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For Repair or Replacement only?

kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,837 ✭✭✭
edited September 2003 in Ask the Experts
I've been seeing this question asked on several boards but I don't think I've ever seen it here ...

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Several companys are selling parts and/or receivers with the statement "Sold for Repair or Replacement Only". The parts and receivers I've seen are for everything from Sten's and AK's to AUG's, SIG550's, G3(HK91), Galil to name just a few.

What is this repair or replacement only statement and how does it apply to individuals? Does this mean I can't use this type of kit or receiver to make a new firearm even with the required US parts ... which by (current) BTAFE defination would classify the firearm as sporting and not assault?

For instance ... Can I buy an AUG receiver that was legally imported and "Sold for Repair or Replacement Only", they buy a parts kit ... Get out my dremmel tool and make from scratch my own parts to get it 922 compliant ...

OR...

Does "Sold for Repair or Replacement Only" mean just that and I cannot legally build a new weapon from them?

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In my mind "Sold for Repair or Replacement Only" means just that! and I cannot legally build a new weapon using them, kits or receivers ... seems pretty clear, point blank and peroid ... but a lot of people are disagreeing with me ... opinions?


===========================
Chance favors the prepared mind [8D]

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If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.

Comments

  • jsergovicjsergovic Member Posts: 5,526
    edited November -1
    ? 178.39 Assembly of semiautomatic rifles or shotguns.

    has a list of parts, more than ten of which used in assembling a semiautomatic rifle or shotgun which would make it an illegal weapon. In addition, there is the "Serial number" issue covered in another section of same document. I don't see how you could sell the weapon, but where I live, these issues don't seem to be relevant to the fellas who live up in the hills. If you build and shoot it on private property in a peaceable fashion, who is to complain?

    The Fed. Doc. is pretty tough reading, but here's the link. It loads slowly in "copy and paste". You might want to take it to the hard drive.

    http://www.atf.treas.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/complete.htm

    Quick one on Kimbers: A few weeks ago a young gunsmith complained about Kimber parts too tight to fit together. Is the true issue perhaps a lack of familiarity with close tolerances and precise breakdown and assembly instructions? I know if I break down my Double Eagle the wrong way the slide won't come off.
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,837 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by jsergovic

    Quick one on Kimbers: A few weeks ago a young gunsmith complained about Kimber parts too tight to fit together. Is the true issue perhaps a lack of familiarity with close tolerances and precise breakdown and assembly instructions? I know if I break down my Double Eagle the wrong way the slide won't come off.If he is alledging himself to be a gunsmith, I would seriously question his ability ... Currently my little collection of Kimbers is down to 7, although some are tighter than others ... I've never found it anything to complain about xyxthumbs.gif

    ===========================
    Chance favors the prepared mind [8D]

    [email protected]
    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,326 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Kid, I think that you have a good handle on the law.

    jsergovic is correct in citing the section of the regs concerning the number of foreign-made parts. In addition, there is also the reg that prohibits the assembly of a "semi automatic assault weapon". The dealers who sell the kind of items you noted are just protecting themselves against possible legal action; if you, the customer, use their product to assemble a legal firearm, you have nothing to worry about.

    All regs that concern this kind of project are in ATF P5300.4.

    Neal
  • boeboeboeboe Member Posts: 3,331
    edited November -1
    There are several parts sets and receivers imported recently that were imported under agreement between the importer and the ATF that they would not be used to assemble new firearms, and could only be used as replacement parts. This includes the "post agreement" Imbel FAL receivers. You might see Sarco ads indicating the difference between these Imbel receivers. If you check out the FAL Files discussion board, there has been quite a bit of discussion on whether or not this agreement is binding to the person the receivers or sets are actually sold to, that is, the end user of the parts. Some claim the agreement is only binding between the actual importer and the ATF, the end user can't be bound by the agreement. Check out the discussion over there, I think if you do a search for "Imbel" some discussions will come up that are interesting.

    As far as parts kits and the agreement, I don't know how they can control something that can just be bought outright at a gunshow with no tracability. For example, there are new Imbel parts being sold with this stipulation, with no serial numbers or real tracability that I can see. If I go to a gunshow and buy these sorts of parts, how is anyone going to know if I use them to build on a new receiver? I could pick up parts here and there, from one table to the next, some of them may be bound under the agreement, but how could I know if I was really buying something "for repair or replacement only" unless it was so stated? And you know how sellers at gunshows are, they aren't going to advertize that in most cases. For that matter, even if I knew, how could "they" ever prove where the parts came from?

