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View Full Version : The Great Century Coverup! (remove importer or manufacturer markings)


Atllaw
June 19, 2002, 15:49
Cover up the importer stamps on my Imbel receivers that is.

I am getting ready to refinish my GewIzzie with a bake on paint. While reading previous posts on this issue, a thought struck me. Since I am going to cover the receiver with paint, if I somehow fill in the importer stampings (you know, dirty words like Century ;) ) first, and then apply the paint, those markings will not be visable. And I will not have removed them.

Of course I should read the applicable law(s) concerning importer marks, but if it is feasable, what do y'all think would be a good product to use to fill in these unsightly blemishes? Remember, the filler has to withstand the heat of curing (baking) the finish.

Snakeshot
June 19, 2002, 16:25
I have never covered up markings (no, really).

But I have filled dings and scratches (with which some markings rank) with that bondo one part touch up stuff in a tube intended for tiny dings and scratches prior to applying a baked paint finish with great results. Most important is:
surface prep, surface prep, surface prep. HTH.

Oh, and sand the metal surface smooth first as the stamping can raise the area around the letters.

mountain man
June 19, 2002, 16:43
I've used JB weld to fill small dings and scratches with good results. Not sure about how much heat it'll take, but it should be OK up to 350 or so.

BUFF
June 19, 2002, 16:47
I would bet the governing regulations include such acts as "altering" the marks. Sanding, filling with bondo and then painting over them might be seen as "altering" them, or maybe as an attempt to obliterate them, as they can no longer been seen.

At least, they would have your rifle until the U.S. Attorney or the Federal court judge decided otherwise!

I think it is maybe not a good idea.

Snakeshot
June 19, 2002, 17:33
BUFF,

I agree that it is a bad idea to cover anything up; that is why I like those plain'ol' gear PAC IMBEL gear logos.
But isn't there any of those markings that are not required?

FWRA
June 19, 2002, 17:45
Originally posted by BUFF
I would bet the governing regulations include such acts as "altering" the marks. Sanding, filling with bondo and then painting over them might be seen as "altering" them, or maybe as an attempt to obliterate them, as they can no longer been seen.

At least, they would have your rifle until the U.S. Attorney or the Federal court judge decided otherwise!

I think it is maybe not a good idea.

Hi Buff!

Always the voice of reason.

Thank goodness!

FWRA

Big Jim
June 19, 2002, 19:35
After the day I have had with ATF I'd recommend not doing it. Please read my post in the Gunsmithing Forum under "Zowie-..."
I don't know if my experience is applicable but who needs more grief in their lives.

W.E.G.
June 19, 2002, 22:08
Removal of SERIAL NUMBER is expressly prohibited.

Removal of manufacturer or importer markings is not expressly prohibited. However, doing so may make it impossible for ATF to relate the serial number to the source for the purpose implied by 27 CFR 178.92. So, while you may not be guilty of a crime, your gun may be declared contraband, and subject to forfeiture under some of the most ambiguous law you ever met.

Don't do it.

178.92 Identification of firearms, armor piercing ammunition, and large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

(a)(1) Firearms. Each licensed manufacturer or licensed importer of any firearm manufactured or imported shall legibly identify each such firearm by engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, an individual serial number not duplicating any serial number placed by the manufacturer or importer on any other firearm, and 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 in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered or removed, the model, if such designation has been made; the caliber or gauge; the name (or recognized abbreviation of same) of the manufacturer and also, when applicable, of the importer; in the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) wherein the licensed manufacturer maintains its place of business; and in the case of an imported firearm, the name of the country in which manufactured and the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) of the importer.

law4fun
June 19, 2002, 22:15
If you did it accidently, so be it. That, in and of itself, may be enough of an excuse not to confiscate the rifle if questioned. However, by discussing it openly and arguably "planning" how to do it makes it seem intentional.
I would also suggest not to do it....play it safe especially when dealing with ATF issues of potentially altering markings on a firearm receiver.

