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All About 922(r) – The Legal Brief

October 7, 2019


Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show
where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of
the gun world. I’m your host Adam Kraut and today I’m presenting you with a gift: 922(r) …finally! Now, before we get into this, The Legal Brief
is going to be on brief break. We are working on bringing a refreshed version
of the show, plus after 3 years of doing the show, I need to take a little break myself. Now, For the past three years you guys have
been hounding me to do an episode on 922(r). And for the past three years I’ve teased you
about doing an episode. But the wait is over. And surprisingly, it isn’t all that complex. Or maybe you guys just knew that and had one
big question that needed answering… 922(r) also says that it does not apply to
“1) the assembly of any such rifle or shotgun for sale or distribution by a licensed manufacturer
to the United States or any department or agency thereof or to any State or any department,
agency, or political subdivision thereof; or 2) the assembly of any such rifle or shotgun
for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General.” We’re only going to be concerned about is
the first part. The regulations say that “[n]o person shall
assemble a semiautomatic rifle or any shotgun using more than 10 of the imported parts listed…if
the assembled firearm is prohibited from importation…as not being particularly suitable for or readily
adaptable to sporting purposes.” The exception to this, for our conversation,
is in relation to the “repair of any rifle or shotgun which had been imported into or
assembled in the United States prior to November 30, 1990, or the replacement of any part of
such firearm.” So, I know you’re probably asking…but Adam?! what’s on the list? Well, there’s 20 of them. If you exceed 10, you have violated the law. That might be a little confusing so here’s
an example. In the list, we see that magazine bodies,
followers and floor plates are listed as parts that might have been imported. For this example, we’ll say that the gun itself
has 7 other imported parts in it. The magazine has three. If the magazine is inserted into the firearm,
we’ve hit the limit of 10 imported parts. If there is a second magazine that is made
of US manufactured parts and it is inserted into the gun, we’re only at 7 on the parts
count. Same with that magazine removed. The only thing that matters is the foreign
made parts count. Adding or removing items manufactured in the
US does not count toward the magic number 10. Remember, from the beginning of the episode,
it is the assembly, not possession of a firearm that is unlawful under 922(r). Seems a bit weird right? Well, I know the big question you guys all
want to know is, but Adam?! has anyone ever been prosecuted for a violation? Fair question and I suspect that reason, more
than any, is what you guys wanted an episode for. According to the Transactional Records Access
Clearinghouse or TRAC at Syracuse University, from 2013-2017 there were 4 instances of prosecutions
in relation to 922(r). Having said that, I’ve been unable to find
more information in relation to those alleged prosecutions. And remember, it is only unlawful to assemble
a firearm in violation of 922(r), not possess it. Which means that the government would have
to prove that you assembled the firearm. Not only would the government have to prove
you assembled the firearm, they would also have to prove that more than ten of the parts
you assembled it with were imported. I’m sure ATF has a team of individuals who
are well versed in the taste of foreign wood and metals. Like a weird sommelier or something. While I haven’t been able to find any of those
cases, I did stumble across one where an individual, who previously held an FFL, was denied a new
license for a different FFL for, among other things, a 922(r) violation. In that case, it had to do with attaching
bayonets to imported SKS’s. Apparently a letter from ATF in 1990 was sent
to licensees which stated that the “assembly of an imported SKS rifle with a folding bayonet
..is a violation of 922(r).” Even after this guy had received that information,
they were still putting bayonets on imported SKS’s in 1993. Since it was determined that he willfully
violated the Gun Control Act, his application for his new license was denied. I tried to do a bit of additional research
on that topic to see if I could locate the original letter but I was unable to. And on top of all of that, obviously, this
example is not a prosecution. So what’s the bottom line with 922(r)? You cannot lawfully assemble a rifle or shotgun
prohibited from importation…as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable
to sporting purposes using more than 10 imported parts. Those parts are contained in a list in the
federal regulations which is in the link in the video description. Also, it is very difficult to find any information
on an actual prosecution regarding 922r. Take that as you will. As I mentioned at the beginning of this episode,
The Legal Brief is going on a short hiatus to regroup and restructure. The past three years have been a wild ride. When we started the show, the goal was to
help educate both the firearms and non firearms community about the current state of the law,
as well as proposed changes in order for people to be better informed. Based on the feedback that I’ve received from
so many of you over the past three years, it seems that we were hitting the mark. There isn’t a definitive time table for the
return of the show, so keep your eyes peeled. That’s it for this episode, if you have learned
anything from this show, help us out and hit that like button, and share it with your friends. Don’t forget to get subscribed and if you
enjoyed the video, consider supporting us via the links down in the video description. And as always, thanks for watching! I’ll see you soon.

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