Last Friday I learned that I could obtain a fully functional, unregistered and non-serialized firearm such as an AR-15, or an LR-308 and it would be 100% legal. Yes. You read that correctly. 100% legal. If you‘re not familiar with these types of weapons, let me educate you a little. The AR-15 was first built in 1959 by ArmaLite as a small arms rifle for the United States armed forces. They sold the design to Colt and after modifications, the redesigned rifle was adopted as the M16 rifle. In 1963 Colt started selling the semi-automatic rifle under the name AR-15 to civilians. The LR-308, is a long range precision rifle often used by snipers.
Let me explain, according to the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), an unlicensed individual may make a ‘firearm’ as defined in the GCA for his/her own personal use, but not for sale or distribution. Additionally, the law also states that firearms manufactured prior to the GCA and firearms manufactured by non-FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensees), remain exempt from the serial number requirement. As a result, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has consistently stated that it is lawful for an individual to manufacture his/her own firearm, without need to mark it, provided that he/she has no intent to sell or distribute it.
Piggy backing on all of this, several companies such as Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) which is an accredited distance learning educator, offer everything from basic gunsmithing certifications all the way up to an Associate of Science in Firearms Technology Degree. All of this is done via the internet. Think University of Phoenix Online for Gunsmithing. Last but not least, no certification or degree could be complete without a lab component, so as part of the certification process, all required parts are included for a full build of your chosen firearm as part of each course's curriculum. Available curriculums include the rifles mentioned above. I should also mention that the parts that you will receive are referred to as an 80% Lower. To make the firearm operational, you will need a drill press, a few drills and end mills, and an 80% Arms Jig. That’s it. Not sure what all of that is? Get your gunsmithing certificate and you’ll be all set.
So there you have it…