Making a Handgun Legally Not a Firearm

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  • Art3

    Eqinsu Ocha
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 30, 2015
    13,813
    Harford County
    A friend of mine who is not a gun guy ( :eek: how? :shrug:) and does not have an HQL was eyeing a local auction that included several "nonworking" handguns. He asked me if they still needed HQL. I'm pretty sure I steered him right in that he could buy them without HQL (functional or not) if they were more than 50 years old. Though I couldn't point to a statute, I'm confident that the government (fed and state) still considers them handguns even if they are broken or worn out. Would you have to grind the serial numbers off to make them "no longer firearms," right? :rasp:

    But, it got me wondering if there are set standards for deactivating a handgun, making it no longer a handgun. I'm vaguely aware of ATF's de-milling for machine guns (torch the receiver into 3 pieces...or something similar, right?). Is there a less patina ruining way to make a handgun (modern, and in MD) into an unregulated wall hanger?

    I can certainly think of ways that a welder could render a functional handgun into an inanimate paperweight...but what level of fusion does the law require?

    I don't plan on doing anything of the sort...just curious now.
     
    Last edited:

    Biggfoot44

    Ultimate Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    34,126
    I know Art , and he's not deliberately Trolling.

    But Dude ! Quickly edit out where you are ( inadvertently) encouraging people to commit a major ( strict construction) Federal Felony .
     

    Art3

    Eqinsu Ocha
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 30, 2015
    13,813
    Harford County
    I'm not sure I understand.
    I'll try to make it simpler. I'll use the universal/hypothetical "you" ;)

    Imagine one day out of the blue, your Rohm RG10 slithered back into your life after the boating accident. How TF did that happen? Who knows? One day, there it was, on the east side of your porch at 9am. It was cloudy out, and you had slept in a little, so who is to say exactly when it showed up...but it did.
    You always hated that gun. The last two digits of the serial number were your birth year, and that some how made it even more personally offensive. You would always remember that, which is how you knew for sure it was your gun that had returned from the fateful boating trip.
    It really should have never even gone on that trip. It was Lisa's idea...well, you know how she can be :rolleye12 You kinda were in the dog house with her already because of the stains on the carpet. To this day, she still blames you for that! She didn't even notice the little Rohm going over into the drink, which is really funny. Everybody joked about how great her peripheral vision should be with that wonky eye, but apparently not enough to see where those stupid angel wings she used to wear were going, and who or what they were knocking around. Her...an angel? :lol2: But, hey, it made her happy. After all that she'd been through, she deserved to be happy.
    Anyway, you hated that little POS even before it went swimming (the gun, not Lisa...ain't nothin' little about Lisa!), and now it was back and even rustier. You swore you would never shoot it again after the peacock incident, and you always keep your word unless it is to a pirate (nobody wants to see you make that mistake again). Now, it is worth less and more dangerous than when it was worthless and dangerous. It's registered to you, so it's going to be an anchor for the rest of your life (ironically, it's even lousy as an anchor since it apparently won't stay submerged).
    Your neighbor Tiler (pronounced like, "Tyler," but he insists on spelling it his way), on the other hand, has always coveted that stupid thing. He says it reminds him of his father. Nobody knows who Tiler's father is. Looking at Tiler, you might assume that his father was Mongolian...but that really doesn't matter. Regardless of where Tiler's father came from or where he went, it just ain't right comparing him or anyone to that pistol. But, despite being a weirdo, Tiler has a good heart.
    He really wants that Rohm as the gear shift knob on his "hotrod." It's a 1977 Mercury Monarch, with a 302 that that fool put money into blueprinting and putting a 4 bbl carb on. It would scream, except he's got these huge HUGE mufflers hanging down on the "custom" cobbled together duel exhaust that really doesn't fit under the car because he likes it to sound "classy." He's got shiny Crager wheels on one side of it and no-name white wagon wheels on the other. He does bring up a good point that nobody can see both sides at the same time. However, his claim that it "confuses the chicks, and they dig it" is pretty debatable.
    You've told him that that C4 transmission may not take the pounding he gives it, and that it's really ergonomically stupid (you can't argue aesthetics with him) to use a gun as a shift knob...especially when the shifter is on the column. It's no use, though. Ever since his mom lost her little pug, Samantha, Tiler just gets focused on dumb ideas and can't let them go.
    So, obviously, even a non-functional Rohm is still legally a handgun, and may come with some transportation issues if it's attached to the shifter of Tiler's "Mariposa Venenosa," as he calls it. Also, there's another problem. Tiler is prohibited. :o Now, he's not violent or bad (as long as he isn't too hopped up on the maple syrup), but he does have a medical marijuana card. He doesn't abuse it to get high. It legitimately helps with the weeping hives he gets on his shins. You've seen the difference yourself, and appreciate the fact that he will have no quality of life if he goes back to the old ways.
    Is there a way to legally alter that regulated firearm in such a way that it can be given to Tiler, for his legal (albeit stupid) use while still keeping the outward appearance intact?

