ATF Changes or ‘Clarifies’ Rules for 80% Receiver Blank Building

Editors note: Seems ATF is taking aim at the 80% Receiver market and retailers or build groups that share machines to help complete the milling of unfinished Receivers. Also after a laymans read of the ruling it seems that sub contractors in the business of making forge receivers now must now become licensed as a firearms manufacturer to stay in business.

AR Rifle Lower Receiver
AR Rifle 80% Lower Receiver Blank
Orchid Advisors
Orchid Advisors

USA – -( Orchid Advisors has received direct confirmation from the ATF that the first ruling of 2015 has been issued. It is titled “2015-1 Manufacturing and Gunsmithing” and is intended to clarify the former ATF Ruling, 2010-10.

Pages 5 and 6 of the new ruling state, “…any person (including any corporation or other legal entity) engaged in the business of performing machining, molding, casting, forging, printing (additive manufacturing) or other manufacturing process to create a firearm frame or receiver, or to make a frame or receiver suitable for use as part of a “weapon … which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” i.e., a “firearm,” must be licensed as a manufacturer under the GCA; identify (mark) any such firearm; and maintain required manufacturer’s records.

Held further, a business (including an association or society) may not avoid the manufacturing license, marking, and recordkeeping requirements of the GCA by allowing persons to perform manufacturing processes on blanks or incomplete firearms (including frames or receivers) using machinery, tools, or equipment under its dominion and control where that business controls access to, and use of, such machinery, tools, or equipment.

Held further, this ruling is limited to an interpretation of the requirements imposed on persons under the GCA, and does not interpret the requirements of the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5801 et. seq.

ATF Ruling 2010-10 is hereby clarified.”

ATF Ruling 2015 1 Manufacturing and Gunsmithing[1]

Orchid Advisors is pleased to deliver this information first to the industry and will provide addition detail as necessary. More information can be found on the ATF website or the Orchid Advisors website.

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Ronald R

This reform is going to acomplish what? Punish enthusiasts and hobbiests? I bet it will be touted as “serious reform that will keep guns out of criminal hands” when the real reason is to insure more anti gunner votes and further erode the 2nd A. A license is needed to drive a car because it’s a privilege…why do guns need licensing? After all its a right…just like the others…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Do we need a license to breathe, take a vacation, or be a singer? The 2nd amendment says without a doubt it is in FACT… Read more »

Zack Barrett

Can you please make it simple “definition”can you or can you own a 80% lower and complete it and go to the desert and shot it with out going to jail with out numbers on your lower. What does the ATF say


Once again they have “gone the back way” and tried to clarify more unconstitutional rhetoric….. The ATF is wrong…once again….. theyy cant tell a business that he cant operate with certain customers….. only…”this type” of customer…..


American is correct, the ATF does not have the legal authority to regulate anything, but the themselves.

Only congress can make laws.

All these government bureaus and agencies have unconstitutionally been given authority to make rules and regulations, in effect laws. They can only legally regulate themselves, not the American people.

If the government wants to control what the people can or cannot do, then congress itself has to create the laws. Congress can not abdicate its’ authority to make law to any other part of the government.


The ATF are un-American.
An agency does not simply hand rulings out to “the peasants” without being elected in America.


It appears that the 80% lower is still legal but a machine shop or FFL is considered the manufacturer even if they merely let the owner of the 80% lower use their machines to finish the lower. Long story short either buy a finished lower from an FFL that you trust or buy your own machines to finish your own lowers.


This is impossible to enforce because the definition of “readily be converted” is subjective and overly broad. So now the refiner must ask if this block of Aluminum MAY become something that later MAY become a firearm because it can be milled or drilled? Mythbusters showed you can make a firearm out of a log so now trees will need a license, from the government, to grow.