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Thread: short barreled rifle legality questions

  1. #81
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    All of this makes the Tavor seem to be a bargain!

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  2. #82
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    exactly.. 'opinion letters' are as solid as toilet paper. they can go bad before you know it.
    You're 100% correct. A written response on ATF's letterhead though could save your donkey when shown to a jury with the writer of the letter in the witness stand. After all according to Comey, "there was no criminal intent".

  3. #83
    Boolit Master


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    For sure, if i had an opinion letter that said something was legal, then 10ys later ATF changed their minds, and I was unaware of the change, and for some reason was hauled in, I'd for sure think that the letter at least would show no intent to commit a crime. It might be a paper towel in a down pour, but its better than nothing.

  4. #84
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    I agree. If you were commiting a crime with that gun good luck but if you were hauled into court just because the law changed and you didn't know it I doubt theres a judge around that's going to put you in jail or even a federal prosecutor that's going to waste his time or the goverments money prosecuting you if you have a letter right from the batf saying it was legal when you bought it. I just built my at pistol. It will have a sig brace and eventually a binary trigger. I laminated the pistol registration and will do the same with the batf letters saying the brace and trigger are legal. Bottom line is I live in a very rural area and if I'm just at the range shooting and the cops pay me a visit there not going to hastle me one bit and would believe my word on it and surely would believe any letter I show them. When I had my bump fire stock I was at the range shooting one day and some yuppie transplant from lower Michigan called the cops and said someone had a full auto weapon. The sherrifs dept showed up and I showed it to him and he started shooting it himself and called the sheriff and the sheriff and two more deputys came over to the range because they wanted to shoot it too. Only down side was they ran about 500 rounds of my ammo that I had to load back up. They had a ball though. As a matter of fact the undersheriff went out and bought one himself. I don't live in CA, NY or Chicago and if I did id surely not have the same attitude but then id have moved years ago anyway. Bottom line too is that if the batf decided they didn't like then anymore what would probably happen is they would ban future sales of them or grandfather them in and allow you to register them like they did with auto sears. If they do that ill pay the tax stamp and slap a an adjustable stock on it and will be at the same place I would have been if it wasn't legal now anyway with a sbr.
    Last edited by Lloyd Smale; 01-23-2018 at 09:09 AM.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  5. #85
    Boolit Master ikarus1's Avatar
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    Where and what state are you even allowed to own a handgun with over 15rds and still have to "register" it??

    All I know is in the free states IE South and Midwest, all you need to do is buy a stripped lower and a pistol LPK, put it together along with whatever length upper you want.
    Slap an SB Tactical brace on it and call it a day. ATF has even reversed that you can "shoulder" it like an SBR. Would like to see the NFA done away with soon.

  6. #86
    Boolit Master ikarus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    I thought it was legal to convert an AR that's registered as a handgun back to a rifle but not a rifle into a handgun.
    yep. perfectly legal. That's one reason why it used to be better to "buy" or build 'pistol marked' lowers even if you were gonna eventually build a rifle.

  7. #87
    Boolit Master






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    Son in law was over last night and he was checking out the AR rifle I put together last month and he said he wanted to get his first AR. I told him the same thing. Buy the lower and register it as a handgun and that way if you ever want to go the pistol route you can legally convert it. Only problem with this shuffle is I can about bet he will be over bumming ammo and loading 556 isn't the same as loading pistol ammo with cast bullets that are free.
    Quote Originally Posted by ikarus1 View Post
    yep. perfectly legal. That's one reason why it used to be better to "buy" or build 'pistol marked' lowers even if you were gonna eventually build a rifle.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  8. #88
    Boolit Master Electric88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    Son in law was over last night and he was checking out the AR rifle I put together last month and he said he wanted to get his first AR. I told him the same thing. Buy the lower and register it as a handgun and that way if you ever want to go the pistol route you can legally convert it. Only problem with this shuffle is I can about bet he will be over bumming ammo and loading 556 isn't the same as loading pistol ammo with cast bullets that are free.
    Yup. I've found the most expensive part of owning an AR isn't the cost of the rifle, but the cost to feed the beast. Even reloading, it gets expensive. Once you add in someone else using your ammo, you might as well buy the components by the pallet lol

  9. #89
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    I don't post much here but from one who has had 27 years in LE will offer the following. I see this kind of question appear on various gun forums from time to time and the only sensible answer is to write a letter to the ATF explaining in detail what you want to do. Then you will not only get the right answer but will have a hard copy if there is ever a question. Do the same with your states Attorney General.

