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[UPDATE] This article seems to have stirred up some controversy. I asked the ATF a straightforward question, and reported truthfully on the answer I received. It seems that a number of people are annoyed that the answer I got doesn’t match their preconceived notions and goes against their own readings of the law, and as a result are starting to attack me personally over this article. Here’s the thing: I can only report the truth. This is exactly what the ATF told me. As always, I am not a lawyer and this does not constitute legal advice, so if you are concerned feel free to contact one before taking any actions.

It seems like short barreled rifles are all the rage these days. Ever since the advent of the gun trust and ATF’s eForms it has never been easier to register your firearm as an NFA device and chop down the barrel as low as it can go. There’s just one problem: the marking requirement. Ask three people whether you need to engrave your information on your newly registered NFA device and you’ll get three different answers. In an effort to sort out the confusion I asked the ATF directly, and their response actually made perfect sense . . .

Let’s start at the beginning.

Any time a firearm is manufactured with the intent of sale in interstate commerce, the ATF requires that it be marked with the name and location of the manufacturer as well as a serial number. Those individuals who manufacture 80% lower receivers into finished firearms may be familiar with this specific wrinkle, since their guns don’t require any markings until the moment they decide to try to sell them.

When it comes to making a short barreled rifle from an existing firearm (like an AR-15 lower you bought complete), things get a little murkier. The manufacturer’s information is already stamped on the side of the gun. That original stamping satisfies the ATF’s requirements for the Title I firearm, but what about when the firearm transitions to a Title II weapon and becomes an NFA device?

According to the ATF, the process of creating an NFA device (even if it only means adding a stock to the gun) constitutes “remanufacturing” the firearm. As such you (the person who filed the Form 1) become the manufacturer of the NFA device. In theory this means that the firearm needs your information (name and location) marked on it as well, but according to the ATF that might not be the case.

HuntingRifle2-900x601

If you manufacture a NFA device from an existing firearm, according to the ATF you DO NOT need to immediately engrave your information into the firearm. Much like how firearms manufactured from a 80% lower receiver don’t require engraving upon completion, the ATF believes that the mere act of manufacture of an exiting NFA device doesn’t require additional engraving. The existing serial number is sufficient for identification.

So, when do you need to engrave your Form 1’ed SBR? The answer: when you intend to sell it. Engraving requirements apply to firearms that are intended for sale in interstate commerce, so when you go to sell your gun you’re going to need to have it engraved.

An interesting wrinkle is that this applies even if you have removed the NFA device from the registry. According to the ATF the moment the firearm is returned to a Title I state (a rifle with a 16-inch barrel, for example) the gun is no longer a registered NFA device, but the registration record remains in their database. To have it removed you need to send them a letter notifying them of the disposition of the firearm and they will send a response in about…4 to 6 months. Even if your SBR has been removed from the registry AND you already have the letter in hand, the fact that it was remanufactured as an SBR at some point means your information needs to be on it.

In short, if you don’t intend to sell your firearm after turning it into an NFA device you don’t need to engrave it. But if you ever sell it later (even after removing it from the registry) you will need to have it engraved.

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220 Responses to Do You Need to Engrave Your Form 1’ed SBR?

  1. Well that was about what I expected, as far as the ATFE goes. Thanks for the clarification, Nick.

    NFA needs to die a horrible death.

  2. So what you’re saying is that it’s well past time to make title II not a thing anymore? Got it. Hey any chance we can get those pansies at the NRA to actually take a stand against the NFA anytime soon?

    • A majority of members of the current U.S. Supreme Court is unwilling to uphold the Second Amendment and thus the Court is refusing all Second Amendment cases that come its way under its current membership.

      When might the U.S. Supreme Court hear a case to strike down the NFA of 1934? We will have to wait until the current occupier of the White House appoints two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who are willing to actually uphold the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law (but I repeat myself).

      • U.S. v Miller was a double edged sword. Mostly because Miller died and no one bothered to inform the justices that a SBS is, in fact, a firearm that serves a military purpose. But, they did state that individuals have a right to firearms of a military purpose. What does that mean for the NFA? Who the fuck knows, but it was the only case that I’m aware of that deals directly with the NFA.

    • Lowell, I agree 100% ! I stopped giving my money to the NRA after the post sandy hook debacle. They really need to find their balls.

  3. To anyone reading this post, please ignore it in its entirety. This is such awful information it makes me sick. Garbage like this is going to get people into trouble.

    Also, it is not remanufacturing a firearm when you submit a form 1 on an existing gun. It is called “making” an SBR. There is a reason why on the top of the form 1 it says “Application to Make and Register a Firearm”

    Epic fail…

    • How do you qualify your statements? Do you have a reference or are you spouting your own opinion in an obnoxious rant? Please clarify.

      • Qualify my statements? It is fact, that the maker of a SBR must engrave the lower before making not “remanufacturing” a SBR. It must be engraved before you attach a barrel shorter than 16 inches to the firearm. This is per the ATF and every single lawyer I have ever spoken to regarding the NFA. What Nick Leghorn is claiming is a dangerous opinion that could get people into a lot of trouble.

        Look at an actual Form 1. Read the ATF handbook and call a lawyer. This is basic stuff.

        • Except that the item already has the required markings per the ATF. I got a form 1 approved using the markings on the receiver. Nowhere does it say I need to put more markings on it unless I intend to sell it. It’s legally no different than making a 80% lower.

          But hey, if you guys want to jack up your firearms, that’s on you.

        • Well of course you got it approved with the markings currently on the receiver. Thats how it works. You do not have to engrave anything in order to get something approved by the ATF. You have to engrave it to avoid getting into trouble if law enforcement decides they want to verify what you have is legally owned. You are the maker of the firearm. All those other markings are of the original manufacturer (box 4A on the form 1).

        • I asked the ATF directly, in person, about this issue and the above is the answer I got. This isn’t some convoluted interpretation of obscure Federal law, this is a statement of fact straight from the horse’s mouth. If you have a documented conversation with the ATF that refutes this article then please present it and I will gladly re-examine my statements, but like I said this information comes directly from the ATF themselves.

        • I called in when I was doing a AR Pistol -> SBR build and I got the same exact answer. It also made perfect sense. From a LE perspective, having multiple manufacturers on the firearm along with multiple serial numbers doesn’t make sense. What’s on the receiver matches what’s on the Form 1.

          Oh, and only the ATF has the legal authority to demand to see a Form 1 without a warrant. It’s a confidential tax document.

        • “Judge – Nick Leghorn told me I didn’t need to do it because the ATF told him so. Can I get out of jail now pleasethxbye!”

          Yeah…following the advice in this post based on “some guy’s conversation” is how you end up in prison. Post an ATF letter or don’t share anecdotal conversation. Responsibile *journalism* much?

        • Thanks. Unfortunately, in the world of NFA, some people just refuse to grasp what is really required. This article needs to be taken down immediately or revised with proper information.

        • I read that statute end to end several times. The only timeline requirement applies to weapons before they are SOLD or otherwise disposed of. If the weapon is sitting in your safe, 479.102 does not apply. As I said elsewhere, I got the exact same response from the ATF.

        • Care to share your ATF ruling to that effect? The way the statute is written, your reading would make everyone who files a form 1 an instant felon unless they have the firearm engraved beforehand. By that logic, a form 1 filled out with OEM data should never be approved, I have a document that shows otherwise.

          The response Nick and I got makes a lot more sense as the clear intent is to easily identify the firearm. Multiple manufacturer markings do not serve that intent, but instead introduce more confusion. (Don’t even get me started on serial numbers.)

        • Pwrserge:
          “Care to share your ATF ruling to that effect? The way the statute is written, your reading would make everyone who files a form 1 an instant felon unless they have the firearm engraved beforehand.”

          An approved form 1 does not instantly turn something into an NFA firearm. Actually assembling it does. So no, approval of a form 1 doesn’t make you an instant felon. Assembling an NFA firearm prior to having an approved form 1, or having an approved form 1 and assembling the NFA item without meeting the identification requirements would.

          And how to I know that approval of a form 1 doesn’t make an instant NFA item? Because there is an instruction on the form 1 itself that says you can cancel an approved form if “the firearm has not been made or modified.”

        • Wrong! No where in there does it mention NFA firearms. This is for making a non-firearm into a firearm. An NFA firearm is already a firearm. It’s just a different type. If you look at the GCA definition of a firearm, anyone of those can be made from scratch and when you do that you are bound to mark it according to the CFR. When you modify it, you are not required to mark it, any more than me taking a 20″ to a 16″. I am just modifying it. Yes I am making an SBR/NFA firearm if I take it to less than 16, but it was already a firearm and was marked accordingly as per “27 CFR 479.102”. Why is it so hard to understand this. ATF references this all the time because even an NFA firearm must meet these minimum requirements. If you decide not to make a stripped lower from PSA into an SBR but decide to machine it yourself into an SBR, the ATF does not reference “27 CFR 479.102” because you are machining an NFA firearm, the ATF is referencing it because you are making a firearm.

