Collectors of “replica antique firearms” have been able to buy and sell these collectibles without going through the usual arduous federal and state law required process for acquiring modern firearms. This has generally been legal because a “replica” of an “antique firearm” is not considered a “firearm” under federal or (most) state laws, and so is not regulated as one.

But “replicas” have fallen under the legal definition of “antique firearms” in the past because the ammunition for these firearms was not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade. As rare calibers of rimfire and centerfire ammunition have become more readily available on the internet however, the possibility that replicas of antique firearms will no longer be exempted from the definition of “firearms,” and consequently the likelihood of these replicas being regulated like modern firearms under federal law, is increasing.

This possible narrowing of the legal definition of “antique firearms” may also effect the amount of black powder a person/company may commercially manufacture under federal law.

Collectors should be aware of and keep an eye on these potential developments. Understanding the situation requires an understanding of the legal context in which antique firearms and replicas of antique firearms regulated and exempted from federal and state restrictions; as well as the requirements and exceptions for manufacturing black powder. These are discussed in a new memo published by Michel & Associates, P.C. To read it, click here.

Source: Michel & Associates, P.C.

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