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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/3/2005 6:57:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2005 6:58:48 PM EDT by Girlieman]
What is the "legal definition" of what constitutes a firearm in the US? Or rather is there a legal definition of what part of a firearm is a "controlled" part?
What I mean is.... Here in Canada it is the frame or reciever that is legally/technically the firearm.
Under our Mickey Mouse rules it is the frame or receiver that is subject to registration... Everthing else (barrels, stocks, internals) are just uncontrolled parts.
So you could have a stripped AR lower (the frame) without any guts or an upper attached and it is legally a firearm and must be registered and the owner appropriately licenced...
Reason I ask is:
I have a NorincoAR that isn't allowed into the US due to an import ban. ATF won't even allow me to temporarily take it into the US.
So I was wondering... If, as here it's the frame that is legally the firearm would it be legal for me to attach my Norinco upper to a US made lower in order to take the rifle into the US under a Form6 (Much less $$$ than buying a whole new rifle)

Or... should I just use the US import ban as an excuse to buy a real AR

Ps. I've looked all over the BATF site and haven't found an answere
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 8:56:50 PM EDT
On a Fed level, it is the serialized frame that is legally the firearm.

BUT, some states have their own definitions to further complicate matters.

For instance:

In MA, for registration purposes the registration law defines firearm as "capable of firing a shot", therefore a bare frame isn't a firearm in this regard.

BUT for criminal matters, I guarantee you that if all you had was a frame and no LTC (our license to possess), you'd be prosecuted for possession of a firearm without a license (felony).
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:19:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By LenS:
On a Fed level, it is the serialized frame that is legally the firearm.



Thanks....
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 5:31:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/4/2005 5:36:17 AM EDT by otto_esq]
For the purposes you're describing, this is our US (Federal) definition of a "firearm"
(sounds very similar to your Canadian law) (things change when you go to 26 US Code "Chapter " 56 of the tax laws that deal with machine guns and short barreled rifles. So, make sure the resulting Norinco upper, US lower is at least 26" OAL and 16" barrel.)

18 US Code Sec.921


§ 921. Definitions
(a) As used in this chapter—
(3) The term “firearm” means
(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;



You sound like you may already know that we have a difference between US-legal receivers and US-legal, assembled-from-foreign-parts, finished rifles. (a foreign receiver can be US-legal, but requires a certain number of US-made parts in the finished firearm. For example, an Imbel receiver made in Brazil for an FAL is US-legal, but the finished FAL rifle must contain a certain number of US-made parts to be legal). I don't think this is a problem with US-made receivers, regardless of the foreign part content of the firearm. (I haven't found a citation to confirm this)

As LenS suggested, you should also check the state laws of where you're heading and passing thru in the US, but a US-mfg receiver should be fine, as long as you are in compliance with importation, possession and transportation laws.

Cheers, Otto
Link Posted: 8/4/2005 2:58:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By otto_esq:
As LenS suggested, you should also check the state laws of where you're heading and passing thru in the US, but a US-mfg receiver should be fine, as long as you are in compliance with importation, possession and transportation laws.

Cheers, Otto



Y'know... I have checked with some state authorities NY in particular re. any additional rules I need to be aware of as to transporting/possessing, but they have all expresed no concern as long as I have my F6NIA permit...
Surprisingly... or not, even with all the additional security since 9/11 I have never had a problem crossing into the US with gun(s)
The last time I travelled into the US the border was on a hightened state of alert (Orange?). We pull up to the kiosk. The officer asks all four of us about our citizenship. Asks where we were heading...
Me: "'Going to the ***** for a shooting match".
Agent: "How many guns do you have?"
Me: "All together... ten".
Agent: "Have a good one..."

America... what a country

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