          I am not a judge but I assume the spirit of the law with regards to marking an NFA firearm are to give the ATF the ability to track inventory. They need to know how many NFA firearms are out there and where they are at. None of this “engraving” of names and trusts in Form1 helps in that UNLESS you are making an NFA firearm from scratch.

          A person creating a firearm from a non-firearm or a person creating an SBR from a non-firearm or an existing firearm are all “makers”. The label manufacturer becomes an additional label if you are making these things with the INTENT to sell. This is clear in their definition of a manufacturer, so let’s not get hung up on maker/manufacturer. We are ALL makers. The point of the section (27 CFR 479.102) on markings is to identify the birth of a firearm, not the birth of an SBR/NFA item. The birth of an NFA firearm is tracked with the form1 and any existing serial numbers (or ones you create if you are making it from scratch). When you make a silencer from scratch, while it is the birth of an NFA item (tracked by the form), it is more importantly, the birth of a firearm and thus according to the Code of Federal Regulations must be marked in accordance with “27 CFR 479.102”.

          Again, there are no NFA documents that states an NFA firearm must be engraved. There is only documents that states a firearm must be engraved.

          BTW, those people who are so quick to site lawyers as the authority in this… open you eyes, as much as I respect their work(yes I do, they got me out of fixes plenty of times), lawyers get it wrong too. Close your eyes and just assume that what people say are right because everyone is doing it, then take a look at yourself and remember why maybe most of us are into guns and remember that it’s to ensure that our rights are preserved. I guess what I’m saying is before all these landmark decisions were ever made, most people assumed a different way and just took them as a fact of life. Just because it’s a certain way, doesn’t mean it is what the law had intended (i didn’t say “doesn’t mean it’s right”. This isn’t a moral discussion).

          Now, having said that, I and maybe other lawyers will tell you to engrave because it’s erring in the side of caution. I agree. Ultimately it’s up to the individual to decide on what they want to do and what they want to fight in court. The above is not advice to do one thing or the other but rather to clear up a misunderstanding.

          For instance, most of us realize if you get clocked at 56 on 55 we will not get pulled over. Many will assume that’s how you interpret a 55 speed limit.. “heck that mean I can go 60 at least”. The reality is, it is clear that 55 is the law and we all just need to make our decisions on whether to go 56 or not and risk paying a fine. Just because everyone does it, doesn’t mean it’s the law. Get it.

    • I am planning on making an SBR in the near future, so this info is important to me. If, as you say, the above article is totally wrong, would you care to correct it? What is the author wrong about, and what is the correct information? Thanks for the clarification.

    • So law enforcement will look for your engraving to verify legality and not bother to check the registration?
      That doesn’t make any sense. As long as the original markings are there and it has been registered in your name as NFA with those markings, you’re covered.
      The law is still stupid even if you sell it. Why can’t the new owner just have the registration transferred? As long as it is serialized, what’s the problem.
      Can you imagine a firearm that changes hands several times and goes through multiple remakes with each owner? That’s going to be one ugly ass receiver.

      • Not really, because the next time it’s transferred it won’t be on a form 1 and the new owner won’t be making anything. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th owner would not have to engrave anything.

      • But Nick didn’t talk to “the ATF”. He talked to one person who works at the ATF. Given the track records of some of the people who have been employed by the ATF, it’s not impossible that Nick was given a bullshit answer by an idiot who couldn’t find his ass with both hands.

        I’d feel a lot better about Nick’s advice if we had a name to put behind these statements, or something in writing. “Some guy at the ATF told me” is pretty much the same as “some guy on the internet told me”. But, hey, it’s not like the ATF has a history of making capricious and arbitrary interpretations of the statutes they’re supposed to enforce, right?

      • I know more than Nick and I certainly know more than you. Nick got bad information or simply misunderstood. I have posted numerous links proving my stance. One was from former Acting Director Todd Jones that clearly spells out the requirements. I highly suggest you read ATF Rul. 2013-3. This website needs to take this article down immediately so someone does not follow its advise and get in trouble. Also, until Nick can provide an official letter from the NFA branch then this is all hearsay and has no legal grounds. Hearing in form the “horse’s mouth” means absolutely nothing. It must be official and what Nick is claiming is not official.

    • Sooooo. If I make my own 80% lower AR into a fully functioning 16 inch rifle… I need to engrave it as well? Because if you read the statute literally, I guess that means I do. But we all know we don’t. But you’re a maker! You just made an AR!… Just because this item is NFA, doesn’t make it more special than an 80% lower that you made into a rifle. Either way, you made a new firearm. Except really, for the NFA gun, you actually just modified a rifle(in most cases). I would argue that making a 80% lower into a rifle makes you more of a maker of a firearm than chopping down the barrel of an existing firearm. If I don’t have to engrave my 80% lower made rifle, I sure as shit ain’t gonna gubber up my sweet ass SBR AMD-65 with stupid engraving.

    • “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) authorizes licensed manufacturers and licensed importers of firearms, and makers of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms, to adopt the serial number, caliber/gauge, and/or model already identified on a firearm without seeking a marking variance, provided all of the conditions in this ruling are met. Licensed manufacturers seeking to adopt all of the required markings, including the original manufacturer’s name and place of origin, must receive an approved variance from ATF. ATF Ruling 75-28 is superseded, and ATF Industry Circular 77-20 is clarified”.

      https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/ruling/2013-3-adopting-identification-firearms/download

    • I’m in NC and just received my form 1 approved. I just got off the phone with ATF and they advised you shall engrave lower receiver with your Name or however it is titled on your form or Trust, County and state. or you will be in violation. I agree this article can get you jail time.

  4. Yeah. I had my class 7 guy SBR my FN Herstal PS90. He told me that same thing. Since I will never sell it…….

  5. You need to call and ask the same question to three other examiners. I will assure you, you’ll get 16 different answers…

    Such is the ATF.

    O2

      • I asked the ATF directly, in person, about this issue and the above is the answer I got. This isn’t some convoluted interpretation of obscure Federal law, this is a statement of fact straight from the horse’s mouth. If you have a documented conversation with the ATF that refutes this article then please present it and I will gladly re-examine my statements, but like I said this information comes directly from the ATF themselves.

        • You may have spoken to them in person – a lot of people ask the ATF things and hear different answers, each time. If you didn’t get it in writing, I wouldn’t be posting this…

          If you want a great example of contradictory statements (in writing) look up ATF responses to questions about using M16 bolt-carriers in a semi-auto firearm.

        • Whoever you talked to at the ATF is flat out wrong. Turning a non-NFA firearm into an NFA firearm with a form 1 isn’t remanufacturing. It’s MAKING.

          27 CFR 479.102 pretty clearly states that if you MAKE an NFA firearm, you must engrave the maker’s name and location. The original manufacturer MANUFACTURED a non-NFA firearm. The Form 1 maker MAKES an NFA firearm.
          Read it here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/27/479.102

        • Can you post a document from the ATF backing up your statement that would apply to all future builders?

          Cause “Nick Leghorn” says so, doesn’t hold up in court…

        • I also have an interesting email that claims if I can’t know what the lower was in the past its ok to be whatever in the future. Two lawyers have strongly advised me not to take that advice.

        • Hey JW, you might also want to look at 101. The fact that the firearm is registered makes 102 irrelevant. An approved Form 1 is prima facie evidence that the firearm is registered. If the form 1 says that the OEM is the “manufacturer” than the argument could me made that adding additional markings makes the form 1 no longer valid.

          See what happens when you read the ENTIRE statute rather than just snippets?

        • pwrserge –
          “Hey JW, you might also want to look at 101. The fact that the firearm is registered makes 102 irrelevant. An approved Form 1 is prima facie evidence that the firearm is registered. If the form 1 says that the OEM is the “manufacturer” than the argument could me made that adding additional markings makes the form 1 no longer valid.”

          479.101 has nothing to do with this. I’m not following your logic about including it at all.

          But the Form 1 doesn’t list the OEM as the manufacturer of the item that you’re applying to make. The applicant listed in 3b is the one that is making the firearm. If you use an existing firearm you put the OEM in 4a, but that doesn’t make the OEM the manufacturer of the NFA item, it’s still the applicant in 3b. If what you’re making hasn’t started as a firearm at all, then you also put the 3b information into 4a.

        • Because 101 clearly states that the matter of marking is only relevant to registration. Since I have an approved Form 1 in hand, the weapons is already registered. That form 1 is my legal evidence.

          As I said, Nick is not the only one to get this answer, and unlike him, I have paperwork that matches this reading of the statute.

