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Old September 13th, 2017, 08:00 AM #1
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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, 08:27 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.

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Old September 13th, 2017, 10:19 AM #3
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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
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, 02:35 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, 02:37 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, 03:27 PM #6
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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, 03:31 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, 03:44 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, 03:44 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, 04:24 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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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:24 PM #11
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Originally Posted by Stoveman View Post
Does the ATF have a camera in your basement? How would they know?
When 2 people know something, anything is possible.

I'm just saying.....
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Old September 13th, 2017, 04:56 PM #12
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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.
In addition if your friend is a rotten machinist and screws something up and the gun either blows up or fails to function at a critical moment you will probably be blamed and sued for everthing you own including your mini-mill. Not worth the risk. Tell your friend to either buy a 100% lower or his own mini-mill.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 05:11 PM #13
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Originally Posted by GTOGUNNER View Post
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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^^^ This!
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Old September 13th, 2017, 06:06 PM #14
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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 is my personal opinion as well. But to agree with JH Smith if this is a question or thought in your head is this a friend you are loaning tools to? Also agree if helping a friend, not doing it while he waits or leaves is no different then YouTube videos or manufacturers instructions. This thread has me more realizing that it is Not just MD/ non-free state gun laws but ATF laws/ ruling are very grey to keep people scared and worried beside this particular topic think of pistol arm Braces. Yes no one wants to be the test case so make your own choices wisely and stand behind it till the end.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 06:11 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltan View Post
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

You could sell all of your equipment to your friend with a 30 day money back guarantee if not completely satisfied. Make sure you have a signed bill of sale.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 06:41 PM #16
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So if I borrow a circular saw and screw gun to work on my deck, but didn't pull a permit.....then it's the tool LENDERS problem with the county?? I don't get it.....

MMS...... (mill, machine, and shut up).....
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Old September 13th, 2017, 09:57 PM #17
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As long as your friend is doing all the work it doesn't matter whose mill they use. I used my buddy's end mill to do mine and nobody busted through the door to arrest me.

By the way since you posted this on MDS the FBI has you on a watch list, be careful.
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Old September 13th, 2017, 10:32 PM #18
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"Paranoid" and "coward" are not the words I'd like people to describe me with when I'm gone.
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Old September 16th, 2017, 07:17 AM #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltan View Post
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
May I lawfully make a firearm for my own personal use, provided it is not being made for resale?

Firearms may be lawfully made by persons who do not hold a manufacturer’s license under the GCA provided they are not for sale or distribution and the maker is not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as set forth in regulations in 27 C.F.R. 478.39. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF.

BTW....RE READ pages 5 and 6 again. "held".
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Old September 16th, 2017, 12:06 PM #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltan View Post
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

If you are not a licensed manufacturer and not otherwise engaged in the business of machining, manufacturing firearms, or "gunsmithing" you're GTG.

If you're that worried about it, fill out a bill of sale for your tools to your friend and have him sell them back to you when he's done.

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