Is It Legal To Make Your Own Gun At Home?
Yes, it’s legal under federal law. However, state regulations vary; therefore, not all states allow it. For instance, in California, building your own gun is prohibited, and such firearms are perceived to be unsafe as per the Penal Code 3200. For many years individuals have been making their own guns while the federal law has been keen to regulate them. Keep reading to understand the legal aspect of building your own gun.
What Do Federal Laws Say About Homemade Guns?
The federal government requires anyone who deals with firearms as a form of business to be licensed, as highlighted in the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). Therefore, firearm dealers ought to be licensed for them to sell and distribute firearms. Besides, they have the mandate to perform background checks to their respective buyers and maintain records of firearms sold. This act does not limit individuals from making their own firearms for personal use and not for sale.
However, GCA code 922 prohibits particular persons from possessing firearms. They include those who are mentally unstable, a convicted felon, etc. when you build your own gun, it implies that you will have no firearm registration number, no markings, or even background checks.
ATF highlights that it is prohibited for anyone to build a non-sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported components. Also, firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or x-ray machines are perceived to be illegal. In reference to the amendments of the GCA OF 1968, there is a possibility 3-D print guns that do not have any detectable metal are illegal.
What Firearms Are Legal To Build At Home?
Under federal law, if you are legally able to possess a firearm, then you can build your own. However, you are restricted from building some of the firearms if you do not hold the Federal Firearms License (FFL) issued by ATF.
In today’s market, there are simple and fast ways to build your own gun. Thanks to technology. There are two main and legal ways to build a firearm as guided by certain regulations at the federal level.
One of the methods is by using an 80% receiver or a ghost gun. It requires you to buy the gun frame such as the Polymer 80 kit frame from a dealer and other components relevant to complete it into a 100% ideal gun after assembling it. However, it would help if you understood that the finished receiver must be bought from a licensed firearms dealer, and also background checks and registration are conducted. For those who want to build untraceable guns legally, they should use a partial receiver. It does not involve any registration or background checks.
The other method entails using unfinished receivers. However, it needs you to have the relevant skills and tools to make a fully functional firearm. Keenly ensure you build your firearm only for personal use and not for sale. No background checks needed to acquire such receivers. You can also purchase from online stores.
Why should you pay attention to components used to build your gun? Well, a single accessory or customization feature might interfere with the category of your firearm to “any other weapon.” It could go contrary to the guidelines provided by ATF.
From a legal perspective, it is essential to know what kind of firearm you want to build. Why? You might unknowingly build a weapon that could land you in jail or hefty fines. Among the key things to note is the difference between a pistol, short barrel rifle, and a regular riffle. It will highly help you avoid conflict with the NFA and own your firearm legally. For instance, muzzle loading guns and guns that do not use fixed ammunition are not considered as firearms under federal law. Therefore, they are not subject to the same regulations.
Why Are State Regulations Vital As You Build Your Own Gun?
At the federal level, there is no problem building your own gun as long as it falls under the guidelines provided by ATF. However, you are likely to land in serious legal trouble in some states.
Different states vary in how they regulate ownership of firearms. For instance, in some states, fully automated guns are considered as “assault weapon.”In California, the law requires homemade guns to be reported to authorities. In New Jersey, it is entirely illegal to build your own firearm without a license. Besides, it is even unlawful to purchase parts for making your own gun at home.
The Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear firearms. However, other strict gun laws profoundly regulate the buying, selling, and ownership of guns. Building your own gun is a pleasant experience. Besides, you make an exact gun that you want. While undertaking such activities, be aware of all federal laws and state regulations, and adhere accordingly. If you find it difficult to comprehend some of the laws, then you should seek help from a firearm attorney. Gun experts or dealers can also play a significant role as you build your own gun.