OTOH, I have seen park and paint on weapons that completely obscured the CAI markings that were barely stamped to begin with. There was certainly no intent to mask anything on those weapons...just a crappy job of marking by the trained chimps at Century.

Richard Bird
June 19, 2002, 23:57
The reg. says nothing about removing or moving those markings only the quality of the original markings.

Read it again:
"engraved, cast, stamped in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered or removed"

If the regs stated something like "It shall be a violation to (obliterated, altered or remove" it would be a different story.
What we have here are typical chatroom legal neophytes reading/interpreting code according to fear and lack of understanding of law and basic grammar. If you people want to regurgitate incongruent misinterpretation of law then go work for ATF.

W.E.G.
June 20, 2002, 00:10
Yeah Richard.

We are a bunch of neophytes. Thank you for setting us straight.

law4fun
June 20, 2002, 00:22
Originally posted by Richard Bird

What we have here are typical chatroom legal neophytes reading/interpreting code according to fear and lack of understanding of law and basic grammar. If you people want to regurgitate incongruent misinterpretation of law then go work for ATF.

"typical chatroom legal neophytes"

Yes sir...legal neophytes...guess the law license hanging on the wall doesn't mean anything. Guess the degree is worthless. It is obvious that we have a total lack of understanding of law and basic grammar. :rolleyes:

blackbird
June 20, 2002, 00:44
Mr. Byrd,

Try this one on for size:

18 U.S.C. Section 922(k). Criminal penalties for violation of this statute are provided at 18 U.S.C. Section 924.

It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to transport, ship, or receive, in interstate or foreign commerce, any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered or to possess or receive any firearm which has had the importer's or manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, or altered and has, at any time, been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

18 U.S.C. Section 924 - Penalties

(B) knowingly violates subsection (a)(4), (f), (k), (r), (v), or (w) of section 922;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

------------------------------------

BTW, ATF has interpreted this to mean not just the serial number but all required markings (manufacturer/importer, address, etc.). Do you care to be the test case to prove the legality of that interpretation?

You owe the "neophytes" an apology... :mad:

Nimbo
June 20, 2002, 08:26
The ATF is a force that no one wants comming down on them. There may or may not be some legal loopholes around filling in things, either way I am would not want it to go to court. The easiest way to get around having Century stamped on the side of your reciever is to get gear logo. I know I am a neophyte in firearms laws, but there are people here who I wouldn't doubt could repeat the almost every federal firearms laws in their sleep.

Brian in MN
June 20, 2002, 08:35
If you still have questions read blackbird's post again, especially the last bit. He hit the nail right on the head.

At minimum you will make your receiver worthless to any buyer who knows his stuff and will want no part of your little project when you decide to sell. The possibilities go way downhill from there.

ATF cannot trace a serial number alone. They need a place to begin and that is what the importer markings and model designation provide.

perdurabo
June 20, 2002, 10:45
Why would you want to remove the Century Importer's mark anyway? YOU know your gun was not assembled by Century.

People make all kids of arguments about Century-imported Imbel non-gear-logo receivers bringing down the value of their kit-built rifles. The most one can justify reducing the value of a NGL receiver is the ~$30 difference the RETAILER charges for the GL.

Unless your ENTIRE rifle is built by Century, theres no reason for anyone to think less of it or valuate it any less by having a NGL receiver with a Century importer mark on it. If the person you are selling it to knows anything, they will readily be able to tell its not a Century-built rifle and if they don't, what on earth are you doing selling your rifle to someone who is unknowedgeable...or at least why havent you taken the time to educate them?

Century does have some quality control issues, I'll grant you, but the kind of kneejerk rejection some people give to anything remotely related to Century Arms is, IMNSHO, extremely naive and childish. Firearms values are (or at least should be) based primarily on COST...emotional intangibles like feelings about a particular importer/manufacturer and "what you think the market will bear" only serve to drive prices up artifically and begin to make the sport of shooting prohibitively expensive to all but the richest citizens...which in itself is a crime, if you ask me.

