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Old June 15, 2012, 10:43 AM   #1
Brian Pfleuger
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ATF Backs Off on "Constructive Possesion" Nonsense

Ok, I might be the only gun owner who didn't hear about this ( I doubt it), but in July of last year ATF posted an explanation of their policies regarding assembling and reassembling of firearms such as AR-15s and TC Encore/Contenders between handgun and rifle configurations.

It has always been an understanding that, essentially, "once a rifle always a rifle" and converting a rifle (even if it started life as a handgun!) into a handgun amounted to creating a regulated, illegal "Short Barreled Rifle".

This is no longer the case...

http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulin...ing-2011-4.pdf


Much thanks to rjrivero for originally posting this link!
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Old June 15, 2012, 11:22 AM   #2
aarondhgraham
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Wow, that is some word-heavy gobbeldygook,,,

Basically what I get out of this,,,
Is that my Beretta NEOS Carbine kit is legal,,,
As long as I disassemble and reassemble in a certain order.

If I were to inadvertently place the pistol barrel on the receiver before I removed the rifle stock I momentarily have made a Short Barreled Rifle.

So the order of assembly I use is always:
1) Remove the carbine/pistol stock and barrel from the receiver.
2) Attach the barrel you want to use for this occasion.
3) Attach the appropriate stock to the receiver.

But I also went a bit farther,,,
I bought an extra NEOS pistol and sold the barrel,,,
I assembled the carbine on that receiver and will never change it back.

I forget the number of the ATF ruling that makes my NEOS Carbine Kit legal,,,
But I do have a laminated printout of it packed in the case I keep my NEOS components in.

Aarond

.
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Old June 15, 2012, 01:45 PM   #3
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Deleted -- I misread the first post.
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Old June 15, 2012, 03:20 PM   #4
Fishing_Cabin
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Perhaps I missed it reading the notice, but it seems to only apply to pistols converted to rifles, then returned to a pistol config, and also "kits" that are sold.

Quote:
Specifically, ATF has been asked to determine whether such a pistol, once returned to a pistol configuration from a rifle, becomes a “weapon made from a rifle” as defined under the National Firearms Act (NFA).
On paragraph 2, page 2,
Quote:
The term “rifle” is defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(c) and 27 CFR 479.11 as “a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge.”
They go on to discuss in paragraph 4, page 3,
Quote:
Nonetheless, if a handgun or other weapon with an overall length of less than 26 inches, or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length is assembled or otherwise produced from a weapon originally assembled or produced only as a rifle, such a weapon is a “weapon made from a rifle” as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(4). Such a weapon would not be a “pistol” because the weapon was not originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile by one hand.
Next to last paragraph, page 4.

Quote:
Held further, a firearm, as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(4), is made when a handgun or other weapon with an overall length of less than 26 inches, or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length, is assembled or produced from a weapon originally assembled or produced only as a rifle. Such weapons must be registered and are subject to all requirements of the NFA.

ATF definitions.
Quote:
§ 5845 Definitions.
For the purpose of this chapter-
(a) Firearm. The term 'firearm' means (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in
length; (2) 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; (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of
less than 16 inches in length; (4) 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;
My take on it is that its legal to covert a pistol to a rifle and back to a pistol. It is still illegal to convert a factory rifle in to a pistol except by way of the NFA system, and registering it as a SBR. So the "once a rifle, always a rifle" is only half true in that if its a factory built rifle, its always a rifle it seems.

Enjoy your day.

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; June 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old June 15, 2012, 05:35 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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That's true but the ATF used to contend that if you built your Encore into a rifle, starting with a pistol, it was now and forever legally a rifle and could not be converted back to a pistol without a tax stamp.

That notice is the first time they have ever acknowledged otherwise.
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Old June 16, 2012, 11:04 AM   #6
Jim March
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Well they were first forced to recognize this in a court action involving the Thompson single-shots, but have now applied it to all handguns that have been up-converted (fully and legally) to rifle status.

They now realize you can go back to handgun as long as you go all the way into a legal handgun setup (mainly no "long stock, short barrel" setups, and no leaving a forward pistol grip on a handgun).
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Old June 18, 2012, 01:28 AM   #7
44 AMP
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While its nice to have a ruling, and have this all cleared up.....

One cannot help but wonder how long it will be before they change their minds AGAIN!
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Old June 18, 2012, 02:25 AM   #8
Jim March
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One obvious note: if you sell such a gun, convert it back to handgun first. You can supply the rifle conversion parts, but you need to sell it as a handgun otherwise the new owner can't ever convert it back to handgun.

No rifle you buy can be legally converted to handgun without that ugly NFA/SBR paperwork.
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Old June 18, 2012, 09:34 AM   #9
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What amazing stupidity. Like the ruling, but it should have never been needed in the first place.
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Old June 18, 2012, 10:45 AM   #10
Fishing_Cabin
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Good point Jim,

One concern I do have, is for those that dont completely read this law, they may think if I can convert a pistol type ar-15 to a rifle, why cant I do the opposite, as in take a factory ar-15 rifle, and convert to a pistol? This may lead to someone creating an unregistered SBR.

I think this may also become an issue that it is ripe for a challenge in court at some point. Since you can take, say a Remington xp100, Ruger Charger, Factory pistol ar-15, etc, and convert it to a rifle, and then return it to a pistol, the fact that the same receivers built into a factory rifle cannot be changed legally, except to convert to SBR. It kind of makes it unequal and out of balance, at least to me.

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; June 18, 2012 at 12:31 PM.
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Old June 18, 2012, 02:13 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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I'm no lawyer but I still see some vague concepts in there...

It talks about handguns "produced from a weapon originally assembled or produced only as a rifle".

The way I read that, it would mean something like a Remington 700, a weapon with no pistol variant, not an AR-15, which is not "produced only as a rifle".

Not likely their intent, but that's the way I'd see it.
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Old June 19, 2012, 07:30 PM   #12
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While its nice to have a ruling, and have this all cleared up.....

One cannot help but wonder how long it will be before they change their minds AGAIN!
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