    I don't know how to make it any simpler :shrug:

    ETA: names have been changed to protect the innocent.
     
    Last edited:

    Art3

    Eqinsu Ocha
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 30, 2015
    13,813
    Harford County
    I know Art , and he's not deliberately Trolling.

    But Dude ! Quickly edit out where you are ( inadvertently) encouraging people to commit a major ( strict construction) Federal Felony .
    The serial number? Fine, I'll phrase it in the form of a question.
     

    Art3

    Eqinsu Ocha
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 30, 2015
    13,813
    Harford County
    But seriously. If you have an old, unsafe handgun that could never be used, is there a way to make it "legally inert," or does it have to be completely destroyed?
     

    coinboy

    Yeah, Sweet Lemonade.
    Oct 22, 2007
    4,480
    Howard County
    I believe the answer is no.

    You can't do any of the above.

    Here is information directly from the ATF about destruction of firearms.

    It specifically states,
    "An unserviceable firearm is not destroyed and is still regulated as a 'firearm' under Federal law. Any method of destruction must render the firearm so that it is not restorable to firing condition and is otherwise reduced to scrap."

     

    ken792

    Ultimate Member
    Sep 2, 2011
    4,509
    Fairfax, VA
    I’ve seen guns split down the middle and mounted to plaques or put into shadow boxes. Just looking at the side profile, the gun looks complete.
     

    rondon600

    Active Member
    Mar 16, 2009
    761
    One would think painting the tip red and encapsulating in a clear high build epoxy cube would suffice. None the less last time I had a bad one I turned it in at a buy back for some cash.
     

    sckno3

    patience is a virtue
    May 7, 2013
    38
    i knew it was a made up story... c4 transmissions are pretty darn sturdy.

    if it had an a4ld behind that 302...
    now that's another story.
     

    Art3

    Eqinsu Ocha
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 30, 2015
    13,813
    Harford County
    i knew it was a made up story... c4 transmissions are pretty darn sturdy.

    if it had an a4ld behind that 302...
    now that's another story.
    I was hoping sprinkling in some good details would add legitimacy :o...should have gone 351 :tap:
     

    Blacksmith101

    Grumpy Old Man
    Jun 22, 2012
    22,620
    Here is what the military does to M1 Garand "Drill Rifles" (from the CMP Sales website). I don't know if they are still considered "Firearms" legally.

    "Fits the description of our Rack Grade with the additions of: gas cylinder lock screw is welded to lock and gas cylinder, barrel is drilled, plugged and welded at chamber mouth. Barrel is welded to the receiver, firing pin hole is welded closed on bolt face. Rifle wear will be exhibited by worn and mixed colors of the finish; there may be some pitting on the metal parts; wood will be basically sound but may be well used with minor hairline cracks, poor fit, and many dings, scratches and gouges; wood may not match in color, type of wood or condition. Wood may be Walnut, Birch, Beech or other variety."
     

    Biggfoot44

    Ultimate Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    34,126
    Here is what the military does to M1 Garand "Drill Rifles" (from the CMP Sales website). I don't know if they are still considered "Firearms" legally.

    Used to would have . But not under current guidelines , quoted above in this thread .
     

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