The first ATF ruling of 2015 is a vast expansion of its already considerable power. It maintains that an entity that rents or leases equipment or tools on its premises to individuals working on their own guns must be licensed as a gun manufacturer and keep gun manufacturing records. If the business allows other people to use its tools and equipment to perform work to finish a frame, receiver, or complete firearm, that machine shop or other business must, in effect, be licensed as a firearms manufacturer . . .

From the ruling (pdf):

An FFL or unlicensed machine shop may also desire to make available its machinery (e.g., a computer numeric control or “CNC” machine), tools, or equipment to individuals who bring in raw materials, blanks, unfinished frames or receivers and/or other firearm parts for the purpose of creating operable firearms. Under the instruction or supervision of the FFL or unlicensed machine shop, the customers would initiate and/or manipulate the machinery, tools, or equipment to complete the frame or receiver, or entire weapon. The FFL or unlicensed machine shop would typically charge a fee for such activity, or receive some other form of compensation or benefit. This activity may occur either at a fixed premises, such as a machine shop, or a temporary location, such as a gun show or event.

A business (including an association or society) may not avoid the manufacturing license, marking, and recordkeeping requirements under the GCA simply by allowing individuals to initiate or manipulate a CNC machine, or to use machinery, tools, or equipment under its dominion or control to perform manufacturing processes on blanks, unfinished frames or receivers, or incomplete weapons. In these cases, the business controls access to, and use of, its machinery, tools, and equipment. Following manufacture, the business “distributes” a firearm when it returns or otherwise disposes a finished frame or receiver, or complete weapon to its customer. Such individuals or entities are, therefore, “engaged in the business” of manufacturing firearms even though unlicensed individuals may have assisted them in the manufacturing process.

Held, any person (including any corporation or other legal entity) engaged in the business of performing machining, molding, casting, forging, printing (additive manufacturing) or other manufacturing process to create a firearm frame or receiver, or to make a frame or receiver suitable for use as part of a “weapon … which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” i.e., a “firearm,” must be licensed as a manufacturer under the GCA; identify (mark) any such firearm; and maintain required manufacturer’s records.

The BATFE, as with most government bureaucracies, is not very nimble, and in these times of rapid technological change, are behind the curve. Technological advances have already rendered the BATFE model of manufacturing obsolete. Since the invention of firearms (around 1500 a.d.), guns have been made in small shops and homes. They are still being made there, and such manufacture by individuals has always been recognized as unregulatable and legal under federal law. From about 1850 until present, guns have mostly made in factories, but home and small shop production has always been present.

What the BATFE appears to be attempting to do here is to deprive people who do not have the resources to purchase their own machinery from renting the equipment and premises of others in order to work on their own privately owned projects.    But the price of the necessary machinery is in freefall. Defense Distributed has already sold a complete CNC machine — appropriately names the “Ghost Gunner,” that can be used to create a firearm receiver for $999.

Alternately, 3-D printing machines, that can also make such receivers, are available for about the same price.

What the BATFE is running up against is a fundamental conflict between two visions of society. In the vision of the framers of the Constitution, society is composed of free individuals who can do most of their own manufacturing and who are mostly independent of large associations, needing them primarily for defense of the nation and to maintain a system of justice for settling disputes.

In the more recent vision of society, the State is the primary actor in people’s lives, deciding what they can and cannot do in most situations. That such a vision became ascendant with the movement of most manufacturing and agriculture to the control of large organizations is no coincidence.

Now, as small scale and custom manufacturing are again becoming profitable and common, the structures put in place by the Constitution are making it difficult for the bureaucracy, designed for the mass manufacture era, to maintain its hold on power and control.

The CNC machine pictured above is already cheap enough to be afforded by an average individual. It could be used to create one or two receivers, then sold to the next individual at a discount. Alternately, a rental company could rent such a machine for use off its premises and out of its control.

It may also happen that Congress will recognize the inherent unenforceability and silliness of the 1968 law that BATFE’s claims are based on. No such federal requirements for manufacture existed before 1938, nor is there any study or reason to believe that such licenses improve society or add to the public good. They are, and always were, simply another “first step” toward government control over the private ownership of firearms. They are a clear infringement on freedom, without discernible benefit.

After the implementation of the 1968 law, crime skyrocketed. Then, once the shall-issue concealed carry movement gained power and prison populations rose to unprecedented levels, crime rates have now finally returned to those pre-1968 levels.

