Do I have to engrave the short barrel rifle or suppressor I made?
Gun forums are rife with debate on whether you must engrave your trust name, city, and state on a NFA weapon you make. Some non-lawyer industry professionals are even under the impression that you do not need to engrave. This article is a final answer to the above question.
You must engrave any NFA weapon you make. Put another way, you must engrave anything you Form 1. A Form 1 is the application to make and register a firearm. This is the Form you submit to make a suppressor, short barrel rifle, or short barrel shotgun.
The Code of Federal Regulations defines the term make to “include manufacturing (other than by one qualified to engage in such business under this part), putting together, altering, any combination of these, or otherwise producing a firearm.” 27 C.F.R. 479.11. “You, as a manufacturer, importer, or maker of a firearm, must legibly identify the firearm as follows:
By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed), or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain additional information. This information must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered or removed. For firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of this information must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch. The additional information includes:
- (i) The model, if such designation has been made;
- (ii) The caliber or gauge;
- (iii) Your name (or recognized abbreviation) and also, when applicable, the name of the foreign manufacturer or maker;
- (iv) In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer maintain your place of business, or where you, as the maker, made the firearm… 27 C.F.R. 479.102(a)(2).
The ATF further clarified its position on engraving in ATF Rule 2013-3, dated July 10, 2013. This Rule states, “The manufacturer, importer, or maker must legibly and conspicuously place on the frame, receiver, barrel, or pistol slide (if applicable) his/her own name (or recognized abbreviation) and location (city and State, or recognized abbreviation of the State)…
Not only is the law crystal clear on this matter, but the penalty for noncompliance is harsh. “Any person who violates or fails to comply with any provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000, or be imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.” 26 U.S.C. 5871.
I cannot stress enough that you must engrave your trust name, city, and state on any NFA weapon you make. It is the law.
– /s/Dean Phillips