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Posted: 3/7/2006 12:39:08 PM EDT
I know the DOJ have ruled (in memos) that 80% lowers would not be legal to complete. I don't really understand that logic. Let me introduce a scenario:

Lets say I buy an 80% lower and complete it. Since it has no pistol grip, why would it be any differant from an "off-list" lower?

Then I get out my marking stamps and mark it as PRK Industries, Model PHuC-KA, Ser 001. Now, wouldn't really be an off list lower? Since there is no way to ever get it listed, it would have to remain a fixed mag lower, of course.

Ok, let me go another step. Instead of marking the completed lower as PRK Industries, would it be somehow illegal to mark it, say, Sendra Corp, or American Spirit Arms Corp or PAW, or some other defunct lower mfg.? Assuming I never sold the lower, it couldn't violate commerce law, could it? Since I am not a Licensed Mfg, why would it matter what I marked the lower? See the possibilites here?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:54:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 12:55:12 PM EDT by NeoWeird]
Well first you are treading into copyright laws which is a bad place to be. Second, if it were ever a legal concern of why you did it, it could easily be construed that your intentions were not legal since you can at this point legally buy the receiver you are making so why go through the effort of making a counterfeit? Third, since there are no manufacture dates on receivers, it could be viewed as you were trying to duplicate a registered assault weapon, once they are registered, to get past the ban on them. There is also the point that you could duplicate a serial number someone else has, especially someone in California, and you could void both your registration and theirs if you both register it; not to mention if you both have one registered (in this state or another) and something illegal is done with it, yours could be confiscated or vice versa. There is also the simple point that off list lowers are cheaper than their commercially produced counter parts 95% of the time, even after DROS and tax.

The bottom line is it's not cost or time effecient and it would be very easy to make it seem like your intention and/or actions were illegal; and all it takes is a small group of Americans who aren't savvy of the whole subject to stand between you being right and you losing your rights. By the way, that 'memo' that said completeing 80% lowers was illegal is not an official statement from the DOJ, and I have several others that state otherwise. 80% lowers are legal to own ANYWHERE as they are NOT firearms, and in this state you are still legally allowed to create your own longguns as long asyou follow all other laws (ie no assault weapons, shortbarrel rifles/shotguns, etc).
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:54:59 PM EDT
Te DOJ ruled that 80% receivers (AR, for example) completed and built up in compliance with banned-by-features law, were legal.

It is other members of Calguns and ARFCOM that have said not to rely on an 80% receiver ever being declared as an AW.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:02:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 1:07:50 PM EDT by bwiese]

Originally Posted By photog:
I know the DOJ have ruled (in memos) that 80% lowers would not be legal to
complete. I don't really understand that logic.



Actually there's a memo signed by former Asst Director Tim Rieger that says they are indeed legal. This letter is scanned & stored somewhere on the calgunlaws.com website.

However: I believe this was not thought out of in full regards to Harrott decision and practicalities of listing. And this DOJ letter may not protect you from prosecution - whereas having other off-list lowers in commercial trade is clearly protected by Harrott.



Lets say I buy an 80% lower and complete it. Since it has no pistol grip, why would it be any differant from an "off-list" lower?



True, it isn't. It's off-list!! However, there is no practicable way that anyone ever could list any or all homebuilt lowers by specific make and model (i.e., "Billy Bob's #3"), esp as those don't go into general trade (you're not an FFL, you're not paying taxes on these, etc.)

The risk I see - which may be mild or severe - is that homebuilt lowers could possibly fall outside of Harrott protection and thus fall back under the Kasler standard of "an AR is an AR is an AR..." - which'd make them a no-no.



Then I get out my marking stamps and mark it as PRK Industries, Model PHuC-KA, Ser 001.
Now, wouldn't really be an off list lower?



Yes, they are off-list, but because of the above impracticality of listing homebuilts that don't show up in standard commercial trade, these could fall outside of Harrott protection.

And I wouldn't mark anything with a company name that didn't exist.



Since there is no way to ever get it listed, it would have to remain a fixed mag lower, of course.


Yes, that's the other issue - no chance of getting listed, ever.


Instead of marking the completed lower as PRK Industries, would it be somehow illegal to mark it, say, Sendra Corp, or American Spirit Arms Corp or PAW, or some other defunct lower mfg.? Assuming I never sold the lower, it couldn't violate commerce law, could it? Since I am not a Licensed Mfg, why would it matter what I marked the lower? See the possibilites here?


Many, but not all, of these mfgrs are listed already. Marking it as a corporation that is nonextant and not related to you might be very legally questionable, too. It has a 'bad smell' - and might smell like someone was trying to get something in under the wire if another reg period opened.

If you were to do this (and I advise NOT), mark it with your name and a serial #. If you had a company, I would not use the company's name since that might stray from being regarded as 'homebuilt for personal use'.

There's simply no reasonable need today to build a lower from 80% forging. Time/$$ costs alone make it an insane decision when you can get a good lower, even in CA, for $150-$200ish. Add to the fact the uncertainty about Harrott protections, and the fact that these will never get declared as AWs, and it's just not worthwhile even aside from legal risks.


