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Curio and Relics License

aldo35aldo35 Member Posts: 117 ✭✭
edited October 2014 in Ask the Experts
Is it correct any WWII automatic pistol is classified as as curio and relic, for example an Ithaca 1911A1 45?

Comments

  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,458 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As long as it hasn't been altered, from it's factory original configuration.

    I have seen to many 1911's turned into "race guns", over the years. That I don't believe would qualify under the C & R regs. Even though the basic frame is over 50 years old.

    This is my interpretation, others might disagree?
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,326 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It depends.

    It must be in "original issue configuration".

    A 1911A1 is a semi-automatic pistol.

    Neal

    EDIT: Debating an interpretation of firearms law with ATFE is a lot like trying to teach a cat how to sing: It is a waste of your time, & it annoys the cat.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,867 ******
    edited November -1
    The actual wording is all properly marked and identified semi automatic pistols and revolvers used by, or manufactured for, any military organization prior to 1946.

    If the Ithaca meets that definition, and as Neal and r-s already said; if it has not be altered, then it is a Curio and Relic.
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    In addition- if the firearm in question is 50 years old, or older, AND in the original configuration, it qualifies on the OTHER definition of C&R. And since WW 2 ended more than 50 yrs ago, the arms of WW 2 would all be C&R.

    from 18 US Code CFR 478.11, definitions:
    Curios or relics. Firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:

    (a) Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;

    (b) Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and

    (c) Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.
  • JIM STARKJIM STARK Member Posts: 1,088 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Guys,
    Just remember...The frame is the firearm.. As long as the frame is in original configuration and meets the 50 yr. rule.. It's C&R..
    JIM..............
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 13,137
    edited November -1
    quote:Is it correct any WWII automatic pistol is classified as as curio and relic, for example an Ithaca 1911A1 45?
    Yes, so long as the gun is in original configuration; see below as to what that means.


    quote:Originally posted by JIM STARK
    Guys,
    Just remember...The frame is the firearm.. As long as the frame is in original configuration and meets the 50 yr. rule.. It's C&R..
    JIM..............

    Yes, the frame is the firearm, but frame alone DOES NOT by itself qualify a gun as a curio or relic. IE it is absolutely NOT the case that any gun built on a 1963 or earlier frame is a C&R.

    If you make ANY substantial change to the gun, that could knock out its eligibility as a C&R gun. Please do NOT take my word for it. Per the BATFE:

    quote:https://www.atf.gov/content/what-modifications-can-be-made-cr-firearms-without-changing-their-cr-classification

    Q: What modifications can be made on C&R firearms without changing their C&R classification?

    The definition for curio or relic ("C & R") firearms found in 18 U.S.C. 27 CFR ? 478.11 does not specifically state that a firearm must be in its original condition to be classified as a C&R firearm. However, ATF Ruling 85-10, which discusses the importation of military C&R firearms, notes that they must be in original configuration and adds that a receiver is not a C&R item. Combining this ruling and the definition of C&R firearms, the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) has concluded that a firearm must be in its original condition to be considered a C&R weapon.

    It is also the opinion of FTB, however, that a minor change such as the addition of scope mounts, non-original sights, or sling swivels would not remove a firearm from its original condition. Moreover, we have determined that replacing particular firearms parts with new parts that are made to the original design would also be acceptable-for example, replacing a cracked M1 Grand stock with a new wooden stock of the same design, but replacing the original firearm stock with a plastic stock would change its classification as a C&R item.


    Now, given the above, there is wiggle room for certain modifications. EG, changing sights is explicitly OK. With a 1911, you can probably get away with a match quality sear, extractor, or other inner parts.

    But where you draw the line is a bit blurry. Non-military type grips might be enough to disqualify a gun from C&R status. Even swapping out the hammer or trigger for aftermarket "race" ones might not be OK, depending on who's looking and how badly they want to make a case.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,867 ******
    edited November -1
    Not that Beantown ever needs any assistance, but here it is right out of the Federal Firearms Regulation Reference Guide:

    img057.jpg
  • aldo35aldo35 Member Posts: 117 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks to everyone for the info, it has been most helpful.
    Aldo35[:)]
  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mark christian
    Not that Beantown ever needs any assistance, but here it is right out of the Federal Firearms Regulation Reference Guide:

    img057.jpg


    I do find the "reasoning" interesting. If someone had enough money and time, it could be interesting to challenge that part about "since they [frames alone] are not of special interest or value as collector's items. Specifically, they do not meet the definition of curio and relic in 27 CFR 478.11 as firearms of special interest to collectors by reason of a quality other than is ordinarily associated with sporting firearm or offensive or defensive weapons."

    I can think of lots of examples where a frame alone will carry a huge premium in value -- only because of the collector interest in it. The ATF's technology branch writing/enforcing that rule is completely "out-of-touch" with the collector's market:

    "What, that 'U.S. PROPERTY' marked Colt 1903 frame can be shown to have been issued to General MacArther during WWII? Oh, that's nothing special, no collector would find a frame like that interesting."
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 13,137
    edited November -1
    quote:Competentone:
    I can think of lots of examples where a frame alone will carry a huge premium in value -- only because of the collector interest in it. The ATF's technology branch writing/enforcing that rule is completely "out-of-touch" with the collector's market:

    "What, that 'U.S. PROPERTY' marked Colt 1903 frame can be shown to have been issued to General MacArther during WWII? Oh, that's nothing special, no collector would find a frame like that interesting."
    I completely agree with your point here, though I think you might want to carefully re-read what the BATFE actually said on this, because it seems to me that they ALSO agree:

    quote:"ATF has recognized only complete assembled firearms as curios and relics".IE, they're not saying that they absolutely WON'T recognize a non-complete gun as a C&R, only that at the time of that writing that they hadn't yet done so.

    quote: ATF's classification of surplus military firarms as curios and relics has extended only to those firearms in their original military condition.See above. And note that this is a specific case, referring to surplus (not rare/exotic provenance) military (not personal/factory) weapons.

    Individual weapons with extraordinary provenances don't typically end up as military surplus. EG, its pretty unlikely that the frame from Douglas McArthur's personal 1911 is going to end up in a box of spare/surplus frames on the secondary market!

    quote:Frames or receivers of curios or relics are not GENERALLY recognized as curios and relics, since they are not [generally] of special interest, etc. It seems to me that by use of the term "generally", the BATFE does recognize that there may be individual exceptions where just the frame or a gun could qualify as a C&R gun.

    If this weren't the case, they would have said "Bare frames or receivers of C&R type guns are NEVER recognized, etc".

    I think if it really came down to it, your hypothetical example of a frame tied to a famous historical figure probably would be recognized as a C&R by the BATFE, assuming you had a good provenance, and/or museum curator endorsement, etc. (Though in practice, restoring a high value historical 1911 frame to a gun in "original condition" would be trivial, at least in comparison to the probable true market value of something like General McArthurs personal sidearm, etc).

    I can think of other examples that also might get that type of recognition (eg rare prototype frames, guns manufactured in such low quantity that true original condition examples are impossible to find, etc).

    But the biggest point here is the one I made above. *JUST* because a FRAME is >50 years old, does NOT necessarily mean the gun is a C&R. It *might* be, assuming the OTHER criteria are met, but not necessarily.

    quote:EDIT: Debating an interpretation of firearms law with ATFE is a lot like trying to teach a cat how to sing: It is a waste of your time, & it annoys the cat.

    [;)][;)]
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