View Full Version : Question for refurbishing a rifle

August 18, 2013, 21:48
So I am going to paint my new Mosin Nagant that was imported from CAI. The question is can I remove the CAI import marks? And or redue the numbers in a hidden area? Is it legal?72815

Look close my foot is under table

August 18, 2013, 23:14

That marking is for tracing purposes. It was mandated under GCA 68 because of the difficulty in tracing Oswald's Carcano in 1963. No one knew who had imported it and it took days for the several importers to go through their books. The law replaced the previous Country of Origin (COO) mark, which is still required on other products.

The law specifically mentions only serial numbers in banning removal (except for NFA items), but it could be argued that the serial number is useless without the name of the manufacturer or importer. Better ask BATFE the question in a letter to their HQ (not a regional office) and get a letter reply. Do NOT rely on a phone call or e-mail, both of which the government considers informal communications and not binding on it. And Don't rely on letters produced for other's that it was ok to remove the markings.

Example from the WWW

Thank you for your recent inquiry to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is in further response to your email in which you inquired about removing import markings (except for the serial number) from a firearm.

It is unclear whether you are asking about a GCA or NFA firearm. Here’s a summary of the law in this area depending on the firearm in question:

Please note that if you are a licensee, you must mark the firearms in accordance with the law and regulations unless you have a variance.

From the questions presented, we assume that the firearm was properly imported, properly marked and placed in to commerce. An individual then wishes to remove the markings.

Under the Gun Control Act (GCA), the serial number requirement comes from 18 U.S.C. 923(i). On those weapons considered “GCA firearms,” serial numbers may not be removed because 18 U.S.C. 922(k) explicitly prohibits this, as you pointed out. 18 U.S.C. 923(i) also requires other markings that the Attorney General shall prescribe. However, the statute requires only the serial number. Further, there is nothing in 18 U.S.C. 922(k) or any other section that prohibits the removal of importer’s marking (other than serial number) from a weapon that is only a GCA firearm.

Under the NFA however, 26 U.S.C. 5842 requires the serial number, the name of the manufacturer importer or maker, and the other markings that the Secretary (AG) may prescribe. 26 U.S.C. 5861(g) of the NFA prohibits the obliteration, removal, change, or alteration of the serial number or other identification required by the NFA. Likewise, 26 U.S.C. 5861(h) prohibits the receipt or possession of a firearm having the serial number or other identification required by the NFA obliterated, removed, changed, or altered. Additionally, section 5861(1) prohibits a person from making, or causing to make a false entry on any application, return, or record required by the NFA, knowing the entry is false. Read in conjunction, these statutes prohibit the removal of any required information from the firearm, to include the model designation, as well as the entry of a false identification (e. g , model) on any application, return or record.

Therefore, if the firearm is a NFA firearm, NO marking may be removed, obliterated, changed or altered.

Please note also that the location of the markings is legally insignificant in any of this. If they may be removed, they may be removed from the receiver, barrel, etc.

There may be State laws that pertain to this proposed activity. Contact State Police units or the office of your State Attorney General (www.naag.org) for information on any such requirements.

We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. Should you have additional questions, please contact your local ATF office. A listing of ATF office phone numbers can be found at: http://www.atf.gov/field.


Firearms Industry Programs Branch, ATF

You want one similar to this addressed to you and specifically the markings you wish to remove and from what part of the firearm they are on.