Bill Wiese
San Jose CA

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:48:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:47:46 PM EDT
I was hoping Bill would reply, as he is probably one of our greatest assets here on this board.

Yes, about that "bad smell", Bill picked up on what I was really getting at, being able to register an AW using a homebuilt receiver.

I had the thought that it could happen, because of what happened to me. I used to live in AZ, where I bought a couple of stripped lowers. They are currently off-list. When I moved to CA, I legally brought them in, as "off-list longguns". See the issue...if they get listed by the DOJ as AW's, they will never have had been registered (no DROS), because they were legally owned long guns, legally imported into CA, when I took up residency here. The implication of this is that there will have to be a provision for me to register them if they get listed, but there will be no way for the state to verify the info, as there was never a DROS.

Lots of grey area here.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:54:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By photog:

I had the thought that it could happen, because of what happened to me. I used to live in AZ, where I bought a couple of stripped lowers. They are currently off-list. When I moved to CA, I legally brought them in, as "off-list longguns". See the issue...if they get listed by the DOJ as AW's, they will never have had been registered (no DROS), because they were legally owned long guns, legally imported into CA, when I took up residency here. The implication of this is that there will have to be a provision for me to register them if they get listed, but there will be no way for the state to verify the info, as there was never a DROS.



So what is the legal issue there? You legally own offlist lowers, that when they are listed, you can register.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:07:19 PM EDT
The issue is that I will be only registering a Make Model and Serial number. The DOJ will never see my receiver, nor be able to verify the numbers. So what if someone registered a Sendra with a 7 digit serial number? I'm sure there will be the usual perjury notice on the registation form, but its not perjury if the reciever actually exists.

OK yes I am just speculating on this stuff, but only because it got me to thinking about when I might be able to register my lowers.

I really appreciate all the input.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:22:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 3:23:10 PM EDT by Zapp]
Originally Posted By photog:
The issue is that I will be only registering a Make Model and Serial number. The DOJ will never see my receiver, nor be able to verify the numbers. So what if someone registered a Sendra with a 7 digit serial number? I'm sure there will be the usual perjury notice on the registation form, but its not perjury if the reciever actually exists.


Did you buy stripped offlist lowers, or did you buy 80% lowers that were handbuilt? If you bought stripped lowers, the serial numbers on them are unique, so this is not an issue, you just register them like everyone else.

Please clarify what you are talking about. You said you bought a couple of stripped lowers, which usually means they are completed(not 80%). If they were complete lowers, then you have no problems at all. If they were 80%, you are SOL.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:36:35 PM EDT
My lowers were completed; ASA's (note: only the ASA USA Model is listed, they DID make other models) and Sendra.

My point is that the state will only be registering Make, Model, Serial No. and that leaves a lot of room for people to take advantage of the situation.

So this thread has digressed from "80%'ers" to "lowers not DROS'ed"..... I see the connection.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 4:51:55 PM EDT
Since they are already serialized, then 1 of 2 things will happen:

1) Those models will be on the list when it comes out. You register them just like everyone else. No worries that they were never DROS'd.

2) The models aren't on the list when it comes out(or the list never comes out). Then you have them legally right now, as they are, and you don't have to register them.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 6:05:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 6:05:51 PM EDT by bwiese]
photog...

If you have commercially mfg'd lowers you are fine legally.
If they are not on the list, they may or may not be listed in the future.
If they are currently on the list, you already shouldn't've brought them into CA!

Most likely the DOJ may not know of some old defunct companies or rarer models thereof, but they likely know about most current off-list lowers.

Just stay away from homebuilt 80% lowers. The 80% lower ain't the problem; it's when it becomes 100%.


Bill Wiese
San Jose



Link Posted: 3/8/2006 6:12:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
The really odd thing about the 80% issue is that you're not protected by either the Consitution of the United States or Federal BATF rulings and the court decissions that resulted from them all of which say that the rifles are legal. We get as much protection from socialist in Sacramento by the federals as the people living in Togo do - none. As long as California keeps pumping billions upon billions of dollars into the United States they're not going to bother supporting us.



Seriously. We need to look at what Federal Laws supercede State Laws. If this was happening to the 1st Amendment here in California nobody would stand for it.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 1:42:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By photog:
The issue is that I will be only registering a Make Model and Serial number. The DOJ will never see my receiver, nor be able to verify the numbers. So what if someone registered a Sendra with a 7 digit serial number? I'm sure there will be the usual perjury notice on the registation form, but its not perjury if the reciever actually exists.

OK yes I am just speculating on this stuff, but only because it got me to thinking about when I might be able to register my lowers.

I really appreciate all the input.



photog,

The DROS for an off-list lower receiver does not require make, model, and serial because it is considered a long gun. Therefore, it's moot. It would not be possible to verify the AW registration data against a DROS record because the DROS for long guns does not have the vital data.

The registration requirements are listed in regulation 978.30. There should be no issues in registering a legally acquired lower receiver. It was legally purchased while you were an out of state resident, and legally imported when you moved to California.
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