        • “Because 101 clearly states that the matter of marking is only relevant to registration.”

          It actually says that a firearm not identified shouldn’t be registered. So in theory you would need to mark the item then submit the application. We’re lucky they don’t require us to send in pictures of the marked item in order to allow the application to register to be approved. If they did that, we wouldn’t be able to make silencers since once you mark you’re tube to apply for registration, it would essentially become an unregistered silencer part, which is a silencer as defined by the law.

        • http://imgur.com/1678ZeB

          Signed letter from the Chief National Firearms Branch. I removed the business card of the person who asked the question, but you can ask him yourself if you need to he’s been featured on TTAG about NFA multiple times.

  6. It seems like short barreled pistols are all the rage these days, go out and buy one.- there now it’s correct. – Form 1 screw that. Pistols with the shoulder thingy are the new SBR.

    • Pistol with the arm brace, is still a pistol with an Arm brace. Pistol with an Arm brace against a shoulder is now a SBR and needs $200 stamp.

    • Those are long barreled pistols you’re talking about, like 9″. Short barreled pistols would be closer to 1″. Why not buy a n SBR to begin with, those are not overly expensive, either. My 9″ .300 blk was around $1500 with hi grade components, trigger, stock, etc. Yeah, there’s a $200 tax and 4 month wait, I plan to own it the rest of my life, and I plan to spend that life outside prison. The can I got to go with it is real handy on 4 different rifles now, with another coming as soon as I can find it.

    • The ATF doesn’t even follow the rules anymore. Everything they have published to this day say a tax stamp to prove payment of the required tax shall be “affixed” to the application to make a weapon.

      affix
      [verb uh-fiks; noun af-iks]
      verb (used with object)
      1.
      to fasten, join, or attach (usually followed by to):
      to affix stamps to a letter.
      2.
      to put or add on; append:
      to affix a signature to a contract.

      The virtual stamps they are using now if you e-file do not meet the requirements. I could see it meeting the rules as stated IF they sent you the cancelled stamp, but that doesn’t happen. All I have to prove my last NFA weapon is legal is a self printed copy of the application with a picture of the stamp.
      What happens if the ATF looses my application or it vanished from the system? What physical proof do I have that they approved the weapon and I paid the tax?
      Let’s say that happened. I get questioned by law enforcement and they don’t believe I really registered the weaon. I show them the paperwork and they say “well boy, says right here in this here book that you should have a stamp stuck to that there application. We are calling bullshit on this here paperwork”. and

      • Somehow, it sounds to me like you might be disparaging the ATF’s competence and/or honesty. I am pretty sure that is a felony, and will result in loss of firearms!

    • Pretty sure it’s implied that the information needs to be engraved at the time the firearm is made. If you’re caught with an item configured as an NFA item without it being engraved, even if it’s properly registered, the following penalties could apply:

      27 CFR 479.181 – Penalties.
      Any person who violates or fails to comply with the requirements of 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53 shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties imposed under 26 U.S.C. 5871.

      26 U.S. Code § 5871 – Penalties
      Any person who violates or fails to comply with any provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000, or be imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

      • There is no room for “implied” anything in law. Either is says the engraving is required or no such requirement exists. Show me the exact statute that applies to a privately manufactured firearm that requires markings when the firearm is not intended for sale… I’ll wait.

        The same rationale could be used to make unserialized home-brew firearms illegal, which they are clearly not.

        • You’re confusing 478.92 which applies to any firearm, NFA or not that is manufactured in commerce, with 479.102 which applies to any NFA item, whether made/manufactured for commerce or not.

        • Take a look at the end of 102, it clearly states the sale, shipping, or other disposal as a requirement.

        • That is section (e) and only applies to firearms that transferred out of your possession prior to being completed. If the firearm is completed as per section (a) it must be engraved.

        • It IS engraved, with the OEM info. Which is what I put on the form 1.

          Again, I have a form 1 where this was accepted. Do you have a written ruling that says otherwise.

        • “It IS engraved, with the OEM info. Which is what I put on the form 1.”

          Yes, you filled out a Form 1, titled “Application to make and register a firearm.” And in box 3b called “Applicant’s name and mailing address.”

          So when you put your name in box 3b, you are applying to make a firearm. You are the maker. What are you making? The item in 4b “Type of firearm to be made.” So even if you are starting with a rifle or receiver that is not an SBR for instance, you are the one making the SBR, not the OEM. They may have made a firearm, but they did not make this firearm that your submitting your application for. And as a maker you have to put your name and location on this item you list in 4b.

        • So you bought a an engraved receiver from a manufacturer with your name and information already engraved in it as well as theirs? Seems odd. If you are making a Title II firearm your Name or the Trust name and the location of where the firearm was manufactured must be engraved on the firearm. You cannot use the previous manufactures name and location, you have engrave your own information on the firearm.

        • Except that I used the original markings in the form 1 and the ATF signed off.

          As I said, I have a form 1 which matches the interpretation Nick got. As per 479.101 marking is only relevant to the matter of registration. Since the form 1 is approved, the weapon is already registered with existing markings.

        • Shoot, I forgot! Some of the posters here seem like they would require me to engrave my SBR with something other than what the manufacturer included, when it was manufactured as an SBR in the first place. It does not say SBR anywhere on it, but was originally sold as a 9″ rifle. You cannot tell by looking that it is any different from a rifle originally made with a 16″ barrel and then “made” into an NFA item, since the manufacturer did, in fact, produce the identical rifle with 9″, 12.5″, and 16″ barrels. When your paperwork can identify the rifle as the one for which the taxes have been paid (the only legitimate function of ATF in this regard-collecting taxes), the gun is marked enough.

          OOOPS! This post was supposed to follow my next one. My bad, sorry!

        • I think using a trust might affect the “private” modification of the firearm. When filling out the form 1 your options are:
          Individual
          “Corporation or Other Business Entity”
          “Government Entity”

          If you use a trust you are choosing a “Business Entity” I’m as confused about this as everyone else, but thought that was worth mentioning.

      • Oh, isn’t this fun? Under NFA firearms:

        Ҥ 5842 Identification of firearms.
        (a) Identification of firearms other than destructive devices. Each manufacturer and importer and anyone making a firearm shall identify each firearm, other than a destructive device, manufactured, imported, or made by a serial number which may not be readily removed, obliterated, or altered, the name of the manufacturer, importer, or maker, and such other identification as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.”

        When you start with a non-NFA firearm, with a serial number and the “manufacturer’s name” already inscribed, and you are the one “making a firearm”, You “shall identify each firearm … made by a serial number which may not be readily removed (which is already there), the name of the manufacturer (or several other things, the applicable word being ‘or’), and such other identification as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe.”

        If the Secretary has not by regulations prescribed anything different, then this paragraph says rather clearly that the original serial number and manufacturer’s name will do just fine to identify the firearm you have “made”. Not to mention it makes perfect sense, the rifle is adequately marked to be identified as the one registered, other markings would simply be extraneous.

        • Not sure if this applies:’

          27 CFR 479.102(c): ALTERNATE
          MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION
          ATF authorizes licensed manufacturers
          who perform a manufacturing
          process on firearms for, or on behalf
          of, another licensed manufacturer
          not to place their serial numbers and
          other required identification markings
          on the firearms, provided such
          firearms already have been properly
          marked with a serial number and other
          identifying markings as required
          by 27 CFR 478.92(a) and 479.102(a)
          and that all of the other requirements

    • Nobody has ever been sent to prison for not having engraved his SBR with a stamped form 1.
      Besides that, 99.9% of LEO wouldn’t even know that.
      I’m a retired LEO and didn’t know shit about NFA till after I start privately having stuff. Any LEO friend I have doesn’t know zero about it except they know you need a “class III” stamp (that doesn’t exist) for a machine gun.
      So i don’t know why you guys get so upset about. I have heard both versions from ATF and i’ve read both versions online. So clearly we should wait till the first one get’s busted for not engraving a legally registered and “paid” SBR

  7. Nick, just for fun, call up and speak to a different ATF employee.

    I wager you a brick of 22 ammo you’ll get a somewhat different answer.

  8. I never really understood all the engraving madness.

    ‘The existing serial number is sufficient for identification.’

    Well, yeah. It’s what’s on the Form 1, section g. That’s how the SBR is identified, i.e., what you would show an agent when presenting the SBR and Form 1 for review.

    Thank you for clarifying.

    • That is sufficient for a Form 2 firearm made by another manufacturer. If you are making the firearm you are now the manufacturer and your information must be engraved on the firearm. No “ifs” “ands” or “buts” about it.

      • No; all of my **Form 1s** [ATF Form 1 (5320.1) Application to Make and Register a Firearm] are like this, which, is what this article is about.