[h/t David Codrea]

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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82 Responses to New Ruling Cracks Down on Machine Shops, Expands ATF Power

  1. If the ATF and powers that be think we are going to shun and ostracize our own on this because we don’t want to “upset” the beast for the sake and risk of lossing additional freedoms – they should think again.

    The more I read articles such as these the more hardware and machining tools I want to buy.

    • A Star Wars movie quote is quite appropriate;

      “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems, (CNC machines) will slip through your fingers”

    • Fuck the atf they don’t have the authority to make a decision like this they are unelected and therefore should not be making laws especially laws against the 2nd amendment. I’m sick of these tyrants trying to tell us what we can and cannot do they have no authority just like the nsa has no fucking authority to spy on us. If they want to keep pushing there luck with our rights the tree of liberty must be refreshed. Believe me if i owned a machine shop i would not obey this “law” if you want to call it that which it isn’t a law the constitution trumps this all day long. I leave you with this atf and readers if a law is unjust a man is not only right to disobey it but it is his duty. Thomas Jefferson

  2. Numerous small machine shops are in the business of renting machine time to individuals who are either hobbyists or learning the machine tooling craft. This ruling threatens this legitimate practice.
    Machine shops that rent time on machines will have to hire monitors who will need to be able to recognize an artifact that seems likely in-process to become a receiver/frame for a firearm. Upon such a recognition, they will have to stop their customer’s work-in-progress and inquire into the artifact he is making. If the customer claims it is not a receiver/frame for a firearm the monitor will have to closely supervise the customer to ensure that he is telling the truth.
    I don’t see how machine shops can continue in this rental of machine-time business with a reasonable cost-of-doing-business (i.e., without the cost of monitors) and without the jeopardy of a raid by the ATF.

    • *shakes tiny fist* I was typing my response when you’re got posted. Great minds and all. But I guess that’d apply to average minds and even lessor minds huh?

    • They don’t have time to convict people who lie on background check forms or straw purchasers, so how is the ATF going to enforce this ruling anyway?

      I doubt many criminals are making their own guns in the US anyway, unlike Australia where homemade guns are a booming industry. However, if I want to manufacturer guns or let others manufacture guns for a criminal enterprise, how will the ATF even know I have a machine shop set up?

      In short, once again this does nothing to prevent crime but is an additional burden on the law abiding.

      • ATF is not interested in going from machine shop to machine shop looking for people manufacturing lower receivers. They will engage low level criminals to go in and finish an 80% lower and then come down like a ton of bricks on a few machine shops to scare the rest into line while being able to crow about “stopping ghost gun manufacturers” and “preventing unregistered weapons from falling into criminal hands.”

        • BATFE; a bunch of thugs, bullies and corrupt power mongers that deserve nothing but contempt.

          Every time I see a picture of or a news strip showing someone wearing those letters, I see the Branch Davidian compound on fire and imagining the agonizing screams of the ninety eight men,women and children burning to death.

          ( I know, The FBI was In charge later; but I see the BATFE as directly responsible for what happened in their desire for a flashy assault instead of a quite arrest of Koresh at his favorite coffee shop in town.)

        • Actually, it was the FBI that was there on April 19; they were straightening out the fustercluck ATF had made of the original raid in February.

          But yeah, I share your sentiments about them.

        • Yep. And if the “criminal” tries not to cooperate they will just have Lon Horiuchi murder their family.

        • Lon Horiuchi. We should have a Lon Horiuchi day like a Guy Fawkes day in England.

          G-d says to love ones enemy.

          Maybe G-d would make an exception for the people of the ATF and for Lon.

    • “Machine shops that rent time on machines will have to hire monitors who will need to be able to recognize an artifact that seems likely in-process to become a receiver/frame for a firearm.”

      You took the opposite tack from what I was about to address, which is how can the ATF require a non-firearm business to magically know what is in process to become a firearm receiver? First time I saw an AR stripped lower, it could have been a cookie cutter for all of me. The concept of additional expense (passed on to the evil gun maker, of course) and complexity should be supported in the same document by what benefits would be expected. I can see none, other than the clear requirement for more ATF agents to constantly investigate every machine shop in the country, probably so many that everyone now employed can expect to be promoted to management level. IOW, this is BS, but they have the guns.

