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View Full Version : Why the big deal about pistol stocks?


Dr. Strangelove
June 2, 2009, 05:38 PM
After reading the "Legality of a Removable Rifle Stock on a Pistol?" http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3523311#post3523311 thread, I'm just confused. Why does it make any difference whether or not someone puts a stock on a pistol? It doesn't make it any more powerful or into an automatic weapon, it just makes it..... longer. :confused:

So I could get a pistol with a 24" barrel in a rifle cartridge if I wanted to convince someone to build it, but not a rifle with a 10" barrel in a pistol cartridge? What? What sense does that make?

The Taurus Judge™, is ok as a pistol that fires shotgun rounds, but I couldn't attach a stock to it or have a normal shotgun with the same barrel length as the pistol? Again, what?

This actually is a serious question for you NFA types, why do these laws make sense? What difference does it make how long a barrel is or if I put a stock on something or not? A firearm is a firearm, in my eyes.

Since I'm currently looking for a job anyway, maybe I should go to work for the BATF and get this craziness straightened out!

Hkmp5sd
June 2, 2009, 07:09 PM
Back in the early '30s, there were several gangsters running around with cut down BARs (full auto .30-06) along with Thompson subguns and cut down shotguns and more common rifles. Easy to conceal while robbing banks. The government didn't think they could ban any type of gun, so they decided to tax them. This did two things. One, average citizens couldn't afford NFA guns and had to live without them. Two, BGs didn't register their guns and thus acquired another federal charge when arrested. At the time, they wanted to include all handguns as NFA items, but this was dropped.

At that time, they defined a short barreled rifle as a shoulder fired weapon with an overall length less than <26" or a barrel <16" (I think this was originally 18", but was lowered to 16").

And these many years later, you are still stuck with this definition and prohibited from putting a shoulder stock on a non-NFA registered handgun.

PS. Caliber doesn't matter, just demensions and a shoulder stock. You can already buy AR (.223) and AK (7.62x39) handguns.

Willie Lowman
June 2, 2009, 08:36 PM
This actually is a serious question for you NFA types, why do these laws make sense? What difference does it make how long a barrel is or if I put a stock on something or not? A firearm is a firearm, in my eyes.

Since I'm currently looking for a job anyway, maybe I should go to work for the BATF and get this craziness straightened out!

This is a serious answer to you Dr. Srangelove, they don't make sense. What maters is the ATF says "you can't put a stock on a handgun, have a rifle or shotgun with a short barrel, or have a fullauto without giving us $200 first"

HKmp5SD nailed it with his explanation.

Good luck straightening out the BATF!

Dr. Strangelove
June 3, 2009, 12:00 AM
PS. Caliber doesn't matter, just demensions and a shoulder stock. You can already buy AR (.223) and AK (7.62x39) handguns.

Oh, I know, the XP-100 and TC's have been around for years, more of an exercise in thought. I just don't see why we can't have reasonable laws that make sense.

Another thing that just popped in my mind, since it's a tax stamp, why can't you just buy the stamp, like any other tax? Why does it require the massive paperwork it does? Seems like if it's just a tax stamp, anybody with the money should be able to buy one.

JohnKSa
June 3, 2009, 12:38 AM
Gun control laws often do not make sense. They're about control more than they are about crime.

Webleymkv
June 3, 2009, 01:22 AM
I know that newly made handguns with shoulder stocks are considered SBR's, but what about C&R guns like C96 Mausers, Lugers, and some GP35 Hi-Powers that were originally made with detatchable shoulder stocks (often doubling as holsters)? Are those still subject to NFA rules or are they exempt?

Willie Lowman
June 3, 2009, 10:14 AM
I believe those old guns are exempt but it would be best to get a letter from the ATF tech branch confirming it.

Hkmp5sd
June 3, 2009, 03:52 PM
but what about C&R guns like C96 Mausers, Lugers, and some GP35 Hi-Powers that were originally made with detatchable shoulder stocks

Amazingly, ATF can't make up their mind.

They say that C&R guns with the original shoulder stock are exempt from the NFA.