    This idea of "I think, You should be OK, my sister's husband's nephew said, an FFL holder told me that, or I know some one who did this, doesn't mean squat. Go to the source.

    If there is ever a question, guess who is going to be in the chair trying to explain to twelve people or a judge why you did what you did while all the time you are losing your happy home just defending yourself. Any of the great advisors going to be there backing you up? Nope, Just you.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Dupraz View Post
    I don't post much here but from one who has had 27 years in LE will offer the following. I see this kind of question appear on various gun forums from time to time and the only sensible answer is to write a letter to the ATF explaining in detail what you want to do. Then you will not only get the right answer but will have a hard copy if there is ever a question. Do the same with your states Attorney General.

    This idea of "I think, You should be OK, my sister's husband's nephew said, an FFL holder told me that, or I know some one who did this, doesn't mean squat. Go to the source.

    If there is ever a question, guess who is going to be in the chair trying to explain to twelve people or a judge why you did what you did while all the time you are losing your happy home just defending yourself. Any of the great advisors going to be there backing you up? Nope, Just you.
    Half the time, ATF has already answered the questions repeatedly on their website.

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  11. #91
    Boolit Master


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    Agreed, check their faq/ question answer page, might find an opinion already printed.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artful View Post
    Now go ask your attorney if this applies to state laws - especially states that restrict SBR possession.
    It’s irrelevant in states that restrict SBR possession because you can’t put the short upper on them in the first place. The whole discussion is irrelevant in states that restrict SBR possession. And if I should put a 20” on my SBR lower and get pulled over with it in Ohio, how would an officer ever know it was ever an SBR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    Son in law was over last night and he was checking out the AR rifle I put together last month and he said he wanted to get his first AR. I told him the same thing. Buy the lower and register it as a handgun and that way if you ever want to go the pistol route you can legally convert it. Only problem with this shuffle is I can about bet he will be over bumming ammo and loading 556 isn't the same as loading pistol ammo with cast bullets that are free.
    You’ve mentioned “registering it as a pistol” a couple of times. Does Michigan require you to register handguns with the state?
    Last edited by Elkins45; 01-24-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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  13. #93
    Boolit Master ikarus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    Son in law was over last night and he was checking out the AR rifle I put together last month and he said he wanted to get his first AR. I told him the same thing. Buy the lower and register it as a handgun and that way if you ever want to go the pistol route you can legally convert it. Only problem with this shuffle is I can about bet he will be over bumming ammo and loading 556 isn't the same as loading pistol ammo with cast bullets that are free.
    Do you have to register your guns in Michigan? Or are you talking about filling out the 4473? Because you FFL dealer will do that for you, and a stripped lower is a "firearm" neither rifle or pistol. What makes it either one is the configuration. So the onus is on you. If it was a pistol before it was a rifle, you would have to "prove" somehow that it was should you ever raise the ire of the ATF. Which means you're already effed anyhow...so caveat emptor.

    However if you buy the lower with a rifle buffer tube, that would be considered a rifle. If you buy one with a pistol buffer installed, it would be a handgun. If you wanted to be more safe (lmao) then buy it with a pistol buffer tube attached. Then it would be on file as a pistol at your FFL.

    Registration of firearms is against federal law BTW. There is no gun registry maintained on the Federal level (at least on the surface).

