Gunmakers have been after the ATF about the regs re: marking the bits which (for some reason) constitute a “complete” firearm (e.g. finished AR frames and receivers). Whose job is it anyway (given that full guns are often assembled from the parts later) and when do they have to do it? Needless to say the bureaucrats who handed some 2000 firearms to Mexican drug thugs went for the strictest possible interpretation of the law. And called themselves “reasonable” for doing so. As follows . . .
Under the regulations, section 478.92, firearms required to be marked at the time of manufacture include both “complete weapons,” and complete frames or receivers of such weapons that are to be sold, shipped, or otherwise disposed of separately. Because identifying firearms is an integral part of the manufacturing process, and sections 923(i) and 478.92 do not specify a time period in which to identify firearms, licensed manufacturers are required to mark them during the manufacturing process. Reading the marking requirement for complete weapons in section 478.92(a) together with the seven day recordkeeping requirement for complete firearms in section 478.123(a), ATF concludes that it is reasonable for a manufacturer to have seven (7) days following the date of completion (to include a firearm in knockdown condition, i.e., complete as to all component parts, or a frame or receiver to be sold, shipped, or disposed of separately) in which to mark the firearm and record its identifying information in the manufacturer’s permanent records.
Click here to read the full ruling (if you’re out of Ambien). Add it only took the ATF, wait for it, seven days from the time they made the ruling to sending out the press release.