The topic of guns is no doubt risky business. But owning a gun, which is not a firearm, is necessary for personal use like self-defense or if shooting is recreational for you. And to achieve that, you can’t just use any sort of gun.
For such purposes, the polymer 80, commonly known as the “Ghost Gun,” is what you can use safely. Given that the federal law states that polymer 80 guns are not firearms, so rest assured you can own and use one based on your requirements.
Although federal laws say it’s okay to own ghost guns, most states require the gun to be registered under a unique serial number. We have gathered a list of ways you can serialize an 80 pistol, keeping in mind the different state and local laws.
How to Serialize a P80 Ghost Gun
Here’s the tricky bit – there is not just one generic way in which you can add serial numbers to 80 lower pistols. As 80 lower guns are not technically categorized as violent weapons, the federal law doesn’t require a homemade firearm to have a serial number. But individual state laws on owning and handling such guns differ.
You might still be wondering – a ghost gun is still a potential weapon, so why does the federal law not need a tag on it for tracking? According to the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), a polymer 80 lower or blank receiver does not have the properties for its build to be a firearm.
Also, by AFT’s definition, it is basically in an unfinished state – hence the 80% in its name.
Serializing Polymer 80 by State
So if you own a polymer 80, you have to make sure it complies with the state law to prevent it from becoming an illegal possession. Below are the rules we have found on serializing ghost guns by state.
How to Serialize Polymer 80: Florida
Good news, if you’re a Florida local – you don’t need a serial number for your lower 80! It is important to note that if a gun has a serial number, the government holds the right to monitor it.
No one will be able to sell or distribute such firearms in a legal manner if it is not marked with a number. Luckily if you are a resident of Florida and have a customizable lower 80, you can carry a lower 80 for recreational and strictly personal use. There will be no issues with it being an unregistered firearm.
It’s actually a good thing that serialization is not required for polymer 80 guns in Florida. Gun laws in this state have become highly strict and severe. So, carrying a completed firearm with a serial number on it means you are susceptible to being held against the law if you use it outside solely for personal reasons.
How to Serialize Polymer 80 in California
California laws on possessing and serializing polymer 80 firearms are clear-cut and to the point. The state law clearly outlines that all 80 lower guns completed after July 2018 need to:
- have a unique serial number engraved in the blank receiver
- have text that is at least 1/16 inches in height
There are a couple of steps to getting a serial number in California, but they are straightforward and simple:
Step 1: Download, Complete, And Submit A PFEC Application
First and foremost, you have to download the PFEC application form from the CA Department of Justice website: https://oag.ca.gov/home
PFEC will perform a background check to ensure your eligibility for your firearm’s serialization. With the form, you also have to include:
- Your right thumbprint on a fingerprint ID card;
- California driver’s license copy;
- A 20-dollar check;
- A notarization from a public notary (state of CA)
Then submit all those necessary documents over to the State of California Department of Justice at the following address:
Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms – PFEC
P.O Box 820200
Sacramento, CA, 94203-0200
Step 2: Register in The CA CFARS System
After submitting your paperwork, you will need to register in the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS): https://cfars.doj.ca.gov/login.do
Step 3: Fill Out the USNA application
Once registered in CFARS, you must complete a USNA application. This can be done from the CFARS website or sent to the California DOJ via email or regular mail. Submitting it through CFARS will cost you a 15-dollar processing fee, but it will cut down the waiting time.
Step 4: Finalize The Serialization
When all your applications and documents get approved by the California DOJ, you will finally get a unique serial number. You then have to get that serial number engraved on your polymer 80 within ten days.
Show evidence of the serialization by uploading pictures of the engraving to CFARS. Completing all of the steps above will guarantee a new serial number on your lower 80 firearms.
How to Serialize Polymer 80 in Nevada
Currently, there are no governing laws in Nevada that state the need to serialize an 80 lower firearm. That means you can go ahead and build your own firearm from your polymer 80 or frame without having to go through a licensed dealer.
How to Serialize Polymer 80 in Texas
Just like Florida and Nevada, there are no Texas laws stating requirements to serialize an 80 polymer. So you don’t have to worry about your lower 80% not having a unique serial number.
How to Serialize Polymer 80 in North Carolina
There are also no laws in North Carolina that require the serialization of 80 lower frames. However, you can still go for custom engraving if you wish.
How to Serialize Polymer 80 in Washington State
It is still not clear as to whether there is a law or not in Washington State that talks about serializing your polymer 80 gun. The best thing to do is contact your local law officials and get to know the legal processes about this.
How to Serialize Polymer 80 in New York
The process for New York is a bit complex. Polymer 80 guns are not considered firearms, but it is still illegal to ship them directly to people that live in New York. As a result, it puts you and the engraving companies at risk, as they can’t be sent back to you in New York.
A workaround would be to go through the gun control regulations set for New York and speak to lawyers about specific gun laws in the area.
In most cases, gun laws vary from state to state. The same goes for the usage of ghost guns, which are technically not firearms meant to cause harm. Apart from the clearly laid out processes in California, most of the other states don’t have strict laws on putting serial numbers on lower 80 guns.
Obtaining a gun from a licensed manufacturer is one thing, but having a lower 80% serialized is a whole different story. It is best to talk to your local officials and lawyers to find out about any specific state laws regarding the serialization of polymer 80 guns.
If you have checked your state laws and are good to go ahead and carry your new Polymer 80, check out our Polymer 80 holsters guide.