ATF Final Ruling 2021r-05f, some thoughts.

The ATF, under the Biden administration, has dictated that being a law abiding gun owner is now in violation of the new rule and that only those willing to break the new rule will be in possession of a vast majority of firearms already in circulation.  Please note that the ATF can’t actually write laws, but under a corrupt administration the ATF can basically operate however they please, with impunity.

Awesome, right? ‘Merica!

My initial statement may be a little uncouth, but as it stands, based on ATF Final Ruling 2021r-05f, which goes into effect August 24th, 2022, a vast majority of firearms already in circulation will, at the very least, now require excessive markings in order to be compliant with these new rules. There is a lot to unpack with this ruling so I will be plagiarizing a bunch of information gleaned from a variety of online resources.

I am not going to elaborate on what an 80% receiver is defined as, but basically it is a piece of material in the shape of a frame or receiver which has not been completely machined to the point of being readily assembled into a firearm. An 80% frame or receiver is basically a paperweight, until it’s not.

Prior to this new rule taking effect and according to current ATF rulings, here is the definition of a firearm:

“Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; The frame or receiver of any such weapon; Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or Any destructive device.”

Taken directly from the ATF website, this definition clearly states that in order for a receiver to be considered a firearm, it must be able to be readily converted to expel a projectile. Since the 80% lower build process requires power tools to mill out the fire control group, it has not been considered a firearm, until the recent ATF ruling, 2021r-05f.

Traditionally 80% lowers have been almost exclusively based on the AR platform, but in recent years 80% polymer frames have proliferated to the point of being noticed by uninformed and willfully misleading lawmakers who now blanket every non-serialized firearm as a “ghost gun”. Conveniently the same lawmakers conflate legal homemade DIY firearms with defaced firearms. Defaced firearms are serialized firearms that have had their serial numbers scratched off or removed entirely, which is a felony and has been for a long time. So when your run-of-the-mill lying lawmaker makes a statement to the effect of “Ghost Guns are used in a large majority of gun crimes” what they are really saying is “defaced firearms are often recovered at crime scenes where a firearm was involved”. Imagine that, a crime within a crime, law abiding citizens be damned.

So what is ATF Final Ruling 2021r-05f?

Biden stated in a press conference on April 11th, 2022 that the proposed rule was finalized. The ruling’s main purpose was to ban 80% lowers and limit the private manufacture of firearms for personal use. The ruling takes effect on August 24th, 2022.

The ruling amends the existing definitions of frames and receivers, the new definitions are as follows:


“the part of a handgun or “variants” (also a defined term) using a handgun design, that provides housing or a structure for the sear or equivalent—that part that holds back the hammer, striker, bolt, or similar component prior to firing.”


“the part of a rifle, shotgun, or projectile weapon other than a handgun, or variants, that provides housing or a structure for the bolt, breechblock or other primary component designed to block or seal the breach prior to firing.”


“A weapon utilizing a similar frame or receiver design irrespective of new or different model designations or configurations, characteristics, features, components, accessories, or attachments”.

The ruling adds a new definition in order to differentiate between federally licensed manufacturers and private manufacturers. “Privately Made Firearm” (PMF) is the new term for a homemade firearm. The ruling requires that any and all PMFs must be serialized or accompanied in the serialization by a licensed individual with the authority to mark guns.

The new ruling doesn’t necessarily outright ban 80% frames or receivers but requires them to be serialized, even in their 80% state, and serialized frames or receivers all require a federal background check in order to obtain such a thing from a licensed dealer.

However, this ruling does affect the upper receiver of an AR style firearm because both receivers (upper and lower) are mated together to make up the whole receiver. See “multi-part” receivers.

Speaking of “multi-part” receivers: “[T]he final rule explains that similar modular subparts of a “multi-piece frame or receiver” (e.g., two similar left and right halves of a frame or receiver) must be marked with the same serial number and associated licensee information. If one of those parts is removed and replaced with an unserialized part, then the possessor would violate section 922(k) for possessing a firearm with a removed serial number. However, the final rule sets forth a process by which a marked modular subpart of a non-NFA multi-piece frame or receiver may be removed and replaced without violating section 922(k). The replacement modular subpart must be marked by its manufacturer with the same original serial number and associated licensee information, and the original part must be destroyed prior to such placement.”

So now your upper and lower AR receivers must have matching serial numbers, because both parts make up a whole receiver. So adding a part with a different serial number, or no serial number at all, is akin to defacing a firearm. So now in order to change your own upper receiver you would have to have the existing upper receiver destroyed and the new receiver marked with a corresponding serial number.

