JD & ATF Now Say Import Ban Includes Parts

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by offeror, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. offeror

    offeror New Member

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    I was shocked to read about this in Gun List. It seems that the ATF has sent official letters to the appropriate gun businesses saying that the Justice Department has decided to interpret the "assault weapons ban on imports" to include all parts as well.

    This would mean no more repair parts or spares, no replacement barrels, no more kits without receivers, no more stocks or grips, difficulty in manufacturing guns with the requisite number of American-made parts, increased domestic prices for all affected firearms, etc. etc. etc.

    I can't figure out why the administration did this. There wasn't any catalyst for it.

    The only positive spin I can see is that by making the import ban more egregious, they spotlight the absolute necessity of repealing it to bring relief to law abiding gun owners.

    I'll be contacting my reps on this matter after more research to firm up the accusation.
  2. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    Hmm, possibly because they're not as pro-gun as they duped the unwashed masses into believing. But don't listen to me, I'm just a crackpot. The fact that I've been saying this for years shouldn't matter now.
  3. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

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    U.S. Department of Justice

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
    Firearms and Explosives

    Assistant Director


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Washington, DC 20226

    www.atf.gov



    July 13, 2005

    OPEN LETTER TO FEDERALLY LICENSED FIREARMS IMPORTERS
    AND REGISTERED IMPORTERS OF U.S. MUNITIONS IMPORT LIST ARTICLES


    The purpose of this open letter is to provide important information to importers concerning the lawful importation of certain frames, receivers and barrels.

    Importation of Frames, Receivers or Barrels of Firearms Under Title 18 U.S.C. § 925(d)(3)

    Section 925(d) provides standards for the importation of firearms and ammunition into the United States. In particular, section 925(d)(3) provides that the Attorney General shall authorize a firearm to be imported if it meets several conditions: (1) it is not defined as a firearm under the National Firearms Act (NFA); (2) it is generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes; and (3) it is not a surplus military firearm. However, the subsection further provides that “in any case where the Attorney General has not authorized the importation of the firearm pursuant to this paragraph, it shall be unlawful to import any frame, receiver, or barrel of such firearm which would be prohibited if assembled.”

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has determined that the language of 18 U.S.C. § 925(d)(3) permits no exceptions that would allow frames, receivers or barrels for otherwise non-importable firearms to be imported into the United States. Accordingly, ATF will no longer approve ATF Form 6 applications for importation of any frames, receivers, or barrels for firearms that would be prohibited from importation if assembled. No exceptions to the statutory language, for example for “repair or replacement” of existing firearms, will be allowed.

    ATF recognizes that importers have, in the past, obtained import permits authorizing the importation of barrels and receivers for non-importable firearms for "repair or replacement" and may have entered into contracts in reliance upon such authorizations. In order to mitigate the impact of ATF’s change in import policy and to allow importers a reasonable period to come into compliance, ATF will forgo enforcement of this import restriction for 60 calendar days and allow importers holding existing permits to continue to import barrels and receivers for a period of 60 calendar days. ATF believes this time period is adequate for importers who have entered into binding contracts for the sale and shipment of such barrels and receivers to complete the process of importing the items into the United States. ATF will advise Customs and Border Protection that in no event should these permits be accepted to release these items for entry into the United States after September 10, 2005.

    Importers are reminded that ATF previously approved permits for non-importable barrels and receivers for repair or replacement only, and this restriction was stamped on the face of the permit. Importers who import such components for any purpose other than repair or replacement of existing firearms, e.g., for assembly into new firearms, will be exceeding the scope of the import authorization in violation of law. If ATF determines, through inspection or otherwise, that an importer willfully violates the import provisions of the GCA, the importer's license is subject to revocation pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 923(e).

    Importers holding approved import permits for non-importable barrels and receivers will receive a letter prior to September 10, 2005, advising them that their permit has been suspended.
    This determination affects importers as follows:

    IF YOU SUBMIT A NEW APPLICATION TO IMPORT FRAMES, RECEIVERS AND BARRELS ON OR AFTER THE DATE OF THIS LETTER, AND THE PERMIT IS FOR NONSPORTING FIREARMS, SURPLUS MILITARY FIREARMS, OR NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT FIREARMS, ATF WILL DENY YOUR APPLICATION.


    IF YOU HAVE SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION TO IMPORT FRAMES, RECEIVERS AND BARRELS THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN DENIED OR APPROVED BY ATF AND THE PERMIT IS FOR NONSPORTING FIREARMS, SURPLUS MILITARY FIREARMS OR NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT FIREARMS, ATF WILL DENY YOUR APPLICATION.


