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Old September 13th, 2017, 09:00 AM #1
Zoltan Zoltan is offline
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Legal clarification - 80% lower

I'm just a hobby machinist and have a mini mill and mini lathe in my basement. It's a hobby only and I don't make any money from them.

After reading letter 11711 from BATFE, I'm not sure if a friend can come over and use my mini mill for free for an 80% lower or not. While the letter does say "in the business", but I'm not sure how that's being applied.

Has anyone asked BATFE for clarification on this?

https://www.atf.gov/file/11711/download
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Old September 13th, 2017, 09:27 AM #2
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If they're strictly manual machines and you go out to lunch and then to a movie, so there's zero input from you, I think he/you are safe as he's just using your tools to complete a lower.

IANA80%L
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Old September 13th, 2017, 11:19 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iH8DemLibz View Post
If they're strictly manual machines and you go out to lunch and then to a movie, so there's zero input from you, I think he/you are safe as he's just using your tools to complete a lower.

IANA80%L
This is my understanding as well. It's not illegal for a friend to borrow a tool, as long as the friend is the only one doing the work. You cannot set up a CNC machine, then tell the friend to load in an 80% lower and hit a button to begin the automatic milling of it.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 03:35 PM #4
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Before you take anyone's word for this, have you thought of the benefit vs cost of this adventure? I personally would never let anyone use my tools/machinery to build an 80% into a firearm. It may be 100% legal to do, but that doesn't preclude some hothead agent or cop from charging you with a crime. Sure, you may be innocent, but I bet it's gonna cost you a LOT of money to prove your innocence.

BTW, I'm not sure how this would go down in court. Interpretation of any BATF ruling is so up in the air, I would never want to go to trial trying to play which rule am having to defend against?

YMMV

This is just one man's opinion.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 03:37 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_h_smith View Post
Before you take anyone's word for this, have you thought of the benefit vs cost of this adventure? I personally would never let anyone use my tools/machinery to build an 80% into a firearm. It may be 100% legal to do, but that doesn't preclude some hothead agent or cop from charging you with a crime. Sure, you may be innocent, but I bet it's gonna cost you a LOT of money to prove your innocence.

BTW, I'm not sure how this would go down in court. Interpretation of any BATF ruling is so up in the air, I would never want to go to trial trying to play which rule am having to defend against?

YMMV

This is just one man's opinion.
That's pretty much the direction I'm coming from. If there's any grey area, I don't want any part of it.

If I email the ATF for clarification, and they come back and so it's fine, is that good enough? Or is that just one agent's opinion?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:27 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltan View Post
That's pretty much the direction I'm coming from. If there's any grey area, I don't want any part of it.

If I email the ATF for clarification, and they come back and so it's fine, is that good enough? Or is that just one agent's opinion?
I doubt any agent is going to defend you at trial if somehow that's where you find yourself. I wouldn't trust an ATF agent with my future.

But again, YMMV and this is just one man's opinion.

I hate to be That Guy, but I don't trust them and I wouldn't do well in prison, so I try to stay out of trouble.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:31 PM #7
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Don't ask the ATF. That only leads to more problems. Choose what you are comfortable with and go that route.

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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:44 PM #8
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Does the ATF have a camera in your basement? How would they know?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:44 PM #9
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Since I have never seen any legislation making it illegal to loan tools, I think they would be making quite a stretch to say it is against the law to loan someone your tools!

As long as they do all of the work, you should be good to go. I would think it would be okay to offer advice or guidance because of the First Amendment but we all know it is under attack.

If they claim it is a violation of the law to give help or advice, then why is it not illegal to post Polymer80 instructional videos on YouTube?
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Old September 13th, 2017, 05:24 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoveman View Post
Does the ATF have a camera in your basement? How would they know?
This ^^^^^^^

Me and my buddies have a toolbox full of "our" tools. They are at my house and that's where they stay, they do not leave. They are all ours. I don't know who bought what, but they "belong to all of us". I'm pretty sure "your tools" could belong to your buddy also.
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