They then state that a C&R gun with a reproduction stock is also exempt:

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/atf_letter58.txt

Only to turn around and say a Canadian Inglis No.1 Chinese contract Browning Hi Power with a reproduction stock still falls under the NFA.

http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/atf_letter70.txt

Trapp
June 3, 2009, 05:15 PM
Let me cornfuse this some more.

I bought a VQ 10/22 receiver and built a Pistol.

I then put a full stock and a 16" bbl on it.

Then I took the full stock back off and put an 11" bbl back on it.

Perfectly legal

Buy a ruger 10/22 and put an 11" bbl and a buttstockless stock......NFA Violation:confused::rolleyes:;)

Tucker 1371
June 3, 2009, 08:13 PM
Since I'm currently looking for a job anyway, maybe I should go to work for the BATF and get this craziness straightened out!

Please... just remember to bring some wader's and a good shovel cause there's going to be a lot of [stuff] that needs shoveling.

James K
June 3, 2009, 09:31 PM
WRONG, guys, it is not BATFE making those rules, it is another bunch of idiots we call Congress. BATFE enforces the laws and is authorized to make certain regulations, but the business of short barrel rifles and shotguns and making pistols out of rifles is IN THE LAW. If you want to change the law, write to your congressman and senators (lotsa luck!), and stop ranting about BATFE.

Jim

Tucker 1371
June 3, 2009, 11:10 PM
WRONG, guys, it is not BATFE making those rules, it is another bunch of idiots we call Congress.

Shh... Don't you know what a scapegoat is?? :D

And sadly I don't think there is going to be much reasoning or persuading with the aforementioned bunch of morons we call Congress. VOTE THE BUMS OUT!!

johnwilliamson062
June 4, 2009, 07:38 AM
Was it George Nelson who had the FA 1911 with stock and forward vertical grip? I know I saw it in a book I have, but I can not remember who had it.

Willie Lowman
June 4, 2009, 09:19 AM
IIRC George Nelson had two FA 1911s. One in .45 ACP and one in .38 Super. I read that he even had one made for (?)Dillinger(?)

Willie Lowman
June 4, 2009, 09:21 AM
Let me cornfuse this some more.

I bought a VQ 10/22 receiver and built a Pistol.

I then put a full stock and a 16" bbl on it.

Was the receiver registered as a pistol to begin with? If not you were in the wrong from the getgo. If it was, bully for you.

Trapp
June 4, 2009, 12:58 PM
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=22783&d=1171321797

I beg to differ Willie. The only caveat is that it has never been assembled into a rifle prior to bulding the pistol.

Above is a link to a letter from the ATF to me...

aroundlsu
June 4, 2009, 03:06 PM
I bought a VQ 10/22 receiver and built a Pistol.

I then put a full stock and a 16" bbl on it.

Then I took the full stock back off and put an 11" bbl back on it.

Perfectly legal

Once a rifle always a rifle. You can't go from pistol to rifle to pistol. Doesn't work that way. Sure you can get away with it (how would they ever know?) except you are admitting to it in a public forum.

Hkmp5sd
June 4, 2009, 03:25 PM
You can't go from pistol to rifle to pistol. Doesn't work that way.

Yes you can, as long as you start with a pistol. That is the basis of the Thompson Center ruling back in the 90's. There are several conversions currently on the market for the 1911 .45 and the Glock 17. Here's one:

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=453843

Trapp
June 4, 2009, 05:12 PM
I did my research prior to doing this project.

See HKmp5sd's post. I don't have the link handy, but you can research it easily.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 9, 2009, 04:52 PM
If you are waiting for NFA regulations to make sense, you could be waiting awhile.

As far as Thompson Centerfire and the ATF, ATF still regularly issues letters on regulation that would seem to be in conflict with the ruling in that case. For example, they still contend that two SBR uppers, a registered SBR lower and an unregistered 16" complete rifle constitutes an unregistered NFA weapon. That would seem to be in conflict with Thompson Centerfire to me; but the ATF is sticking to that.