    IF YOU ALREADY HOLD AN APPROVED PERMIT TO IMPORT FRAMES, RECEIVERS AND BARRELS “FOR REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT,” ATF WILL BE SENDING YOU A LETTER EXPLAINING THAT YOUR PERMIT WILL BE SUSPENDED AFTER SEPTEMBER 10, 2005, AND PROVIDING YOU WITH INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR RIGHT TO SUBMIT ARGUMENTS WHY YOUR PERMIT SHOULD NOT BE REVOKED.
    Maintaining open lines of communication is vital to the successful future of ATF’s partnership with the import community. The Firearms and Explosives Imports Branch staff is available to answer your questions about the issues addressed in this letter. You may reach us by phone at 202-927-8320 or by fax at 202-927-2697. Additional information regarding this issue will be provided on our Website at www.atf.gov.



    Sincerely yours,


    Lewis P Raden
    Assistant Director
    (Enforcement Programs and Services)
  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    In any organization lowly personnel make recommendation for actions that unknowing higher up management is duped into believing is necessary. My guess is that a large part of the rank and file BATF employees see more control of firearms as a guarentee of a future job. The more regulations, the more people needed to enforce them and a bigger organization with lower level people being pushed up a few management levels by the new increased head count of the organization.

    I find it hard to believe that anyone employed by the BATF is against gun control, so they are always looking for ways to add more guns to the illegal list through bogus interpretations of the law. They also need brownie points for convictions of law abiding citizens whom they catch through rather dubious methods.

    On the other hand what usefull purpose is there for parts to guns that are illegal here? Which guns those would be I am not sure (machine guns?). Assualt weapons are no longer banned (in most places) so what gun parts can no longer be imported besides machine gun parts? Perhaps the BATF believes that importation of parts for illegal guns will end up as assembled illegal guns. I find that arguement compelling. Am I missing something?

    LDBennett
  5. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    Yes, you are missing something there. Parts kits, especially for AKs, are very popular for doing "home build" projects. A lot of people are buiding perfectly legal AK rifles using these parts kits. You buy the barrel, stock, and all the other parts in the kit and then fabricate your own receiver. It's legal, fun, and satisfying. But cutting off the parts kits means that the ATF is cutting off our ability to legally produce our own firearms affordably. Now we'll have to find someone to fabricate NEW parts here in the USA.

    So what difference does it really make, as far as people building AKs? It's still legal to do. It just drives up the cost. And that's the whole point. They are using this law to effectively stop people from engaging in PERFECTLY LEGAL activities.

    Aside from that, there are a lot of firearms here that were imported before being banned, that will no longer have replacement parts. Like Chinese SKS's. These rifles have been banned since 1994 but we've always been able to find replacement magazines, stocks, trigger groups, barrels, etc., to replace the ones that we wear out. Not any more, though. We're poked on that.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    1952Sniper:

    OK. But is the BATF going to stop all gun parts for military guns or just those that are for illegal guns???? I can not tell from reading their correspondence because I don't know what the various section of the law and regulations that they refer to are all about. Are you knowledgeable enough about this issue to know which gun parts will no longer be imported?

    I have no problem with building a legal gun from imported parts and making key pieces yourself to get to a legal gun. But should they allow parts to be imported for guns that are only full auto? What would anyone do with full auto parts but make a full auto gun?????

    I obviously don't know enough to understand exactly what the BATF is doing! Do you?

    LDBennett
  7. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

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    1952, your statement is a "perfect" example of why this has come about. You couldn`t have made a better case for the BATF.


    LTS
  8. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    Considering that I collect military surplus firearms, yes, I'm intimately involved with this.

    Up until now, it has been illegal to import certain firearms that are "non sporting" or fully automatic. That's nothing new. Examples that come to mind are military Kalashnikov rifles, CETME rifles, FN-FAL rifles, etc. But there has been a "loophole" that allows the importers to simply disassemble the original rifles, chunk the receivers in the trash (or de-mil them per BATF specs) and import them as parts kits. What this does is allow people to build semi-auto (fully legal) firearms from the parts kits. The barrel, stock, and other items are fully functional and have nothing to do with a firearm's capability to fire fully automatic. So there's nothing wrong with building a semi-auto rifle that looks and performs like a full-auto rifle, but just in semi-auto mode. A lot of people enjoy shooting their CETME rifles that are built as semi-auto rifles on new Century receivers, for example.

    But this new policy prevents even importing the parts kits. So people can no longer build semi-auto weapons.

    Just so I'm perfectly clear, the ruling doesn't change anything as far as building full-auto weapons. The parts that are specific to full-auto operation were never legal to import. Even an AK receiver with the holes in the proper place for FA function were illegal to import under the NFA. But all the rest of the parts were legal to import in order to replace existing parts on NFA controlled weapons or to build semi-auto clones.

    So this decision isn't about cutting off people from building illegal firearms. It's about limiting "politically incorrect" but LEGAL semi-autos. That is who it's affecting.

    To answer your question directly:

    Build a semi-auto from the rifle's parts! That's what! The FA-capable receiver isn't being imported and never was. The parts kits are imported specifically for building legal semi-autos. And now they're cutting off our ability to do that.
  9. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

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    1952, sorry to say......your wrong as wrong can be.



    LTS
  10. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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  11. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

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    Maybe I`m misguided maybe not.

    It seems to me (me) the following statements were used to sell these items, or some form of it.

