The ATF just released their PDF of the proposed rule changes and put it up on their site. Currently we can't do anything about it till it's in the federal register. At that point we can add comments on it against it. I'll link that later.
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The PDF is 115 pages long.
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The summary on the ATFs site is pretty long, so I'll need to break it up here and in a comment or two down below.
Summary of Proposed Rule 2021R-05
ATF's proposed rule, Definition of “Frame or Receiver” and Identification of Firearms, would:
Provide new definitions of “firearm frame or receiver” and “frame or receiver”
Amend the definition of:
“firearm” to clarify when a firearm parts kit is considered a “firearm,” and
“gunsmith” to clarify the meaning of that term and to explain that gunsmiths may be licensed solely to mark firearms for unlicensed persons.
Provide definitions for:
“complete muffler or silencer device,”
“privately made firearm (PMF),” and
“readily” for purposes of clarity given advancements in firearms technology.
Provide a definition of “importer’s or manufacturer’s serial number”
Provide a deadline for marking firearms manufactured.
Clarify marking requirements for firearm mufflers and silencers.
Amend the format for records of manufacture/acquisition and disposition by manufacturers and importers.
Amend the time period records must be retained at the licensed premises.
Proposed New Definition of Firearm “Frame or Receiver”
Under the proposed rule, a “frame or receiver” is any externally visible housing or holding structure for one or more fire control components. A “fire control component” is one necessary for the firearm to initiate, complete, or continue the firing sequence, including, but not limited to, any of the following: hammer, bolt, bolt carrier, breechblock, cylinder, trigger mechanism, firing pin, striker, or slide rails.
Any firearm part falling within the new definition that is identified with a serial number must be presumed, absent an official determination by ATF or other reliable evidence to the contrary, to be a frame or receiver.
More than one externally visible part may house or hold a fire control component on a particular firearm, such as with a split or modular frame or receiver. Under these circumstances, ATF may determine whether a specific part or parts of the weapon is the frame or receiver, which may include an internal frame or chassis at least partially exposed to the exterior to allow identification.
The proposed rule maintains current classifications and marking requirements of firearm frames or receivers, except that licensed manufacturers and importers must mark on new designs or configurations either: their name (or recognized abbreviation), and city and state (or recognized abbreviation) where they maintain their place of business; or their name (or recognized abbreviation) and their abbreviated FFL number, on each part defined as a frame or receiver, along with the serial number.
The proposed rule includes examples of types and models firearms and identifies the frame or receiver. Most examples also include an illustration identifying the frame or receiver. It also explains when a partially complete, disassembled, or inoperable frame or receiver is considered a “frame or receiver”, and explains that a destroyed frame or receiver is not considered a “frame or receiver”.
Firearm Parts Kits
The proposed rule explains that when a partially complete frame or receiver parts kit has reached a stage in manufacture where it may readily be completed, assembled, converted, or restored to a functional state, it is a “frame or receiver” that must be marked.
Weapon parts kits with partially complete frames or receivers and containing the necessary parts such that they may readily be completed, assembled, converted, or restored to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive are “firearms” for which each frame or receiver of the weapon would need to be marked.
A weapon, including a weapon parts kit, in which each frame or receiver of the weapon or within such kit is destroyed is not considered a “firearm”.
Licensing of Dealer/Gunsmiths
Under the proposed rule, dealers/gunsmiths can mark firearms for the maker or owner of a privately made firearm (PMF) and may be licensed to engage solely in that business.
Dealer/gunsmiths are not authorized to perform repair, modify, embellish, refurbish, or install parts in or on firearms (frames, receivers, or otherwise) for or on behalf of a licensed importer or licensed manufacturer because those firearms are for sale or distribution. A license as a Type 07 manufacturer would be required.