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Old August 22, 2016, 04:15 PM   #1
rickyrick
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Ok, pistol AR Question again... Barrel possession.

Ok in looking at building a 300bo pistol to go with my 5.56mm

I was just gonna use my existing pistol lower and build another upper.

Found the barrel I wanted but wit this disclaimer:

Quote:
All NFA/ATF Rules Apply
You may use this barrel with a lower receiver that is a Registered SBR, Machine Gun, or Pistol. Possession of this barrel along with a Non-NFA lower receiver is Prohibited, except when installed on a Pistol configuration firearm.
As it doesn't specifically say you can posses a barrel with a pistol lower, now I'm wondering if I should have a spare pistol upper and one pistol lower.
I don't have a registered SBR.

Can you have one pistol lower and multiple spare uppers?
I know if you have a SBR registered lower, you can have uppers around.
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Old August 22, 2016, 05:20 PM   #2
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Possession of a short barrel without a viable lower can be construed as intent to assemble an unregistered NFA item.

The fact you have a viable lower on hand is good enough, as you point to the lower and say "that spare upper is for my pistol, and is not for my rifle"
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Old August 22, 2016, 05:32 PM   #3
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That's what I thought, but the mfg's disclaimer wording threw me.
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Old August 22, 2016, 05:39 PM   #4
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Absolutely good to go.

If you have a lawful gun that barrel could be used with...G2G
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Old August 22, 2016, 05:57 PM   #5
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As long as you have a pistol configured lower or registered sbr, you should be good. Basically, as long as there is no reasonable suspicion that you are making unregistered SBRs, it's good. If you kept 3 sets of rifle lowers and pistol uppers in your main home, and a pistol lower at the cabin, people would probably make assumptions!
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Old August 23, 2016, 05:53 PM   #6
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I know ATFE has issued rulings/opinions and I know everyone tries to follow them as we are law abiding, but has anyone ever been charged for having a pistol upper with no pistol lower when it was not installed?

Since lowers are pistols as long as you first configure as pistol, arguably, what if you have the parts on hand to reconfigure to pistol?

What a bunch of non-sense.
I keep a pistol lower handy just to be safe.
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Old August 23, 2016, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Since lowers are pistols as long as you first configure as pistol, arguably, what if you have the parts on hand to reconfigure to pistol?
Since that would allow you to put a LEGAL gun together, i think you would be safe.
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Old August 23, 2016, 06:45 PM   #8
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By the time an officer is legally going through your gun safe, I figure that your situation is more serious than a pistol barrel laying around with a pistol lower.
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Old August 23, 2016, 10:43 PM   #9
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You're fine.

That disclaimer is just a poorly-worded CYA for the merchant.


Quote:
By the time an officer is legally going through your gun safe, I figure that your situation is more serious than a pistol barrel laying around with a pistol lower.
That's a good point.

I do keep a "spare" pistol lower around (it's a piece of garbage, but still legally a "pistol").
But... if it comes to the point that, for whatever reason, LEOs are going through my house and gun safes... I'm beyond the point of "but I have a pistol lower!"
And, more than likely, if it's firearms violations that they're looking for*, there will have been an ATF agent (or three) called in from one of the regional offices (Salt Lake City or Boise, in my case).


*(No violations here. So it would have to be a pretty ridiculous excuse for the warrant, or a complete mental lapse on my part.)
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Old August 24, 2016, 02:34 AM   #10
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This was decided in the 1992 Supreme Court Case United States v. Thompson-Center Arms and further clarified in ATF Ruling 2011-4.

The mere possession of the parts required to make an illegal SBR isn't by itself enough to break the law, those parts need to be in "close proximity" to each other and you must have "no useful purpose" for having those parts.

