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Complete AR Lower Transfer Question - WA State Pistol Form Required?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by TastyWheat87, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. TastyWheat87

    TastyWheat87 Washington Active Member

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    Hello All,

    I just picked up my very first AR lower from a local FFL. I ordered one of the Palmetto State Armory Complete AR lowers they had on sale. This lower includes a stock already assembled from Palmetto.

    The local FFL had me fill out a 4473. He said he would mark "Other" on the 4473, but now that I think of it, I didn't verify that he marked it as "other" rather than "pistol." Though he did say that he would be marking "other."

    In addition to the 4473 I had to fill out a WA "Department of Licensing" pistol background check form. This seemed odd to me since what I was receiving was an AR Lower, marked Multi, that was already equipped with a stock. Federal law stipulates that once a stock has been attached, the lower from that point on is considered to be a "rifle" lower. The FFL said that as far as Washington State is concerned, it can be made into a pistol and thus this is standard practice. Doing this would violate federal law, so I'm a bit confused why this would need to happen.

    Is it standard practice, in Washington State, to fill out a Pistol form in addition to the 4473 when transferring a lower?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Cameron72

    Cameron72 Harrington, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I picked up a stripped lower this year and did NO Washington paperwork at the FFL.
     
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  3. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    No.
     
  4. TastyWheat87

    TastyWheat87 Washington Active Member

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    Thank you for the replies. Need I worry that I filled out paperwork related to a pistol when I in fact acquired half a rifle which will be built into a rifle? It shipped from palmetto complete with a stock. If the FFL has someone fill out WA pistol transfer paperwork can this become an issue down the road for something that came to them as a rifle lower?
     
  5. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    Apparently, the only issue is that once you "build" it as a rifle you can not change it to a "pistol". That is the letter of the law - I suppose the reality largely has to do with how much evidence you leave behind.

    You may want to stop posting now. ;)
     
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  6. TastyWheat87

    TastyWheat87 Washington Active Member

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    I have no intention of ever building this lower into a pistol. I am attempting to figure out if the FFLs actions have compromised my ability to build this lower into a rifle.
     
  7. Cameron72

    Cameron72 Harrington, WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Your FFL has his copy of the 4473. Contact him and verify what was documented, if it was "other" you can do what you want. I bought a wonderful AR pistol this summer in a private sale. I knew what gun shop it came from so I contacted them just to verify it started out as a pistol. It took 10 minutes of emailing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  8. KalamaMark

    KalamaMark Kalama Wa Well-Known Member

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    Nothing you have stated will prevent you from building a rifle legally in Washington.

    You can build a rifle from a pistol, but you cannot build a pistol from a rifle.

    Based upon what you have said, you are perfectly fine finishing your rifle build.
     
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  9. TastyWheat87

    TastyWheat87 Washington Active Member

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    Thanks KalamaMark. This whole AR thing is new to me and with AR parts being so physically, but not always legally interchangeable, I want to be damn sure that what I am doing is legal well before I actually do it.

    Your post really helped me out and thanks to you I was able to find another thread that really gave me a 360 degree understanding of my situation:
    ATF: Complete lower receivers with buttstocks can be utilized for pistol builds. [Archive] - Calguns.net

    According to this, a lower transferred with a buttstock is not considered to be a rifle since it has never been "barreled as a rifle action." Thus, even with the buttstock it would be transferred completely acceptably as either "other" or "pistol". I have been thinking I have a "rifle" lower because of the stock, and this is not the case (just my ignorance here, since I am new to the AR world.) This lead me down this path of thinking that PSA transferred a rifle, but the FFL implied it was a pistol with the pistol paperwork, immediately looking it it was converted from Rifle to Pistol which is a no-no.

    Since the lower is essentially a blank slate as "other" or even if it was transferred as "pistol", as you pointed out, it is completely legal to go from "other" to "rifle", or "pistol" to rifle. I have nothing to worry about.

    I thank everyone who replied to this thread, and I really appreciate the knowledge everyone has shared. Some of our gun laws in this country are so hard to understand, and there are so many of them on the books. In the end, at least we can own, for the most part, what we want to own in Washington State/US. There are a lot of places in the world, and in some cases the US, that don't have it as well as we do.
     
  10. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    What "they" don't know won't hurt you.
     
  11. TastyWheat87

    TastyWheat87 Washington Active Member

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    Views like that can put gun owners in a bad light. Part of being a responsible gun owner is knowing the rules, and the other part is following them. I try my best to do both but thank you for your opinion.