    "Replacement" parts kits"
    All NFA rules apply. Title
    18U.S.C. 922(r) and 925(d)(3)



    Now, I don`t know how many dealers of these parts kits have been slammed by the BATF......but I do remember several had major problems selling Uzi and some other kits. And they were required to give up their list and notify all purchaser`s of these kits to be picked up-destroyed-ect. Since most all of these kits come from demilled NFA items (though not all) even certain small items (such as springs-pins-ect, stupid as it may be) are considered NFA items and are classified as such.

    And since most are not aware of this, they play with fire. This was discused here many years back when one of the dealers of these kits fell victim to BATF. At that time, it was advised that those who purchased parts kits tread lightly or stay away from them.


    Right now I am looking at an ad for a Hungarian AMD-65 "Replacement parts kit" This kit contains every item less the receiver, the barrel is 12 1/2" See anything wrong with this picture??


    Lets say you build this weapon and attach a legal barrel, but retain the short barrel also(just because) Now through some misfortune the police search your place (what ever reason) find the AMD-65..........no problem, but they give you a strange look (because you have an eVil assualt rifle)
    Then policeman number two comes out of your bedroom with the AMD`s 12 1/2 inch barrel..........whether right or wrong--you now have a SBR, it does not matter that it is not attached, it can be and done with ease. Herein lies the problem. How many people know that??? How many people know what parts constitute a machinegun (parts) yes some are simply springs and pins.

    Just some food for thought.


    LTS
  12. offeror

    offeror New Member

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    American companies which will be affected by this will include all those companies who manufacture and sell working, legal semi-autos with a combination of foreign and domestic made parts.

    Offhand, I'd mention Vector Arms, which makes a whole line of Uzis from a combination of American and Israeli parts, and Century, who has been making CETMEs, G3s, and newer model H&K rifles & carbines with imported parts and their own receivers. I'm sure there are others. Both these firms make affordable guns compared to the rare originals, in the $500 to $800 range or a little more. One wonders what will happen to the price of a Vector Uzi now that they know there may be a limited supply. If they run out of parts altogether of course Vector can either start manufacturing all of them or go out of business.

    Century is in a similar boat, though its inventory includes other militaria as well.
  13. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    I am sure, and would bet BOTH my arms, on the fact that this was not started by BATF, but initiated from the TOP of the Department of Justice by the anti-gun friend of GWB, the most dangerous man in the group of his trusted advisors or Cabinet member. He has consistently been "anti" in his public, as well as private statements, always stating that it is because of his brother, the cop. He is particularly, and passionately, a supporter of the AWB, since these cop-killing weapons are sure to take his brother out at any time.....

    Who else but - - -

    ALBERTO GONZALES

    who could very likely continue to do damage for decades to us law abiding folks for years to come if "W" were to pick him for the SCOTUS to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Sandra Day O'Conner. Many have felt all along that the AG slot was just a stepping stone.....
  14. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

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    X-RING Marlin



    LTS
  15. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    I don't see how your point makes what I said "wrong". Sure, NFA rules still apply. But just because Joe Blow on the street doesn't take the time to understand the law doesn't mean the parts kits themselves are illegal, nor should the BATF be banning them from importation just because a few people are idiots. Anybody can buy a legal shotgun, take a hacksaw to the barrel, and end up with an illegal shotgun. Does that mean we should ban all shotguns too?

    My point is, the parts kits have been legal to import. It's what you do with them that matters. The public is expected to research the laws before they build a firearm with it. But when the BATF cuts off importation for legal parts kits, they punish all the law-abiding people who simply want to build legal firearms. So in other words, as I have been saying all along, these parts kits aren't just for building illegal machine guns or repairing legal ones. They have a valued place in the legal firearms building community.
  16. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

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    Maybe we have missed the point here. "Replacement" means exactly that, not to make a new rifle. This has been subverted, by many- including importers. The intent was to replace parts on rifles already in service to the legal consumer, for repair. Not to construct a new one. Now to construct a firearm from scratch has never been illegal, but to construct an assualt (as defined)weapon is a different horse. And that is what the laws shown above are for. Replacement.


    I guess we`ll agree to disagree on this one, just make sure the bolt(from parts kits---along with all the other components from a demilled machinegun) you put in your receiver is not a FA bolt. And also remember, not knowing the law is not an excuse, and will not stand in court for one second.


    LTS
  17. offeror

    offeror New Member

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    This was my speculation too. He is the only new element at DOJ that I can think of who might have the power to swing this huge debacle. John Ashcroft, on the other hand, was on our side.

    Gonzales stands to screw up the Republicans' bloc of gun owning voters, bigtime. I wonder if they have figured that out yet. There are a lot of one-issue gun voters.

    Again, I say this means it's time to hound them for repeal of the import ban. I remember life before it, and the ban hasn't accomplished anything whatsoever other than contribute to inflation.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2005
  18. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    You've proven my point precisely. The whole intent of this crackdown is to prevent people from building perfectly legal firearms.
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