
    2,071
    Although I believe you're limited to manufacturing a certain number a year. And besides, who's to say that he didn't do the work, or if you both worked on them? Don't get wrapped up in the details, it's not necessary.
     
    Brutus57 likes this.
  7. beegmon

    beegmon Milwaukie New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    I didn't think about the gifting route though doesn't that run afoul on the federal side of things. You can build/finish your own firearm, so long as you intend it for personal use only. If the need arrises to transfer it out of your control/ownership it must be serialized and transferred through an FFL?

    Wouldn't finishing an 80% lower and then gifting it to my father show intent on manufacturing for something other than strictly personal use?

    It seems much less risky to give him his unfinished lower, and have him do the work and mange the steps himself with me completely uninvolved during the process of finishing it in the cnc. I mean it's not like you can really screw it up, and he would be manufacturing/finish for his own strict personal use of the resulting firearm; or at least that is the intent, obviously.

    The only issue I can see is sharing of the machine and what "engaged in the business of" really means as again it pretty loose. But I think, as stated already, that if we look at intent, it's not here in this case, despite there being some risk of it being interpreted that way by one enforcement entity or another. It all depends on how pedantic they want to get I suppose.

    I completely agree on letting sleeping dogs lie and to be honest I hesitated even asking this question in a public forum to begin with. However, it is truly difficult to build an understanding of both the words/intent of the law and the implementation of it in the real world (as experienced by those who have done lowers before and use them in the real world).

    In short, I think its reasonable to assume, at this point in time, that there are a few best practices that help ensure a lower risk of issues later. For me these will be:

    1) Immediate family, who are legally able to posses firearms, will only be allowed to use the machine to finish a lower(s).

    2) No friends/buddies/acquaintances ever need to know about or use the cnc for lower finishing. Loose lips sink ships and privacy is key.

    3) Serialize for personal records, lost or stolen situations, and to keep eyebrows from raising on the off chance the firearm is inspected for some reason.

    4) Being a responsible owner means you can have nice things and stay clear of trouble.
     
  8. William Jones

    William Jones Longview Wa Member

    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    30
    You are way over thinking this. Have FUN with your project.
     
    Redcap and PiratePast40 like this.
  9. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,166
    Likes Received:
    2,951
    its not illegal to gift a firearm to another person even one you bought thru an FFL....

    not all true, it only needs to be transferred through an FFL if the recipient is not an immediate family member or is but lives out of state. The serialization is optional on personally made guns the form would read "none".

    I dont know. Except that its not illegal to gift a legal firearm and its not illegal to make your own. The only thing I know is one cant buy a gun for another person with that persons money.

    whoever owns the machine, if its being used to produce a firearm, said machine owner is considered the "unlicensed machine shop". Also, who wrote the cnc program if one is borrowing a machine. The grey area here that produces debate is whats the definition of "unlicensed machine shop".

    I dont think it makes any difference if its your friend or family or even a stranger borrowing your equipment, the way I read the ruling is the person who is building their firearm must be the owner of the tooling.

    I think this is a good idea, IMO.

    yes. Its good that your asking. I think building an 80% would be a fun project for any enthusiast and its good that your inquiring about the legality of it. This topic comes up now and then and is a grey area, the ruling is not clear. I agree with Ironmonsters reply above about the intent of the ruling to prevent abuse of the privilege to build your own. I think you and your dad are fine you both are building with the intent of personal and lawful use. Enjoy.
     
  10. beegmon

    beegmon Milwaukie New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks all for the replies, and I fully intend to enjoy things and have fun going forward.

    I just felt the need to check myself against a sound board for reasonability due to the grey area around certain points in the process. I am sure is it must less arduous then it seems, but as with all new things to me I like to scope the layout and get a feel for what I am signing myself up for before jumping in.
     
    bolus likes this.
  11. bolus

    bolus Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    3,357
    Likes Received:
    6,923
    Plus welcome to the forum. If you need help let us know. There are plenty of home builders as well as actual gunsmiths who are on the forum. AR building is quite fun and very satisfying to have something work you put together with your own hands.
     
    IronMonster and Koda like this.
  12. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,427
    Likes Received:
    5,687
    I'd volunteer a lower for your test run of the machine....;)

    Brutus Out
     
  13. Artilleryman

    Artilleryman Originally from the central midwest but have reloc Active Member

    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    77
    Just saw this lol seemed a good thread for it

    image.jpg
     
    Slobray and IronMonster like this.
  14. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,990
    Likes Received:
    2,731
    What THEY don't know won't hurt you.