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Local LE Checking NFA Compliance

Discussion in 'NFA Weapon Discussion' started by RedneckRampage, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I have a question about local LEs checking (in this case, an AR) for barrel length. Yesterday, I was stopped for my "brake lights not working", as I'm talking to the officer he sees my AR15 in the overhead gun rack. He proceeds to ask me how long the barrel is. I tell him it is a factory built rifle, with a 16" barrel. For some reason he did not believe me, and said "looks short". I assured him it was all legal, and offered for him to measure if he didn't believe me (I'm not one to make their job harder, even if he's being a prick). He declined, and said he could, but wasn't going to, and sent me on my way.

    Question 1 - Do local LEOs have the right/authority (whatever you want to call it), to randomly measure barrels?

    What if it is a 14.5" with pinned/welded muzzle device and he couldn't easily see that it is pinned (my last one was nearly impossible to tell), can they try to unscrew the flash hider?

    Question 2 - If the officer wanted to check, and you declined to let them, could they confiscate the weapon until it is cleared?

    Question 3 - Have any of you, either out shooting or during a traffic stop, ever had barrel length checked?​
     
  2. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Never heard of that, but I suppose it's possible... I wonder if he carries a wooden dowel thin enough to go down the barrel of an AR though? You can't measure a gun barrel accurately from the outside.
     
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  3. OREGON FALER

    OREGON FALER Springfield, OR. Active Member

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    They'll ask questions and verbally probe you a little, almost zero local and state LEO know anything about Federal Firearms laws.
    I'd tell him to feel free to measure it if he has the right equipment or call an ATFE field agent who knows the proper way to measure barrel length. As stated above with a dowel run down the barrel until it contacts the breachface, to the tip of the barrel minus any muzzle device not perm attached.

    I very much believe an LEO is never gonna get himself into a position where he'd be cranking on a muzzle device.
     
  4. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Half the time they don't know state laws much less federal.

    You have more confidence in the general intelligence of an LEO (or the general populace for that matter, which LEOs come from) than I do.
     
  5. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I like how he asserted he could if he wanted to, but declined to actually do it.

    "I can do it, if I want to - but I am going to let you go this time". :rolleyes:

    64365d1349252697-bears-racing-rd-5-pi-1-2-dec-cartman.jpg
     
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  6. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    If it's in view, I don't know what rights you have if they ask to see it. Just like if you had a baggy of crack looking stuff in a cup holder in plain view they could examine it. Just another reason to keep it in a good case behind the seat away from prying eyes.
     
  7. PrDubi

    PrDubi Deep in the heart of Dirty South Salem Active Member

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    They have done it to me at Browns camp. TILLAMOOK sheriff's know what to look for. They know the paperwork and how it works.
     
  8. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    It was just odd, cause this doesn't look short at all... image.jpg
     
  9. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    Just ask him if he knows the difference between a carbine, a mid length or a Dissipator?:eek::eek::eek::eek:
     
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  10. PrDubi

    PrDubi Deep in the heart of Dirty South Salem Active Member

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    Law enforcement officers in the areas surrounding Portland are not your friend. They will trip you up for anything.
    Just be prepared is all I can say.
     
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  11. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much anyone you meet who you don't know should be treated as such. It's just good security.
     
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  12. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about it now, he probably wouldn't have liked the "Restricted" markings on the other side, either.
     
  13. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    They do have the right, and a quick call they can have all the info they need....If needed.

    The main thing is to be cool, and don't smart off to them.

    The line of work I am in I was pulled over by a Portland police at one time. My truck was loaded with firearms. Allot of them not cased. I had 9 revolvers on the passenger seat, and not all covered. Before he got to my door I leaned out and said hey BTW I am a gunsmith just FWI, so no freaking out on me! I made a friend that day!
     
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  14. PrDubi

    PrDubi Deep in the heart of Dirty South Salem Active Member

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    I got pulled over while heading to the Albany MG shoot. GUESS what I had in my truck?...end of day...someone called in because they saw a barrel sticking out the back of the truck.
     
  15. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Whether they have the right or not, I prefer not to have the conversation if I can avoid it, since you never can be sure what that particular LEO knows the laws (or doesn't). Having any gun visible to the public in a rack or just hanging out is just inviting nosey anti-gun public folks to have their daily required conniption fit over whatever frightens them. And considering some folks are encouraging their most devoted followers to 'SWAT' anyone seen with a gun, I hate to help them by putting that stuff in view. Just my 2 cents.
     
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  16. fxdc

    fxdc Da Valley USPSA, SPEED STEEL, IDPA, 3 GUN

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    Yeah
    That's what she said!
    LMAO
     
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  17. Camarobear

    Camarobear Vancouver Active Member

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    Thats what he said!
     
  18. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    Yes, absolutely- but only because he stopped you (detained you) during the traffic stop because you committed or the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe you have committed a crime. But as mentioned earlier, the officer probably doesn't know how to properly check it- let alone what the actual law even states in the matter. Most of us here can automatically look at an AR and know what size the barrel is and even can tell what type the barrel is from just a quick scan. "It looks a little short" when it wasn't even 14.5" with a fixed flash hider already tells me he has no idea what too short even is since he doesn't know what it looks like.

    Yes. I guess the real issue comes to if he even knows what the actual law is. Say he knows the barrel has to be 16" or longer and freeks when you tell him it's 14.5". He already thinks he's got you, fixed flasher hider or not. In that instance I would probably say "yes, it is legal, you can't tell?" or "yes it is legal." and just leave it as that.

    You're declining a search without warrant or cause. So no, he could not confiscate the firearm. The "it looks too short" is the same as "you look like you were going too fast." They have to know the law, what illegal is and what illegal actually looks like...otherwise they're just trampling all over your rights.

    Law enforcement isn't a guessing game. Yes, they have to have cause or reasonable suspicion...but his ignorance or ARs or the law does not justify your unlawful search and seizure (4th Amendment).

    Kinda. It was from overzealous range officers, not cops. Dude's checking for full auto and stuff like that...but at that point you can just decline anyone touching or searching anything and leave...nothing they can do.
     
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