Well then who can serialize a firearm you ask? Great question; “[T]he final rule allows licensed or unlicensed engravers to mark firearms on licensees’ behalf (with the requesting licensee’s information) provided: (1) The identification takes place under the direct supervision of the requesting licensee without the engraver taking the firearm into inventory; and (2) the markings otherwise meet the identification requirements.” Effectively, gunsmiths are permitted to mark firearms while licensed manufacturers will not be permitted to mark a firearm built from an 80% lower if it has already been given a serial number by its original owner and has not been sold to anyone else.

Clear as mud, right?

Much of the new ruling is unclear or just doesn’t make sense. Naturally there will be a mountain of lawsuits brought against the federal government as this shit show unfolds. But assume that the ATF and the Fed are going to go full rampage under the guise of this new ruling and penalize anyone knowingly and/ or unknowingly violating this new rule. The government has a knack for imposing or enacting new rules or laws while vaguely informing the general public of such changes, but will offer zero considerations for anyone who finds themselves in the claws of tyrannical authority.

There are other aspects to this new ruling that will likely impact the way FFLs can conduct business, specifically regarding the manner in which transfer records are kept and disposed of. At the surface level these particular changes would seem harmless, but below surface level these types of changes are ripe with nefarious intent. Please note that while it is illegal for the federal government to maintain a federal gun registry it is quite apparent that the Fed has zero intention of abiding by their own laws.

To say that the federal government and its agency cohorts actually care about upholding the constitution, or not impeding a citizen’s abilities to exercise their rights, would be a lie. As we all struggle under the ineptitude of the current administration it has become alarmingly obvious that the rights of a free people are of grave concern to the current occupant in chief and his cronies, as the new rules and laws they strive to enact and impose do very little in the way of ensuring the safety of the people. If laws are being written under the guise of public safety, but don’t actually do anything in the way of keeping people safe then one would have to ponder what is the actual intent of such laws?

Question things while questioning things is still permissible.

Understand that this post is the authors interpretation of the information presented by the ATF and other online resources.  If you would like to read the ruling in its entirety you can click here to visit the Federal Registers posting or you can download the ruling in its entirety here.

If you feel that the interpretation of the information being presented is misleading then please comment below with your thoughts.

More sources:


  • Orion Lee Rogers

    First, just because a lie is told a second time, it doesn’t mean the first lie was true.
    To accuse the present administration of being corrupt because they don’t agree with you is weak and typical of a mindless Trump cult member. Second, every administration has had its administrations make different interpretations of its regulations. Nothing new here. Guess you know now I’m not only a big gun owner and shooter/hunter I’m a democrat. What you don’t seem to understand is, we own more guns than republicans and Trump thugs. Most of us are ex-military and we are not afraid of a bunch of commie anti American groups. We’ve dealt with them before. If you ever want to be taken seriously you must stop all this crap. I have several of your products. They are great but, so are others. You don’t need to be cult members to be a successful gun supplier. You’ll never print this. I get it. Its a shame tho.

    • Quentin Defense

      Thank you for your comment to my interpretation of ATF Final Rule 2021r-05f, I am thoroughly impressed by your astute observations. I won’t waste too much of your time with my response as I am sure your time is very important to you, so I will offer an itemized rebuttal for your reading expedience.

      You say that “just because a lie is told a second time, it doesn’t mean the first lie was true”. I see the logic in your statement as two wrongs don’t make a right, which I would agree that a lie is a lie no matter how many times it is told. However, I am confused as to which “lie” you are referring to as I didn’t offer any untruths in my post, just my interpretation of the new rule and my opinion. Are you referring to my labeling of lawmakers as being liars, my reference to the conflation of legally homemade DIY firearms and illegally defaced firearms, or the fact that I stated that the Fed and its agencies are hellbent on trampling the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens?

      I am not accusing the present administration of being corrupt merely because they don’t agree with me. I accuse the present administration of being corrupt for the myriad of bonafide evidence of corruption found in every corner of both the real world and the cyber world, everything from Hunter’s laptop to literal video footage of then Vice President Joe Biden bragging about withholding US funds from the Ukraine until the Ukraine fired a certain prosecutor who just so happened to be investigating Hunter Biden, Quid Pro Quo much? Remember when the Dems tried to impeach Trump over similar allegations? Corruption and lies. And nevermind the endless voting irregularities and evidence of voter fraud found in the 2020 election, but that’s just right wing propaganda right?

      I especially like your accusation of being a “mindless Trump cult member” while you clearly exhibit a mild form of liberal Trump derangement syndrome as you completely avoid the real issue being presented in my post and resort to making personal attacks against my character, something of which you know nothing.

      I do agree with you that every administration makes their own interpretations of federal regulations and that it is nothing new. This is a perfect example of a moot point.