Unless you want to be the guy who risks the federal charge and pays the lawyers to appeal it to the Supreme Court, I would pay attention to the written answers the ATF gives and ignore the holding in Thompson Centerfire.

Crosshair
June 9, 2009, 06:36 PM
WRONG, guys, it is not BATFE making those rules, it is another bunch of idiots we call Congress. BATFE enforces the laws and is authorized to make certain regulations, but the business of short barrel rifles and shotguns and making pistols out of rifles is IN THE LAW. If you want to change the law, write to your congressman and senators (lotsa luck!), and stop ranting about BATFE.
No, the ATF makes plenty of rules up on it's own. They don't even have standardized testing procedures.

Some stupid rules made BY THE ATF, not congress.

A suppressor that has the serial numbered outer tube damaged cannot simply have the serial number information transferred to a new tube and the damaged original destroyed. (This is sometimes known as the "Gemtax".)


Suppressor parts are considered suppressors all by themselves and possession of extra suppressor parts is just as severe as having the whole suppressor. Meaning you can't have spare baffles and you can't have replaceable multi-caliber cores.

To put this into context it would be the equivalent of saying that if you are in possession of an M-16 barrel, you are illegally in possession of a machine gun. On everything else, it is the RECEIVER that is the restricted part. I can buy all the demilled Browning 1919 kits I want no problem, but I can't have a spare blast baffle for my TAC-16.


The "Once a machine gun, always a machine gun" rule meaning that guns that can be rendered permanently unable to fire full auto, like M-14s and others, still cannot be sold to civilians. M-16 receivers could be rendered unable to fire full auto as well and sold, but again, the ATF does not allow this even though there is nothing in the law that says they can't.


There are probably others as well.

James K
June 9, 2009, 08:46 PM
Hi, Crosshair,

Your examples are not really valid. The law is clear that an individual suppressor is taxable and must be registered. The individuality is defined by the suppressor having a serial number. If that individual item is destroyed, you can't re-create it (and avoid the tax) simply by putting its number on some other item.

The second example is a BATFE regulation. But IIRC, they don't say you can't have spare parts, they say you can't have more than one body.

Three is definitely in the law and was specifically written into GCA 68 to keep machineguns from being converted to semi-autos or to "non-gun" deactivated trophies. The old law defined a machinegun as a gun "made or remade" to fire full auto; the new law defines it as any gun designed or made as a machinegun. OAMGAAMG is simply a shorthand way of saying that.

FWIW, just about all those rules have been tested in court. BATFE, believe it or not, doesn't just make up rules for fun or to try to trick people. They are required to make rules that conform to both the letter and spirit of the law and neither contradict it nor go beyond it.

Anyone who feels strongly on some of those rules can bring a test case; there is risk, but that is the only way to really test any law or government ruling.

Jim

James K
June 9, 2009, 08:59 PM
I think I will try to deal with the "government should sell M16s and M14s" issue separately here. The army did have a plan to sell M14 rifles modified to semi-auto, through DCM, and even made some up. The government, as the official manufacturer of the rifle, would simply "make" a new semi-auto model, called the M14M. Since it would be a different model, it would not be a machinegun. Treasury went along, and the army even issued a regulation describing the welding process.

Before any sales were made, JFK was assassinated, and the sh*t hit the political fan. The army scrapped plans to sell scope sighted rifles and modified M14s. The truth is that the whole DCM program was in danger, and something had to be sacrificed.

It is absolutely true that the army today could sell M16s and M14s converted to semi-auto through CMP on the same basis. But there is simply no way that could be done in the current political atmosphere. It is not hard to imagine how Feinstein, Kennedy and Obama would greet such a proposal. "Army proposes selling machineguns to terrorists" would be the headlines.

So, yes it could be done, legally. Will it be? Are you kidding?

Jim

Crosshair
June 9, 2009, 11:14 PM
The second example is a BATFE regulation. But IIRC, they don't say you can't have spare parts, they say you can't have more than one body.
No you cannot have spare parts. If I have so much as 1 extra baffle for any of my suppressors, I'm going to jail. If I have a Form 1 can that I am repairing the baffles on. I have to destroy the old baffles first.