  3. So here’s the onion in the BATFEXYZABC123’s argument: how can a machine shop KNOW every conceivable form a firearm can take? If their machines are for rent or open source use, how is the shop responsible for what gets milled/lathed/welded? No one person much less the ATF can know what shapes are firearms and which are not. You may say ignorance is no excuse but how do you enforce on something as vague as a machined shape in the absence of any other parts?

    • The atf just needs sued again. As usual every few years they lose their marbles, at least it isn’t a ruby ridge or waco. They are violating dozens of former rulings figuring no one will dare challenge the great and powerful BATFECES!

    • BATFE8KCCMPBSSFP

      Bringing a tax stamp near you.

      Bureau of
      Alcohol
      Tobacco
      Firearms
      Explosives
      80 – 0% lowers
      Knives
      Clubs
      Crowbars
      Machine shops
      Possible Poisons
      Bricks
      Sugary beverages
      Salty foods
      Fatty foods
      Protein foods

    • If you own a machine shop, you’d better not let any 3/4 inch pipe in your door. Wouldn’t want any unregistered 12-gauges making it out the door.

  4. The CNC machine pictured above is already cheap enough to be afforded by an average individual. It could be used to create one or two receivers, then sold to the next individual at a discount.

    Bingo.

    They are, and always were, simply another “first step” toward government control over the private ownership of firearms.

    That and a money making scheme to funnel money from the american people to fund an agency called the ATF in order for the ATF to enforce rules so they can continue to fund the ATF. It’s not about crime or safety. It’s about job security.

  5. For ~$1,500 or less, you can purchase your own CNC setup you can have in your garage or basement.

    I have a friend who is an astronomy geek squared. He is not an engineer, he is an Actuarial. He made his own telescope and astro-tracking system. There is enough information, free software and websites that all it takes is time and want.

    They will have to ban or require a incense to use CNC machines to stop anything. Between 3D metal printing and free CNC software, this is just feel good legislation if it is even legal at all.

    I am waiting for the first terrorist attack where they find all the weapons where made in a garage by some ex-7-eleven clerk.

    • “this is just feel good legislation ”
      NOT!
      Legislation is a law, created by a representative legislative body.

      This is a self serving extention of self generated power and authority.

    • Not just CNC equipment. All of the machine work required for an AR upper or lower can be done manually, it just takes longer. And look at the Afghanis making AKs literally in caves, crude but effective.

  6. These fools need to watch the Holy Trilogy again:

    Princess Leia Organa: The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

    • Yes, lots.

      CNC machines are getting smaller and some can be controlled by a laptop or inserted memory card. If you wanted to put one in a van, you could.

      Powering them would be a whole different matter. Best bet would be to purchase a few extension chords and just borrow some electricity from nearby.

      • Drive the van to the home of the individual builder, it’s no longer “on the premises” of the machine shop. If the van is considered “the premises”, unload it from the van.

  7. I have a deposit down on one of the CNC machines DD is manufacturing. When I receive it can I loan it to a friend without registering as a firearm’s manufacturer?

    • Well, if nothing else, you could ‘sell’ it back and forth for a penny. Or a chicken.

      To further that, if you buy in as a group on a CNC, how would that work? 😀

    • Yes! By the way, are you looking for friends?
      IANAL, but I believe you can let a friend borrow it. I probably would have collaborated with others to purchase this instead of going it slightly alone and buying a drill press.

    • I think the key phrase is “in the business of” As long as you’re not making money off of it you’re good to go.

      • In the context of some laws, giving something away can be the same as selling it for zero dollars and zero cents (e.g., software). In other cases, selling something for less than a certain amount can be considered a gift (which may have other legal or tax ramifications). IANAL, I have no specific point and I don’t know if any of those factors come in to play here.

        Just sayin’. 😀

  8. Since the early bren and sten guns could be made from plumbing parts, Will home depot be covered as selling unfinished receivers>

  9. This ruling, which really needs to be challenged in court, does not seem to prohibit the group purchase of something like the Ghost Gunner and being shared among the group.

    $100 ea, it might not be a bad idea.

    Don

  10. Hmmmm. This seems to open the possibility for ATF to “inspect” or raid (with a warrant) unlicensed small machine shops where someone “might” be making a gun……

    This also could indicate that ATF might be considering extending these principles to a home workshop…..

