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Old March 18, 2017, 06:57 PM   #26
random guy
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IMO, "redesigns" is a poor way to phrase the problem. What shouldering such a pistol does is potentially show intent to build a de facto short barreled rifle.

In this case, maybe use redefines the firearm. It's not a good way to define things for legal purposes but this is an odd case. We are adding a part to the butt of a "pistol" which actually forms a pretty fair buttstock, while making the specific claim that it is not a buttstock.
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Old March 19, 2017, 10:43 PM   #27
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It's definitely a frustrating interpretation from the ATF. The mystical non-SBR, until it's an SBR, but then maybe-not-again-SBR...
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Old March 19, 2017, 11:40 PM   #28
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I think the best response to the situation is to mind your own business and not concern yourself with other's life decisions that do not affect you.
Bingo!!!! Best advice of this thread!!!
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Old March 20, 2017, 01:00 AM   #29
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Technically, just minding one's own business can be a felony. Knowing of a felonious act and not reporting it is itself a felony, ("misprision of a felony") though violations are hard to prove and prosecutions are not common.

The whole law is essentially stupid and the ATF has to try to enforce it as best they can because they took an oath to do so. And smart people keep trying to invent absolutely useless things that will "almost but not quite" violate the law - for no reason other than to be able to say they are almost but not quite violating the law.

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Old March 20, 2017, 08:46 AM   #30
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I checled several states and in each one, misprision of a felony was a misdemeanor.
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Old March 20, 2017, 04:47 PM   #31
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Are you sure the guy wasn't messing with you? He knew enough to sound like he may have been messing with you.
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Old March 20, 2017, 08:06 PM   #32
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Yup

Some of us enjoy "yanking the chain" of people who don't mind their own business.

I think Tony got it right.
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Old March 21, 2017, 05:18 AM   #33
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The owner said that the guns were pistols.

He was either wrong and committing a felony or he was right and on solid legal ground. Doesn't sound like he was playing games though.

Unless they were stamped SBRs and he was denying it to cause alarm.
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Old March 21, 2017, 06:41 AM   #34
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misprison--I learned a new word--thanks for that! : )

I used to shoot a lot in TN wildlife area ranges--while they may not have a range officer present, they ALL have a state ranger assigned to oversight of the district If you really had any questions--you shoulda called them if you felt the law was being broken and it really bothered you that much. Somebody once called and reported my rear-end while I was firing my 44 mag blackhawk in the pistol pit at 25 yds, and I hoisted my rifle to look at the target through my scope at the target--next thing you know a ranger showed up ready to cite me and fine me for firing a rifle in a pistol-only pit.

There is so much buffoonery that goes on at these unsupervised ranges that I've learned from experience to keep my nose out of everyone's business UNLESS someone stupidly does something that endangers themselves or others with getting shot--then I'd jump on em without hesitation (and I'm a small wimpy guy). Your choice--but I go with the mind-your-own-business crowd unless you are absolutely sure you want to get into the part-time ATF informant business. Gangs fronted by drug cartels are also very active in TN--you may want to think twice about walking up to and hassling someone about their weapon.
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Old March 21, 2017, 09:13 AM   #35
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There is a letter out from the ATF that states that using a pistol brace at the shoulder does not make it an SBR its just using it wrong.
I found this and I think it's still the ATF's position?

http://www.atf.gov/file/11816/download

Pistol brace is fine if used as designed, but not if shouldered. Shouldered = SBR.

collapsible stocks would be an SBR.
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Old March 21, 2017, 12:47 PM   #36
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I would feel like Diogenes looking for an honest man trying to find an "arm brace" that had not been shouldered at one time or another.
When the search for Kewl Faktor clashes with repressive government, you get nonsense like "arm braces."
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Old March 21, 2017, 07:07 PM   #37
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Evidently I read a White Paper not to be confused with a "Letter".

As I said before I don't have a dog in this race but if I did I'd be absolutely sure I knew what the law entailed. And I surely wouldn't take some internet guys (me) word for anything.

