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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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Remember, Congress itself passed the law in 1968 that said a firearm shall include the frame or receiver of a gun, or a nonworking gun that could readily be converted into a working one.

ATF used the rulemaking power which was delegated to it by Congress to come up with some rules to distinguish unfinished non-firearm components --which could one day be turned into frames--- and those frames that were complete enough to be considered firearms already.

ATF has never used the 80% complete rule that we like to talk about; it has been a shorthand rule of thumb among knowledgeable gun people as to where we think the line is, but ATF has never specifically said any certain percentage . They've never given us a number that way.

It's not unreasonable to say that a gun kit consisting of the barrel, slide, mostly-finished frame, and all the internal fire control parts is a "firearm" per the GCA '68.

Quote from statutory law,
18 U.S.Code, section 921[Definitions section which comes before the criminal law section, 922 ]

(a)(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;
[emphasis added]
 

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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29,299 Posts
If ATF is thinking that they should consider how difficult it is for you to source the other parts that you need to complete your gun build when they're deciding whether an unfinished frame is a gun, I don't think they're unreasonable.

They should consider how much time and effort and how much money you would need to spend to acquire the other parts necessary for your build.


FURTHERMORE, since building your own gun has historically been motivated by a desire to get a gun that is customized to your liking, tailor made for you rather than mass produced at a factory, it defeats such an intent when a gun kit is sold complete, all the parts sent from one supplier to one user!

There is no customization in such a transaction. You will get the trigger pull weight and reset length as determined by the parts supplied with your kit.

You use the sights given to you in the kit, rather than the kit coming without sights and expecting you to shop around the marketplace and choose appropriate sights or optics for your purposes, for your type of shooting, and your level of expertise.

On a ghost gun kit, the finish of the gun is already applied. You don't have the opportunity to show your creativity or customize the gun for your own purposes by choosing your finish.

In a ghost gun kit all of these steps of finishing a gun that would be normally left to the end-user are done for the buyer.

Which shows That this builder of a fire arm is not following the historically respected standard model for choosing to build a firearm customized for him, but rather his intent is simply to skirt the law and get an unregistered gun that he can freely sell (Maybe selling many of them as an unregistered illegal dealer) or used in a crime without having any serial number on it.
 
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