      No, I do not know to which degree of gun ownership, avid shooting, sportsman activity, or political affiliation you consider yourself, nor do I make any assumptions about you, or at least I didn’t prior to this.

      You are correct though, I do not understand that democrats own more guns than republicans and “Trump thugs”, I would like to see the statistical analysis that supports your claim. I can tell you that in my decades plus experience working in the firearms industry that your claim is completely false and that the vast majority of liberals I personally know and encounter from time to time have little to no knowledge of firearms, firearms ownership, or firearms regulation. Furthermore, based on the elected officials that represent your political ideology I am even more convinced that the vast majority of liberals today know nothing about firearms, but will gladly regulate against legal firearm ownership with legislation that is predicated on lies and misinformation. So either Democrats are truly inept or willfully ignorant and deceitful, or all of the above.

      While there may be a percentage of Veterans who are democrats, your claim that “most of us are ex-military” is laughable and completely subjective. You quite literally do not know enough Veterans to make even an educated guess as to the political affiliation of all Veterans and unless you’ve been in a coma for the past decade plus any person with any degree of discernment can clearly see that the democratic party is almost wholly comprised of “commie anti American groups”. You say you’ve dealt with “them” before, what does that even mean? I detect some false bravado in that statement.

      “If you ever want to be taken seriously you must stop all this crap”, which crap is that? Having an opinion or posting about new firearms regulations as they pertain to the very industry in which we operate?

      Many people have our products and while we appreciate your claim of owning several of them we cannot find any records of sales in our database with your name on them, but that doesn’t mean much as you could very well have legally procured any number of our firearms from any of our dealers, or you’ve given a false name with your comment. And you are correct that many other companies also produce great products, and we invite you to show your support to them as you please.

      Once again you are correct, we do not need to be “cult members” to be successful gun suppliers. We also do not need overbearing federal regulations that stifle commerce under the guise of public safety while doing literally nothing to actually combat gun violence in the public sphere.

      We did post this, you do not get it, and something is definitely a shame. Though.

  • Scratch

    I’m still wondering if I can own a 80% lower that I have machined and plan to use for my own use. Also can I sell an 80% lower that has not been machined? Do I need to serialize my upper and lower and provide those number to some government agency? Are we all just screwed by this administration? What happens after August 24th if we sell an ar-15 that is serialized but the upper isn’t? I am a law abiding gun owner and don’t like the idea that after 8/24 I will be subject to being arrested for doing nothing that I haven’t been doing for years.

    • Quentin Defense


      All great questions, thank you for engaging with us. While we are not attorneys and do not claim to offer any sort of legal guidance, we are obliged to try to inform our viewers of what transpires in regards to Federal Law as it pertains to legal gun ownership in the US. As it stands right now it looks like after 8/24/22 any 80% lower receiver or frame, machined or not, will need to be marked with an ATF compliant serial number. As to how an owner of a Privately Made Firearm can go about marking said firearm is a little confusing and not very clear, so we cannot offer any real advice on how to go about being in compliance other than consulting your local gunsmith to see if they are up to date on the latest ruling. I can say that after consulting numerous firearms manufacturers and gunsmiths there is little clarity on exactly how an owner of a PMF should go about being in compliance. As for the serialization of an upper receiver, it looks as though every upper receiver that is mated to a lower receiver will need to bear the identical markings of the lower receiver the upper receiver is attached to and the upper receiver serial number must match the lower receiver serial number in perpetuity. Again, the guidance provided via the new rule for marking upper receivers is murky and unclear. Prior to 8/24/22 you are still legally allowed to do whatever you please with your 80% lowers and unserialized upper receivers (so long as what you are doing is not in violation of existing laws), after 8/24/22 all bets are off, the ATF has their ruling and given the current climate of this administration I anticipate the ATF will be looking to make an example of whatever victim(s) fall prey to their tyranny. Quite literally, the ATF and the current administration are making criminals out of law-abiding gun owners who have been in compliance with the law for however long. Our suggestion is for everyone to do all that they can to remain in compliance while the gun rights advocacy groups do their thing to challenge this new rule and have it overturned. Also of note is the difference between the terms “rule” and “law”. The ATF cannot pass laws by themselves, laws can only be passed through congress. Rules, on the other hand, are similar to laws but are not as rigid as a law and act more so as guidelines provided to maintain a smooth functioning organization. Rules do not require an act of congress in order to be imposed on the citizenry. Whether or not there will be lawful prosecutions taking place under this new rule is yet to be determined, but again, I fully anticipate the ATF going off the rails trying to make examples of as many law abiding gun owners as they can while this new rule stands. Hopefully this information helps and thanks again for your questions.

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