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1. Is a gunsmith liable for FAET?

If you perform gunsmithing on a firearm, your liability for FAET will depend on the type of work you perform on the firearm. See the Gunsmith Information packet for detailed information on gunsmith activities and how FAET liability may pertain to these activities.

You are liable for FAET if you:You are not liable for FAET if you:
  • Materially change a firearm resulting in a different taxable article;
  • Replace, refinish, or repair existing parts of a firearm;
  • Produce custom firearms from new or used firearms that you acquire; or
  • Refinish (by bluing or black anodizing) existing firearms;
  • Add parts to a frame, receiver, or action.
  • Checker existing firearms;
  • Engrave or perform other types of decorative work (such as inlaying of silver and gold) on firearms you purchase and then sell or use;
  • Sell parts or accessories separately; or
  • Sell parts or accessories with a complete firearm for use as spare parts or accessories.

2. If I perform gunsmithing, when is my customer considered the manufacturer?

The gunsmith is considered the manufacturer if:The customer is considered the manufacturer if:
He or she alters a firearm in connection with a sale to the customer (however, the gunsmith’s alteration of the firearm must constitute manufacturing).
  • The gunsmith does not sell an altered firearm to a customer; or
  • The gunsmith sells a firearm to the customer and makes alterations to it as separate transactions.

3. If my customer is considered the manufacturer, when is he or she liable for FAET?

The customer is liable for FAET if:The customer is not liable for FAET if:
  • He or she sells the firearm before using it; or
He or she uses the firearm for personal use after delivery from the gunsmith.
  • He or she uses the firearm in the operation of his or her business.


Last updated: April 1, 2024
Maintained by: National Revenue Center