    Another good example is the Sten sets you noted. They are making semi-auto conversions for those who want to take a Mk III set and build a legal semi-auto Sten. If I go to a gunshow and pick up a Sten kit, buy a semi-auto conversion package, and build my own, who in the world could ever trace where the original Sten parts came from, unless I told them? Then, how could they prove it was a "post agreement" parts set without doing one tremendous amount of digging?

    To err is human, to moo is bovine.
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,837 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I found this posted over at fal.files.com:
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    Fair%20Trade%20Group%20ATF%20Letter.gif

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    I'd say that pretty well clears up any doubt

    ===========================
    Chance favors the prepared mind [8D]

    [email protected]
    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
  • boeboeboeboe Member Posts: 3,331
    edited November -1
    Gosh, it clears up some parts, but I still see where it seems that, as long as it's not done in significant quantities, a person can still take these parts and assemble a firearm.

    To err is human, to moo is bovine.
  • richbugrichbug Member Posts: 3,650
    edited November -1
    Repair or Replacement....... I am using this reciever to repair the rifle which was torch cut in half by order of the BATFE. I know they wanted to protect me from hurting myself with it. As long as one keeps it to a few guns a year I think you are fine(Assuming one complies with the 89 and 94 bans)..

    My border collie is smarter than your honor student.
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,837 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    boeboe - at this point in time, and to the letter of the law you are correct .
    However in the sprit of the law you are treading on dangerous ground.
    I extracted the relevant 3rd and 4th paragraphs from this "FAIR" letter and broke it down for easier reading...


    Although a third party subsequently receiving such parts is not subject to the import conditions that the importer is by virtue if the permit endorsement, two important points need to be made.

    1) 18USC SS 2 is and has been used by ATF to prosecute parties who knowingly aid and abet one another to violate the law. Put another way, an importer can be prosecuted for knowingly selling these parts to a third party who intends to use the restricted parts to assemble a non-sporting rifle.

    2) Importers are well advised to advertise and invoice such restricted parts with the proper limitation for repair or replacement purposes only.


    The ATF is concerned about the innocent diversion of such parts, which are used to assemble non-sporting firearms. Although not criminal in nature, if done in significant numbers such diversions defeats the purpose of the ATF policy.


    As evidenced by the above paragraphs the BTAFE is not happy with what is being done with the kits and if these firearms are deemed to be subject to forfeiture there will of course be no compensation.

    Finally, my question to you is - Is a $300 firearm, constructed of parts deemed "For Repair or Replacement Only" worth the headache that they could, by their very nature cause? Don't think for a moment that if there is ever a reversal on this policy that FAC, Tapco, Sarco or whoever you buy your parts from wont give your name and address to the Feds if and when they want to round them up? . To clear any doubt, just look at the current situation the PPsH kits sold by Inter-Ordnance . granted this would be a huge undertaking - but its not out of the realm of possibility.

    ===========================
    Chance favors the prepared mind [8D]

    [email protected]
    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,837 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by nmyers
    All regs that concern this kind of project are in ATF P5300.4.

    NealNeal - is there somewhere I can see this on-line? I went to the BTAFE site and entered "P5300.4" in their search and got an error ... ever since they went to this new site format (a couple years ago) I have had nothing but trouble finding anything ... if I can find anything at all ... most of what I "know" I read years ago.

    kk

    ===========================
    Chance favors the prepared mind [8D]

    [email protected]
    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
  • boeboeboeboe Member Posts: 3,331
    edited November -1
    Kimber, I still see a lot of problems with them ever trying to enforce any of this in terms of the parts sets.

    The Inter-Ordnance issue was that the sets had not been properly demilled, all they really wanted back, from what I heard, was the improperly cut receiver. They could accurately determine that several sets had been sold which did not have properly cut receivers, and went after them on that basis.

    In the "post-agreement" senario, they wouldn't have any way of making a blanket determination that the sets were not used for the intended purposes, or that they wouldn't be used for the intended purposes. How would they ever make a determination that all these parts sets sold to different people were used to assemble new firearms, and that they were not used "for repair or replacement only"? I have a few imported parts sets, and have not built a firearm out of any of them. They are still just parts. They can't come to me and say, "Give me the firearm you built the parts set from" because there is no such firearm, they are still in the same condition I bought them in.