So even if you have a short barreled upper and a rifle-configured lower and you don't possess a pistol-configured lower or an SBR lower (both of which would give you a "useful purpose" for having the short barrel), simply having those parts isn't enough to be illegal according to the Supreme Court; those parts required to make an illegal SBR must be in "close proximity" to each other. Now, what does "close proximity" mean exactly? I have no idea. I once presented that question to an ATF agent and he told me to ask a lawyer.
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Old August 24, 2016, 01:57 PM   #11
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Well I ordered it. 10" .300blk Ballistic Advantage.

Gawd, I hate hand guard/tube shopping. The only part about AR shopping that I actually hate is trying to find something to cover the barrel with. Almost snagged a complete upper from PSA, but i dilly-dallied around to long.

Last edited by rickyrick; August 24, 2016 at 05:25 PM.
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Old August 24, 2016, 08:20 PM   #12
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All the lowers I purchased for assembly were listed as "other". If you purchased a lower so listed, you're OK.
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Old August 25, 2016, 03:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobuck
All the lowers I purchased for assembly were listed as "other". If you purchased a lower so listed, you're OK.
There's no other way to purchase a new lower receiver. All new lower receivers (even ones that come with a stock attached) are sold on the 4473 as "Other Firearm" on question 18 and then "receiver" goes in box 29. This was explained in an open letter to all FFLs back in 2009.

So a lower receiver that has never been made into a rifle -- even if it came with a stock on it -- can either be made into a rifle or a pistol. Just keep in mind that if you make it into a rifle first, it can never go back to being a pistol, whereas if you build it as a pistol first it can go back and forth between being a pistol or a rifle.

I suppose this means that all you have to do is put the stock on last when you're building it and that means it was a pistol first. Though maybe a lawyer would argue that it's all about intent and whether the stock was in "close proximity" at the time (but I'm not a lawyer so that's just a guess). And it seems like it would be pretty hard for the authorities to ever determine whether you made your build into a pistol or rifle first anyway...
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Old August 25, 2016, 06:46 AM   #14
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OK, since we are on this topic and this relates to the OP’s question.
Say your intent is to build a rifle with a 14.5 barrel.
The intent is to pin and weld muzzle device to the 14.5 barrel that extends it total barrel length out to a legal 16.0
The intent is to build a rifle not a pistol
Where would that leave you?
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Old August 25, 2016, 07:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Now, what does "close proximity" mean exactly?
In some ways, effectively I think this goes back to the 'If LEOs are already looking through my safe' idea.
I think the reality of this ruling is to address a situation where an upper and lower are broken down in your car such as in the nice case posted in another thread a few days ago. You can't have a pistol upper and rifle lower in your car, your closet, or anywhere else where the two are readily available for use without a rifle lower and 'claim I didn't have the upper installed' defense.
Will LEOs charge under other circumstances? Best not to chance it unless you want o be the hero in the midst of a test case.


Quote:
Say your intent is to build a rifle with a 14.5 barrel.
How long have you had the upper without following through on the build? Is your browser cache full of cookies from pages discussing the method, ofeering the other parts, or advertising the gunsmithing service? Of course, you might be charged before you can present that evidence.
If you have had the upper for 5 years, have no record of having looked at any of those things recently, probably not on good legal ground. It is up to the jury, but i am eligible to be on that jury you are in my district court. Of course, I would choose to nullify the law.
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Old August 25, 2016, 07:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
There's no other way to purchase a new lower receiver.
No way to do it correctly. I think someone posted here a few months ago they had one transferred as pistol. When I was looking for lowers a few months ago not all the FFLs I spoke with seemed to understand the issue. If buying a lower I suggest one confirms how they are transferring before buying.
Also, I'm not sure the switching back and forth bit is 100% solid. The court case was for TC contender carbines. The letters from ATFE are specific to the person querying and all their specific circumstances. I am unaware of any clear universal statement from ATFE on the issue. Pretty solid, but I wouldn't go to 100%, especially if the political climate worsens.
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Old August 25, 2016, 12:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theohazard
There's no other way to purchase a new lower receiver.
No way to do it correctly. I think someone posted here a few months ago they had one transferred as pistol.
Yeah, there are tons of ways to do it wrong. But there's no other way to do it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
Also, I'm not sure the switching back and forth bit is 100% solid.
Not being a lawyer, I don't know about the 100% part, but ATF Ruling 2011-4 (linked above) was based off a 1992 Supreme Court decision, and that ruling says it's OK to build a pistol into a rifle and back again but you can't do that with a rifle. Here's a gun lawyer blog on the subject:

