mag wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 15:52:
Creston wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 14:18:
There is no need to make a new law for that. ANY unregistered gun is illegal, it doesn't matter where it was manufactured or HOW it was manufactured. This is why a redneck who builds his own gun and doesn't register it still breaks the law. So this new law is utterly pointless.
I believe it is legal to make a gun for yourself, and that gun does not need to be registered. It's when you begin selling them that it's a problem.
There was an article about it a few days ago, but a two-second Google didn't pull it up and I lost interest.
There's no such thing as registering a gun in the US on a federal level (other than NFA firearms, but that's a different matter). When you purchase a firearm you fill out ATF Form 4473, this is not a registration form, all it is is a record that a firearm transfer took place, this is also the form that is used to call in background checks to NICS. The ATF does not keep copies of these forms on file, and the FFL (dealer) is required to keep them on file for something like 20 years. What happens if the firearm you bought is used in a crime is the feds track the transferring of that firearm using 4473s and other dealer transfer forms; i.e. using those forms to discern, via serial number, that the firearm was shipped to X distributor from the factory, was then transferred to Y dealer, and finally sold to Z customer. There are some states that may require registration, but that depends on the state.
That being said, it is entirely legal, by ATF regulation, for private citizens to manufacture firearms for their own personal use. They do not need to be serialized, they're not registered, but it is illegal to sell these privately constructed firearms to others. If you ever wanted to sell it you would have to take it to a dealer that holds a manufacturer's license and have them serialize it for sale.
NFA firearms refers to firearms that are controlled by the National Firearms Act. The NFA is what regulates what is considered a short-barreled rifle (SBR), short-barreled shotgun (SBS), or a machine gun, and it regulates suppressors as well. By NFA definition any firearm is NOT NFA if it is a rifle with a barrel length greater than 16", overall length greater than 26", and is semi-automatic. So an SBR or SBS is any rifle or shotgun with a barrel length less than 16", or an overall length less than 26", and a machine gun is any firearm that fires more than one bullet with a single pull of the trigger, or any device that allows such functionality. Per the NFA it is illegal for any civilian to own a machine gun (or device designated a machine gun; things like drop-in auto sears, lightning links, etc.) manufactured after the NFA went into effect, which is May 1986. It is legal for civilians to own newly manufactured SBRs, SBSs, and suppressors, provided they submit to a more thorough background check, and pay a $200 tax. All NFA firearms ARE registered federally. When an NFA firearm is manufactured the manufacturer sends in an ATF Form 1 which notifies the ATF that they have manufactured a new NFA firearm, and the ATF adds it to the registry. They are heavily regulated, many states outright ban them, and many states that allow them still make it so difficult to own one that it's not worth the hassle. On top of that, as far as machine guns go, since the market for them was effectively frozen in 1986, their prices rise exponentially every year as they become increasingly more difficult to acquire legally, and as legal machine guns break down and parts to repair them become harder to acquire. For example, the cheapest machine gun that is legal for civilian ownership is a MAC-10 or MAC-11, usually around $4,000-$5,000. A couple years ago they were about half that. A registered M16/AR15 or AK47 would run you anywhere from $20,000-$40,000 depending on the condition. It goes without saying that it is entirely illegal for any civilian to manufacture any firearms that might be considered an NFA firearm. There are ways around it, such as having an 11.5" barrel with a 4.5" flash hider on it (making the effective barrel length 16"), but the flash hider must be pinned on permanently so that it can not be removed (not easily and without possibly doing damage to the barrel anyway).