    This might not be too long a stretch for an agency that once declared a piece of string to be a machinegun.

  11. The Sten gun was unreliable and crude an can AR is much better. Anyone who thought that the ATF was not going to close the 80% receiver loophole was optimistically fooling themselves. Now, let’s see how long they can delay the lawsuit from Ares Arms to argue that the case made by Ares goes against commonly accepted practices

  12. Actually, the federal government began licensing gun manufacturing in 1938 under the GCA38, which set up the federal firearms licensing system (and also required dealers to purchase a FFL for one dollar,) Since the manufacturer’s FFL was a revenue item the sale and enforcement was given to the Treasury Department, hence to the ATF. Leaving aside the author’s philiosophical meanderings about “two visions of society,” federal law has never recognized the manufacture of any product for self-use as constituting a commercial enterprise, hence, there is no basis for regulation, at least not by the feds. What they are saying, however, is that since the machine being used for the manufacturing of the gun is not owned by the end-user of the gun, the machine’s owner is therefore in the business of manufacture since he is charging the customer to use his machinery. I suspect such an interpretation of the definition of manufacture would be upheld.

    • “… federal law has never recognized the manufacture of any product for self-use as constituting a commercial enterprise, hence, there is no basis for regulation …”

      Unfortunately, you are wrong Mike.

      Example:
      The feds created a quota system to limit wheat production and artificially prop-up the cost of wheat. A farmer in Ohio exceeded his quota and thought he would be fine because he harvested the excess for his own consumption. The federal government sued/prosecuted that farmer. Their claim? (Hang on for verbal/logical gymnastics the likes of which you have never imagined.) The farmer’s excess wheat production meant he would purchase less wheat which would reduce demand which would reduce wheat prices on the open market which would reduce wheat prices in several states … and since that would affect the prices across several states it affected interstate commerce which means the feds believe they are entitled to “regulate” wheat production/harvest. Unbelievably, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the lawsuit/conviction.

      That is the abomination of our government and courts. Using that “logic”, the federal government has empowered themselves to “regulate” (which really means restrict rather than the Constitutional meaning of removing impediments to) production of anything and everything on the claim that it ultimately affects commerce in multiple states.

      So, yes, this ruling will stick unless the courts find a different reason to strike it down.

    • The manufacturer is renting their equipment and could care less (or should) if it is being used by the renter for a prop at a birthday party or to make tea cups. The renter just makes and maintains the equipment. I rented a cement mixer from a rental shop before, but that doesn’t make the rental business a concrete company.

      Now I can see the ATF if the 80% receiver is made in the same shop where a customer finishes the final 20% with ‘help’ from the in house machinists. That’s cutting the line pretty thin. But for the ATF to lump in a general machine shop where the shop never lays a finger on the 80% receiver is clearly past that line and a hobbyist is running his own project, even if it’s under the supervision of an instructor, is way over the line

  13. This makes absolutely no sense, and I’m not seeing what you all seem to be seeing. It seems to me if the facility instructs the individual manufacturing then you have an issue. If they are just renting time on a machine it seems like it’s not a problem, unless that machine has already been programmed by the shop and all you have to do is press one button to run the program and finish your lower or whatever.
    If the rental of the machine time falls under that umbrella, what are they going to do about actual firearm manufacturers that lease their equipment from a financing company? The shop does not own that equipment. They lease it from the owners. Does that mean that the financing company has to have a firearms manufacturing license as well?

  14. I have a serious problem with this ruling. When you rent something, you are the operator and solely responsible for your activity. The owner has no responsibility whatsoever.

    Consider a person who rents an apartment. Is the landlord criminally culpable if the renter murders someone in the apartment? Obviously not. Neither is a machine shop owner criminally culpable for the activities of renters. This is the most asinine ruling that I have ever heard. Will someone please remove this judge from office immediately for gross incompetence?

    • This isn’t a judge making the ruling, its the ATF asserting that it has authority over the issue, and how they will interrupt and enforce it. It’s not uncommon for bureaucracies to try and grow their little empires as far as they can go. Here in Oregon, public access is starting to become an issue as the Oregon forest service is trying to close down (i.e. destroy) public access roads and claim they have enforcement jurisdiction on federal lands.

