SHTF blog – Modern Survival

Is it Legal to Make, Build or Manufacture a Gun?

I know, ever since my post about Chad Person and his underground bunker, you’ve all been itching to build a super sketchy shotgun out of steel conduit and twine, much like Chad did.

I remember seeing a “homemade” shotgun as a kid in one of the old Death Wish movies. One of Charles Bronson’s SHTF homeboys had one and they ran around blasting street thugs. I don’t remember which Death Wish movie it was, those movies were never a big hit with me. I like Bronson’s Death Hunt much better, much more survival-like – but I digress – when I read about Chad building one, Death Wish came to mind.

For those of you thinking about building one as a survival project, you’re inevitably going to wonder – is it even legal? Rushman suspected when he wrote in the comments section of my Chad Person post:

The homemade shotgun really? What good is a bunker if you got the ATF coming down on you for making illegal firearms on top of how stupid are you for putting a video about it.

Guess what – the ATF came. They came to one of his artwork exhibits and took the homemade shotgun. Read his blog post about the incident where he writes:

The officers also requested the current location and bills of lading of recently shipped work of a similar nature. I assume they plan to seize these works as well … As of this posting, I have not received any official complaint, cease & desist, nor notice of any kind from the BATFE …

I am an conceptual artist. My highly public and often controversial works have at time created both challenging and meaningful public discourse. This is the nature of my purpose …

Everything you can learn about me is here. It is in the combined effort of my labor and the illustration of my ideas. My works are my words, my passions, and my livelihood. Draw your own conclusions and pass this along if you refuse to believe in an America where questioning culture is a crime.

“Where questioning culture is a crime?”

Read: ATF National Firearms Act Handbook

Seriously? I don’t buy the “questioning culture is a crime” homemade shotgun link, but whatever. The question is – is it legal? Based on the ATF showing up to take his shotgun, that looks like a big fat – NO – it is NOT legal to make your own gun. But actually, there are exceptions.

For more detailed information, readers at his site posted links to lengthy ATF publications, but I just went to the FAQ section of the ATF.gov website where it states:

Q: Does the GCA prohibit anyone from making a handgun, shotgun or rifle?

With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a non-licensee provided it is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semi-automatic rifle or non-sporting shotgun from imported parts. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and approval by ATF. An application to make a machine gun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for a Federal or State agency.

[18 U.S.C. 922(o) and (r), 26 U.S.C. 5822, 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105]

Looks like it’s pretty clear – you need two things to make your own shotgun, a tax payment and ATF approval. I bet Chad had neither.

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