If you could have spare parts then you would see multi-bore size cans on the market like we see multi caliber AR-15s.

The Law says this.

(24) The terms “firearm silencer” and “firearm muffler” mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.

The law does not outlaw spare parts or interchangeable cores for the same outer tube, but the ATF does.

Your examples are not really valid. The law is clear that an individual suppressor is taxable and must be registered. The individuality is defined by the suppressor having a serial number. If that individual item is destroyed, you can't re-create it (and avoid the tax) simply by putting its number on some other item.
No the law is not "clear" on this as far as I have read. Please quote the relevant portion of the US code that states this.

I am not even talking about "making" I am talking about repairing. The ATF treats every part of the suppressor as if they were serial numbered items, but allows them to be replaced at will as long as that part is not the outer tube. For some reason they say the outer tube can't be replaced.

So you can swap out the damaged baffle stack of a suppressor as long as you destroy the old baffles, but you can't swap a damaged outer tube no matter what.

RAnb
June 10, 2009, 12:56 PM
I have read ATF letters that prohibit a form 1 maker from replacing any silencer parts other than wipes. The old wipes have to be destroyed first. The only way to replace parts such as baffles, spacers and endcaps on a form 1 can is to send it to a class 2 SOT for replacement of parts.

Ranb

Hkmp5sd
June 10, 2009, 04:09 PM
The individuality is defined by the suppressor having a serial number. If that individual item is destroyed, you can't re-create it (and avoid the tax) simply by putting its number on some other item.

but allows them to be replaced at will as long as that part is not the outer tube. For some reason they say the outer tube can't be replaced.


Most of the time...but never say NEVER. :)

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

19 APR 1999

901040:GS
5320/99-7473


Dear Mr. Bardwell:

This is to clarify the advice contained in our response of January 27, 1999, to your letter of December 26, 1998, regarding the replacement of a broken or defective silencer that had been returned for repair.

You asked if a licensed manufacturer of firearms may lawfully replace a broken or defective silencer, returned to him for repair, with a new silencer with the same serial number as the broken or defective one. You added that the original silencer would be destroyed in the process of replacement.

A complete firearm silencer or muffler is a "firearm" subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA). In addition, certain silencer parts and components also qualify as a "firearm" and are subject to NFA controls. Repair or replacement of silencer components can result in the creation of a new firearm which would be subject to additional registration and transfer tax requirements.

A person who possesses a registered silencer may transfer the silencer for repair on ATF Form 5, tax exempt, to any licensed manufacturer of firearms who has currently paid special (occupational) tax (SOT) as a manufacturer of NFA firearms.

Any such manufacturer may repair or replace unmarked silencer components such as baffles, wipes, end caps, or specially made packing material. If such components are replaced on an exchange basis and the original components are destroyed, there is no registration of a new firearm required and the silencer may be returned on Form 5, tax exempt.

If the manufacturer did not originally make the silencer and must replace components bearing required markings, such as the outer tube, the new replacement components would then require registration as a new firearm and would be subject to marking requirements under 27 CFR section 179.102. Return of the new components would incur applicable transfer tax.

If the original defective components were not destroyed and were returned to the customer in addition to replacement components, the replacement components would also require registration as a new firearm and could be subject to transfer tax.

A silencer which is unusable due to a manufacturer's defect, may be replaced without incurring transfer tax, only if the silencer is returned to the original manufacturer for repair and the original manufacturer is licensed as a manufacturer of firearms and has currently paid SOT as a manufacturer of firearms. The original manufacturer may them mark the replacement with the same serial number used on the defective silencer and then return the replacement silencer on ATF Form 5 without incurring transfer tax. The original defective silencer components must be destroyed.

We apologize for the inconvenience and trust that this clarifies the matter. Should any additional information be needed, please contact Gary Schiable at (202) 927-8330.


Sincerely yours,
[signed]
Kent M. Cousins
Chief, National Firearms Act Branch



http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist/atf_letter54.txt