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When an AR Pistol is not a Pistol - ATF responds

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PinkhamR, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. PinkhamR

    PinkhamR Altus, Oklahoma MSgt, USAF (Retired)-FFL Lifetime Supporter

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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  2. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    It is now in NFA limbo! Kidding. :)

    But no, the letter says that the total length being over 26in, it automatically is out of NFA scope. Once it gets the foregrip, since it is no longer a pistol, then, it'd need to past the SBR litmus test. This is the definition:
    " Short-barreled rifle. A rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length, and any weapon made from a rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if such weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches". ​

    In short, this letter says, and the Law confirms, "if the barrel is less than 16in and total length is less than 26in, then, it is an SBR". We've been interpreting "if the barrel is more than 16in and total length is more than 26in, then, it is not an SBR". It it doesn't matter if it has a shoulder stock or not. It is how concealable (long) it is what they care about. The shoulder stock is relevant for the "pistol" definition. A pistol can't have one.

    Wow! Technically, a rifle could have a barrel less than 16in long and still not be a an SBR! Isn't that something!?!? We've been so focused on the barrel length that we missed the total firearm length part of the definition. This is a little hard to digest. Sounds too good to be true.

    Wow! Do you get the implications? How many AR-15 SBRs are out there that should not be? How many $200 stamps have been bought unnecessarily?!

    Good post, pinkhamr!
     
  3. cyclesurvival

    cyclesurvival Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    So if I build a kit and the barrel is 14" but the total over all lenght is over 26" then is it a rifle even if the stock is folding? or does it have to always be over 26"?
     
  4. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    The way I see it, has to be more than 26" with the stock folded, if bbl is less than 16in. But, still sounds too good to be true, and there MUST be something wrong with my logic.

    The letter refers to the Thompson 1927A5, a stockless 13"bbl firearm. They have a pistol grip and you can get them w/o the holy paper and the $200 tax. There's a couple on Gun Broker right now.

    I think that the only thing we can safely say is a rifle without a shoulder stock with a fore grip measuring than 26in long is not an NFA firearm.
     
  5. nubus

    nubus Guest

    I think if your barrel is under 16" and it has a stock you will have a problem.
    Please, PLEASE, P-L-E-A-S-E prove me wrong.

    The point of the post is, if the XO-26b is not a pistol or an AOW, WTF is it?
     
  6. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills Cave Creek, Arizony Well-Known Member

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  7. Gentry

    Gentry Portland New Member

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    Ridiculous laws are ridiculous. I would just SBR anything under 16 inches. I am not going to play around in a grey area and have the local cops hassle me, or have the ATF change their mind and then I have an illegal firearm.
     
  8. biggie24420

    biggie24420 Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It's funny that the gobbment can ship guns to Mexico and do illegal BS but if you get busted with a "pistol" with a VG... you get the third degree:rollingeyes:. Any who.... little off topic here but I use a Magpul AFG on my Draco and it is legit because the BATFE does not consider the AFG as a VG.

    Here is a link to the Google document where it talks about the AFG being legal on a pistol. Look at Q#7.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&...1MC00NzVhLWI3NmMtZDRiNTMzNzdhMzUx&hl=en&pli=1
     
  9. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Yeap, too good to be true. Bummer!

    I kept diggin. Found the definition for a NFA firearm. Sorry for the false alarm. Here it is clear it is either/or:
    Firearm. (a) A shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (b) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length; (c) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length; (d) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
    That settles it.

    Yet, it does not change anything about the letter. The AR is not a AOW the same way the Thompson 1927A5 is not.
     
  10. bigguynail

    bigguynail Bellingham New Member

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    1. Rifle it has a butt stock or the means to attach one the rifled Barrel has to be under .6" bore there are exceptions for single shots and black powder "antique firearms" otherwise over .6" qualifies as Destructive device or DD and needs to be 16" minimum and in any configuration that it can be fired also over 26" unless a SBR or registered MG

    2. Shotgun Barrel minimum 18" in length and over 26" in a configuration it can be fired. under either of those it gets classified as a AOW or SBS with a bore under 1" Over 1" it qualifies as a DD

    3. Pistol any barrel under 16" and less than 26" overall and needs to be able to be fired with one hand and no buttstock or provision to attach one Vertical fore grips also are not allowed

    4.Then there is the stockless non easily concealed pistol with a barrel less than 16" yet over 26" in overall length.

    The Thompson 1927A5 had no provision for a buttstock to be attached as built. Yet being over 26" it is not governed by the restriction of being fired using just one hand. some AR or other pistols with overall lengths over 26" also fall into this classification and can have a Vertical fore grip installed.

    5. Pyrotechnic Launchers such as Flare Launchers violate most of these constraints. Generally being exempted do to being restricted to firing low pressure rounds from
    specific bores and chambers.

    All these of course restrict to one pull of the trigger for one cartridge fired.

    Thats the basic strictures as I understand them before moving into the land of NFA registered tax stamped Firearms
     
  11. PBinWA

    PBinWA Clark County Well-Known Member

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    Leave it to the government to obfuscate even the simplest of definitions. I guess it's legal until it isn't as defined by how much time, money, and effort you are potentially willing to put into a court case to defend yourself against any charges some malicious agent chooses to charge you with.

    Of course, the chances of actually getting charged are probably pretty small unless you spend tons of time at shooting ranges showing off your borderline legal toy.
     
  12. judicator

    judicator McMinnville Active Member

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    Time to scrap the ATF and start over, they're almost as bad as the IRS.
     
    Blitzkrieg and (deleted member) like this.
  13. chase

    chase Wilsonville, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I think it needs a form 1 and butt stock.
     
  14. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    You can't mount any type of grip device on them, period.
     
  15. bassman2

    bassman2 SW WA Active Member

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    That's not what the ATF letter states.

    The 2 instances where a forward grip is OK: The magpul angled foregrip. And the instance of a 16 barrel, 26inch overall length pistol style AR (no butstock) with an a standard vertical fore grip.
     
  16. wsu 5.9er

    wsu 5.9er Spanaway WA Member

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    Yup, An AFG is allowed on any AR pistol. A VFG is allowed on an AR pistol, as long as the OAL is more than 26" and the pistol is not concealed.
     
  17. locobob

    locobob Beaverton, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    This is exactly the type of nonsensical, overly complicated regulation that makes people despise government.

    How about changing the law to this:
    Under 12in barrel = handgun
    Over 12in barrel = long gun
    No restrictions on stocks or grips.
     
  18. wsu 5.9er

    wsu 5.9er Spanaway WA Member

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    I'd rather see them use the OAL of 26" determine whether or not it's an SBR/SBS. Over 26" would good-to-go. Under 26" would be an SBR/SBS. You could have an AR with a 10.5 barrel and not need a tax stamp.
     
  19. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    I'm sure you are just being funny, but the ATF is a division of the IRS. It's all about the tax dollas.
     
  20. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    No, it used to be there and other areas in the Treasury Dept. The Homeland Security Act transferred it to the Justice Dept. The tax and trade responsibilities stayed with the Treasury Dept.

    ATF Online - About ATF - History