      • Oregon state forestry is also cooperating to shut down access to any public lands that the Bonneville Power people use to access their power lines. They deny that, but the gates are being put up by the BPA and are BPA property, sitting on government land. Forestry uses the excuse that they’re “restoring the forest”, which means digging holes in long-established recreational access roads, mounding the dirt near the hole, dropping trees across the road, and planting trees both in the holes and on the mounds.

        One result is more trash in the rivers, because people who used to be able to just throw their trash in their vehicles tend not to bother when they have to carry it back out after a day of swimming.

        And of course if you used to use those roads for hunting or fishing, the Forestry people insist you still have access — you just have to walk. Right: climb up and down the holes and mounds, and all?

  15. This doesn’t pass my Constitutional sniff test. That said, I have an easy work around:

    Change the language of the “rental agreements” into full-blown short term leases.

    • “Change the language of the “rental agreements” into full-blown short term leases.”

      Exactly. See my comment above. The property owner has no culpability whatsoever for the activities of a renter.

  16. What happened to the days where if it wasn’t explicitly written in a law, it wasn’t illegal?

    Must have been the same day the ”other side” chose to ignore that if it wasn’t explicitly written in the Constitution the Fed. had no say over it.

  17. I think they’re just clarifying what they believe the law to be. It’s perfectly legal to build your own firearm, but paying any person or business to help you in any way, except for perhaps advice, makes it a firearm that must be serialized and therefore would require a manufacturing license. I may be wrong but I don’t see it as overstepping their authority. Any reasonably able bodied adult can finish an 80% receiver and assemble an AR in their garage or kitchen. Are we just angry they’re saying we can’t conveniently have somebody do a production run for us? That’s what finished, serialized receivers are for, yeah? Get the law changed, don’t blame the cop. Disclaimer: I have no love whatsoever for the BATFE, and am royally p-o-ed that they copy firearm transfer records when they inspect FFLs

    • That fails because they are effectively requiring machine shops to serve as federal law agents, without compensation. They are probably confident of getting away with it since the Justice Department has been successfully setting precedent by requiring journalists to be informants for the DEA, FBI, and more.

  18. Something that became exposed/clear to me from this determination is an interesting logical hole in the ATF’s anti-80% theory:
    At some point a hunk of metal (or plastic) receives a cut or hole that turns it from an unregulated piece of metal/plastic into a regulated firearm. Prior to that cut or hole it is completely legal for anyone to manufacture, for profit, and sell without any regulation, records, or anything. After that point, the ATF regulates it.
    If a consumer were to buy such an item prior to that last cut or hole, then simply make a single cut or hole (as defined by the process; depending on the type of firearm created it will be one or the other), then they have created a firearm. Completely legal. However, most likely, this firearm probably cannot fire as yet (it still needs its mechanisms and barrel affixed, at very least, and possibly needs further machining done in order to accept its mechanisms and/or barrel, etc), but, legally, it is whatever firearm it is to become.
    A gunsmith is expressly not allowed to manufacture firearms, however, they are allowed to modify firearms, including modifications that improve functionality, as long as they don’t change the classification of the firearm (e.g. from a semi-auto to a machine gun). You should, thus, be able to deliver your “firearm” to them to be modified for improved functionality (e.g. the trigger mechanism can’t quite fit in, or the like, so the gunsmith will do fitment; machine the rest of the trigger pocket out) for you. If the gunsmithing can be completed on the same day, then no record is required of the service by the ATF.
    So a gunsmith could sell 80% lowers, have the customer take them home and drill out the pocket (or the 3 pin holes, or whatever, but it should only be 1 cut or hole), then bring them back and adjust them for fitment (e.g. finish machining them into 100% lowers) and return them to the customer. All without any federal recording required.

    • Winner!! Winner!! Chicken Dinner!!
      That’s what I had heard/had explained to me as well. Drill a hole in the 80%, so it’s now a firearm, take it to a gunsmith, have him fix/finish/fit your firearm. gooberment employees…. I swear….

    • For that matter, if someone rents time at a machine shop and doesn’t quite finish the drilling — stops, say, at 98% — he hasn’t made a firearm, so there’s no manufacturing going on. Then he could take the piece home and finish the job with simpler equipment.

  19. To any ATF agents reading this article/comments and support this asinine dictatorial decree…

    Eat a huge, fat, hairy donkey d%$k!!