ATF - Paper https://www.atf.gov/file/11816/download

Leaked White Paper - https://d3uwh8jpzww49g.cloudfront.ne...-or-modify.pdf
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Old March 21, 2017, 07:31 PM   #38
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wow--if understand correctly the "leaked" paper suggests elimination of the "redesign" language, which for all practical purposes removes the "mystical transformation" aspect of a brace-equipped firearm--but I wonder if that necessarily means the brace thing is going away altogether?
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Old March 21, 2017, 08:47 PM   #39
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I'm not going to debate the legality of the situation.

I'll examine some clues to the situation.

According to your story...

1. The guy knew enough that you needed 'papers'

2. He knew certain distinctions of ARs enough to call it a 'pistol'.

When people don't know, they really don't know much at all. Any guy who was Cabelas who just happened to buy an AR pistol and then ignorantly slap on a stock wouldn't even know about 'papers'. He would just be like, 'what's that?'

Hardcore gangsters who don't care about NFA laws don't go target shooting with their kids.

This guy was almost certainly jerking your chain.

When I'm at the range, I always very patiently try to speak and convert every person who is not knowledgeable about NFA firearms. Most people who are inquisitive don't know much at all, but are thoroughly excited that they, too, can buy such toys.

But every once in a while, I'll get the indignant person who has no interest and is just being nosy. In which case, the conversation will go something like

Q: is that legal?

A: Huh? You can get this stuff online!

Or

A: I just made my full auto AR an hour ago! (with a RDIAS)

Both answers above are absolutely true, btw.
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Old March 23, 2017, 01:23 AM   #40
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Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Misprision of a felony is not a mandatory crime reporting law. Under federal law, misprision not only requires actual knowledge of the crime, but you have to also take some action to conceal the criminal conduct (e.g. lie to the feds). In the OP's example, or any gun range empirically gathered evidence example, you cannot possibly have actual knowledge of an "SBR crime". Furthermore, a person is only charged with knowing the law to extent they must comply with the law - you are not charged with knowing whether or not someone else is complying with the law. Unlike complying with the laws (i.e. ignorance is not an excuse), you are not required to know the law in the imprision context. In other words, ignorance absolutely can be an excuse as to whether someone else is committing a felony. The common people are not law enforcement or judiciary agents. Minding your own business is not a crime unless you are a person who, by law, is under a heightened standard (e.g. child abuse reporting statutes for health professionals). Misprision is essentially an aiding and abetting or obstruction related charge, and nothing more. If you could go to prison for simply being in the vicinity of someone feloniously violating any weapons related laws, then no rational person would go to any gun range or be around anyone who has a weapon unless they are 1,000% vetted by you.

I concur with the "mind your own business" crowd. The OP is presuming that the guy is in violation of the law based on some empirical evidence and what the guy said. Who really knows if he was legally compliant or not other than the feds. If the OP is really worried about it, then file a complaint with the authorities. If the OP is not, then move on (i.e. what's the point of this discussion?).

Last edited by Sgt Pepper; March 23, 2017 at 01:29 AM.
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Old March 23, 2017, 06:37 PM   #41
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I personally don't think such things as SBR's and suppressors should fall in the category of the NFA. Come to think of it I don't think there should be an NFA registry altogether, but since I don't have an iron in this fire I think what I think amounts to very little. I'll just say that I'd fall into the category of minding my own business, which in itself is an art form that needs more artists.
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Old March 24, 2017, 02:52 AM   #42
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There are an awful lot of people in this thread who seem to be telling the OP that he should have just minded his own business. But if you read his first post you'll see that he wrote that he simply complimented the guy on his SBRs, he never mentioned anything about asking the guy any prying questions about his tax stamps or anything.

I hardly think that if a person merely compliments someone's guns he deserves a bunch of people telling him to mind his own business.
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Old March 24, 2017, 06:12 AM   #43
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There are an awful lot of people in this thread who seem to be telling the OP that he should have just minded his own business. But if you read his first post you'll see that he wrote that he simply complimented the guy on his SBRs, he never mentioned anything about asking the guy any prying questions about his tax stamps or anything.

