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Some SBR Questions

Discussion in 'NFA Weapon Discussion' started by etrain16, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've never done an SBR, but I've thought about it and I have a couple of questions for those in the know:

    1. Am I allowed to own the parts of the SBR without the tax stamp, so long as I don't join them together? I ask because I have a 10.5" upper that's part of a pistol build. If I decided to SBR it at some point, and since I already own the upper, am I legal having a rifle lower and short barrel upper, say in the same safe, so long as they're never joined together??

    2. Does the SBR apply to the upper and the lower together? Or just the lower only? I ask because if I did an SBR with the short barreled upper, would I be able to swap the upper back to a pistol lower? Or are those two pieces forever joined together?

    Just curious to hear from some folks that have some experience with this. I've read a number of threads on this, but I'm still not clear on the finer points.

    Thanks
     
  2. SCARed

    SCARed Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    As far as the ATF is officially concerned, Having all the parts to build a SBR with no other legal configuration for those parts, makes you in possession of a SBR.
    You've got a an AR pistol, so you GTG with any length upper.
    If you've got a completed lower with rifle stock and no 16"+ barrel anywhere, makes you in possession of an SBR. Assembled or not. (No other legal configuration)
    If you've got AR pistols and rifles, then you've got nothing to worry about.

    With all that being said, who's going to know what you have?

    For an AR, the lower is what is registered as a SBR. Put whatever upper you want on it. There is no marrying of parts. So yes, you could use that upper on another lower. Pistol or otherwise.
     
    Riot, Joe13 and etrain16 like this.
  3. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    The part with the serial number is the SBR, but only when it that configuration. Take off the short upper and put the regular upper back on and it isn't a SBR any longer. You can still put the short upper on the pistol lower.

    Also, having the 10.5" upper with only a rifle would be bad. It could be considered "constructive intent", which in the eyes of the BAFTA is the same as actually putting the short upper on the rifle lower without the form 1. Illegal. BUT, if you also have a pistol lower and you only own 1 short upper, then you're fine.
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  4. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I suspected something along the lines of what you said, but I made sure I had a pistol lower in hand before I got the short upper. And my only other available rifle lower at the moment is married to a 16" upper, so all is good to go.

    I don't want to cross any lines with the ATF, so I'll be sure not to put myself in the position of having 'constructive intent'. And maybe down the road, I'll throw down the $200 and actually do the SBR thing.
     
  5. wired

    wired Yakima Well-Known Member

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    Constructive intent only works in practice when they are stacking charges in an attempt to get a plea bargain . Say your house gets raided for drugs or for fencing stolen merchandise. They find enough stuff to build an SBR . Thats a bargaining chip. You plea to a lesser charge and get two years. Its really only something you need to worry about if you are in the lifestyle that might get your house raided with a warrant some day. If it sounds like I am saying that I support the peaceful disobedience and resistance to unconstitutional gun laws...theres a reason for that.
     
  6. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thankfully, I don't live the kind of lifestyle that would lead to that kind of thing. But yeah, I can see how that would be the issue. I'm careful about follow the rules because I do like my freedom :)
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  7. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Just don't shoot anyone with it and you'll be fine ;)
     
    etrain16 likes this.
  8. SkeetAt40Below

    SkeetAt40Below Portland Member

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    I'd need a citation for that. Everything I've heard, read, seen (other than the perpetual "constructive intent" myth) says the word "constructive intent / constructive possession" does not refer to the physical act of building a gun from parts, rather it applies to stashing an illegal machine gun at your friends house. He has physical possession and you have constructive possession- 'constructive' meaning that a legal case can be constructed because owning and stashing an illegal gun is a felony. Stating that "This stock I just bought is for the SBR I am about to build without a stamp" allows a prosecutor to "construct" a case based on your stated intent. The law does not apply to the "intent" in your head- it applies to the intent you write / say and the actions you take (in this case the parts you posses) ... OP Beware- you've already stated your intent to build an SBR. I wouldn't be admitting to buying any stocks for -this- project. Your AR pistol is legal. Your intent to SBR it is legal. Procuring additional parts for this rifle and stating that they are for this project without a stamp meets the actionable threshold.

    Edit to add: The Supreme Court in 1992 stated in Thompson Center that as long as you had a legal use for all of the parts, (in this case owning a registered SBR Lower and as many uppers as you want for redundancy) you were not in violation of the NFA. Owning short barreled uppers, unregistered lowers and stocks- you muddy the "legal use for all the parts" protection- you would want to make sure that you have plenty of legal uses and not ONLY parts to make illegal SBR's or machine guns. Assemble an illegal SBR and you're toast.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016