https://blog.princelaw.com/2011/08/0...k-to-a-pistol/

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
The letters from ATFE are specific to the person querying and all their specific circumstances.
Not in this case. ATF Ruling 2011-4 is not specific to one person or to one situation, it's an overall ruling that applies to the ATF's enforcement as a whole. You're thinking of a situation where the ATF sends a letter that's addressing the situation of one specific questioner, but that's not the case with Ruling 2011-4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwilliamson062
I am unaware of any clear universal statement from ATFE on the issue.
That's what 2011-4 was: A clear, universal statement explaining when it's OK to reconfigure a firearm between being a pistol and a rifle, and also explaining when those parts constitute an illegal SBR.
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Old August 25, 2016, 02:09 PM   #18
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Having built a pistol before, I figured it was Ok. But, in the world of interpretation letters and other unexpected changes, I thought I'd pose the question.
Lots of readers may benefit from this, I stumbled upon AR pistols by accidentally clicking the wrong thread once.
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Old August 25, 2016, 02:13 PM   #19
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I purchased my first new cartridge caliber in a very long time



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Old August 25, 2016, 07:55 PM   #20
johnwilliamson062
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Theo,
That is pretty clear cut in general explanation, although all the specific examples are not ARs. I'll go along with it.
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Old August 25, 2016, 10:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
Now, what does "close proximity" mean exactly?
It means that if one part is at the lake house in Vermont, and the other is in your garage in Georgia, you're pretty safe.

However, if one is in the attic and one in the basement or a shed out back, then a jury might be deciding the issue.

The concept is "constructive possession" and it's more than a little bit vague.

Essentially, if you have enough parts in your possession to construct an illegal device, and you COULD do it, that's enough to get you arrested, and possibly convicted.

A SB upper by itself is just parts. With a legal pistol lower, its a pistol, SB upper with an AR rifle (full gun or just stripped lower, without the SB upper installed) and no legal pistol lower, its constructively a crime.

Or so I've heard.
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Old August 25, 2016, 11:21 PM   #22
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You'll love that 300 BO in pistol--be sure to try some 110 gr Barnes Tac TX FB bullets which are optimized for the 300 BO--they shoot great in my pistol.
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Old August 27, 2016, 10:18 AM   #23
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Just talking about a 300BO pistol got me excited enough to load up a few rounds and take my pistol for a spin this morning. These Barnes bullets are beauties and were born for the AR pistol IMO

I shot em at 71 yds using a conventional red dot. That's further than I'll probably ever get a clear shot in the thick woods of Maine--so I'm pretty satisfied with the results and am confident I can hunt with this rig. I did pull one shot when I let the brace roll a bit on my forearm.
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Old August 27, 2016, 11:10 AM   #24
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I figure this will get me into loading my own, and probably shooting more 5.56 to get the brass.
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Old August 27, 2016, 11:44 AM   #25
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So a lower receiver that has never been made into a rifle -- even if it came with a stock on it -- can either be made into a rifle or a pistol. Just keep in mind that if you make it into a rifle first, it can never go back to being a pistol, whereas if you build it as a pistol first it can go back and forth between being a pistol or a rifle.


When I spoke with Special Agent Brian ****** with the ATF he said that as long as the receiver is not designated rifle on the original forms you can go back and forth from pistol to rifle no problem. As long as you remove but stock prior to installing short barrel. And remove short barrel prior to installing stock when switching back and forth.
I specifically asked him this question when he came to my house for completely non related issues.
On a side note when you buy something anonymous online the can and will still track you down. I know from experience
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