      • Read it again. The word “OR” is paramount. It has to be marked with your info, *OR* the importer’s, *OR* the manufacturers. No ifs ands or buts, yes, but that *OR*, combined with common sense, says no court would even hear the case if ATF decided to charge you with something.

        • Reading through https://www.atf.gov/file/11241/download there is a section that talks about only doing “drop in” type work doesn’t mean you are a manufacturer. There is also a long section that talks about how getting another manufacture to do work on your firearm before you sell to the market doesn’t mean they have to put their info on it, only the one selling it provided they put the serial and other required info. The purpose of this was so it was not confusing for Officers to track it down if need be.

  9. Thanks Nick, that matches the answer I got when I called in two years back. It also matches my own personal reading of the stature. I wasn’t going to argue with the NFA mafia when they are set in their ways jacking up their firearms.

    • Kind of what it comes down to for me is that I’m looking at a signed, approved, and stamped form 1 that has a blank answer for 4.h “Additional Description (Include all numbers and other identifying data which will appear on the firearm) where 4.a and 4.g list the original manufacturer of the firearm and SN. In no common sense way does slapping “XYZ Trust Podunk, AL” make identifying the firearm any easier for Law Enforcement.

      I would like to see any case where someone has been prosecuted for having a valid form 1 but failing to engrave, or even been told to get it engraved to prevent prosecution, etc.

  10. I’d feel more comfortable with something a little more official.
    Can we get one of those opinion letters on this??
    Who’s gonna do it? I call NOT IT.
    Patrick, if you send them enough letters asking about it, I bet you can get them to change their minds.

  11. Names and numbers of references could prove to be useful. So would well reasoned and articulate counter points. Or begin your post “Nick you ignorant slut” and go from there.

  12. Criminals are engraving their SBRs right? Does anyone know if criminals are engraving their SBRs? Are their SBRs even on a form 1? Or any form at all???

  13. 1400 pounds of stupid.

    How does this highly subjective and probative group of POS rules protect you on the individual or group level?

    If I properly marked my Title II item, and immediately thereafter called the ATF and told them I was going to unlawfully use it on someone, I would more than likely get the job done before they were able to interdict me on any level. I could use it unlawfully and then mail it to myself, or someone else, or likely EVEN EXPORT THE DAMN THING to OBama’s family in Kenya, before they could interdict me.

    The only people in the world not laughing about this are us and the ATF, to the rest of the world, they can’t understand why we’ve allowed ourselves to be handcuffed ankle to scrotum by our neighbors.

  14. So what goes in box 4h on the form 1. Leave it blank? Or is that where someone would put the engraving they thought they needed…such as “Billy Bobs NFA Trust
    Screw the ATF, USA”

      • So 4h is blank. Is there anywhere on the form 1 where you state what engraving you are getting done. I ask because my 1 and only form 1 i filled in 4h with my trust, city, and state and it was approved just fine. 4h says list any info that WILL appear. Will “as in” in the future….correct…? pwrserge i put that info in 4a.

        • 4H should always be left blank. It is possible that putting information that you intend to engrave onto the receiver in 4H will still get approved, but best practice is to always leave it blank. In fact, if you do an eform 1 you cant populate 4H with anything. So that should tell you something in regards to its requirement. You will never get an error letter if you leave it blank.

          You engrave your full name or entity and city and state. All that information is in 3B “applicants name and address”. Of course you dont need your street address or zip code engraved on your lower, but it does need to be your full address in 3B. For example, you would engrave the following.

          Joe Blow Trust
          Wherever, TX

        • I think the confusion is that people confuse manufacturing from scratch with manufacturing from an existing firearm. If the existing firearm already meets the requirements for 479.102, there’s little point in adding additional markings to confuse the issue.

          My evidence is an approved Form 1 with the info matching the OEM info already on the firearm.

          Unless you can show me an ATF ruling that contradicts the explanations that Nick and I got, I’m going to go with what I have documented rather than a bunch of guys giving their opinions on teh interwebz.

        • @Patrick
          Actually section 4 is the “Line Item, Detail, Description” field. You can confirm this after completing the process and looking at the text on the form.

        • ” if you do an eform 1 you cant populate 4H with anything.”

          I was pointing out your error.

      • Now why would you leave 4h blank on the Form 1? It clearly states that whatever markings that WILL be on the firearm should go there. If you leave that blank and then mark up your receiver with dumb shit, you’re form 1 and your firearm do not match anymore…. You claim Leghorn is putting out false info? You are sir. Any additional marking you put on that firearm has to be put in block 4h. Your Form 1 has to match your firearm. Simple enough.

        Now for me, I did not engrave my SBR. Because I don’t need to. If you really needed to, I’m sure that the ATF would require that block 4h be filled in with what they “require” you to engrave, as you claim. Since they approved my Form 1 with a blank 4h, they know that my firearm has no other markings other than what I already filled out on the Form 1.

  15. Answer on signed, dated, ATF letterhead, is your only get out of jail free card.. and even then it’s not really free.

  16. I’d like to know what to do if someone “makes” an SBR, NEVER sells it, and it gets passed down to their heirs. THEY don’t want it and offer it up for sale. What then Sherlock?

    • That is technically the whole point of the Trust. Whoever you listed as the beneficiary gets legal possession of the items, then if they want to sell, destroy, or whatever they would go through the proper paperwork required just like you would need to do.

  17. Pretty sure Leghorn has never read the Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide, and if he did he never bothered to read 27 CFR 478.92 and 27 CFR 479.102 which specifically states and in no uncertain terms that you must engrave prior to making the firearm. It couldn’t be any more specific.

    • That does seem to be a problem. People read 27 CFR 478.92 and go “oh, that’s only for licensed manfuacturers.” They don’t go on to read 27 CFR 479.102 which applies to unlicensed makers.

      • Thanks bro… The governing statute is 27 CFR 479.102 it’s fairly clear that such identification is only required if the intent for commerce exists. If it was intended to be applied at the time of construction, it would say so.

        Show me where it says that someone without a manufacturing license is required to engrave ANY firearms they make.

        It’s legally no different than creating an 80% lower. It does not require any additional markings unless you intend to sell it provided identifying markings required to complete a form 1 already exist.

        • CFR 478.92 is the one that is specific to manufacturers. It’s called “How must licensed manufacturers and licensed importers identify firearms, armor piercing ammunition, and large capacity ammunition feeding devices?” and is under the subpart F “Conduct of business,” which is under part 478, “Commerce in firearms and ammunition.”

          CFR 479.102 applies to EVERYONE. It’s called “MACHINE GUNS, DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES, AND CERTAIN OTHER FIREARMS,” and does not mention commerce or business as being a requirement. Subpart G is “Registration and Identification of Firearms.” Again, no mention of commerce/business.

          So, 478.92 is for licensed manufacturers in business/commerce and includes all firearms, NFA or not. 479.102 is for everyone, licensed manufacturers or unlicensed makers, and only applies to NFA. That’s why an unlicensed maker can build a non NFA item and not have to engrave anything.

        • It’s pretty simple and there is no commerce requirement to section A. None. The only time requirement is if the firearm was manufactured or imported after 2002, if it was you have to engrave. Period. End of story. You manufacture a Title II firearm, and you have to engrave it with your information, there is no allowance for if you intend to sell it or not unless you intend to sell the parts before they apart of a completed firearm but after it is registered. If you complete the firearm you have to have it engraved.

          § 479.102 How must firearms be identified?
          (a) You, as a manufacturer, importer, or maker of a firearm, must legibly identify the firearm as follows:
          (1) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch; and
          (2) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed), or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain additional information. This information must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered or removed. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of this information must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch. The additional information includes:
          (i) The model, if such designation has been made;
          (ii) The caliber or gauge;
          (iii) Your name (or recognized abbreviation) and also, when applicable, the name of the foreign manufacturer or maker;
          (iv) In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer maintain your place of business, or where you, as the maker, made the firearm; and

        • As I said, I’m not going to argue with the NFA mafia. If you guys want to jack up your firearms, that’s on you. Nick and I have gotten a different interpretation from the ATF. It’s hard to argue that not engraving a weapon with additional markings not found on the form 1 is a violation. As I said elsewhere, the markings match the form. I have a tax stamp that matches to a readily identifiable firearm. That clearly meets the intent of the statute unless you can show me an ATF opinion that says otherwise.

  18. I hope you’re insured Nick (or at least a IANAL disclaimer). You might be facing a lawsuit if your advice gets someone pinched.

    • You’d have to be a special kind of clueless to believe that writing the letters IANAL means anything – anywhere. Even if someone writes: I AM A LAWYER AND YOU CAN TOTALLY TAKE MY ADVICE! It in no way proves for a more or less likelihood of anything. There is this weird freedom of speech thing and all.