Atllaw
June 20, 2002, 16:46
perdurabo wrote:

Why would you want to remove the Century Importer's mark anyway? YOU know your gun was not assembled by Century.

This is very true, and I don't sell my guns. :D

Century does have some quality control issues, I'll grant you, but the kind of kneejerk rejection some people give to anything remotely related to Century Arms is, IMNSHO, extremely naive and childish.

Well, I guess I'm one of these people. My mistrust of Century began when they started selling the "Garands" they built using Danish kits on their receiver. IOW, Century built=POS. And I cringe at the thought of anyone thinking I had a POS firearm! Even my SAR1 is a masterpiece of mass production! Not only that but the seller gave me a letter stating it was Stalin's personal rifle! And I am not childish! AM NOT amnot amnot amnotamnotamnot! :D

This thought was just one that flipped through my mind one evening. I thank those who posted the statutes, and I believe "possess" and obliterated" are the operative words in the ones I have read.

After I wrote my post I took a look at the importer's markings on my GewIzzie, and they appear so lightly struck (dot matrix type) they will probably be darn near invisable after refinishing anyway.

BUFF
June 20, 2002, 18:16
Yep, I think they will be pretty unobtrusive then, after a refinish, and since that is all you would be doing, you would probably be on safe legal ground.

I have a S&W M-1917/1937 reimported from Brazil. CAI's import marks are so tiny, on the underside of the barrel, that it took me a bit to find them and a glass to read them. Too bad they aren't always so obscure.

Richard Bird
June 20, 2002, 22:10
Originally posted by blackbird
ATF has interpreted this to mean not just the serial number but all required markings (manufacturer/importer, address, etc.). Do you care to be the test case to prove the legality of that interpretation?

Please provide this ATF interpretation. I naturally question the efficacy of any interpretation centering on an issue not mentioned in statute. There is no room for interpretation when plain fact is laid down. The law refers only to the quality required of the original markings.
If Congress had wanted removal of import/manufacturer marks to be illegal, then they would have stated so in statute; as they did with serial numbers.
To read a clearly made statement and re-interpret what one believes Congress should have said is false logic.

blackbird
June 22, 2002, 01:05
Mr. Byrd,

The ATF has taken the position that the missing language regarding alteration/destruction/obliteration of the other required markings is an oversight, and thus rules bridging this gap do not run afoul of Executive Order 12866 nor the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

They point to the nearly identical provisions of:

U.S. Code : Title 26 : Section 5861

Section 5861. Prohibited acts

It shall be unlawful for any person -

(g) to obliterate, remove, change, or alter the serial number
or other identification of a firearm required by this chapter; or

(h) to receive or possess a firearm having the serial number or
other identification required by this chapter obliterated,
removed, changed, or altered; or

This section applies to NFA "firearms" but they deem the intent to be the facilitation of identification/traces as is the case with the relevant sections USC 26 922/924. If it is important enough to have in the law for NFA firearms (where ATF ostensibly has records of all registered firearms), would it not follow that it is even more critical where traces must traverse from manufacturer, through distributor, to retail establishment and the 4473 form? I have seen a letter from Mr. Owen of ATF addressing this matter but have not found the relevant link in 30 minutes of searching.

I wouldn't chance it myself but perhaps there are others with the time, money and inclination to see if ATF's interpretation would stand in court.

Richard Bird
June 22, 2002, 22:58
Again, I ask you to provide the specific statute or ruling.
(Specifically, where NFA regulations are binding toward title I weapons.)
You cannot produce Mr. Owens' letter because it does not exist,
and to provide such would project malfeasance in a matter of law.

I believe you have formed your opinion based on postings in this very internet bulletin board. And your reference to "ATF has taken the position" is unsupportable.
Suppositions of proposed logic where you deem illegal activity without a violate statute shakes fist in the face of the binding structure that makes this society a nation of law.

Brian in MN
June 23, 2002, 01:21
Don't waste your time, blackbird, he is just a troll. This is not the first time he has acted like a twelve year old around here.

