When a dealer sells a bare receiver he should always specify that it is a "receiver only", otherwise if he just puts down "rifle" it looks like he built it up into a rifle and sold it that way. Tax is due in that case, something he doesn't want. (OTOH, not all dealers realize this) Therefore it should be on his books as a rifle receiver, not a rifle. For the purpose of you building it into a pistol, you should be OK provided he specified receiver only and you verify with him that it was never built on and bought from a distributer/manufacturer instead of a private sale.
Reselling, trust comes into play. Once it is in your custody you could have slapped a stock on it first and made it a rifle instead of a handgun, thus a rifle forevermore. Something like an AKM receiver, it's pretty obvious if the rivets were ever installed, on an AR the buffer tube and stock could be on and removed with little to no evidence left behind.
Personally, I would never consider any rifle type receiver for a pistol build unless the chain of custody can be traced from manufacturer to my purchase from the dealer (or I made it myself) should the question ever arise. Safest course is to assume all receivers from private parties are rifles only. All the info an FFL needs from you is your personal ID info so he can enter it into his records.
Stripping a built firearm does not bring it's status back to virgin, all the rules still apply as to what was the first assembly, rifle or handgun.
Sure it was, you simply write "(receiver only)" in after the type on the 4473, and also in the bound record book. Did it many a time when I worked in a gunshop. Of course, back then in the dark ages when the "yellow form" really was yellow we had a blank space to write in the type instead of checkboxes.
Ok everyone, I need help here .... I ordered a few brand new AR15 stripped lowers - these are "virgin" stripped lowers - and I have confirmed via email with the manufacturer they logged the serial numbers as "stripped lowers" (not as a "pistol" or "rifle") .... they arrive to my local FFL and I show up expecting to simpily have the new box on line 18 of new 4473 form get checked as "Other Firearm (Frame, Receiver, etc.)" ... expecting then I could then proceed to assemble into either a legal configuration AR rifle or AR pistol (NOT switching back and forth between them of course - just creating a new rifle or a new pistol from the stripped AR lower).
Now here's the problem -- My FFL says a BATFE representative told him (just last week) you can not assemble a pistol from a stripped lower - it must have been logged as a PISTOL by the manufacturer to assemble into a legal pistol. Thus, my FFL dealer is refusing to mark the form 4473 on line 18 as "Other Firearm" and insists he will only mark it as "Long Gun (rifles or shotguns)" when transferring my stripped AR lowers to me. So my plans to build an AR pistol have just come to a halt. (BTW: I did not start any of the paperwork or pick-up the stripped lowers in question - they are still at the FFL dealer shop pending further research)
Has anyone else heard anything like this? Any FFL's out there getting this line from BATFE? Can anyone point me to a "letter" or "rule" or "opinion" actually in writing from the BATFE on this issue? I don't want to put myself or my FFL in any questionable situation here -- just trying to follow all the proper rules to build an AR type pistol from a "virgin" stripped AR lower.
Thanks for any information or advice!
I wish i could help i just went and bought one more that was logged pistol and said "pistol" right on the side of the lower i figured better safe than in club fedpen. but it sounds like a pain in the ass