      I can write what ever I like, if you do something stupid, that’s on you.

  19. 479.102 – 2 – e

    (e) A firearm frame or receiver
    that is not a component part of a
    complete weapon at the time it is
    sold, shipped, or otherwise disposed
    of by you must be identified as required
    by this section.

    I’m honestly not grasping how this is some meaning that I don’t need to engrave until before sale. If anything… It seems like this is just more confusing because of the IF NOT A COMPONENT OF A COMPLETE FIREARM.

    So are both camps right? That if your Form1 is assembled into a firearm, you need to engrave. But if you don’t ever assemble into a complete firearm, you don’t need to engrave unless to you go to sell it?

    • No, both camps are not right. If you complete your firearm it must be engraved, if you have an uncompleted firearm you do not need to engrave until the firearm is completed or prior to transfer. That’s pretty clear.

      • You realize that means there are scenarios where you do and do not need to engrave depending on circumstance, so the you-do-need-to and do-not-need-to are both right. So… just like I said.

  20. So what about a Form-1 suppressor/silencer? Mine is engraved but does it need to be if I don’t plan to sell it? The feds consider a “silencer” a firearm so…?

    • I read the cited document and my understanding is it reinforces Nick’s and pwrserge’s side of discussion. Existing manufacture’s markings are sufficient when “making” a NFA firearm as long as the markings meet the ATF’s requirements.
      Anyone else read it?

      • “The manufacturer, importer, or maker must legibly and conspicuously place on the frame, receiver, barrel, or pistol slide (if applicable) his/her own name (or recognized abbreviation) and location (city and State, or recognized abbreviation of the State) as specified under his/her Federal firearms license (if a licensee);”

        Is marking a firearm required when the maker does not hold a FFL?

        • You’re picking and choosing words. What it says is if you’re an FFL, you have to engrave the location where you conduct business. If you’re a maker, you engrave the location you physically make the firearm (which simply means it doesn’t have to match the Form 1, or your DL, or anything else…it’s the city, state where it was made).

      • Then I’d suggest you read it again, and again. You are making a new firearm, from an existing firearm. You’re allowed to adopt the existing serial number (and model, if designated) to prevent confusion. You are still required to mark it with your name and the the location where the firearm is actually made…and caliber if it’s not already marked on the frame, receiver, barrel or pistol slide.

      • Wong, only caliber, SN, and model may be adopted. Adopting a manufacturing/maker when it isnt you requires a variance. Read the end.

        • Larry, you are wrong. Here is what it says:

          “Held, pursuant to 27 CFR 478.92(a)(4)(i) and 479.102(c), ATF authorizes licensed
          manufacturers and licensed importers of firearms, and MAKERS, to adopt the serial number,
          caliber/gauge, and/or model already identified on a firearm without seeking a marking
          variance…”

      • That’s what I read. Manufacturers, importers, and makers can all use some of the original markings, manufacturers and importers have to qualify to use the rest of the original markings, but makers do not (are not mentioned). Makers can use all of the original markings on a gun, engraving is not required on any gun with normal markings already on it.

      • Yeah. It’s actually pretty clear. You can use the existing S/Ns and do not need to engrave if the lower already has an existing S/N. I’m not attorney, but I don’t see how anyone can dispute this.

        Did anyone ever stop to think that the ATF probably loves this level of confusion because it prevents a lot of people from acquiring NFA firearms…

      • If you actually read it, it says plainly that the maker of an NFA item may reuse ONLY the model, caliber, and serial number markings of the original manufacturer. The maker must then put their own name/entity and city/state on the receiver.

        May .Gov have mercy on anybody who follows your terrible advice.

        • Ark, it absolutely does NOT say that, you are making it up. Using the rest of the markings requires qualification for manufacturers and importers, NOT makers. They are free to use all original markings without exception, except that the markings have to be sufficient to identify the gun as registered. You buy a Bushmaster AR-15 and want to put a 12″ 5.56mm barrel on it, all the original markings can be used in your SBR registration.

          You have gotten accustomed to seeing “manufacturers, importers, and makers” as one group in many places, you are missing the fact that makers are not included in that restriction.

    • 1. The manufacturer, importer, or maker must legibly and conspicuously place on the
      frame, receiver, barrel, or pistol slide (if applicable) his/her own name (or
      recognized abbreviation) and location (city and State, or recognized abbreviation of
      the State) as specified under his/her Federal firearms license (if a licensee)

      This is the part that matter here. It seems to me that you are only required to Make this mark if you are a FFL.

  21. Nick Leghorn,

    Now you need a post on what documents one should bring with them for their NFA firearms going to the range, intrastate and interstate travels. Also what do to if a range Nazi “demands” to see the papers. I get in arguements with friends all the time about what is necessary and too many “what-its” that never happen.

    I had my SBR and suppressor at Best of The West and some range “master” asked if I had the appropriate papers. I laughed and told him to pound sand. He said he was trying to help me in case I was questioned by the cops. I told him I’d tell them the same thing.

    • It would be a short column. You don’t need to bring any documents with you when you go to the range. If you travel out of state with anything that requires it, you should bring your 5320. Silencers do not require a 5320.

      Don

      • True story: My local indoor range will not let me shoot my suppressed .22lr pistol unless I have in my possession my original form 4 (not a photocopy) because he says the local ATF agent told him personally that if they ever caught someone in his range with an NFA item who didn’t have their ORIGINAL Form 1 or 4 with them that they would revoke his FFL.

        How’s that for BS ATF abuse of power?

        • The closest I have to an “original” is what was printed out by the dealer, which I scanned into my computer and can produce other “originals” at will, attached to similar copies of my family’s NFA trust..

      • People know just enough to get into “trouble” or spread mis-info. Just go look at Arfcom for example. It usually just degrades into insults and “I’m more arfcom than you!”

    • You would be correct to tell the cops to pound sand.

      I had 2 cops come onto a friends land when we were shooting MGs. One was an older mellow state trooper. The other was a young constable with a chip on his shoulder. He asked us for ID. We refused and then told them to leave the property since they had no reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed. Then the young one asked for “the paperwork”. I told him that I didn’t carry my FORM 4 with me and even if I did, I was only legally required to show it to the ATF. He grumbled something about arresting me.

      I put both of my hands out and told him to “do it”. Then I told him that I have specific permission from my wife to get arrested in these circumstances, and I’m much more afraid of her than I am of him.

      The older cop laughed out loud and motioned to the other one for them to leave.

      I told the older cop that we had no trouble with them coming by, that we understood that if someone called in, they had to come visit us. But it could be handled in a more professional and pleasant way.

      I said this because MG fire tends to draw cops. I’ve had cops who were repeat customers actually apologize for interrupting us, stating “you know I have to come”. One old timer even popped off a few rounds with us.

    • I always have a copy (color even) of my paperwork anytime the NFA items come out to play. While on an ideological level I’d love to tell the RSOs to pound sand, but it’s their house so I play nice. I’ll even tack it up on the stall barrier to make their life easier.

      That being said, I’ve been bothered exactly once for paperwork, and that’s because my shooting friend that day had his select-fire toys with him so I got looped up in the questions.

      • “While on an ideological level I’d love to tell the RSOs to pound sand,”

        Pod,

        I have to be honest and state that, especially early on in my cop time, I’d stop a motorist/person and they’d say, “Don’t you have anything (fill in cuss word,) better to do.

        I’m afraid my answer would often be, “well, now that you’ve said that, for the next couple of hours, no, I don’t.”

        A well trained and educated cop is a formidable creature. Don’t be cowed, but don’t be arrogant toward them, they can be dangerous, or friends. Be assured, a cop who knows his/her law and procedure can ALWAYS make your life tougher and find something to make your day worse. Don’t tread on the feet of a bear.

        Me, I try not to piss anyone off…seems to have worked so far, I’ve buried most of my enemies.

        brendan

        • I’ve only had good experiences (so far) with cops, even when (99% of encounters) I was indeed violating the law (mostly traffic/moving violations, mostly). Polite and professional from both ends. That said, neither of us got buddy or chummy, just polite, without saying too much. He or she didn’t want to be there and I definitely didn’t either, so being calm and polite speeds things up. Wow, now I’m thinking of just how many times I have had incidents with police.

    • From what I was reading you only have to show your papers to actual ATF agents. If a regular cop asks you could refuse, but may end up getting arrested if he feels that he had probable cause that you were in possession of an illegal weapon.

  22. Thank you Nick for the article! It really does clear the air regarding Form 1s.
    It’s been a serious pain in the ass trying to decipher it from the myriad of forum postings to trying to understand the “legalese” from ATF’s website.