Ekie
June 30, 2002, 17:58
Found this thread while doing a search for that guy that removed his serial number.

"Suppositions of proposed logic where you deem illegal activity without a violate statute shakes fist in the face of the binding structure that makes this society a nation of law."

Man that is a good quote, been thinking that a lot since I been posting on these boards, but never typed it out so nicely. Then to top it off he is called a troll, hehehe.

ricochet
June 30, 2002, 22:12
doubletap, oops

cc48510
June 30, 2002, 22:21
I never got how it is legal for a court to say that even though a law doesn't exist banning something that Congress would ban it, so it is banned.

They should restrict themselves to interpreting law, not deciding that Congress missed something, so they'll ban it by judicial ruling.

There was a case where somebody managed to find a wording in the applicable laws that would have negated 922(o). The courts ruled that Congress intended to ban MGs, so even if the law said otherwise...that MGs were banned. Other cases, such as Thompson are even more ridiculous. THe courts ruled in that one that Congress obviously intended all the parts to construct an illegal weapon to be illegal even though the only cases where such wording is actually in the law is in the definition of a MG, Silencer, or Handgun...The wording is not used on any other definition. But, the courts have decided that the 1968 Congress meant to apply it across the board (even lacking any evidence to that effect), so they ruled that it applied across the board, but only if the parts could only be used to build something illegal.

The courts should not be helping fill in the holes Congress forgot about...

Caspian
July 01, 2002, 12:57
If you did it accidently, so be it. That, in and of itself, may be enough of an excuse not to confiscate the rifle if questioned.

almost sounds like you're endorsing "accidental" removal. hope you're going to give him free legal counsel if he gets called on it. regardless what rbird thinks, it's dumb.

look at every (95%) C&R rifle on the market. they're century marked. think that makes them worthless?

ricochet
July 01, 2002, 13:05
..

ricochet
July 01, 2002, 13:06
Danged, Richard you do it so well.
I have friends and family that do not fit the stereotype that many believe you fit. It is not what you say, it is how you come across. I know a couple of the board lawyers, I do not know you. I know they are good fellas, I know they take pride in their work also, and I know they are successful, but are you REALLY that much better? I also have family that are judges, but I know of none that go sideways with so many.

Could I win any case I hired you for? Regardless of their interpretations? I admire your statements in many ways, but you have a way that just pisses off most folk. And most folk are people like me, we accept that we can learn and that we are not always the experts. You do not adhere to this, you are always the expert (and you have the degrees). If I do decide to push the laws that we understand in the ways that you understand them, am I able to use your interpretations in my defense? You are offering legal advice, and you are a professional. I have saved your quotes, and your interpretations, since these are not JUST that, they are law.

Will MY judge accept your interpretations before their own? I go sideways to company interpretations often, but I am curious, can we use your assessments to defend us when we fight the battles you say?
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Quoting Richard->
What we have here are typical chatroom legal neophytes reading/interpreting code according to fear and lack of understanding of law and basic grammar. If you people want to regurgitate incongruent misinterpretation of law then go work for ATF.
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These neophytes are those we may well use if we follow your logic. And I know a few of them. Are you the only one to see your wisdom, or will the judge?

I remember a saying " If I could buy him for worth and sell him for self perceived worth, I'd be rich". Are you worth and can you win a case you advise us neophytes- or worse, on"?

Can you win any case on the advice you offer? I have all of YOUR ADVICE saved (just in case). The legal system is not your enemy, they interpret written law and enforce these, otherwise you would not have a job, right? Thank you Richard, we now all have a defense. And it is not neophytes misquoting the law, it is YOU. You have made all of our time here worth money, you have taught us all. Remember this, you WILL be elected on the supreme court if you can enforce it, I will vote for you. I have your last years advice on record, and you are not a mere NEOPHYTE lawyer. Thank you sir... See ya!

ricochet
July 01, 2002, 13:08
:rolleyes: