Rifle/Pistol...requirements.

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by 70cuda383, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. 70cuda383

    70cuda383 New Member

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    not sure if this is the right place, but I assume someone will see it here and know the answer for me.

    I've always been a bit fuzzy on the rules between a rifle and a pistol, meaning, in the eyes of the law, what's the difference, and what's legal?

    for example, lets say you have an AR-15 platform. the lower is marked in a rifle caliber, ".223 / 5.56" an 18 year old can buy it because it's a rifle. but because it's a rifle, it cannot have a barrel shorter than 16" and the overall length has to be 26" correct?

    now, I see 14" and shorter AR barrels, and I've heard about "Short Barreled Rifles" which are only available to LEO/Military -- if you get a class 3 stamp, I assume you can buy one as a civilian?

    but, I've heard about pistol ARs Is it possible to get an AR lower recieiver that's a "pistol" in the eyes of the law, you have to be 21 to buy it, and then you can legally put a 14" barrel onto it?

    As far as the law goes, what makes a "pistol" with a 6" barrel ok, but a "rifle" with a 10" barrel illegal? is it the caliber? does the federal law recognize certain calibers as being rifle only or pistol only? how does that work with say, a .22? or a 9mm carbine?
     
  2. elfmdl

    elfmdl New Member

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    I'm pretty sure that a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches cannot have a stock attached to it. It is then sold as a handgun, and you must be 21 to buy it. Attach any type of stock to it and it becomes an SBR
     

  3. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Elf is correct.

    Minimum rifle barrel length is 16 inches

    Pistols have no minimum barrel length but also can not have a but stock. Adding a stock to an AR PISTOL would create an illegal SBR.

    Lower receivers are identified as pistol or rifle in the manufacturing process and should not be interchanged.

    Similar rules apply to single shots like my Thompson Contender.

    I could buy a 10" barrel and slap it on in a matter of minutes...I'd also be in felony possession of an illegal SBR...:eek:

    I've wondered if I could do this AND replace the but stock with a pistol grip?

    My LGS advised against it as the receiver was sold as a rifle. I see no markings to indicate such but I'd also be surprised if the manufactures records did not denote pistol or rifle as corrolated to my serial number...

    ...and I don't need a single shot pistol bad enough to find out.

    Tack
     
  4. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Cuda,

    Tackleberry is correct.
    Just reconfirming!

    In order to be legal an AR-15 Rifle must have a 16" Barrel on it unless you have applied and recieved the Federal Tax Stamp to make the rifle an SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) Once it is registered as a SBR for all purposes that receiver will always be an SBR from that point on.
    If the person has a 14" Barrel and has a flash hider pined and brazed on the barrel making it a total of 16" it is classified as a 16" Barrel and needs no Federal Stamp.
    For practical purposes if it is an AR-15 Pistol (Marked) it is always a Pistol and should not be swithced with other uppers or lowers. In addition as Tack mentioned you can not put a stock on the Pistol Receiver or put a Verticle Grip on it should it have a quadrail. Both are violations of Federal Law. 10 Years Federal Time Plus a major fine!
    In most states a person must be 21 to purchase a pistol and 18 to buy a rifle.

    03
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    There IS one exception in the long barrel/ short barrel- after a court case, the BATFE has grudgingly made an exception of at least ONE model of the TC pistol/ carbine, that CAN have a buttstock and a 16" bbl, have the stock removed, replaced with a handgrip, shorter barrel, and later return to long barrel/ buttstock.

    See page 2. Does NOT mean that you can put a buttstock on a T/C with a barrel under 16".

    http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulings/rulings/atf-rulings/atf-ruling-2011-4.pdf
     
  6. 70cuda383

    70cuda383 New Member

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    Thanks. That clears up some of the confusion I had on barrel lengths, but what about overall lengths now?

    can you have a 16" barrel on a rifle with a stock that fully collapses down so that the overall length is only say, 20? or do rifles have to be at least 26? overall? --in the eyes of the fed. IF the feds don't care about overall length, then does that become a state issue where states like Arizona do not care at all, and states like California want all kinds of stickers all over claiming death to lab rats from cancer and birth defects, and...
     
  7. NitroxAZ

    NitroxAZ New Member

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    Could someone clarify just a bit further. If I buy a stripped lower that has never been part of a build, can that be built as an AR pistol or does it need a special marking first?
     
  8. 70cuda383

    70cuda383 New Member

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    Ive always understood that "pistol ARs" were identified as such by the serial number from the time they are stamped.

    otherwise you could buy a stripped lower as an 18 year old, then build it into a pistol, when you can't buy a pistol till you're 21
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    If the overall length is under 26" and it has a shoulder stock it is an SBR and requires a tax stamp. It is possible a State has no law prohibiting a particular firearm , but Federal law is supreme. The State cannot legalize what the Feds declared illegal. You may not face charges in State court, but you would be subject to Federal law.

    All gun makers are Federally licensed and as such must report manufacturing records to the Feds. They also pay Federal excise tax on firearms and pass the tax on to you the consumer as a part of the price. Every gun is "registered" with the Feds as a pistol, rifle shotgun or AOW (Any Other Weapon). The serial numbered receiver IS the firearm so, yes a stripped receiver that has never been assembled into a complete firearm is declared as a pistol or rifle at manufacture. So one must know the declaration of a stripped lower before assembling into a complete gun.
     
  10. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    An 18 yr old cannot buy a stripped 100% receiver from a dealer. Fed law says he may buy a rifle or a shotgun. A stripped 100% receiver is not a rifle or shotgun- it is an "Other". To buy an "Other", you must be 21.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  11. mymaro

    mymaro New Member

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    So i got some questions on this also in the future i would like to make one of my stipped lowers into a 7-14" barreled ar without a stock what is my process for this legally?
     
  12. 7X57Mauser

    7X57Mauser New Member

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    To do so legally you must register it as an SBR. If the receiver was manufactured for a rifle, it is always a rifle. You can put a 10" barrel on it, and remove the stock, but once the barrel length gets below 16"...you're a felon.
     
  13. mymaro

    mymaro New Member

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    So i can put a 10" on as long as i take the stock off? I dont have to register it as a pistol? Then can i put a stock on after i pay $200 sbr tax?
     
  14. 7X57Mauser

    7X57Mauser New Member

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    If the lower was made and purchased as a pistol lower, then yes.
     
  15. mymaro

    mymaro New Member

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    How do you know its pistol or not? Does it have to specify on the lower? So at this time i just have to go straight to sbr?
     
  16. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Sweeeeeet!

    So to confirm I read that correctly. It is legal for me to buy a pistol grip and pistol barrel, convert my TC rifle to a pistol, and convert it back into a rifle at my discretion...

    ...and as long as it's never configured with the shoulder stock affixed and a barrel under 16"... It's good to go... Right?

    Tack