    They would have to work any enforcement of this agreement backwards, that is, they would first have to have the firearms the kits were made from. Otherwise, they have no way of knowing that the sets were not used for their intended purpose, or ever assembled at all. And if they did have any particular firearm they suspected was built from a kit, how are they going to determine it was built from a "post agreement" kit rather than a "pre-agreement" kit, unless, of course, someone told them?

    If they did find someone who was taking these kits and building them up as working firearms on a regualar basis, perhaps someone who has made five or ten firearms, that person would be in trouble, from what I see. But again, they would first have to have the firearms, and be able to determine the parts used came from these sets. Of course you know the problem with that. A person can't make it profitable to buy the sets, buy the receiver, and sell the finished firearm for a profit! Anyone who even tries this will very soon figure out it is much less expensive to just buy a completed firearm, rather than build one from a parts set.

    I think this is a case where they didn't think their agreement out very well before they made it. They have now created an impossible to enforce requirement for themselves, and are trying to figure out how to enforce it. And they know it is near impossible. The best they can do is try to scare people into compliance, and unfortunately, considering they have already stated they are going to make exception to "innocent diversion" which is "not criminal in nature", they are just further complicating this for themselves.

    Only one other point, they state they are concerned about the use of these parts in "non-sporting firearms". What kind of can of worms is that? Is this saying that the sets are fine if they are used to build compliant "sporting firearms"? Good grief, isn't it already illegal (for unlicensed persons) to build a "non-sporting firearm", that is, an assault weaopn, full auto weapon, or AOW? Aren't all the currently produced FALs, Cetme's, and HK91 clones "sporting firearms"? I thought that's why they were configured as they are!

    To err is human, to moo is bovine.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,866 ******
    edited November -1
    That is another grey area boeboe. While an individual cannot manufacture an assault weapon or a machinegun he can produce other National Firearms Act weapons (short barreled rifle or AOW) using an approved Form 1. Since all NFA wepons are in Title II of the Gun Control Act they are defacto "non sporting". Technically then such a kit could not ever be used to produce an NFA firearm...possibly even by a Class II Manufacturer. This identical post from Kimber also appeared over on the General Discussion forum and we reached many of the same conclusions.

    As far as sporting is concerned it is going to take some action from Congress to finally figure out just what the Gun Control Act means by "sporting". Right now there are FAL type rifles produced and marketed here in the United States which are functionally identical to the same rifles produced by FN. The FN rifles were banned back in 1989 as non sporting but the current and near identical rifles are just fine or as long as they have 10 US made parts! If all of the firearms and firearms types listed in the 1994 Crime Bill and the 1989 Bush Ban as well as the various Clinton executive orders were really banned because they had no "sporting use" then EACH AND EVERY one should have been put into Title II and become NFA weapons. This did not happen. If these new production rifles had no sporting purpose then why are we all paying the Pittman-Robertson federal Excise Tax on these guns when purchased new? PR Tax is supposed to be on sporting arms and ammunition...you don't pay PR Tax on NFA weapons! Over the past 35 years this entire issue has become so clouded with various laws, regualtions, and executive orders that NO ONE can keep it all straight!

    Mark T. Christian
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,326 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    kid, ATF P5300.4 is "Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide"; you should be able to find it under their list of publications. Or, you might want to request a hardcopy version, just for reference.

    Neal
  • kimberkidkimberkid Member Posts: 8,837 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by boeboe
    Kimber, I still see a lot of problems with them ever trying to enforce any of this in terms of the parts sets. I see a lot of holes in it too ... but that is not to say they couldn't make an example out of a few people and really put a "scare" out there and see what turns up ... granted, they would never get everybody because as you pointed out the opportunity of buying a kit at a show, paying cash ...and leaving no trail!

    My goal with this thread was to find out if my position was correct or not ... if parts and receivers sold "For Repair or Replacement Only" could legally be made into firearms by individuals (as opposed to manufacturers)

    My goal has been reached, and the conclusion is:

    Following the letter of the law, technically it is legal ...

    However!

    ... following the sprit of the law, it's not what was intended, and the BTAF is not happy about it.

    I for one will continue to discourage this activity until such time that these muddy waters are cleared ... it's a risk anyone taking, should be made aware of.

    EDIT:
    Thanks Neal!

    ===========================
    Chance favors the prepared mind [8D]

    [email protected]
    If you really desire something, you'll find a way ?
    ? otherwise, you'll find an excuse.
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