The 50-Year C&R question answered

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by cointoss2, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. cointoss2

    cointoss2 Guest

    1952Sniper
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 734
    (12/19/02 8:52:06 pm)
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    From the horse's mouth, as it were....


    Quote:
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    Department of the Treasury
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
    Washington, DC 20226
    F:SD:FTB:FTB 3311
    Mr. Rxxxxx Cxxxx
    Address,
    City and State redacted

    Dear Mr. Cxxxx

    This in response to your letter of November 17, 1997, to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), in which you inquire as to whether firearms which were actually manufactured more than 50 years prior to the current date are automatically considered to be classified as curios or relics.

    As set out in Title 27 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 178, S178.11, the term ''curio or relic includes certain firearms or ammunition which are of special interest to collectors by way reason of some quality other than is ordinarily associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recocnized as curios or relics, firearms must:

    (1) Have been manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof; or

    (2) Be certified by the curator of a municipal, State or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; or

    (3) Derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare or bizarre, or are from the fact of their association with some historical figure, period or event.

    ATF has previously determined that any firearm which was actually manufactured more than 50 years prior to the current date, automatically qualifies as a curio or relic and it is not necessary for such firearms to be listed in the ATF Firearms Curio & Relic List for it to be included.

    You are encouraged to contact ATF for confirmation that a firearm qualifies as a curio or relic. We have frequently encountered instances in which individuals have incorrectly dated a firearm due to misidentification of the firearm, erroneous reference material, or for various other reasons. It would be unlawful for a licensed collector to received {cqt} or transfer a firearm in interstate commerce as a curio or relic if it did not meet the definition in the cited section.

    We trust that the foregoing has been responsiveto your inquiry. If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us.

    Sincerely yours,

    Edward M. Owen, Jr.
    Chief, Firearms Technology Branch

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    This can be viewed at www.geocities.com/Yosemit...over50.htm

    ---------edit------------
    I think it would be wise to get an "official" copy of this letter from the BATF if you ever had reason to have to argue this point to a BATF agent. I assume the reference code at the top of the letter is sufficient for that purpose. And I'm told that you can specifically ask the BATF to send you a copy of it.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!

    Edited by: 1952Sniper at: 12/19/02 8:56:45 pm

    Bob In St Louis
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3461
    (12/19/02 9:01:28 pm)
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    If you are concerned, request a copy, and run it past your local ATF - see what they say. Like I said, your local boys are the ones reviewing your records.

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 5500
    (12/19/02 9:14:19 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: The 50-Year C&R question answered
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    nice to see you get a prompt and polite reply


    And their explanation is also the way I saw it to be
    In 49 states ignorance is a crime. In the other one it is bliss.

    1952Sniper
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 736
    (12/19/02 9:21:56 pm)
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    This was not a response to me from the BATF. I don't even know who this guy is. That's why I'm saying you should request a copy of it from the BATF, to make sure it's the real deal.

    On the website I showed the link to, it looks like the guy got a 2-week turnaround on the response. That's about as good as it gets, when dealing with the BATF. But it was courteous.
    Macht kaputt, was euch kaputt macht!

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 5501
    (12/19/02 9:29:00 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: The 50-Year C&R question answered
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    oh, my misread. You are right.
    In 49 states ignorance is a crime. In the other one it is bliss.

    sig230
    Member
    Posts: 21
    (12/19/02 10:46:49 pm)
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    Quote:
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    WHAT ARE CURIOS OR RELICS?
    As set out in the regulations (27 CFR 178.11), curios or relics include firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:

    1.) Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;
    2.) Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and
    3.) Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.
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    from the batf site. see ATF



    RobC in Missouri
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 149
    (12/22/02 7:58:44 pm)
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    Believe it or not, the "guy" who wrote the letter to ATF and received that response was me. I can assure you, the letter is real - I've sent out well over 100 pdf copies to those who have inquired. Kirby posted the text of both the letter I wrote and the response to his website, and there's also a pdf copy on ATF letterhead at www.cruffler.com (specifically, www.cruffler.com/50YearLetterRC1997.pdf ).

    I wrote that letter back in 1997 when I first got my C&R because there was a lot of discussion on c-r-ffl on whether anything over 50 years old were C&R, or if they actually had to make a determination before they became C&R.

    Even though the answer I received seems pretty definitive to me, the question still hangs on in various discussion groups, gun shows, shops and the like.

    RobC in Missouri

    sig230
    Member
    Posts: 22
    (12/22/02 10:07:05 pm)
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    I don't see how there can even be a question on that. Just read what's on the ATF site. It's very clear and simple.

    Bob In St Louis
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3488
    (12/23/02 6:39:51 am)
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    Folks - you are all missing the point here. We all know the definition, and it is clear and simple; however, there are some regional ATF agents that have their own interpretation of what the regulations are specifying. I have specifically heard this from dealers and collectors in various parts of the country.

    You can rant and rave and wave pieces of paper in their faces, but if they decide the 50+ year rule don't apply and all C&Rs must be specifically listed - then you better have a lawyer on hand.

    sig230
    Member
    Posts: 23
    (12/23/02 2:26:47 pm)
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    how can they argue with their own definition?

    I've never run into aan ATF agent that had any problem with the 50 year rule. But I have run into lots of dealers that can't read a comicbook.

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3757
    (1/11/03 7:46:31 pm)
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    Sig? Try this exercise...

    CALL three different ATF field offices, and ask them the EXACT same question. Make sure one is Atlanta, then pick two "locals" near you.

    Write down the three answers word for word then get back to us.



    From PERSONAL experience, I will be surprised if you do NOT get THREE different answers (interpretations)!!!

    THAT is what Bob is saying, we have ALL dealt with it before. With the ATF field officed who will be the ones inspecting you, it does NOT matter what is written, but how that field office INTERPRETS it.

    Remember, the goal is NOT to win in court, it is to stay OUT of court.

    I have not yet bought a CR that was not both was over 50 AND on the list (from a private seller) or at least was represented to me by the DEALER as CR eligible. I figure if I go the dealer is coming with me!

    The first time I hear of anybody SUCCESSFULLY purchasing an AK-47 with a CR I want to hear it, I haven't heard of one yet, have you? There were TONS made between 1947 and 1953...WHY aren't they advertised as CR?




    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    cckling
    Member
    Posts: 1
    (1/21/03 9:51:47 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del ATF Letter
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    As suggested on this forum, I wrote ATF regarding the 50 year rule and enclosed a copy of the response from Edward M. Owen, Jr dated 12/2/97. I just received a reply from ATF and they restated the position of the 1997 letter, namely that "...any firearm that was actually manufactured more than 50 years prior to the current date meets the definition of a curio or relic..". This letter is signed by Curtis H.A. Bartlett, Chief, Firearms Technology Branch.

    I now have my own copy of the letter on official ATF letterhead, addressed to me PERSONALLY.

    Thanks for the advice guys.
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