        • But apparently not the one that cites an ATF ruling on point.

          https://www.atf.gov/file/4881/download

          Read page 3. Anything that makes it harder to trace a firearm defeats the point of the regulation… (According to the ATF) Since having multiple “manufacturer” markings has the same problem, the explanations Nick and I got from the ATF are in line with the broader ruling above.

        • Pwrserge,

          Your reading comprehension skills are pathetic and you are just plan ignorant of reality. You really need to re-adjust your position on this.

        • The ruling you are referring to proves my point. You are reading it wrong. Your viewpoint on this could land your butt in jail.

        • What exactly would the charge me with? An unregistered SBR? Yeah, defense exhibit 1. Approved form 1 with a nice pretty tax stamp on it and all entered information perfectly matching the item in question. Somehow, I don’t see the ATF wanting to play that particular game.

          But please, keep jacking up your firearms with markings that don’t match your form 1 and make it harder to identify. I’m sure that this in no way goes against the clear intent of the statute.

        • pwrserge,

          You are actually in possession of an illegal SBR. By not engraving it with you Trust Name/ Full Name and City and State you have not completed the requirements in “Making” an SBR. Therefore, you have broken the law. That approved form 1 only allows you permission to “make” the weapon after the requirements have been met and one of those requirements is to get it engraved. If you slapped a shorter than legal barrel on your gun, without engraving, you have committed a felony.

          This is all so very simple. Sadly, people like you are going to ruin it for the rest of us.

        • Patrick,

          You’re arguing with a fat, balding, thirty something who posts on Twitter using the same name and is a Trump supporter. Why even try? He’s already grown a beard to hide his double chin. What else do you think he’s hiding?

  23. I don’t know but the folks I’ve heard shout the loudest and longest about this issue are engravers and lawyers…hmmm?

  24. I learned enough to know I wouldn’t take anyone’s advice on the internet, let alone here. It’s not like they’ll fund your legal fees if it goes south. $50 bucks is a small piece of mind to avoid 10 years of federal prison.

  25. Nick, you are 100% wrong and incredibly ignorant about this entire process. Ask anyone who has dealt with the ATF and they will tell you that you can ask 5 different people a question and get 5 different answers to a single question. Asking one agent then repeating it like it’s gospel is incredibly small minded and irresponsible when your incorrect advise will get people thrown in jail. The pdf below details the difference between the manufacturer of the original gun and the maker of the NFA item and how BOTH sets of info are required on the firearm, I will copy pasta the relevant sentence for the lazy;

    “The marking and identification requirements for a maker are the same as for a manufacturer. ”

    THEY ARE THE SAME. Meaning both must be engraved on the gun for it to be legal. And this isn’t just “some dude said it so it must be true” like your “info”, this is official ATF documentation.

    https://www.atf.gov/file/58216/download

    Please show some journalistic integrity and take this garbage article down or issue a retraction in an edit.

      • There’s nothing in this article that does anything different with eForms or trusts. The engraving requirements are the same.

  26. You need to engrave your form 1 guns with your information. If you somehow put the original manufacturer’s information in both boxes, you are in possession of a form 1 that should not of been approved. It slipped past the ATF examiner.

    You must engrave form 1 items.

    You must engrave form 1 items.

    You must engrave………etc

  27. I put quite a bit of time into reading the regulations and the ATF opinions on this and there was nothing that hinted that what Nick is saying here is correct. The gun needs to be marked when it is :manufactured” not when it is sold/transferred. While I believe that Nick is reporting what he was *told* I don’t think that he (or anyone else) would be well advised to take that as gospel..

    The “reason” the ATF requires this is that once Form 1 is approved, Nick’s newly manufactured SBR becomes simply a rifle of 5.56mm (or whatever), manufactured by Nick Leghorn of Texas with a serial number 123456. THAT’s what is on now officially on file for that gun and those identification marks are what the ATF will look for to positively identify the firearm if they ever feel they need to…

    • Maybe it’s the law, who the hell knows, but it doesn’t make sense. If the ATF was then going to file the gun under “Joe Blow Trust” why wouldn’t they require that you remove the previous manufacture’s markings?

  28. All this government paperwork arcana really sets off my ADHD, and the mere thought of sending an extra $200 to Uncle Sam annoys me greatly. And it’s *registration* for crying out loud. This is why I like 16 1/4″ barrels so much. Or whatever the non-NFA minimum length is. My KT sub2000 is plenty short enough. I’d rather spend the difference on ammunition.

    But hey, different hobbies for different folks. I have to admit that SBR MP5’s and Uzis look pretty sweet. Might make a good home defense weapon. And I wish they’d totally deregulate suppressors. It’d help shooters keep their hearing while reducing noise complaints from the range’s neighbors.

    Note that this kind of nonsense is exactly what the gun-haters want us to go through for every firearm transaction someday. At least, for every firearm that will still be legal…

    • If you knew what you were doing with a trust it was possible to “register” a gun without the ATF ever knowing that you exist or where your home is.

  29. After reading, rereading, and reading the links…I found something in there that I hadn’t noticed that makes all this a lot easier.

    You can engrave the barrel and not have to jack up the Lower unless you see it.

    § 479.10 (a)(2) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed), or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain additional information. This information must be placed in a
    manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered or removed.

    That sentence tell me that I can engrave a barrel instead. All of those “OR”s in there…

    My translation is:
    “By engraving, casting, stamping, or otherwise obviously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped, or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel. This information must be place in a manner not capable of being easily obliterated, altered, or removed”

    When you go down to section (e)… That tells me that would have to turn around and need to engrave the lower before selling.

    • You cannot engrave the barrel with your information and have it be above board. A barrel is not a firearm. The receiver is the legal firearm, and must have the engraving. What you quoted is “certain additional information.” Your information from the form 1 is not additional, it is the only thing that is required.

      • Then why does it say “Or Barrel”??? When is a barrel ever a firearm?
        It’s not. But they allow it per their wording.

        • They do allow engraving on the barrel. For additional information. Which is anything you want. But not:
          Your name
          Model
          Serial Number
          Location SBR was made

          That all gets engraved on the receiver. The barrel engraving is anything else you feel like putting on there.

      • This is incorrect info. The serial number is the only item required to be on the frame or receiver, and the only bit of information that has the 1/16″ minimum size (along with the .003″ minimum depth). Everything else is considered “other” information and only has to meet the .003″ minimum depth requirement, and can be engraved on the frame, receiver, barrel or pistol slide (if applicable). This is perfectly clear in reading the statutes. Heck, even manufacturers do it. Every 870 I own has Remington Arms Co and Iliad, NY engraved on the barrel.

      • Lots of really bad info in this thread, starting with the original post. They’re going to have to rename this site to “The Crap Info About Guns.”

        Of course the NFA maker info can be engraved on the barrel, if one chooses. It’s how a lot of people engrave SBSs like 870s where you can swap barrels. Engraved short barrel on = SBS. 26″ skeet barrel on = Title 1 weapon.

        But, don’t believe me. There’s too much of that around here already. Look at the CFR citation below.

        (a) (1) tells you the serial number must be “…on the frame or receiver thereof…”
        (a) (2) tells you “…certain additional information…” must be placed “…on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof…”
        (a) (2) (i – v) tells you what that “…additional information includes…” and specifies maker’s name, city and state, model, and caliber.

        So, yes, you can put the maker’s info (name/city and state) on the barrel.

        § 479.102 How must firearms be identified?
        (a) You, as a manufacturer, importer, or maker of a firearm, must legibly identify the firearm as follows:
        (1) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch; and
        (2) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed), or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain additional information. This information must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered or removed. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of this information must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch. The additional information includes:
        (i) The model, if such designation has been made;
        (ii) The caliber or gauge;
        (iii) Your name (or recognized abbreviation) and also, when applicable, the name of the foreign manufacturer or maker;
        (iv) In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer maintain your place of business, or where you, as the maker, made the firearm; and
        (v) In the case of an imported firearm, the name of the country in which it was manufactured and the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the importer maintain your place of business. For additional requirements relating to imported firearms, see Customs regulations at 19 CFR part 134.

        • Please note, in item iv, you must put the information from the manufacturer, *”OR*” your information as the maker. The information already on your manufactured lower will do fine for registration, no engraving required.

      • If you take anything posted on that awful website as fact you need your head examined.

        They’re the shortbus of gun culture.

        Still waiting on someone to provide a link to a case where an NFA owner was arrested, and jailed for failing to engrave his gun.

        • 1) someone being charged is irrelevant, we are talking about what is required

          2) they happen to be correct

          3) do you agree with this blog and also think it’s not required

          4) are you knowledgeable on this topic?

        • “If you take anything posted on that awful website as fact you need your head examined.”