I hardly think that if a person merely compliments someone's guns he deserves a bunch of people telling him to mind his own business.
I don't see it that way--he posts on a public forum a thread that is titled with the word "illegal" and confirms that the pistol(s) were used illegally as he observed--why would he be posting this if he was not looking for advice/feedback as to what he should or should not have done?
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Old March 24, 2017, 05:03 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by stagpanther
I don't see it that way--he posts on a public forum a thread that is titled with the word "illegal" and confirms that the pistol(s) were used illegally as he observed--why would he be posting this if he was not looking for advice/feedback as to what he should or should not have done?
My guess is he was simply surprised that someone would be so cavalier about breaking federal law and decided to share his experience here. He never once asked what he should have done or implied that he should have said something more.

In the situation the OP describes, he minded his business very well: He simply complimented someone on their SBRs, and after being told they were illegal, he appears to have said nothing else. His direct quote from the post was, "I didn't really know what to say". That's pretty much the perfect example of minding your own business.
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Old March 24, 2017, 09:41 PM   #45
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As I reread the OP, this seems more likely the situation.

Quote:
An AR with a "KAK or SIG stock" looks very much like an SBR but is a fully legal "pistol"(as long as you don't fire it with the back end of the forearm support touching your shoulder).
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Old March 24, 2017, 11:55 PM   #46
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So misprision of a felony is not a crime or is only a misdemeanor? Maybe, but that is not what the U.S. Code says. It may not often (or ever) be prosecuted, but three years as Uncle's guest sounds pretty serious.

18 U.S. Code § 4 - Misprision of felony

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 684; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(G), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

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Old March 25, 2017, 12:08 AM   #47
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I think some of us who are very law-abiding would be absolutely astounded at the firearms that are possessed currently that are very much in violation of Federal Law. Machine guns and silencers aside, I think there are a number of Ar "pistol" SBRs, pistols with vertical foregrips, sawed off shotguns, etc. sitting in closets and gun safes everywhere. Not to mention semi autos built in violation of 922(r). Yet convictions seem to be pretty rare, confined largely to people who are doing something else stupid at the time. Not that I would be anything other than excruciatingly law abiding because I can't afford to be otherwise, but there is a much larger group of people with these firearms than I think many of us would acknowledge.

Working at a big box retail store, I have had a shocking number of felonies admitted to me. One guy wanted to buy our single shot .410 and cut the barrel down to 6" for snakes. When I told him it had to be 18", he pulled out a pocket tape measure (didn't see that coming), pointed to the bare 18" mark and indicated that was the line he was going to cut it to if that's what he had to tell me to sell it to him. I've also had admitted felons try to ask me if their brother can buy their gun for them, people ask me for manual repeating .22 rifles and subsonic ammo for illegal night hunting (which they indicated they knew was illegal), and once a person ordered a gun online and had it sent to us and then filled out the form indicating that he had in fact received a dishonorable discharge. That person never called us to see how he could have the gun sent back to the retailer or get his money back, so it sat in the safe for months until I moved on to another job.

As to the OP, it is possible he had a folding brace installed which is definitely pushing the line but in no way illegal.
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Old March 25, 2017, 06:57 AM   #48
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James I have never seen that before. Thank you, I learned something new.

I wonder if it would be upheld as constitutional were it ever actually prosecuted. Common !aw has long held that there is no duty to act to prevent or report a crime. If you take one overt step, no matter how miniscule, to participate or help cover it up then that is different. The "no duty to act or report" has been described as "merely present" in case briefs.
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Old March 25, 2017, 08:14 AM   #49
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Careful with that "knowledge of felony" stuff. This is the same line of reasoning that can lead to "no-knock" home invasions by the authorities (with uncertain and potentially lethal outcomes) and can cross the line for not allowing due process IMO. Actions have consequences, and in my totally inexpert opinion you are NOT expected to rise to the occasion to "validate" a potentially lethal weapon's status or the use(r) thereof--that is pure foolishness IMO. LE will probably treat a potential armed threat with a heightened sense towards potential escalation to lethal violence.

Arguably, that knowledge does not become "knowable" as potential evidence until you personally interact and gather information. Another reason why I would advise mind your own beeswax unless you are CERTAIN that a dangerous or criminal act is in progress.

Do what you like, I'm done with this thread.
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Old March 26, 2017, 12:51 AM   #50
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It's not just "knowledge" but you have to actively "conceal" the crime too. In other words, just being a witness, even an expert witness, isn't enough to get you in trouble.
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