    Catch me if you can you freaking thugs. I’m so tired of your little-man dick-tatorial complex. There’s no way in hell that this will have an effect on the people you’re primarily directing this at (those that buy 80% lowers because they want the government out of their lives). There is ALWAYS a work-around. And even if there wasn’t, that still wouldn’t stop them.

    To anybody intimidated by this bullshit….
    Like others have mentioned, how in the world can one be responsible for the use of a good that is rented to another? It can’t. Let’s use murder as the crime, since it’s one of the absolute worst crimes. Apartment owners aren’t responsible for a murdering tenant killing someon in their building. An equipment rental place isn’t responsible if somebody buries a body with their equipment. A car rental business isn’t responsible if someone drives drunk and kills somebody in their car. I could go on. But my Ghost Gunner machine just came in and I’m going to go play with it.

  20. “the customers would initiate and/or manipulate the machinery, tools, or equipment to complete the frame or receiver, or entire weapon”

    Interesting that they chose to use the word weapon in the edict.

    Not firearm, not gun, but made a point of saying the citizen was making a weapon. Tells you a lot about where they are coming from.

  21. How are they going to prove anything? Can they really look at a random piece of machinery and say “this was used to build a gun”? And why IN HELL do we give ANY government entity the ability to increase its own influence?!?!

    • I will tell you how they will do it–because they have already done it out here in California. What they do is they send in someone with an unmachined lower to one of these shops, and rent out the equipment to make the lower. then they will ask for help getting set up, and will run into “problems” that they will have someone help them with. The case is made. The case out here–not sure where it was exactly, but I think Stockton–involved a machine shop that would sell a 80% lower, then have a member of the staff help the customer set up the lower ina jig and show him what button(s) to push to run the CNC mill. Most of those employees were ex-cons. I don’t think I need to detail the charges with which this business and its employees were hit.

      • So the shop doesn’t provide help, but can direct you to a site with instructional videos for whatever you want to do. Then they haven’t helped at all, so they’re not manufacturing anything.

        This is pure Parkinson’s law: give a bureaucracy authority, and it will expand its workforce to do everything under its authority, and then find ways to extend its authority in order to keep expanding.

  22. more government control I swear to gosh! When is enough enough? When are we going to bust be the BATF that to a state run organization and cut their federal power? He has needed to be done now for about the last I don’t know 15 20 years. I thought this was a free country??? I guess it isn’t anymore!

    • It hasn’t been a free country since Reagan set the tune by deciding it was fine to destroy the lives of innocents so long as more bad guys were caught, and that more rules are always better because it allows catching more bad guys.

  23. so much I guess for gunshop teaching AR 15 assembly classes without a class 7 manufacturing license. So now they’re going to head and make people go ahead and try to build a AR 15 on their own in their house with no professional help that’s just great. What about the safety issue here, and how in the heck are they going to enforce this bullshit law?

  24. Is this like the swell job the dea does with drug(meth) manufacturing? I have alarge garage. Pretty sure it was a machine shop many years ago. The cat is out of the bag…

  25. Administrative agencies don’t make laws per se. They can interpret the law and they can create rules that they are allowed by Congress to make but a holding like this is just an opinion, and a warning. Administrative agencies can also perform quasi judicial law making, but such administrative judicial laws are subject to review by Article III Courts. Of course, that gets very expensive and the Article III Court will not hear the question until every last bit of administrative review has been adhered to. So, this will be tied up in courts for a decade, and who can afford that? Not a machine shop that rents out by the hour to any old customer.

    This can only be practically overturned by the legislative branch or a change in the executive branch’s control. Don’t hold your breath.

  26. We need to find a way to get this thrown out. I have machined barrels for people, and parts that I did not know what they were, nor did I care. Now I can be charged with being a criminal if they bring in a part that MIGHT be used to make a firearm?
    This is insane.

  27. The Gov took all the ammo and now thousands+ learned to re-load, now they are coaxing the masses into learning how to machine weapons….. maybe they are just staying 10 steps ahead and nudging us…..preparing us for the coming days……

    China owns 60% and Saudi Arabia 22% of this country, that does not leave much for us if they come calling…..

  28. TL:DR, renting or loaning your tools makes you a gun manufacturer.

    Dear BATFE,

    Forthwith attempt aerial fornication with a rotationally transiting toroidal pastry.

    Sincerely, The Citizens

  29. And inventing new crimes keeps them in business.

    Hey Boehner, are you paying attention, you spineless f#@&wad?

