Bump Stocks and Building Guns: What You Need to Know about Custom Guns in Florida

The following is a video transcript.

Today, we will answer the most commonly asked questions we get from U.S. LawShield members regarding firearm building and customization. First, let’s talk about bump stocks under federal and Florida law.

Bump Stocks

Many firearm enthusiasts prefer to customize their firearms. Unfortunately, gun laws often change and customizations that were legal one day can become illegal the next. One popular customization that is now illegal under both federal and Florida law is the addition of a bump stock to a rifle. A bump stock causes a rifle to bump fire, meaning the rifle uses the recoil of a semi-automatic firearm to fire ammunition in a rapid succession, similar to a fully automatic weapon.

Most people are aware that both federal, and state law in Florida now ban bump stocks. However, many are unaware Florida’s law went much further. Under Florida law, bump-fire stock is defined to mean “a conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semi-automatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.”

First Aid for Gunshot Wounds 2A Institute

Reading the definition should cause concern. It is so vague it could include almost any modification to your firearm. There are many items sold that can accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm (including both handguns and rifles), without making them automatic weapons. It can be argued that lightening the pressure necessary to pull the trigger increases the rate of fire to a faster rate than possible unassisted by a kit, tool, accessory or device. Until a court rules on this, understand you may become the test case if you modify your firearm to fire more easily by decreasing the pressure necessary.

Other accessories that can fall under this definition include, but are not limited to: traditional bump stocks, crank fire devices, binary triggers, and many more commercially available conversion kits or devices.

Building Your Own Firearm

Another common question refers to kits to build your own firearm. People wonder if it’s legal to buy kits online or locally and use it to build their own unregistered firearm. Guns built from these kits do not have serial numbers and are commonly referred to as “ghost guns.” Under federal and Florida law, it’s legal to possess a firearm you manufacture without a serial number. However, it is illegal for any other person than the person who manufactures the firearm kit to possess it.

Licensing

According to the ATF, a license is not required to make a firearm solely for personal use. However, a license is required to manufacture firearms for sale or distribution. The law prohibits a person from assembling a non-sporting semi-automatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as well as firearms which cannot be detected by metal detectors or X-ray machines. In addition, making an NFA firearm such as a short-barreled rifle requires a tax payment and advance approval by the ATF.

If you have any further questions regarding modifying or making your own firearm, please give U.S. LawShield a call and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

Get Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage NOW

Comment section

8 comments on “Bump Stocks and Building Guns: What You Need to Know about Custom Guns in Florida

  1. How about a “dont tread on me” snake in the backplate of a glock, modified trigger reducing pull weight, laser stippling with punisher skulls, etc….?

    • Hello Hector,

      It is legal to put the snake or “punisher” skulls on your firearm.

      Although there is no case law, it can be argued that by reducing the trigger pull, you are altering your firearm to allow it to fire faster than it would have if the modified trigger was not placed on the firearm, therefore falling under Florida’s ban on bump stocks.

  2. I’m confused by the wording regarding manufacturing a firearm kit. When you say it is only legal to possess a firearm without a serial number of you are the manufacturer of the kit, does that mean if I buy a kit from a manufacturer I have to have a serial number or am I technically the manufacturer since I assembled the kit?

  3. Agreed with Eric, the statement about manufacturing and kits should be edited for clarity. There seem to be at least 2 cases. A firearm built from a purchased kit and a firearm build from raw materials with no kit. What is the situation and legality of each of these cases?

  4. If you’ve already obtain a binary trigger from a neighboring state, and brings it into Florida; does the law directly effect you?

    I’m not a permit resident of Florida, but I currently reside in the state for educational reasons?

    Additionally, If the laws do effect me; will need to remove the trigger from the lower receiver prior to entering the state?

  5. The 2019 Florida Statutes


    Title XLVI
    CRIMES
    Chapter 790
    WEAPONS AND FIREARMS
    View Entire Chapter
    790.222 Bump-fire stocks prohibited.—A person may not import into this state or transfer, distribute, sell, keep for sale, offer for sale, possess, or give to another person a bump-fire stock. A person who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this section, the term “bump-fire stock” means a conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device.
    History.—s. 13, ch. 2018-3.


    key words here are “unassisted” and “semiautomatic”

    The ATF defines semiautomatic as one action of pulling or releasing the trigger, not a complete pull and release. A binary Or Electronic trigger like a DIGI Trigger does not increase rate of fire “unassisted” as the Florida Law states. Both require a separate and intinional action to fire a round. Neither are a ” kit ” “accessory” or “device”. The trigger is a vital part of the firearms functionality and needed to complete the action of firing a round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.