  14. #94
    Boolit Master






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    they don't call it handgun registration. But a pig by any other name is still a pig. you fill out a form with 4 copies. One goes with you, one stays with the seller, one goes to the local sherrifs dept and one to the state. they call it an inspection. But that said you used to have to bring the gun into the sheriffs dept to have it physically inspected. Now the gun shop can do it. Funny thing is if I have a ccw it doesn't need an "inspection" but I still have to fill the card out and mail copies to the sheriff and state. You have to mark other on the batf form and then send in a form to the state saying its a handgun. I guess that way you do have proof it was first intended to be a handgun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elkins45 View Post
    It’s irrelevant in states that restrict SBR possession because you can’t put the short upper on them in the first place. The whole discussion is irrelevant in states that restrict SBR possession. And if I should put a 20” on my SBR lower and get pulled over with it in Ohio, how would an officer ever know it was ever an SBR?



    You’ve mentioned “registering it as a pistol” a couple of times. Does Michigan require you to register handguns with the state?
    Last edited by Lloyd Smale; 01-25-2018 at 08:54 AM.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  15. #95
    Boolit Mold bad311's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electric88 View Post
    When I discussed this with a dealer who had experience with SBRs and other NFA type things, he had told me that when you buy an AR lower you can register it as a pistol, then convert to SBR or full rifle at your leisure. The only thing he indicated you could not do was register it as a pistol once it had been been registered as either an SBR or rifle. Take that with a grain of salt, as that was a dealer speaking and not someone from the ATF or whatnot.

    Regarding the possession of an upper, I've not heard of the ATF going after people for having uppers sitting around. Technically I suppose they could view it as "intent" to have all of it, but as long as you aren't joining the lower and upper, it would be hard to prove that you would. I've had full rifles sitting in the cabinet beside a short upper, but I also had a pistol brace on order. Again, take it with a grain of salt, but as long as you aren't broadcasting you have everything to make an SBR and aren't putting them together and shooting, you should be fine.
    That's correct

  16. #96
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Last edited by Artful; 02-15-2018 at 10:43 PM.
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  17. #97
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkins45 View Post
    It’s irrelevant in states that restrict SBR possession because you can’t put the short upper on them in the first place. The whole discussion is irrelevant in states that restrict SBR possession. And if I should put a 20” on my SBR lower and get pulled over with it in Ohio, how would an officer ever know it was ever an SBR?



    You’ve mentioned “registering it as a pistol” a couple of times. Does Michigan require you to register handguns with the state?
    Per ATF, if it's not in SBR configuration, it's not an SBR and not subject to SBR restrictions. If I slap a 16" barreled upper on my AR I can take it wherever. I only need to file 5320.20's if I want to take it out of state in SBR configuration or assemble the SBR configuration in any state except my state of residence.

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  18. #98
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    yup I agree. I have a ton of 5.56 ammo but it even bothers me to shoot it. I can shoot my 9mm ar15 5 or 6 times for the cost of one reloaded 5.56. I think my next investment is going to be a 9mm ar15 pistol. that would be the one to put a binary trigger on and shoot the snot out of. I can load 9s for the cost of 4 grains of powder and a primer. Brass is about free and my lead is free to make bullets. my 9mm ar15 is one of the most fun guns I own but a little short barreled one would be even more fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Electric88 View Post
    Yup. I've found the most expensive part of owning an AR isn't the cost of the rifle, but the cost to feed the beast. Even reloading, it gets expensive. Once you add in someone else using your ammo, you might as well buy the components by the pallet lol
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  19. #99
    Boolit Master






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    Regarding the possession of an upper, I've not heard of the ATF going after people for having uppers sitting around. Technically I suppose they could view it as "intent" to have all of it, but as long as you aren't joining the lower and upper, it would be hard to prove that you would. I've had full rifles sitting in the cabinet beside a short upper, but I also had a pistol brace on order. Again, take it with a grain of salt, but as long as you aren't broadcasting you have everything to make an SBR and aren't putting them together and shooting, you should be fine.
    Yup the batf doesn't come crashing into your home unless your suspected of commiting a crime. Now if you shoot someone or kidnap someone and they come into your home they may use anything they can to prosecute you even "intent" But I'm more worried about the sky falling then I am them mobilizing a team to come busting into my home because I have a AR pistol and might have a but stock out in the barn.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  20. #100
    Boolit Master
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    I did a trade for a FAl short barrel. I have no upper for it. Am I illegal for having it? I may build it or it may sit for 20 years.

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