          So you are (literally) saying that nothing posted on ar15.com is factually correct? I have not love for that forum but I’m pretty sure I read at least ONE correct posting over there…

          “Still waiting on someone to provide a link to a case where an NFA owner was arrested, and jailed for failing to engrave his gun”

          So, to convince you that something is non-compliant, reading the written regulation/opinion is not sufficient? You actually would require verification that at least one arrest was made on that particular point? Whelp, all I can say is that there ALWAYS must be a first time for everything, and whoever was/is the first to get charged for manufacturing an un-engraved SBR will likely have adopted an attitude similar to yours (and that’s not meant as an ad hominem, that’s meant as serious food for thought)

  30. The engraving requirement has long been SOP for SBR’s.

    That being said, the author of this article, Mr. Leghorn is going to need to do far better then to suggest a single undocumented conversation, with a single unnamed ATF agent is sufficient grounds to support his position that engraving is NOT a requirement for owning a legal SBR.

    Personally, I’d be thrilled to hear, officially, in writing, that he is in fact correct. His position is simply no substantiated in any official manner. I’d suggest Mr. Leghorn get busy either officially, in writing, support his assertion, or publish a redaction. Bottom line is that the credibility ball is in his court and he had better do something about that…..one way or another.

  31. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Nick Leghorn is putting out bad information regarding SBRs. He’s got a long track record of that and TTAG should be ashamed of themselves for publishing his nonsense.

  32. Well don’t get it engraved. Not my rifle so I don’t really care.

    I will be getting all my rifles engraved.

    I take Nicks blogs with a grain of salt. Great writer.

  33. On the Form 1 itself, it is pretty black and white about the markings and whom they apply to. Nowhere does it say for sale purposes only. It says “The maker is required to mark the firearm with his name, city, and state” in section j. 7) and in section m., it clearly defines whom the maker is as “A person applying to make an NFA firearm”. Put two and two together and we get “The person applying to make an NFA firearm is required to mark the firearm with his name, city, and state.” Crazy how black and white that is. This article is terrible and full of false information. What is written on the Form 1 which is an application to “Make and Register a Firearm” are the requirements set forth by the ATF and the requirements you are signing and agreeing to when you pay and submit the form. There is no skirting around this. I don’t understand how this isn’t clear. Its the one instance where the ATF clearly defined something. Source:
    https://www.atf.gov/file/11281/download

    • No kidding, kinda funny to see everyone blindly arguing the opposite. This guy on the internet said he is right, where is your proof that what he says isn’t true? Great logic to live your life by…

  34. Does anybody know more about the actual engraving? where? how big? font? info? does it have to be readily visible? a local shop used to engrave on top of the receiver so you couldn’t see it with the upper on.

    • Yes, the BATFE knows and they say:

      Where?: Common locations are front of the mag well, side of the mag well, side of the receiver above the trigger, on the flats above the trigger ‘inside’ the trigger guard, and some places are engraving on the flats inside the magwell bevel.

      How Big?: There is no spec as to how big, but a reasonableness standard suggests it must be legible to an average person. 1/16″ letters meet that standard. The standard that matters is the depth of the engraving. It has to be a minimum of .003″ deep. Mom & Pop Engraving can’t usually do that deep

      Font?: Not specified but no need to get fancy due to legibility.

      Info?: Name & City, ST of the Manufacturer (the Applicant Name and City, ST from the Form 1, Box 3b)

      Readily Visible?: It has the be visible on the weapon without any disassembly. The local shop you referenced, just like this article, is dumb. Why be cute and risk it? Get it engraved by someone who understands the law, follow their advice as to location options and content (they know and they have a business reputation to protect), and be done with it.

  35. Good lord, how is this even a question? ATF handbook ( https://www.atf.gov/file/58251/download ) page 35:

    CHAPTER 6. MAKING NFA FIREARMS BY NONLICENSEE

    “Persons not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms may submit an application to make an NFA firearm, other than a machinegun. The application process requires submission of ATF Form 1, Application to Make and Register a Firearm, in duplicate, along with FBI FD-258, Fingerprint Card, in duplicate, and payment of the $200 making tax. Appendix C contains a copy of Form 1.”

    You are the maker, also on page 35:

    “The serial number must be engraved or stamped on the receiver of the firearm and the caliber, model, and identification of the maker must be engraved on the barrel or frame or receiver of the weapon. The marking and identification requirements for a maker are the same as for a manufacturer. Refer to section 7.4 for a detailed discussion of the requirements.”

    It says nowhere that it is only a requirement before you sell the item. The ATF has no clue what they are doing much like any other .GOV entity. It is written in black and white what is required.

  36. This is very dicey and controversial judging from all of the posts. I am very surprised and disappointed that Mr. Leghorn has not done additional research to clarify whether is article was correct or incorrect. I am not looking to throw flames on this and get the to sides arguing over whether this article was right or wrong. I have my own opinion about that already. I just think that it would be incredibly irresponsible journalism on the part of Mr. Leghorn and TTAG to abandon this article at this point.

  37. Regarding Nicks “UPDATE”…well it’s just more of the same.

    To wit

    “Here’s the thing: I can only report the truth. This is exactly what the ATF told me. As always, I am not a lawyer and this does not constitute legal advice, so if you are concerned feel free to contact one before taking any actions.”

    Sheesh. “The ATF told me”…what does that even mean? You talked to “The ATF”?…is that like talking “to the Government”?

    You guys really need to address the concerns/criticisms raised in these comments more directly than this.

    From all I can tell, Nick’s post is still nothing but opinion/hearsay that lacks any form of authoritative documentation.

    In addition, it seems factually and legally WRONG.

    If this site is really the TRUTH about guns, this issue requires prominent addressing.

    • Leghorn has a long history of wrongocity on all things SBR. When I brought it to the attention of the editor at TTAG last time Leghorn pulled this nonsense, he just shrugged his shoulders and moved on.

      Leghorn’s nonsense generates page views, which keeps TTAG running, and that’s obviously ALL they care about.

  38. I called ATF and talked to a specialist. Asked the same question and was told in no uncertain terms that I am the manufacture and need to engrave. It cost me 65 bucks to have it engraved to specs so I am adding a level of insurance that I am OK. Better safe then sorry.

  39. Getting Ready for my first SBR and Form 1! I am confused as to why engraving would be required. Lets take a new SIG MPX pistol I will be adding a stock to once approved as an example. I would understand if you bought a bunch of AR parts and the new blank receiver had no serial and or manufacturer I the maker would need to engrave. Just looking for help as to what I am missing per the info below. https://www.atf.gov/file/58251/download

    6.2.1 Description of firearm.
    If an existing firearm or firearm receiver is being used(ITS DOESN’T SPECIFY EXISTING NFA FIREARM JUST FIREARM), the name and location of the original manufacturer of the weapon should be entered in
    Block 4(a) (SIG SAUER, EXETER-NH-USA). If the applicant is making a completely new firearm(NEW LIKE BUILDING THAT AR SBR WITH NO MANUFACTURE NAME?), the applicant’s name and location should be entered in Block 4(a). The type of firearm being made, i.e., short barrel rifle, short barrel shotgun, any other weapon, silencer or destructive device, is to be entered in Block 4(b). The caliber or gauge of the firearm is to be entered in Block 4(c). If a model designation has been assigned to the firearm, that designation is to be placed in Block 4(d). If the weapon has no model designation, enter “none” in Block 4(d). The length of the barrel is to be entered, in inches, in Block 4(e) and the overall length of the firearm is to be entered, in inches, in Block 4(f).

    All NFA firearms must be identified by a serial number and other specified markings95. If an existing firearm is being used in the making of the NFA weapon, and that firearm is serialized, the existing serial number should be used (unless it duplicates a serial number already used by the maker on Form 1) and entered in Block 4(g). If the weapon is of new manufacture, the applicant must assign a unique serial number and enter it in Block4(g). For example, a unique serial number could be composed of at least 4 digits preceded by the initials of the maker.

    Section 7.4 The identification of firearms.
    7.4.1 Serial number
    Each manufacturer of a firearm must legibly identify it by engraving, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing on the firearm’s frame or receiver an individual serial number not duplicating any serial number placed by the manufacturer on any other firearm.120 The requirement that the marking be “conspicuously” placed on the firearm means that the marking must be wholly unobstructed from plain view. For firearms manufactured on or after January 30, 2002, the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch.

    NOTE: alpha characters, e.g., a name, will not be accepted as a serial number. If a name is to be used, there
    must be at least one numeric character in addition to the alpha characters.

  40. Every attorney that understands NFA issues agrees that engraving is required, multiple people have confirmed with the ATF that they require engraving.