  30. Remember California Senator DeLeon’s Ghost Gun Bill? That bill was squarely aimed at (among other things) the home manufacturing of unregistered and unserialized “assault weapons.” And it was introduced just after the raid on a machine shop in California that was providing “too much” assistance to people milling their own lowers (which people included, allegedly, gang member who could not legally possess the completed weapons) and the raid on ARES Armor and EP Manufacturing with respect to the polymer lower made by EP (on the basis that the lower was “too complete” and was therefore a firearm). And just after DeLeon introduced his bill, the ATF baannounced, basically, that so-called “build parties” were illegal. In just the past few weeks, I saw a video bit on NBC News that talked about “ghost guns,” wherein an ATF spokesperson claims that gangs are making their own ARs and using them to commit crimes, but that the guns are “untraceable.” (Why tracing matter is unknown, but the police seem to think it is a big deal. Personally, I’d be going after the guy using the gun to commit a crime and leave it at that, but hey, what do I know?) I saw a comment that said that CBS had aired a similar story.

    This tells us that there will be a big push in the next couple of years to outlaw “ghost guns” at the national level, and probably through executive action taken by the ATF, since it is obvious that no legislation doing so will make it through Congress.

    • this was exactly my fear. the home made gun culture was pretty low key and most people didn’t even know it was not illegal to make your own guns so long as you don’t make any NFA items.

      criminal production of black market guns has been pretty much non-existent until recently and the criminal that now realizes he could just make the gun instead of buying one off the street or stealing one because it never crossed his mind. monkey see, monkey do. this is a result of all the attention generated by those who have made a big deal out of it either by complaining and fear mongering or by posting recalcitrant CAD files and videos hyping up “you cant stop me from doing what i want” (just one example. and you know who i am talking about). and those who capitalized on this by making a very publicly advertised establishment that allows you to make your own “untraceable gun”.

      and now we have a friggin’ beuro redifining the laws of ownership and acountability for the sake of growing the list of illegal activity it can react to.

      i am going to be steaming mad if my hobby gets ruined becuase people didn’t grow up and stop doing the “look what i can do” dance.

      my gut tells me that i will be getting pretty damn mad too.

      • There have been plenty of homemade guns used in crime before this. The old media played it down, because it destroys the whole idea of gun control through government regulation of law abiding gun owners. What really upsets the powers that be is the popularity of free market guns by non-criminals.

        The idea of “I am ok, they will never notice me” is not supportable. If you think home gun making would be allowed as gun restrictions became tighter and tighter, you are naive. Gun restrictions have never been about crime. They have always been about political control. That is the way it worked in England, and everywhere around the world.

        http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2014/10/gun-registration-and-confiscation-in.html

  31. So, users will just have to sign a 1-hour lease of the entire shop for $xx. Anything done on the property using the tools will be the sole responsibility of the tenant until the lease expires.

  32. IANAL, so perhaps someone who is can explain something to me.

    A manufacturer who sells goods subject to BATFE regulation takes certain raw materials, performs some manufacturing process on those materials to result in a regulated, final good. The manufacturer then sells that good to a third party, with all BATFE regulation attendant to that sale.

    The laws that authorize BATFE to regulate the sale of that good specifically indicate the manufacture and sale of that good as being subject to BATFE authority. Presumably, that manufacturer could use the same equipment, perhaps even processing the same raw materials, and manufacture and sell some other good that is not subject to BATFE regulation as authorized by the above-mentioned laws.

    All good so far, yes?

    So then, let’s say that manufacturer has some idle time on some of his equipment, and wishes to increase his operating efficiency by renting out time on that equipment to third party. In this arrangement, the manufacturer exchanges time on and use of a piece of manufacturing machinery for a fee. The transaction in this case is a service, not a good. That service (equipment use) is, presumably, not enumerated in the laws that authorize BATFE to regulate the sale of certain, specified goods.

    In renting out equipment, a manufacturer is neither manufacturing nor selling a good of any kind. The manufacturer neither owns nor provides the raw materials or the finished product. (And in any case, even if, in a separate transaction, the manufacturer sells the raw materials, those raw materials are not regulated.)

    Unless I’m missing something here: I think BATFE can go pound sand.

  33. Wonder how the BATFags look at it if you happen to WORK for a CNC shop and use the machinery at your own place of employment to make guns?

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