80% AR-15 Lower Receiver Determination Letter from the ATF

    Disclaimer: A provision in the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C, Chapter 44 states that an unlicensed individual can make a firearm for personal use, but not for the intent of sale or distribution. Said firearm must conform to N.F.A standards and you must be legally able to be in possession of a firearm. Should you desire to create a Short Barreled Rifle or a Machine gun the BATFE is going to require additional paperwork. If down the road you desire to sell your rifle you will have to put a serial number on it and transfer it via a Federal Firearms License holder. If you never intend to transfer or sell the firearm it must be destroyed upon you giving up possession of the firearm. Granted this is the generally accepted translation of 18 U.S.C, Chapter 44 you should still check local and Federal laws before attempting to build your own personal firearm. Technically you can sell a rifle you have made but you cannot simply make a rifle then immediately decide to turn around and sell it.

    Steve Johnson, The Firearm Blog’s Editor and Chief, recently blogged about Polymer80’s recent “proactive” decision to stop selling 80% lowers. Polymer80 noted that they were going to work with the Science and Technology Department of the ATF.

    Chris Garrison, owner of Billet Rifle Systems and Billet80.com, provided The Firearm Blog with a copy of His Determination letter from the ATF.

    ATF Letter

    ATF 2

    Hope this clears things up bit concerning 80% lowers. A big thank you to Chris Garrison for sending us his Determination letter.

    The Firearm Blog has a series of articles that detail making your own Ar-15 with an 80% lower.

    The Editor Says: Given the recent events and uncertainty surrounding 80% lowers, we will publish all BATFE letters determining their legality. Manufacturers and retailers can email their letters to the editor at [email protected]


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    Thomas Gomez

    Thomas Gomez currently resides in the mountains of central New Mexico. He has an M.B.A, an Ar-15/M16/M4 armorer certification from Specialized Armament Warehouse as well as a Glock armorer certification. Aside from writing for The Firearm Blog he works as a Clinical Analyst for a large Hospital. He spends his free time farming, ranching, hiking, fly-fishing and hunting in the beautiful forests and prairies of New Mexico. He can be reached at [email protected]


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