05 December 2008

Step By Step...

I am getting ready to enter the heady world of the National Firearms Act with the making of a short barrel rifle (SBR).

When finished it will be a clone of an Air Force GAU-5A/A. This is almost identical to an Army XM177E2, except no forward assist. It is distinct from the XM177 (a.k.a. GAU-5A) in that it has a full fence lower and 11.5" barrel as opposed to a partial fence and 10" barrel.

I am going to be the manufacturer of this firearm. Steps to get this accomplished.

First, obtain a Revocable Living Trust. This is actually not necessary, I could file as an individual. But an individual filing means that The Lovely Harvey could never be allowed access to where it was stored without it becoming an illegal transfer. The Lovely Harvey and I will be the settlors or grantors of the trust, thus anything the trust own, we jointly own. Having the trust listed as the manufacturer also lets us skip a couple of the tedious steps of the application process, we don't have to send in fingerprints, photographs or get a signature from the local Chief Law Enforcement Officer.

Second, obtain a gun to be modified into an SBR.

Third, fill out two copies of ATF Form 1 (5320.1). If you think that tax forms are hard to figure out... wait, this is a tax form!

Forth, send in the Form 1s, copies of the Declaration of Trust, Certification of Trust and the trust's Schedule A, with $200 to the ATF.

Fifth, wait for approval.

Sixth, when approval is obtained, have the firearm engraved with the name, city and state of the manufacturer (the trust).

Seventh, get the shorter than 16" barrel or have the 16" barrel shortened to the desired and declared length.

Eighth, assemble the firearm.

Last, enjoy!

This is Thag's barrier to the National Firearms Registry closing registrations to new SBRs. In 1986 Reagan signed the "Firearms Owner Protection Act" which did a lot of good, but it also made it illegal for a private citizen to make a new machinegun for personal ownership. An M16 was just about double the price of an AR15 back then. Just prior to the panic on black rifles a new AR was about $1,000. A used M16 was $16,500. At the moment, it's not really any more expensive to buy an SBR than a normal gun. But if they close registration, then I can expect the value of my creation to soar! And we all know that kind of thing doesn't happen to me.

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