    • Wrong! No where in there does it mention NFA firearms. This is for making a non-firearm into a firearm. An NFA firearm is already a firearm. It’s just a different type. If you look at the GCA definition of a firearm, anyone of those can be made from scratch and when you do that you are bound to mark it according to the CFR. When you modify it, you are not required to mark it, any more than me taking a 20″ to a 16″. I am just modifying it. Yes I am making an SBR/NFA firearm if I take it to less than 16, but it was already a firearm and was marked accordingly as per “27 CFR 479.102”. Why is it so hard to understand this. ATF references this all the time because even an NFA firearm must meet these minimum requirements. If you decide not to make a stripped lower from PSA into an SBR but decide to machine it yourself into an SBR, the ATF does not reference “27 CFR 479.102” because you are machining an NFA firearm, the ATF is referencing it because you are making a firearm.

      I am not a judge but I assume the spirit of the law with regards to marking an NFA firearm are to give the ATF the ability to track inventory. They need to know how many NFA firearms are out there and where they are at. None of this “engraving” of names and trusts in Form1 helps in that UNLESS you are making an NFA firearm from scratch.

      A person creating a firearm from a non-firearm or a person creating an SBR from a non-firearm or an existing firearm are all “makers”. The label manufacturer becomes an additional label if you are making these things with the INTENT to sell. This is clear in their definition of a manufacturer, so let’s not get hung up on maker/manufacturer. We are ALL makers. The point of the section (27 CFR 479.102) on markings is to identify the birth of a firearm, not the birth of an SBR/NFA item. The birth of an NFA firearm is tracked with the form1 and any existing serial numbers (or ones you create if you are making it from scratch). When you make a silencer from scratch, while it is the birth of an NFA item (tracked by the form), it is more importantly, the birth of a firearm and thus according to the Code of Federal Regulations must be marked in accordance with “27 CFR 479.102”.

      Again, there are no NFA documents that states an NFA firearm must be engraved. There is only documents that states a firearm must be engraved.

      BTW, those people who are so quick to site lawyers as the authority in this… open you eyes, as much as I respect their work(yes I do, they got me out of fixes plenty of times), lawyers get it wrong too. Close your eyes and just assume that what people say are right because everyone is doing it, then take a look at yourself and remember why maybe most of us are into guns and remember that it’s to ensure that our rights are preserved. I guess what I’m saying is before all these landmark decisions were ever made, most people assumed a different way and just took them as a fact of life. Just because it’s a certain way, doesn’t mean it is what the law had intended (i didn’t say “doesn’t mean it’s right”. This isn’t a moral discussion).

      Now, having said that, I and maybe other lawyers will tell you to engrave because it’s erring in the side of caution. I agree. Ultimately it’s up to the individual to decide on what they want to do and what they want to fight in court. The above is not advice to do one thing or the other but rather to clear up a misunderstanding.

      For instance, most of us realize if you get clocked at 56 on 55 we will not get pulled over. Many will assume that’s how you interpret a 55 speed limit.. “heck that mean I can go 60 at least”. The reality is, it is clear that 55 is the law and we all just need to make our decisions on whether to go 56 or not and risk paying a fine. Just because everyone does it, doesn’t mean it’s the law. Get it.

      One more thing in reference to an earlier post that stated that approval of a form1 does not make the firearm an NFA item and that it is assembling it that does. I disagree. While you are not required to make it immediately upon approval, the firearm is in the registry. It IS an NFA firearm. Try crossing state lines with the stripped lower that was registered and “assembling” it in another state. Good luck convincing the ATF that you really didn’t do that with a highly regulated firearm and that’s why you didn’t inform them of the address changed. I’m sure you are well aware of “constructive intent”. So yes, even unassembled it is an NFA firearm.

        • Which is certainly their right, but my point is, that still does not make them right. There is enough contradiction within the bureau itself.

          Even the bureau’s own “CHAPTER 7. MANUFACTURING NFA FIREARMS “, they clearly make a distinction between NFA firearms and firearms:

          7.3.3.2 Reactivation of a registered unserviceable NFA firearm.
          vs
          Section 7.4 The identification of firearms

          Note 7.4 does not mention NFA firearms, rather just “firearms”. And within that section, they annotate it with a reference “120” and 120 happens to be…. wait for it…..”27 CFR 479.102″. regulations how to mark the “birth” of a firearm.

          Not knocking smart people as I consider myself of above average intelligence also(sometimes 🙂 ), one thing I notice is some “knowledgeable” people still don’t have common sense. They tend to just parrot what they have heard from other people they consider more knowledgeable than them. No all, SOME… IMHO.

          “All knowledgeable attorneys and ATF authorities disagree with you”

          Well I know you didn’t talk to ALL attorneys and ATF authorities, so maybe the use of ALL is premature. I am also pretty sure you are not suggesting that the ones you happened to talk to happen to be the knowledgeable ones and the ones you didn’t, know nothing about the subject. I’m also assuming that you mean knowledgeable in this particular matter as I consider myself knowledgeable about software development, but don’t know lick about cooking.

          So I guess I’ll take your statement as “Of the attorneys and ATF authorities I[you] talked to or have read about regarding this matter, I find them to be knowledgeable in this subject in my opinion, and they disagree with you.”.

          Fair enough.. however, this begs the question… did these attorneys become knowledgeable in this subject matter, in your opinion, because they were attorneys(some smart guys people tend to put on a pedestal of knowledge and understanding beyond those of normal men)? because they have written gun trusts? or did they argue a case in court regarding the markings. I bet if I throw money at them they will argue to defend the position that “engraving is not required”. Then again, I really have nothing to back that statement up so take it with a grain of salt. Attorney’s tend to err in the side of caution when giving advice and opinion.. for obvious legal implications.

          As far as ATF, they can’t even agree on the matter, so enough said about that.

          Again, this is not advice one way or the other. I suggest to also err in the side of caution. That does not however make everyone’s interpretation correct…… nor does it mine.

          Peace and Tranquility be with you.

  41. What I know from personal experience is this: I bought an AK, had it SBR’ed after the approval, and I NEVER got it engraved, and was never asked or told to engrave it by any authority. I’m going with my experience, and suffer the consequences if I’m wrong. Without clarity to the contrary, and with my own personal experience with ATF and SBRing, I prefer NOT to mess up a fine AK with engraving. That alone will surely lower the value if I go to sell it.

  42. I totally agree with the all questions you raised. Unfortunately, I found this article too late – I already found the answer on another service. So here is my saving grace: PDFfiller helped me to fill out the GSA Pre-Lease Building Security Plan and and esign them. Just try it https://goo.gl/iHYDTj, you’ll love it.

  43. Here’s ATF’s actual reply, in writing. Posted earlier in the comments, but some of you might have missed it.

    http://imgur.com/1678ZeB

    What some random ATF agent says to you, verbally, does not matter. Just like if you ask random cops about various laws around firearms, most of them will be horrible wrong in a lot of cases. Only written, throughally-vetted releases like this are valid, and even then, they have also changed them in the past.

  44. Like others I wrote the ATF asking this question and gave theroetical examples of things I have read and examples in this article. This was his response:

    “You need to engrave your name, city and state on your SBR as it appears on your approved form 1. Thanks”

    This was as of 5/18/2016. Short, to the point with no wiggle room.

  45. So, with all the “confusion” going one, why not just engrave it and not be the test case for the BATFE to hang you by your gonads?

  46. To clear up any confusion on this issue: Regardless of what an ATF agent, lawyer or anyone else tells you, if you read ATF Rul. 2013-3 (https://www.atf.gov/file/4881/download) you will know whether or not you should mark your SBR.

    The rule states that you can adopt the original serial number, caliber, etc. but that you must mark the item with your name (trust, whatever) and location.

    AND if, like me, you SBR’d something originally marked as multi-caliber like a Sig Sauer MPX, you must also mark the actual caliber/gauge “once it is known.” (see pages 3-4).

    Your only other option is to adopt all of the original markings, which is possible, but you must “receive an approved variance from ATF.” That will probably be more hassle than just getting the engraving done.

    It’s understandable that there is widespread confusion on the issue because the ATF doesn’t provide the instructions it should when filing. But that won’t be an excuse if your SBR ever comes into question. Mark it appropriately, end of story.

  47. This article is 100% wrong so why is it still up? Ask the ATF again and this time get it in writing and then report back to us.

  48. If you are not in the business of MANUFACTURING you are MAKING. And if the firearm is already a firearm you can use the original MANUFACTURERS markings!

    Derp!

  49. Just to add some fuel to the fire, I also have some email exchanges with someone from the ATF that supports what Nick stated in the article. So I at least have that in writing along with a name. @usdoj.gov was her email extension.

    On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 3:09 PM wrote:
    If the NFA weapon does not enter commerce – you don’t intend to sell SBR – adopting the markings on the receiver is acceptable.

    If the NFA weapon enters commerce – you sell the SBR – you are required to engrave name of trust/city/state onto the receiver or barrel.

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